Thursday, July 30, 2009

Black and White and hope you read it all over...

Hello everyone. Today I'm turning over the blog to some guest bloggers who will be making appearances every so often. All that excitement over bikes and tires and evil poking thorns has just worn me out. I need a rest.

And now, take it away guest bloggers!!!

Hello evriwone! My name is Ms Cow. My bestest frend Cow and I will be stepping in whenevr Donna gets too bizzy or lazy to blog. Today we are just going to tell a bit abowt ourselfes. I'll go ferst.

I live with Donna and Spensr in there howse in Kalifornia. My best frend Cow lives in Eenglind with her Honey. My othr frends are Kitty, Sock Munky, Marven the Dalek for skale and Sidney the knitted Dalek (he also livs with Honey and Cow very far aways). Cow and I haf desided that we haf a solushun for this far away stuffs. I am lerning how to drive and will drive across the U.S. to meet him when he sales over in his bote.

Here I am bukled in safe.

I likes to du many things but will safe that for othur posts.

And now it's Cow's tern:

Helo evribody. My nam is Cow and I liv in Inglund with Martin. My bestest frend is Ms Cow but she lives a long long way away with Donna so I hav maid a cuning plan. I hav desined a bote so I can sale acros the see. Martin has tort me som notts and I hav red a buk abowt saling and I hav bean lerning navygaiting with his gps. It is very esy cos you pres a buton to tell it were your going and it tells you were to turn left or rite and even wich rode your on. Heer is a pikchure of the bote

Martin ses we hav to maik a complykated pikchure cald a lines plan befor we maik the bote so I hav bean helping him do that. Wen he isn’t luking I maik it a bit bigger so ther is mor rum for Ms Cow to hav cow partys! But don’t tel him that or hell be cros.

My other frends are Soc Monkey, and Sidney and Marvin the daleks. Next time I will tell you mor abowt them, and abowt wen Martin and Donna took us on a ship, and we sat in the captens char.


Heer we ar togethr on a visit

(Editor's Note: The Cows didn't want me messing with their spelling this time out. I told them they really need to take advantage of the spell check function as I'm not going to spend all day correcting their spelling - I'm supposed to be on a break!!! We'll see how that works as they are both very stubborn.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kevlar Tires 1 Puncture Vine 0

So...Spence and I head out for our test drive. We rode about 6 minutes down the trail to a business park where Spence did some tricks and I just hung out while he did his thing.

Isn't she gorgeous?!?

Why, yes, she is...

On the way home, I picked up this in my front tire...

Son-of-a-bitch...I'm an evil thorn thingy magnet.

Tire held up tho! I'm so very happy. I panicked when I saw it, but I pulled it out, and new tire didn't even notice it. BOOYAH!

This one episode alone is worth the $80 I just spent today getting all this...3 months left of thorn season.... GO KEVLAR TIRES!!!!

Prepare for Battle! *

*Gandalf to the Gondorian Soldiers in LOTR Return of the King...

It begins... Spence and I take a trip to the bike shop.

Let's see what she bought....

Feelin' lucky punk? (from Dirty Harry)

Why, yes...with you on my bike, I do feel a bit luckier than before. Kevlar. Lined. Tires.

What's need tubes to go in those tires girlfriend...will these do?

Read the box carefully...Thorn Resistant. Why yes, those will do nicely.

Here's what the thorn resistant tubes (left) look like compared to the regular tubes (right).

They are pretty much like a water hose. Why yes, those will be just fine. Thank you very muchly.

They are a bit bigger than my regular tires and Spence had to adjust my fenders. I'm sure glad I waited for his help.

They were also hard to get on and his muscles came in very handy. Here's Sgt Puff all kitted out and ready for battle.

No more wobbly tires - the original tires were very inexpensive tires that totally went wonky after all the on and off of these recent flat tire changing episodes. They did last a good 10 months tho, which is pretty good for the low end of the tire range. Stupid cheap showroom tires. No wonder I couldn't get them to sit right on the rims anymore - which is why they were wobbly and which is also why I haven't been riding my bike. Didn't want to take the chance of doing damage to the rims (expensive and time consuming to fix!) or any other part of my beautiful Bike.

Anyway, I've SOOOO missed riding my pretty blue bike. And I've been paranoid riding Honey's bike. Not only is it too big, but I was so afraid of getting flat tires! But ride it I did, and it was very awesome that we have it for an extra. I love his bike!

Spencer is changing the tire on his - he does a lot of skidding and so on with his fixed gear bike, so his tire issues are about running down the tread, not getting flat tires. BUT...I have convinced him that he needs to keep an extra tube, patch kit, and pump on him...just in case. Soon, we'll be ready for a test ride.

We'll be going off to the bike shop again after our test ride to get him an extra tube and a pump he can strap to his frame.

Punture Vine (tribulus terrestris)? I'm ready.

Just click on the link to read a bit about this non-native weed and to see photos of its thorny bits. Evil looking, aren't they?

If you walk, run, or ride on the trails around here, please be careful of these things, they are very sharp and I'm sure could hurt if they got in your shoes or on the paws of your puppy pals. We all know what they do to tires...sigh.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rites of Passage...

Today has been a good day.

Spencer and I have entered into new phases of our lives.

He is with his Father in Texas visiting family. I got a mysterious text from Dad this morning to "Check your email. :)"

I open his email and what do I find? A photo of my son shaving. I won't post it here, even tho it is the most adorable photo of him I've seen in a long time. Although that statement alone is probably embarrassing enough. (My work is done.)

I cried when I saw it. And I've got a bit of welling up going on now as I type this too. Can't help it. The "growing up train" is charging full steam ahead. I can either jump on and enjoy the ride or stand by on the platform and watch it pass.

Wow, that was deep.

My friend Antonella was over today. Yes, I had a visitor in the Chaos. I haven't had anyone over to visit since Honey came over the winter Holidays. Spencer has had friends over and stuff, but I haven't had any visitors.

This is a big step for me. The place is still a wreck, but it was clean. As is the usual. I wish I had a magic storage closet. A closet where I could put all this stuff that came out of my old storage unit and the closet itself would just be a small space. Sigh. A Tardis of a closet if you will - "Bigger on the inside."

Anyway, I've accepted my Chaos. Not to say I won't still keep working on it, but I've accepted that I like company, and I really do like having friends over to visit. And that if I ever want friends over to visit before I'm too old to care, I need to accept that the Chaos is there and have friends over 'around' it, so to speak, until it is gone.

So, early this morning, I rode out to Antonella's place, where she was waiting with her shiny new bike, and we pedaled over to my place. I showed her how to navigate the trails, how to bypass the hills (that's important for a rider who needs to get used to her bike) and where to turn off for shops restaurants and what nots.

It was a wonderful ride and when we got to my place, I had my daily chat with Honey, we headed across the road for some groceries and I cooked up some home made turkey burgers.

It was a wonderful ride, visit and meal with my first visitor in too long.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And again, nothing gets done...

I seem to be in a bit of a funk this week.

Don't feel like doing anything...and I haven't. It's a wonder I manage to feed the cat and myself these past few days.

I miss my son and his doses of happiness. This whole unemployed thing is very depressing, and Spencer coming here on my scheduled custody days always brings me back up and into reality and gives me something to look forward to. With him gone in Texas all week, its all moping, all the time, ever since he left. sigh.

I've fixed the back tire on my bike, but it still seems a bit off. Whatever, maybe I'll get around to working on it again to try and find/fix the problem, maybe I won't. I most likely won't.

I've decided to re-read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince since I couldn't for the life of me remember what the hell happened in the damn book. At least I'm doing something.

I really should go outside and sit and draw and get some fresh air. Maybe even take out my jewelry supplies and work on re-doing those pieces that need fixing. I probably won't.

I'm going to go back to reading. In my quiet apartment, with the drapes all closed and the only company, the cat, who just doesn't give a flip what the hell I do as long as she gets fresh food and water every morning.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

yeah, whut-e-vah...

Yep, the bike is still in the hallway with a flat.

The jewelry still needs to be re-done.

There has been no drawing.

There has been no organizing.

There has been no cleaning.

I have yet to color my hair - and the grey roots are getting bad. I'm wearing hats to cover it - I NEVER wear hats.

It is now 10:30pm and I've just realized I didn't eat dinner. And it's not cos I was busy.

I did manage some laundry the other day, but only cos Spencer needed some clothes washed so he could pack them and I ran out of clean socks and undies. The whole "no more clean undies" is a great laundry motivator, isn't it?

I am a slug.

If only my brain could do physical labor, I wouldn't be one.

In my brain, I'm one very busy woman, getting all sorts of things done...a little crafting, cooking, cleaning, organizing tornado. Whirrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Oh, and those gift cards? Gone.

Good to know I still have an imagination and despite my slugnicity, I can still shop.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gah! Ack! Argh! and GRRRRRRRRRRR!

Today was Jewelry Class day. Yay!!!

We seem to have lost quite a few people, which is good because there were WAAYYY too many that first day. I am actually socializing and having a good time sharing tips and tricks with my fellow classmates. It's amazing how there can be just one design and 20 different interpretations! I love it!!! And I was actually able to contribute a tip of my own! Very fun.

I made a pretty necklace using some of the new curved metal beads and flexible wire I got from online - and used some really pretty green glass beads I've had forever. No two of the beads are alike, but they are all the same green. It is awesome...

...except...well...5 min after I finished, I broke the damn clasp. Gah.

...and while I was just inspecting it, I noticed that I left out a few essential spacer beads in the middle of it.

So...even if I hadn't broken the damn clasp, I would have had to redo it anyway. Oh, and I've decided it is a bit on the heavy side (large solid glass beads will do that) so while I have to take it all apart anyways...I'm going to switch out some of the main beads for some a bit smaller (and lighter).


Anyway, sometime this weekend I will redo it and I'll probably redo the bracelet I did in the first class - broke that clasp too. (Don't know what it is with me and breaking clasps!!!)

And I'll head out to the pool for some outdoor drawing. We are supposed to draw a tree for homework...and there is this really cool Weeping Willow just outside the pool area. It is half branches (no leaves) and half graceful (full leaves). Spence and I spotted it last night when we went out for a swim - we decided it is "Cool" and deserves to be drawn. :) It is right outside the covered table area which is perfect. I can go sit in the shade while I artificate.

Even tho I have to redo my jewelry projects, that is not what has me upset.

On the way to class, I got a flat tire!!! I was on the same path that gave me a flat tire on Saturday. Don't think I told you that...

First flat tire story....Spencer and I rode "the back path" all the way to a friends house this past Saturday. I call it the "back path" because it goes along the foothills back behind our complex. Anyway, cue fun and yummy dinner visit with friends, a ride home - in the rain!!!! - and I'm wiping down my bike when we get home and I spot something on my front tire. It looks like a tiny leaf, so I brush my fingers over it and PFFFFFFFFFFFT! Front tire goes flat. Somewhere along the "back path" I picked up some sort of VERY sharp spikey naturally occurring nasty thing. Sunday, Spencer and I are having to stop off at bike shop for repair kit and extra tubes. Tire is fixed Sunday night by yours truly, riding bike all this week, everything is hunky dory.

Good thing I got extras...

Today, I am riding "back path" to Jewelry class...I'm almost to the end of the path and PFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTT!!! Thwumpa thwumpa thwumpa...

ETA: It was the same spikey naturally occurring piece of tire death that got me the first time.


I slam on brakes and hop off...back tire is flat as a pancake. SIGH! I am almost to the end of path and close to class - thankfully - so I walk rest of way to class. I'm sure I've totally shredded the tube from walking for about 10 min with a flat and then another ten min to the bus stop after class, but I didn't have my repair kit on me and really didn't want to sit in middle of path with no shade and do the whole 'repair and hope it works' thing even if I did. Back tires are not easy to change - especially when you've never done it before. :(

Now I'm sitting here looking at my poor bicycle with the flat back tire. Spencer is at his Dad's today and they are leaving at the ass crack of dawn tomorrow morning to catch their flight to Dallas - gone until the 26th. I've never taken off my back tire before and I'm not sure if I'll be able to do this on my own - all that gear stuff happening back there and all you know. But I will definitely give it a go - not afraid to try! Good thing we have Honey's Bike! If I can't get my wheel back on, I'll be riding that one for the next week until Spencer comes back from Texas. It's a bit big for me and there is no rack for my removable paniers, but I can deal. Will just need to take it easy and use a backpack.

Oh, and there will be no more riding on the 'back path'. I will, however ride back to the path "crossroads" and go to the right into Walnut Creek, but will not ever be going left again into Concord!!!! The trail towards Concord hates me and my pretty blue bike. Stupid trail!

I'll be taking the bus to Jewelry Class from now on. The bus schedule is a lot more agreeable in that direction, so it's no big deal. I'd rather ride my pretty bike, but no way am I taking her that way again. Such abuse she's taken from that trail. Both tires puntured in less than a week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to MEeeeeee - Now with edited updates!!!

Yes, today is my b-day. If you are keeping track, I'm 46 today. On the other side of "mid-40's" getting close to 50. Sigh.

Yeah, I have mixed feelings about today. Add to that the fact that the high temp will most likely be 100F and well, whatever. Birthday ennui.

ETA: Not sure if it got that hot, but for a while there this afternoon, it was pretty damn close while we walked about. Gah.

There are plans for the day...once they are started, I should feel better about things.

An online chat with Honey.

ETA: I misses you lots.

Lunch with Spencer at our favorite deli. Then on the bus and off to the movies for the matinee showing of the new Harry Potter movie. YAY!!!!

Either before or after the movie, it's a quick trip to the bead store to get some stuff for Friday's class. I don't think that the stuff I ordered online is going to make it in time. It took forever for my payment to clear the bank, so shipment was delayed. Stupid banking system! I only need a few curved tube beads and 30 inches of flexible wire. sigh.

ETA: My stuff showed up today! What a wonderful b-day surprise. The postman was delivering to the boxes as we were leaving and we just about tackled him looking for stuff (we're waiting for a few other things as well). Got my jewelry bits order and a few b-day cards!

There are's the one Honey sent me...hee hee hee

ETA: Selected by Cow - who thought I should get a cow card, but all he could find was sheep.

And gifts....when we renewed our cell phone family plan, we upgraded and Mom was kind enough to pony up the extra cash to get me this cool whiz bang phone. I've had it since May-ish and I absolutely love it! Thanks Mom!!!!

Others have been teasing me with "you have to wait til dinner to get your presents" (you evil person, you know who you are) and Spencer is on his way soon and says he has a card and gift for me. Going to open that one right away!

ETA: Evil person finally gave up the goods - some makeup goodies, a gift card, and a cute little polka dot bag which is already packed full of jewelry class supplies - you all know how I love my bags!!! Spencer gave me a gift certificate to the local art supply store! My friends and family know me way too well! I LOVE EVERYTHING!!!! THANKS A BUNCH!!!!

Drawing class was fun classmates seem to have calmed down a bit and are now telling each other to shut up. I managed to snag a seat right up front so I could see and hear everything! Found out why after about 5 min into the class. Seems the a/c blows right on that spot and the one next to me - which happened to remain empty for the entire class. Several people sat there and as soon as the a/c came on again they went running for the hills complaining about bad nerves, this, that or the other malady that would act up if the a/c blew on them for 3 hours. Ahhh...peace and quiet!!! Guess that's my territory now! I especially enjoy the a/c blowing on me after a hot ride to class. heh heh heh

Yesterday, we did faces and then concentrated on eyes. That was really cool. Someday I promise to scan in my stuff as I've discovered I really CAN draw. I get that from my Dad. My drawings are not perfect, but that's ok, you can tell what they are supposed to be and my faces actually have features and don't just look like smiley faces. hee hee hee With practice I'll get better and better. I am SO GLAD I took this class!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jewelry Class

OK, so we've got a class full of chattering and eating seniors for drawing...and an oversold class full for jewelry...the class was designed for 25 students and there are about 35-40 of us in the class. The teacher ran out of handouts, seats, you name it. I think the next 5 classes will be much better tho as she'll be much better prepared - and she's bringing more assistants to help her out. She only had one today.

But I still like both classes as I am learning quite a bit!

Today in Jewelry Class, I made a very pretty bracelet. I immediately came home and ordered the supplies from my fav online jewelry supply store for next week's class. What I don't use for class, I'll definitely use to make more pieces for my "jewelry collection" to sell online. I am glad that I don't have to buy any beads right now as I have quite the collection! Have all the tools I need as well. I have most of the findings I need, I just needed some clasps (as I have yet to make any bracelets or necklaces) and some stringing wire and some curved tube metal beads. Oh, is that all?!? hee hee. Actually, it's not that much at all. And I am uber excited to use some of my larger beads that aren't quite right for stitch markers or earrings. YAY!!!!

Time to do homework. This weekend I will do some drawing. For jewelry class, all I really need to do is go thru what I have now and break it down into a smaller kit for class - and then find something clever around here to put it all in that will survive an hour round trip on the bike. And then wait for my online order to arrive. YAY!!!!

I'm very excited to finally understand some techniques that I've known and read about but could not really get my head around. Seeing others do it and then trying it myself immediately after really helps.

And at some point this weekend, I will post a photo of the bracelet and scan in my first drawings. I was quite excited about it all and showed Spencer what I've done so far. He of course said it was all awesome...but he's biased...and was waiting on me to cook he could have just been telling me that so he wouldn't starve! hahahahahahaha

In other news...I'm back on the creating wagon - and not just for class! I've finally picked up the knitting again and am working a little bit every night on the Stitches on the Bridge scarf I'm making. You know, the double knit scarf with a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on it. Yeah, I frakking crazy!!!

And in the "awwwwwwwww" category...Sammie is sleeping on the bed with me again and sitting close by purring while I knit away. I can't tell you how happy I am about that. I've missed her so much!!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Getting ready for Friday...

Last night, as I entered in months worth of bike rides and swimming to, I remembered to check the trails and see what was available to get me across to the other side of town to my Jewelry Class on Friday. With all this entering, I still have a few weeks of entering to do...I REALLY need to keep up with that - gah.

Lo and behold...the trail that goes in that direction just happens to go *almost* right past the school where my Jewelry Class is!!! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to see that. Now I don't have to leave uber early to get there and then sit and wait for 45 min after class to catch the bus home. Stupid bus schedules totally suck when it comes to being convenient for anyone but the bus company. grrr.

Today I packed up Ms Cow and the bag of supplies I will be taking, along with my locks and cables and headed out to try out the route. Was mostly looking for how hilly it would be, as it goes round the foothills and even a part way up into them. I was also looking for a travel time.

I am happy to say that the trail is totally doable for me, some slight hills, but nothing I can't handle. The trail pops out at a main street that has a marked bike lane - one block later, I'm in the parking lot. Time? 25 minutes. Only 5 min longer than my trip to Drawing Class. This is indeed good news as I don't do well with hills - altho it would technically help me get better if I had to ride up one at least once a week. Oh darn. Another good thing about this route is that it's not all windy. Only the first part is windy, the rest is nice and calm. Heaven.

No bus! Hardly any wind! *Almost* door-to-door trail. YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

I'm all set...just need to give Sgt Puff a mini-checkup and make sure she's all set. I've been riding her a lot lately. Think Spence and I should probably go back to the Bike Kitchen on Saturday and give her a really good look-see.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

About Balls....

Conversation in the elevator yesterday while going up to do laundry...

Little Girl: I like your balls lady!

Me: Why thank you!

Little Girls Mom: snicker snicker snicker snicker...


Seen floating in the canal while riding the trail this morning...

  • One pink ball about the size of a basketball
  • 3 baseballs
  • One football


Seen *on* the trail....3 piles of doggy poop

  • One very large as in "does a bear shit on the trail" large
  • One very small
  • And one very smooshed (luckily not by me)

(I know, I know, not technically balls...more like with me here...had to tell about the poops!!!)


For those looking for artsy type stuff...

First Drawing Class today...I LOVE IT! I am very glad I signed up for this class. Once I get past the fact that I'm the youngest person in the's not so bad!

Today we learned about the basic shapes used in drawing and about highlighting and shadowing. Someday when I get over being a lazy ass, I'll post a scan of some of my work. I'm doing pretty good for a beginner, even if I do say so myself. hee hee

Oh, and I TOTALLY love that I can ride from door to door and lock up my bike right outside the classroom door. Really wish it wasn't so windy sometimes, but it does give me a good workout!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Drawing Class tomorrow!!!


I'm hoping to have a fun time with the class and not sit there like a bump on a log.

The two, giant, tunisian crocheted blankets have not done their job. I am still blocked.

I have figured out that there are many reasons why:

1. I've been very lazy. Very easy to be very lazy when you don't have to get up and go someplace where people have promised to pay you if you show up and do stuff.

2. My apt is a chaotic mess. Result of the laziness, of course. I have promised myself today is chore day - going to get all the basic stuff done, pack for class and then work a bit more on getting my crafting supplies in order.'s lunch time! Chores will have to wait - can't do chores if I'm hungry!

3. I have no idea where to even begin being creative. I have many lists of ideas. I have many ideas in my head. I look at the lists and it's as if they are in a foreign language. I go to pull ideas out of my head and they are no longer there...they return when I decide to leave them alone.

4. I'm feeling rather lonely lately. Lonely equals woe-is-me, pity parties that totally block out any desire to do anything but park my ass on the couch and watch nonsense on TV. Which then ends up with me in bed with a book or magazine cos there is nothing but crap on TV. And then I can't even concentrate on what I'm reading.

I do get out with my friend Antonella, I chat daily with my Honey, Spence and I spend lots of quality time together when we get the chance, I still call the family and chit chat, and I have actually been dragging my ass out on the bike and have been swimming once. My blood pressure is down and so is my weight - 4 more lbs actually.

I should be happy. I think about it all and go "meh - whatever".

Trying not to put too many high hopes on these classes I'm taking and I think I'm doing pretty good with that. Stepping out of my creative box with the drawing is something different which I think I will really enjoy. The jewelry class can only help me as I have had lots of ideas for new pieces but I have no idea how to bring them into reality.

The classes are what they are and my chaos is what it is...hopefully being in contact with more people will get me back to whatever it is I was before I lost my job - ironically, I don't even know what that is, really.

Meh - whatever!

Friday, July 03, 2009


Was feeling quite clever Not so much...

so there will be no clever and entertaining post...

Honestly, I'm tired of hearing about an impending BART strike, and both sides saying basically "it's all *their* fault".

...the State of CA's budget woes and them all pointing fingers saying "it's all *their* fault".


oh and BART and BART unions? I just wanna slap both sides silly. How dare the unions whine about paying more for benefits when I just bet that at least 1/3 of their riders are paying out their asses for the sorry excuses of health benefits they have - not to mention all the riders who have NONE AT ALL cos they CAN'T AFFORD IT cos THEY ARE UNEMPLOYED.

BART management? Stop airing the dirty laundry of your business. Keep it behind closed doors and fucking work it out already!!!!

Oh, and PLEASE NO MORE MICHAEL JACKSON STUFF ALREADY!!! HE'S DEAD, LET HIM REST!!! Do all your fucking investigations and then splatter your shit all over the news. I'm tired of hearing it all RIGHT NOW... BREAKING NEWS!!!



Feel a little bit better now...but not much. When you are not working, you have more time to pay attention to what's going on around you. Quite frankly, it's freakin' depressing.

I'm feeling sorry enough for myself without all this other crap. Can't we all just get along?!?

Now if you'll excuse me, my table for one is ready for my nightly pity party. Time to go whine to myself (i'm the only one who is around to listen) about how annoyed I am at the world, how much I miss my Honey, and how fast California is going to shit.

I really can't wait until Tuesday. First drawing class! I need something "new" and "exciting" to break up my "woe is me" attitude.

Oh, and I've finished MY big, giant, humongous green blankie. When I get around to taking photos, I'll post them here and on Ravelry. Right now, I'm sick and tired of looking at the damn thing.

Time to go have a hot dog and get ready to watch the SF Giants game tonight. I know, you don't usually hear me talking sports...but Antonella and a friend are going to be at the game sitting in primo seats and I'm going to play Spot the Wop - until I get totally bored with watching baseball. This would be a great drinking game if someone else was here with me.