Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hillary Step?


There have been conflicting stories in the EuroNews this week as to the potential demise of an iconic mountain climbing obstacle, Everest's Hillary Step.  Some stories are saying the Step collapsed due to a 2015 earthquake.  Now,  I'm no paid photoanalyst, but I do have some experience at it.  To me and my eye, the only difference is the snow pack in the current 2017 photo.

I have added reference marks to the photos below.  You decide.
2016 photo
Above is the Hillary Step on Everest in a 2016 photo I found online.  I have marked it up in red, some key features to look at.  They are big rocks on a steep slope.

And here is the 2017 photo, reportedly taken last week.  The angle is slightly different, but all the same points marked above, are still there...but there IS a lot more snow.  Must be that global warming and all, don't ya know?
May 2017 photo


Sunday, May 21, 2017

It depends on your definition of normal...

Last week my ortho doc cleared me to resume all normal activities with my busted finger.  Doc P. did stress how lucky I was that it healed with no discernable problems, ie: it healed straight, with full range of motion, to the point that looking at it from across the room, he wasn't sure which finger was the broken one.  He said it should've required surgery.  Normally it would've, but by now, he knows I'm just not normal.

For those who know I lift regularly, I am going light on heavy carries/deadlifts for now, as the hand is still a bit tender.  I don't want to do too much heavy carry work until the fractures have some more time to solidify and fill in.

He also mentioned that he'd lost he own wedding band again.  Said he lost it in his pond when it was cold out.  I offered DH's and my services to go wading in the pond to recover it.  We have metal detectors, that while not fully submersible, are capable of shallow water hunting.  I told him I was wearing a Ti ring that DH had found a couple years back with his detector.  It's big enough (too big really) to fit over the finger that broke, and after 18yrs of wearing my wedding band almost 24/7/365, it felt really weird not to have a ring on.

I've taken a liking to the light weight of the Ti metal, so since Doc P. said it would be "months" before my finger returned to a normal size, I have been looking for a suitable temporary wedding band to wear.  Fortunately, Ti is inexpensive yet highly durable.  This time next year I will look into resizing my original band.  If that proves too costly or impossible to duplicate the patterning on it, DH and I will look at a replacement gold band.  Sadly, the small artisan shop where we purchased our rings way back when, has gone out of business.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's too early to harvest, isn't it?

On my way to and from the Orthopedic surgeon yesterday, I noticed that the wheat here is ready to cut.  What?!!  It's way too early to be cutting wheat, isn't it?  I guess not here, where I did see at least one field of wheat that was already cut... It just seems strange, having grown up where the wheat gets cut in late June.
And some folks are even cutting and baling hay already!  Strange, I tell ya, strange!  Though, some of our blueberries have ripened, and are quite tasty.  I can't wait until we have enough to make a pie...or three.  And the tomatoes are getting bigger, and the Monkeys picked a pepper (while still green...it was supposed to be a red one).  The inch worms are doing a number on my red romaine lettuce.  The rest of the garden seems to be surviving at least.

On a sad note, Sarge's adoption did not stick.  He had a bad case of separation anxiety, and some outside stressors, that caused him to misbehave.  He was returned to the shelter, where I picked him up yesterday.  He dropped back into life at the Casa just fine, though he is limping from a minor (I hope) injury acquired trying to escape a fenced yard (not mine).  As you can see, he seems quite content to use Monkey3 as his pillow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sarge goes home!

A couple of months back, we as a family, decided to foster another dog from the local county shelter.  I had seen his pictures at intake, and he was a cute houndy thing, and utterly devastated at being in the shelter environment.  He was well cared for there, I know, but he was terrified.  And that fear showed in every picture posted of him.  And he was on "the list".... he had been there too long.

We humans know what "the list" means.  Many dogs do not, but some do.  Sarge knew.  You could tell.  When Monkey1 and I went to collect him for fostering, he was so scared of us, he would not come OUT of his kennel run!  I think he thought we were there to put him down, or something, rather than our true purpose of rescuing him.

When he got to our house, he slotted right into our house pack, with no squabbles, and really no trouble at all.  He even housebroke almost immediately!  He also began to relax, that very first night.
First night out of the shelter.
As time went on, I made a promise to him, that no matter what, I would not subject him to a kennel environment again, even if it meant finding his new family might take longer.  But it felt like the right thing to do, making that promise.

We took him to various adoption events, trying to show him off to folks, but always we seemed to show up at the slow time, or on the cold weather windy days, when no one wanted to look at a biggish dog.  Until last Saturday, when at last, Sarge's true family arrived.  They found him, and fell in love with him.  They adopted him, and he went home that same day with his new family.  They have been so kind, sending me pics of him in his new home.  He seems to be settling in well, and looks happy and relaxed.

I am so happy for them all!  And though we will take a break for a little bit, from fostering, once the timing is right again, we will foster another dog.  We might also do the short-term foster thing, where the shelter needs a slot for 2-3 days for a dog until they can go to a breed rescue, or on the Freedom Van, or to hold for an approved adopter.
Sarge, chillin' on the pool deck.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Garden Update 2017

Spinach, Red Romaine and Salad Bowl lettuce
Rainbow colors in the Chard
The garden continues to grow, because of, or in spite of all the rain we've had this spring.  We had our second harvest from the salad portion, last night.  The first time, I just harvested some Swiss Chard to sautee it in garlic and olive oil.  It was pretty good.  Last night though, was a regular salad.   Red romaine leaves, Salad Bowl lettuce, spinach and Swiss Chard.  It will be a while yet, before any sweet peppers or tomatoes are ready.  Still, it was a tasty salad.

A note on Swiss Chard.  This is the first time I've ever had Chard.  I got yellow and red stem varieties.  Coupled with the dark green leaves, it is very beautiful.  It is also growing like gangbutsers!  Some of the leaves I used last night, were the size of mature catalpa tree leaves!
Now that's some BIG Swiss Chard!

I plan next harvest, to use the leafy portions in a green salad, and the stems will get chopped and sauteed in butter and soy sauce.  That's how I cook asparagus, and the chard stems are very asparagus-like in flavor and texture.

Part of the tomato jungle
The bush variety tomato plants are doing better than I expected, in the hay bales.  They are already very bushy, and are setting tomatoes.  Good thing we like salsa here, or I might be overwhelmed with tomatoes in another month or two!  Sadly, for the proposed salsa, the peppers, both green and hot varieties, are not faring so well.   In the straw bales, only 4 of a total 12 plants are thriving, 6 died, and 2 are barely hanging onto life.  The 4 though, are setting peppers, so there is some hope.  And the hot peppers planted out front in the dirt, are looking a little moth-eaten.  I may have to spray them with Sevin.  At least they didn't die though, and theyre setting a few hot peppers too.
The Bell peppers

I must add that I am thrilled with our blueberries!  Despite this being their first season in ground, they have all set fruit, and we will get a decent harvest, considering how young the plants are.  I hold out hope, that they will all survive, and produce lots of berries in the future.  We are just a wee bit fond of blueberries here...!
Blueberries!

The fruit trees have all leafed out.  One little peach tree, set a ton of fruit in early spring, but we culled it all, so the tree could devote its time to root growth, not fruit growth.
Red Romaine

Monday, May 1, 2017

Prayers for Canton TX

The other day, it was supposed to be stormy here.  The Sporty kind of stormy.  Instead, Mother Nature defied all predictions, and sent the bad weather further south of us.  For us, this was a great thing.

For Canton TX, it was not so good.  Four people, maybe more (they're still searching), lost their lives in the tornados that struck Canton.  Another 50+ folks were injured, some critically.  Those folks could use your prayers.

NWS reports 3 or 4 ground tracks in the Canton area.  Damage is fairly significant, I'd guess EF3-4 probably.  It tracked, the longest one, some 40+ miles on the ground, almost due north, which is a bit odd for the area.  They usually track SW-->NE.

Many area town and counties are sending assistance to Van Zandt county.  The state has sent one or two of its disaster teams.  Folks will rebuild.  Life, where it can, will go on.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/weather/2017/04/28/tornado-canton-four-dead-dozens-injured-van-zandt

http://www.wfaa.com/news/raw-videos-show-tornadoes-slamming-van-zandt-county/435308423

http://www.nbcdfw.com/weather/stories/Tornadoes-Leave-Trail-of-Damage-in-Van-Zandt-County-420827173.html