Medicare Eligible but Still Kicking

I had a philosophical post about aging all planned, but I’ve had such a nice day, that I’ll just say how glad I am to be 65 years old, alive, healthy, and able to enjoy life.

I’m still full of potential.

I spent my whole officially old birthday doing whatever I wanted to. I spent the morning chatting with the men of the house and giving myself hippie fingernails. I earned them by surviving the 60s.

I enjoyed the flowers Lee got me that I arranged to look about as tie dye as my nails.

Colored baby’s breath cracked me up.

Then I spent an afternoon horsing around. What fun it was. I was just Sara’s helper as she did recording of her horses doing their Q1 Virtual Show. I enjoyed helping groom them.

So much pretty hair.

It was fun watching Aragorn do cool stuff, but more fun watching future mama Sully try her best to open gates and deal with that darned flag. But by gum, she trotted through the slalom like a dream. And she gave me a gift! I got to feel the foal move inside her! It was so cool.

It was helping her with her shows.

On the way home we got birthday ice creams, which was sweet. What a good afternoon. But it wasn’t over, because I then got Drew going and we had a fine ride! After that, he kindly mowed the grass where the mower can’t reach. He is such a cutie.

So what if I’m old? I had a great dinner with an amazing ice cream cake for dessert, and enjoyed the gifts of family and friends today! Look at all these “gifts!”

Someone Asked Me This

Do you enjoy your job?

Honestly, the blogging software asked, but I was also asked by my contact at the company who contracts me out to Dell at my current position.

So, do you?

Yes, Bertie Lee, I do. I like it as much as I liked my previous job before they replaced my amazing boss with, um, someone else. I’d figured I’d stay until the contract ended next September then “retire.”

Are you the retirement type, Suna?

No, I’m not. I like having something to do, and if I’m helping people out, I feel good. In my current job, I help people use confusing yet powerful software to get their own work done. And I help my team get their work by answering questions so they don’t have to.

Did you hear that, Butter? She helps people just like she helps us hens! Do they thank her by giving eggs, like we do?

No, Bertie Lee, they thank me by giving respect and autonomy. There’s no micromanaging on our team, just encouragement and support. It helps that everyone is great at their jobs, of course. It’s been a great last hurrah in corporate America.

What’s she going on about, ladies?

I’m just saying that if this job continues, I’ll keep going for another few years, though it’s tempting to have more time for horses and travel. I guess the month that Medicare kicks in is pretty much guaranteed to cause introspection!

I’m only as young as I feel, but other than the lingering wheeze, I feel as good as I ever have. And yes, I like my job.

PS: I only had time to take chicken pictures today. Much work followed by long-overdue grocery shopping filled the time. Good news is Zippy Bippy, the new car, can hold a LOT with the seats down.

What’s a Temperature Blanket?

I may have mentioned recently that I was waiting on yarn to arrive so that I can make a 2023 temperature blanket. The yarn arrived yesterday, which made being sick at least a little less annoying.

So many yarns

Because I still hate moths, this will be in acrylic, but I chose the sport weight of Brava by Knitpicks rather than the thicker stuff I’d been using. I bought one skein of each color I think I’ll need until winter of this year. That’s because it didn’t get very cold here so far in 2023. Why does that matter?

A temperature blanket is a knitted or crocheted project that records the temperature at a specific place over a specific amount of time. Here’s an article from Modern Daily Knitting (MDK) about some projects they were working on. Click either of the links above or look at these Ravelry projects to see lots of photos and get an idea of what the deal is. I made one of the “official” ones (link is below) back when I lived with Anita at the Bobcat Lair, but I apparently did NOT put it on Ravelry or mention it in a blog. That’s annoying. I have no idea where it got off too, but it covered Austin Texas temperatures for I think 2018.

My blanket will cover College Station, because there’s no great data for Cameron on any weather site I could find. That was disappointing. Lee collects rainfall amounts, but not temperatures, as far as I know, so I can’t get them from him. I selected yarns to represent five degree increments going from 0 to over 100 Fahrenheit, knowing that I probably will not need the lower colors with all this global warming.

I love mitered squares, as you may be aware, so I am making a blanket using that technique, with the high temperature for the day on the outside of each square and the low temperature on the inside. I’ll make ten days per row, and I’ll indicate the end of each month with a black square. The blanket will make a lot of sense if you’re used to reading Arabic or Hebrew, because it goes from right to left. It’s just how I always do my squares, so why stop now?

I’m really looking forward to working on this. It’s a fun project, until you see just how hot it gets every year around here. Maybe it will cool down toward the end. I encourage you to learn more about temperature blankets. Another great resource is the one I found first, which is the Tempestry Project. They make wall hangings for different years in the same places and it makes the changes over the years VERY obvious. They have temperature tapestries from all over the world and for the US National Parks. It’s fascinating.

Here is my messy set of instructions for January and part of February. It didn’t get cold until the end of the month, when the ice storm hit.

Working on this project is a good distraction from coughing. I’ll update you on my attempts to get my condition diagnosed later.

Animals, Accidents, etc.

Today was fun until it wasn’t. I mostly practiced Tunisian crochet, thanks to a little book called Tunisian Crochet Workshop that I found on Kindle for free. It has good photos and clear instructions, so I was able to get through a bunch of different stitches on a sampler.

Left to right, Tunisian double crochet, extended stitch, mesh stitch, reverse stitch, knit stitch, purl stitch, and simple stitch.

Simple stitch is the standard. The other ones I liked were knit, mesh, and extended. Reverse is icky. Good thing purl is similar. Anyway, now I know some stitches.

Woof woof.

I spent some time today enjoying the dogs. I always hear them in the backyard barking. I realized they were barking at cows, but today I got proof that it’s fun for all involved.

Those cattle are having fun!

The dogs bark, the mamas paw the ground, and the calves bounce up and down, trying to play. It’s so much fun to watch!

Alfred didn’t want me too close to the scary cows. When he realized I was approaching, he got between me and the action and herded me back. What a sweetie.

Ima keep you safe.

I wish Alfred had been there to protect me later. I’m having a lot of awkward moments. Yesterday I hurt my shoulder tossing saddles around. Today Drew and I got entangled in a rope and both fell down! That could have been a lot worse. He got clover stains and I hit my head and hand. No one bled.

No photos of the accident, so here are my cute Black History Month nails.

I managed to get Drew saddled and we did all our stuff just fine, so I guess we weren’t hurt too badly. But when he was free, he sure rolled a lot. Thankfully, Apache is still calm and cool, so I managed to do fine with him. I’m so grateful for him. And glad Drew is forgiving.

Tomorrow I shall spend time in the hot tub. I need it.

More Travel to Exotic Locations

Oh, just kidding. I’m in the greater Bryan/College Station area, right here in Tejas. After a most frustrating work day (interrupted by seeing Anita for coffee at the fine new local coffee shop, which was good), I took off, once again.

It was cold, so Anita wore her hat.

The reason for traveling was the wedding of my former neighbor, Kayla. Actually, she got married with only parents around last October, so this was for the rest of their families. Cathy, Kayla’s mom, is who Sara and I went to high school football games with for years.

I’ve missed Cathy.

Other than the wedding being 1.5 hours late, it was very sweet with many touches of humor. I enjoyed chatting with some of the groom’s family at dinner, too. I am glad I went. Everyone was so friendly and seemed so happy. Awww.

The reception looked so nice.

Bonus: the little Baptist church had really comfy pews, for which I complimented the minister, who sat next to me. That gave him a chuckle. (Some other guy performed the ceremony.

Flower girl and ring bearer were siblings. Note I didn’t show their faces.

The other bonus of heading all the way over here (45 minutes, not far) is that I got to visit my friends Lynn and Don. We watched Young Sheldon (funny) and I played with their cats. One licked my hair.

This one, Beans, wanted more petting. She was a fine kitty.

I like cats, just at other people’s houses, you see. Anyway, I’m safely in a big mesquite bed and looking forward to breakfast with the friends tomorrow. That’s cheered me up!

You Can Certainly Fill an Empty Day

Welcome rain showed up overnight and throughout the day. That made us all happy but sure changed our plans! I had worked really hard to arrange to get the farrier to do the horses’ feet in time for me to then get to lessons for my two horses.

I need a manicure

The rain (and car trouble for the farrier) ended that careful plan, so when I finished work, I thought I’d have lots of time to think more thoughts about my next craft project (which I designed for about an hour while trying to get to sleep last night). But no.

That’s no lie!

I ended up doing practically every one of those things I’ve been meaning to get around to! Boom! Future horse stuff scheduled. Boom! Internet access at the Red House secured (guests coming soon!). Boom! Eye doctor appointment rescheduled, since the horse stuff conflicted. Boom! Packed for an upcoming trip. Wow, I’m flexible and a change management whiz!

When I finished packing I was treated to the sun coming in to light up my purple glass.

I wrote up all sorts of instructions and did a bunch of Master Naturalist work (it takes me almost as long to write up meeting notes as a meeting takes!). I guess I need more rainy days that keep me inside and away from those tempting horses and the wildlife.

I ran out to see this tiny sliver of setting sun. Ahh.

Yesterday I wrote so much about, of all things, a pretty weed, for the Master Naturalist blog that I didn’t blog here. I didn’t have much to say anyway, since I was upset at current events and annoying people. You might enjoy learning about henbit dead nettle, though, so check it out.

It IS pretty and chickens love it.

Back to crocheting a bird and not watching the news.

Yup, Horses Make You Feel Good

I had a pretty free Saturday, so I split it between fun with yarn and fun with horses. The yarn post will be tomorrow. Today is my day to bask in my relationship with the horses.

I’ve spent a lot of time with Apache this week, mostly just hanging out with him. It really pays off, I think, because he’s so much more relaxed, yet interested in doing things lately.

Looking at his friends, but happy with me.

He seems to look forward to jumping and cantering. He seems practically athletic when we do groundwork. He looks strong and fit, not chubby and weak. I’m so happy for that.

Let’s go!!

Riding was fun. He informed me in his horsey way that my new square setup is too close to the trailer. When he stopped, I saw that he had noticed our reflection in the shiny part of the trailer front. Well, I had to agree he had a point. That looked weird.

That other horse and human look funny.

I finally, finally can relax when I ride and just focus on what we’re doing. It makes such a difference! My legs are relaxed. My arms are relaxed. I’m giving easy signals and Apache responds. He’s also relaxed, as you can see.

A relaxed horse and his cone. He stopped right there and didn’t move.

After we rode, I must have spent ten minutes just petting and talking to him, and he seemed to want to stay. Eventually Fiona indicated she was hungry, so we went in.

I got to hang out with the calves!

Drew hinted that he wanted to do something so I lunged him. He wasn’t at all into it. That was odd. I think he’s in some discomfort from playing too hard with Fiona and Dusty. Fiona had blood on a cut and Drew had some (of hers) on his neck. There is much kicking going on. So I relaxed and just spent time doing what he wanted to do, which was get his itchy head scratched. It was quite cute.

These guys wanted attention, too. It’s a new batch of young cattle.

I was all warm and fuzzy by the time we had some visitors. It was fun watching Sara’s granddaughter enjoy Fiona and Vlassic while we discussed hooves. Then the guest got to see all the dogs, which delighted her. What an animal lover she is!

I’m sure glad I had the chance to follow the leads of my horses and relax today. Oh, and by the way, no one has touched yesterday’s scary hay. I love my equine buddies.

The Great Scary Lump Mystery

Oh the poor horses! Today we looked out the front window and saw something out of place. There was a brown lump where there is usually smooth grass.

What the hay?

I looked to the left of the lump and there were the horses and Fiona. They were standing transfixed, with their heads and ears pointed at that mysterious lump. It must have been perceived as a threat.

Two seconds earlier, Apache was also staring.

I had to work so I went back in the house. When I came out to get the mail later, they were still on high alert, not letting that lump out of their sight.

Drew and Dusty are ok, but the other 3 are watching.

I walked down the driveway, cautiously approaching that threatening lump, which got less and less scary as I got closer.

Hey, that’s some hay!

I was a little confused as to how that fairly significant pile of hay got in the pasture. Then I noticed more hay on the road. Okay, so someone had lost some nice fresh hay as they went down the road. It must have been very windy to blow so far off the road??

Road hay.

I actually took Drew some of the hay, but nope, the group would NOT go anywhere near the hay pike, which is larger now, because I added the road hay. They hadn’t by feeding time. Who could blame them? It appeared out of thin air.

This didn’t appear out of thin air, but I’m finally done.

Now, did all that hay really blow into the pasture? No. The mystery was solved later when Lee casually mentioned that he’d found hay on the road on his way back from his daily walk, and tossed it in the field.


The horses aren’t sure about it, nonetheless.

Rolling with Changes

Oh you never know what’s going to happen around here. So today’s agenda changed, but it’s all good!

Since I needed to skip Drew’s lesson today, I just worked with him a few minutes, which made it clear I needed to rearrange my obstacle area, or horse playground. So I moved a lot of barrels, cones, posts, and other objects around to make more riding options.

Tomorrow Tarrin will help me figure this stuff out better and set up a slightly off-sized dressage arena wannabe space to practice for this year’s shows. I just hope I can found one of our many giant tape measures that usually are in plain sight but are now hiding. I may have to run to the hardware store to get one!

Oh I forgot I had this fine sunrise image from this morning

And, as always, I used nature to take my mind off unexpected events. Look at this beauty!

Mmm. Nectar.

And I scared everyone on Facebook by posting what I thought was just a fun photo of a boho bird nest. I didn’t provide enough details so folks thought we were gonna burn the house down.

The lights are disconnected. Sparrows and hermits are safe.

I’m any case, I’m interested to see what tomorrow brings. I’ll be outside at sunset again but not going an hour away in yet another direction. Today we went west, rolling down the highway!

Come on changes! I can take it! I’m flexible!

something poetic

(formerly The Lost Kerryman)

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