Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Day of August

This summer has flown by.  I feel as if I missed the whole month of July, even though I did get to do a few fun things while on detail.  But being away that long meant my garden was not as big as it normally would be, has more weeds in it than usual, and our opportunities for going camping were cut in half.  As it is now, we'll be lucky to get out one weekend in September.  I'd really like to, but I'd also really like to do a good job teaching at the workshop.  And now that hubby is teaching math classes at CWI, his free time is reduced as well.

So we're busier than ever.  But I'd still like to get out there.  I woke up in the middle of the night this weekend thinking I was out in the mountains in a tent.  It might have been a dream I was having.  But it made me realize how much I really want to spend a few days up there, away from all the stupid stuff down here.

The raspberries are doing well, but the grasshoppers are really bad this year.  Guess it's the high water winter we just had.  I'd like to have more of that area fenced off, so we could let the chickens loose in there.  They could take care of a lot of those bugs.  I'm not sure what else to do, except poison it all this winter or maybe in the spring.  This organic gardening thing isn't working out too well this year.

Work will continue to be crazy until the end of September.  So I'll be lucky to write anything here more than once every few weeks.  Hope the rest of your summer is fun.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

End of Summer in Sight

It's going to be really hot this week - the last blast of summer before Fall takes over, I think.  You can already see the days getting shorter.  And with the sun's angle moving north, the heat doesn't hang on into the late afternoon like it did just a month ago.  So we're getting night temps down into the 50's some nights.

The end of September is the end of the Fiscal Year.  So work is a real push from now til then.  And somehow in the midst of all of that overtime, I have to plan a whole day's worth of workshop lessons.  Two dances chosen, 6-8 more to go.  I really have to spend some time next weekend working on it.

So not much mental energy left for blogging, I'm afraid. At least my back is feeling a lot better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back

I strained my back on Saturday.  It wasn't even doing something cool!  I was just bending forward and *zing*, total lower back spasm.  It seemed to go away at first, but by two hours later it hurt pretty bad.  I spent most of Sunday lying down or moving very slowly.  So on Monday I went to the Dr.  They confirmed it was muscular, not sciatica or anything to do with the bulging disc in my lumbar vertebrae.  So now I'm icing, and on pain meds and muscle relaxants to get it under control.  On Friday I'll go see a physical therapist and hopefully he'll be able to recommend a few things.

I remember having back aches and tendonitis for months at a time in my 20's from dancing four-five days a week.  And yet it didn't slow me down much.  This is different.  Weird how as you get older your tolerance for aches and pains decreases.  And of course, due to the wear and tear, those aches and pains tend to stick around much longer than they did at 24.  At least my plantar fasciitis has really calmed down.  Probably because I haven't been able to exercise much for the past month and a half.  Hubby and I were just getting back to walking and doing the weights last week, and then this happens.  Hopefully I can get back to it by next week, or I'll be a total blob at the dance weekend I'm teaching in early October.  I need to get back some of my muscle tone for that.

Anyway, garden-wise, this has not been a great year.  Too many weeds enjoying the increased rainfall.  I really have to clear out the veg garden once everything has finished.  The raspberries are starting to produce more this week, but I'm having more problems with bugs eating them than I have in the past.  Lots of grasshoppers around.  Seems like the minute a berry turns red something is chewing on it.  So I'm tending to pick them a bit early, just to get whole fruit.

The lone tomato has fruit on it, but it's still green.  And the quail are eating the climbing beans as soon as they've formed.  I'll be lucky to get any beans at all.  I should net them I guess.  sigh.  At least I've got some blueberries this year.  Not a lot, but they're doing well.  So hopefully next year will be even better.

Oh well, sometimes you just have one of those years.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rafting the Canyon on the Payette

Last weekend we did a full-day raft trip with Cascade Raft  & Kayak on the Payette river, class 3 and 4 rapids.  Wonderful!  I don't think Ken had been on a trip like that before.  I did a half-day trip on the Kicking Horse in the Canadian Rockies in 1993 that I think was about the same level, but on glacier water.  So very cold and a cloudy turquoise color.  And it could just be my inexperienced memory of it, but there was something about the character of the river bed on the Kicking Horse that made the swells of the rapids very tall, especially along the sides when the river went through a steep narrow ravine.  Seems like some of the swells were taller than my head.

Anyway, this was a longer trip with the most challenging rapids I've been on since then.  It started early in the day and the water is higher than normal for this time of year, so we wore wetsuits.  I thought I'd be hot, but I was very happy for the wetsuit for the whole day.  I almost didn't notice the huge waves of cold water falling over me. ;)  We had a great time.  I fully expected one of us might fall into the water, but we didn't.  We were one of three boats doing the run that day, and I think people fell out on one of the other boats.

Driving up into the mountains for the raft trip really put me into the mood for camping - the trees, the pine-scented air.  I'm hoping we can go for a weekend sometime before the end of August.  I'd really like to get up into the Sawtooths before it snows - unlike last year!

Otherwise, summer seems to be zipping by.  I can't believe it's August already.  It's just starting to get reliably into the 90's most days.  My raspberries are a bit behind, but they're just starting to really ripen.  By the end of next week I should be getting a few cups a day.  It has not been a good gardening year for me, mostly due to being away for all of July and a week in June.  So we only have one tomato plant, four pepper plants, some climbing beans and rainbow chard.  There's plenty of chard, but I have yet to harvest anything else.  I'm hoping the peppers do well.  They're the Italian kind that you roast.  It's really nice to have those in the freezer over the winter.