The mundane happenings of life

Yesterday I managed to leave work early and stop to pick up my new glasses. I have been without glasses for close to two weeks now. The trouble with my glasses started several months ago when Jewel somehow got my pair off the table one morning before I left for work and completely destroyed them. Plastic lenses and plastic frames were chewed into pieces. So I had to put my back up pair into service and the arranged to get a new fitting. My back up pair was my prescription from about 6 years ago. It had been several years since I was last at the eye doctor, and so it was long overdue.

Well that lasted about a week when Jewel somehow got this pair of glasses and managed to chew the frame. Scotch tape to the rescue. Yes I was really the geeky nerd and endured this for several months. Between travel and other distractions, it took me months to finally get an appointment to get an eye examination and new glasses. Unfortunately, I also made the appointment for son, who was also have vision trouble at school. Yet here it was in the middle of summer before he finally admitted to having problems.

Driving was ok because I had my prescription sunglasses to wear. Didn’t work too well at night but that was manageable. By then the scotch tape was too much. Lost the screws that held the frame together and had to resort to crazy glue. That too wasn’t enough. Supper nerd needed to see the eye doctor.

Yesterday I managed to get my new glasses. Skipped the bifocals this time. I really just need them for distance because I have become accustomed to read or work on the computer without wearing them.

I guess Jewel likes them too. Now I put them in a place where she cannot reach them.

We found ourselves inside on a Friday night. Watched some tv, which was more enjoyable with the new glasses. Didn’t really do much of anything. I didn’t even cook myself a delicious meal. Maybe Saturday. It was quiet. I could have sat down and read my book but even that didn’t excite me. Clearly this weekend was going to be very different compared to last weekend. For me, I was back to normal.

Today I find myself without the kids. It is just me and the dog. This Saturday morning started out well. I got up early and managed to get to the stable around 7 am. Stopped at Morning Glory Bakery for large coffee and two glazed doughnuts. Would have probably gotten a burrito but they were busy and they didn’t have my favorite: sausage green with cheese. Cold have gone elsewhere for a burrito but the doughnuts will be enough to keep me moving. Not to feed the horse. Rather, my task was to cut the grass and weeds around the stable.

Aside from that I needed to do some clean up around the stables because next weekend will be our first hay delivery for the year. For cutting the weeds, the old manual push mower just wasn’t working out. Tried sharpening the blade multiple times. Managed to cover the same path multiple times trying to cut the grass and weeds. While it was exercise, and I would cover a few thousand steps, it was never without difficulty. I needed power.

I bought a new mower to accomplish the task. I may have destroyed a new mower while mowing. At one point, I was mowing and must have hit metal. It immediately stopped. Looked underneath the mower to see wire wrapped around the blade and half of the blade bent. Removed the wire and resumed mowing. But it was now struggling to cut the weeds. After much starting and stopping, I somehow managed to stop and again, catch wire in the blade. This time I was mowing the back of the lot. After I managed to remove the wrapped metal wire, I figured that it was time to call it a day. Packed up and went home.

Of course, I had Jewel with me the entire time. I had her tied up at the front of the stable while I was cutting grass in the back. She had water, but it was hot and the day was warming up. By 10 am, we called it quits.

The morning sky started to show some nice white puffy clouds over the mountains as we drove home. By the time I got the car unloaded, it was lunch time and I was certainly hot and tired from mowing. Clean up may just have to wait another day!

Goofed around the house in the afternoon and ran some errands. By mid afternoon, it rained and cooled things off outside.

Much of what I do happens to be mundane anymore. Normal everyday things become more and more mundane. Is it because I am getting older? Is it because I am so set in my ways that I avoid going out, trying new things. Lots to do this weekend but can’t say that it really excited me. I really am becoming more and more of an old fuddy-duddy. I need to change that. That is one of the reasons why I started this blog. Try to read more and share more, learn and seek new ideas, stimulating conversation, meet new people who write some really great things. I don’t see myself as a writer, but I have been enjoying putting things down here for all to see. In the past I have written lots of scientific papers for publishing, two dissertations, and many papers in college for various classes. Writing has long been a struggle for me, yet I see how very important it is to communicate clearly, to express ourselves. Sometime the words just come out; other times I have nothing. I try to impress this upon my kids.

Often what I write starts out completely different than the final product. I need to work on spell checking and proofing the final words before I publish. Hopefully that will improve my style, my word choice, allow me to better articulate what I write and what I post.

I need more spontaneity.

End of June…almost July

Nice weather. A quiet weekend. What more could one ask for? I have big plans in terms of getting work done around the house and at the stables. Unfortunately I woke up early Saturday with lower back pain that kept me hunched over. Took the dog for a walk, which was able to loosen it up somewhat but moving around the house most of the day proved to be difficult. A sausage green chile burrito didn’t reduce the pain. Thus, no work was accomplished. The day was spent resting on the sofa with Jewel.

In the case of Jewel, she wanted nothing to do with that. So there we were, back and forth, up down, inside, outside. Really didn’t help my back. Really didn’t allow for me to make progress on the book I am trying to read. Maybe I should have started with a book that I haven’t read with far fewer pages.

I find myself looking at my blog statistics. I have noticed a decline in visitors over the past week. Not the trajectory that I had envisioned. Not sure if it is because I have posted less this week. Or is it the subject of the last two postings? Both had tones of politics and just general comment by me on how bad things are outside my immediate closed world. Or is it the lack of a theme? A hobby, self-help? Should I write about chemistry? Project management? History? What is the purpose of this blog? What is my purpose? What… As I eat my burrito, it is clear that I will have to write a future post about who in Los Alamos makes the best breakfast burrito’s.

So there I was, all of Saturday. In pain because of my back. Stretches didn’t help. Just a completely wasted day. Perhaps Sunday will be better.

Sunday is starting off better. Stayed in bed longer than I should have. My back is feeling better. Now I find myself staring at many pairs of old blue jeans. They are in a corner of the bathroom closet. All are worn and have holes in them. I must have had collected them over the years, all with a rip at the inseam or knees. Thinking that I could repair them or something? Not that I need them at all, I think that just getting rid of them would be ideal. Yet some people claim that there is money in torn jeans. Not sure but I think that I should just get rid of the whole pile. Old shirts are in a different pile. I use these for cleaning rags, dust rags, and just whatever.

I guess this makes me a hoarder. I really do hate to get rid of things. I think of the cost and the number of times I get to use it. I look at the old jeans and the inseam tears and concluded that this was planned obsolescence by the manufacturer.

At least I am now up and moving about. Back pain, back spasm, whatever, is still there but not as bad as yesterday. I’ll take some more ibuprofen and hopefully that will help me stand up straight. I’m guessing if I could loose a few pounds that it might help. Add that to my to-do list.

Outside looks like another spectacular day. But by now I am looking at the title of this post and see that it has nothing to do with what I have written. What does “end of June…almost July” have to do with a pile of old clothes, back pain hat has me hunched over like the Hunchback of Norte Dame, hard work, sausage green chile breakfast burritos, no one having visited my blog in almost a week. The answer is quite simple: nothing at all. Just more rambling thoughts to tell a story. Then it dawns on me. Am I trying to be a writer? Is that What I envision for the next 50-plus years?

Actually, what I have written thus far represents snippets in time of another weekend. Plans that never come to fruition. Ups and downs, humor, stupid thoughts, boring weekend? As I come downstairs to put my shoes on, there is Jewel. She wants out. There is the dining room table. It is again cluttered, unable to use if the kids were here for dinner. Broken glasses sit on one corner. Jewel ate my current pair. The pair that I need for driving. Happened a few months back while I was in the shower. Was she bored, angry, did she miss me? The pair on the table are missing screws, lenses and part of the frame. Time for some crazy glue while I wait to get an appointment to get a new prescription. Coffee is brewing as I pound away on today’s post.

I stop and reread what I have written. Now I have gone through several cycles of post and deposit because I find errors. Write more, correct sentences and spelling. Add more mundane thoughts to the paragraphs. Does it have to be perfect? It never will be. It is all over the map in terms of my weekend. No correlations between the title and the paragraphs that follow. Let’s see where the rest of the day takes me.

Weekend with the kids – part 2

Sunday starts early. I’m up before sunrise, doing some reading. Daughter is sleeping in but we must get going if she wants to feed the horse and get to Goose Downs by nine. Sadly, she is the slowpoke of the family and doesn’t have us heading out the door after eight to go feed Ruby.

Ruby is happy to see us. In her fly mask and sheet, she greats us like she does every morning. Leaning over the fence, a couple of hello whinnies, and then the expectation of a treat. Hay, grains, beet pulp and supplements; and she is fed and we are on our way. No ride for Ruby today. The 60+ minute drive to Goose Downs is in front of us.

I have brought the dog along for the car ride. Drop off daughter and finally get play date time and location scheduled for son. There I am, driving back. Passing through the McDonalds drive through in Santa Fe, I order a large coffee and a sausage with egg. Long line at the drive through, but as I get my order, the two people at the window are talking that the order in front of me left too quickly and were short on their order. I comment how I never leave without checking. I check and it looks good, at least the wrappers. However, I need to check deeper in the future. My sausage is not sausage, rather it is Canadian bacon. My coffee, which is black with two sugars, is coffee with cream and no sugar.

Back in Los Alamos I get son and get ready for his play date. His friend arrives after lunch and they proceed to play Minecraft for two hours. I try to nap as I am still tired and recovering from travel. And just like that, they are done and scheming for next weekend. I drop his friend off, taken son to his mothers and then back out on the road to pick up daughter.

I have divided the trip to Goose Downs has been into three 26 minute increments. Each increment becomes a race inside my head as I try to beat the time of 26 minutes. The first is Los Alamos to Pojoaque, one of the many reservations (and casinos) that exist in the state. The road is two lanes in each direction, the scenery is that of mesa’s and mountains, although they lack the vivid colors from a Georgia O’Keefe painting. The second segment is Pojoaque to the I25 interchange south of Santa Fe. This actually takes you through Santa Fe. Once upon a time, one could drive through Santa Fe at 38 miles per hour and never hit a red light. That changed with the New Mexico Rail Runner, which crosses at the intersection of St Francis and Cerrillos. The panhandlers are on these corners, with their signs stating their plight. It’s summer so there are many of them, although it isn’t as bad as the cities in California, Oregon and Washington state.

After the I25 intersection, you head north for the third segment, to Goose Downs. Staying on I25 for awhile, you then turn south on 285, passing Eldorado. Goose Downs is south of Lamy, just before Galisteo.

The scenery is like much of New Mexico. All in all, the trip is just over an hour one way, and probably could be described as the southern route like the scenery in the great book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”.

Before you know it, I have daughter and we are heading home. The race over the three sections plays itself out in reverse. Try talking during a car ride to a teenager who has her ear pods in and the music cranked up. Lastly, horse is fed, sone is retrieved and tonight we are having pizza. After 12 hours in the car driving back and forth, my ass is sore, the evening is soon upon us and tomorrow is another work day. The things we do for our kids.

Weekend with the kids

My weekends are often denoted by the following: either I have the kids, or I do not. A normal schedule has them with me starting on a Thursday night and continuing through Monday morning. This weekend is not normal as I was on travel this past Thursday. And as they have gotten older, they have certainly begun to exercise their free will to decide what they want, including which house to stay at, regardless of schedule. I am somewhat bothered by this approach, but as they get older I understand that they need to make their own decisions. After all, the fact that decisions have consequences is a valued lesson.

Daughter spent the day working around the horses at Goose Downs. That required me to gather them up and drive daughter and son about 60 miles one way, drop her off and return. Aside from a trip to Lowe’s, son and I returned home for a three hour round trip. Boring for son, but I took the internet with us, so he at least could entertain himself with his iPad. In general he doesn’t really like car trips. Not your usual road trip as I remember them growing up.

To pick her up later in the day, I took him to his mom’s house while I was away. Just doesn’t feel right to leave an eleven year old home alone for parts of the day. He thinks he is old enough and while I trust him, it just isn’t something that I will do for long periods of time. Yep, another three hours in the car. Knowing that a trip back to Goose Downs tomorrow was in the plans, he just asked if he could stay at his mom’s. He really didn’t want the joys of another car ride, so I said sure. After all, he has been with me for several weekends due to various horse activities.

When they are here, they tend to keep to themselves. Often that is computer games in their rooms. An occasional movie as a family, or family games. Daughter often rides during the weekends. Not this weekend as we are not transporting Ruby to Goose Downs for lessons. For son, I was working to arrange a play date with a friend of his from school. Swimming at the pool may also be a distinct possibility. Unclear if either will happen. Equally unclear what else can be folded into this weekend beyond another several hours in the car for myself and daughter. I still have a number of things to do around the house and the stables.