Saturday, May 08, 2010

A post about my knee

I wrote here about why I  take special care of my left knee.  In that post, I mentioned how well Birkenstock shoes seem to work for me.  I still am a faithful backer of these basically ugly shoes. 

Except today they let me down—very quickly.

Because there may be a garage sale in my future, I decided to take every pair of shoes out of the closet, line them on the bed and evaluate.  I had shoes from over 25 years ago lurking in the back corners of my closet, as well as high on a shelf.  In the process of digging out shoes, I tried a few on, one being my Birkenstock sandals.   Maybe because it was cool today, but they were a little loose.  I don’t know if that was the reason or  because the bottoms are completely flat, but when I stepped on the stool, I slipped, it flipped, and down I went on that  left knee.  It hurt at the time and still does.   I am hoping it is only a pulled muscle. 

So many of my friends, even someone who lives right here with me, are having trouble with arthritis in their knees.  I have pretty much escaped.  Except the left one.  I expect I better get back to my exercises to strengthen the muscles around it.  A person needs to be smart about these creeping years. 

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mother-Daughter Tea followed by a Food Warning

Tonight was the Mother/Daughter Party at Chapman.   A quartet sang familiar songs, then we were served delicious cake and punch.  Each of the Moms got a big, bright paper flower.  Some of the help adopted a “Mom” for the evening.  The staff at Chapman are a close knit group of people who care physically, as well as in many other ways, for Mom and other residents.

After the party, we stopped by Wayne & Ruth’s for popcorn and almost stayed too long.  We drove through just a little bit of hail and moderate rain before hitting dry roads about 15 miles east of Junction City.  The rain caught up with us when we stopped at WalMart for groceries.  Only drizzle, though. 

It was at the grocery store, while waiting in the checkout line, that the words, “dark chocolate” on a routine M & M display heightened our sensibilities.


Do not buy dark chocolate peanut M & Ms.  They grip your mind, hold hostage your will power and justification prevails.

Natural bug repellent?


Our friends/neighbors are having a get-together this weekend.   They were telling Dan today how nice it is to have cedar wood to burn along with hard woods in their fire pit.  It smells good.

We have a couple of dead cedar trees that are big enough to contain fire wood.  Tonight we managed to cut a fairly nice batch of cedar wood for them.  I swear even though I’ve taken a shower, I still smell cedar, not a bad thing, really.  It does have a pleasant smell—think cedar chest or closet.

Isn’t the reason for cedar lined storage for bug or moth control?  So,  the question came to mind, could burning cedar help with bugs at an outdoor picnic.   I did a little online research.  No mention of Red Cedar smoke vs mosquitoes, although I guess any kind of smoke is somewhat of a help.  However, cedar oil was mentioned as an ingredient in a natural repellent formula. 

We’ll be there.  If it seems to work, I’ll let you know. 

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Final Book in Western Discussion


Written in 1949, this book has been around a while.  Probably it is one of the most recognizable names in Western literature.  Maybe because of the movie.

When I mentioned I was reading the book, Dan immediately said, “Shane, Oh Shane.”  Everyone (our age) seems to have the same reaction.  Our movie review guide gave it five stars and said, “Shane is surely among the best westerns ever made.”  Even though it was released in 1954, even our kids would recognize one of the actors, Jack Palance.  Shane was played by Alan Ladd.  It is out on DVD by the way.

At any rate, if you haven’t read it in a while, check it out from the library.  It is only 119 pages—perfect for taking on a summer vacation. 

I anticipate one topic of discussion will be to label the story.  In my mind, there is no doubt.  It is a love story.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Dance of the Rings

There is a museum at Clinton Lake, Bloomington area, that might be a little known gem outside our area.  It is housed in a small stone structure.  I am sure it is an original from before the lake was put in. 

We have always found it interesting because the year after we moved here, they closed the dam and the lake began to fill.  So, we really never knew the area before the lake.  There were small communities up and down the Wakarusa Valley that were affected by the lake.

To commemorate these communities, there is a large yard art rendering near the museum.  Each circle represents a community, the windmill water and the large ring over it the bringing together the communities.  It is also an historical area because it was a part of the Underground Railroad during the Bleeding Kansas era.

Last evening there was a “Dance of the Rings” commemorating the Underground Railroad in the Wakarusa Valley by two dance communities in Lawrence.    Eight dancers were dressed in blue and four in gray.  Accompanied only by an guitar and violin, they took us through the struggles and hardship of the Civil war.  There is no way someone could have talked for the short time they danced and told a more informative story.  It was well done.

I highly recommend stopping by the museum and enjoying the art when you are in the Bloomington area of Clinton Lake.