Sunday, February 08, 2009

More Fun and Adventure

As Friday rolls around, I get more and more antsy, can't wait to jump in my car and drive 93 miles to see what kind of fun is on tap for the weekend. This past Friday was no exception , and I was happy and singing at work; had iTunes on the computer and my boss Chris and I had long talks and a lot of kidding around and teasing. When I returned from lunch, she was gone and left a note on my computer - "It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Close up shop and beat it - have a good time, DON'T SPEED!" What promised to be a rainy weekend ended up being glorious - so Mr. M. and I took a couple of dogs out to the coast and went clamming. It was t-shirt weather all day - beautiful! With permission now, here's Mr. M in his clamming gear, waterproof waders up to his chest.
I have to tell you - he was the smart one. I wore plain old jeans and sneakers, and I was SOAKED and muddy, but happy with my limit of clams. I spent most of my time playing with the dogs on a nearly deserted stretch of beach in a little cove. We took a mother/daughter pair - mother Dottie on the right, and 4 month old Tule on the left. Tule hasn't started her bird-dog training yet so this was a first for her. First time in the water, first time being asked to retrieve. She was terrific!
She had a good teacher in her Mom tho -- Dottie was the dog who retrieved my first goose a few weeks ago -
These two went into the ocean at least a hundred times, and boy is my arm sore today from throwing that plastic duck! I ran all over the beach with those girls and at one point tripped over Tule and fell and was immediately on the bottom of a wet dog pile - LOL!

These two got that duck and swam it back and brought it to me in tandem like this time after time after time. After nearly 5 hours of fun and digging on the beach, I was a bedraggled, happy mess. Mr. M on the other hand had dry clothes to change into and just had to wash up a bit to be presentable. I think I better get some of those waders..........
We went into the little restaurant for the best clam chowder anywhere and the waitress jokingly said - "well, we know who did the digging and who sat in the truck!" LOL! Pretty much the opposite - he did most of the digging - I played with dogs!
Sunday - foggy, drizzly, overcast - threatening rain: Must be a super day to go shooting, right? LOL - well, yes, it was. I have a lot to learn about shotguns, so we took a few out and had lessons. Mr. M hung balloons from a clothesline on short strings - they really bobbed around in the slight breeze! I did pretty well - good hand-eye coordination - until one of my shots apparently ricocheted and took out the window of an old boat parked at the bottom of the property - I was horrified! OMIGOSH I just shot out a window! Mr. M laughed, said he's been wondering what to do with that old thing and he fired three more shots into the other windows - laughing the whole time. Can you say CHIVALROUS? Tha boat has a new name now - BULLSEYE.
Next weekend I'm leaving to spend a week with my Mom, who is still waging war on her cancer and slowly losing. I'm taking my daughter and granddaughter along with me, fo a trip that will be bittersweet, and one to remember for a long time.
Until then - Thanks for coming along on this strange new journey with me!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

SO it's not all quilting.....

I've been hesitant to blog about what's speeding my recovery, lest it seem so hasty and definitely not quilty related. But - if I don't, I may as well shut down my blog because there's sure no quilting going on in this place! Many years ago, when the new EX and I were first engaged, he brought me to meet his brother and sister-in-law, and she and I have been close friends ever since. Way back then she thought to herself that I would be better matched to a fella she knew and had briefly dated than to the man I ultimately married. Too bad she never spoke up, but oh well, huh? So fast forward to this past fall, and she periodically still talks to this fella, although they haven't seen each other in person in 18 years. She asked him if he's seeing anyone and he says no. She says - "You have to call this lady" and gave him my number. Then she called me and said "I gave your number to a really nice guy" "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!"
"Just talk to him, you don't have to go out with him if you don't want to, but you'll like him"
Sure enough, he called about an hour later, and we talked on the phone off and on for a few weeks until one day he asked if he could come take me to dinner. By then I was pretty sure he wasn't an axe murderer so I agreed, sight unseen. A blind date! AND - he drove 100 miles to do it! By the time that doorbell rang I was
praying my Dad would miraculously return from Heaven long enough to have a talk with this young man! Talk about nerves! But I opened that door and about forgot to breath - he is handsome, rugged, strong and not too silent. A MANS man, as they say. Since I don't have permission to introduce you properly, you'll have to settle for unidentifiable pictures: I'm pleased to have you meet Mr. M:
Who is about to be in a world of hurt in this picture. Yes, he's a cowboy - an outdoorsman, hunter, logger, breeder/trainer of Labrador retrievers. Many years ago, I was a tomboy never to be found in the house unless I was grounded or really really sick. Horses, dirt, motorcycles, guns, anything kind of tough and rough housy was exactly my cuppa, as they say. Age has mellowed me and I enjoy being a woman, but I still love to play outside. We so thoroughly hit it off on our first date that we were nearly 2 hours at the table before we remembered to order dinner! The poor waitress must have made 8 trips over to our table to gently remind and we'd say Oh yea then keep jabbering. LOL! We were 5 hours in all at that restaurant, and ended closing it down. We had our share of uncomfortable moments tho - like as the waitress was taking us to our table thru the bar and who should I run into but my brother-in-law, husband of my matchmaker! I introduced them, and he started making jokes with Mr. M about how much fun I am - wink wink. (Oh dear!!) As if that wasn't bad enough, the EX came in alone and was seated not 8 feet from me, facing me. You could have heard a Saint cuss! After the first stomach churning moments I managed to forget he was there (no, really!) and didn't even see him leave. A very memorable first date, indeed. After that, what else could happen, right? And we both still wanted to see each other we did. Our second date was...... (wait for it, wait for it..........
HUNTING! Yes, hunting geese with shotguns and a happy, bouncing dog. Tramping in mud for about a mile and a half in the dark of pre-dawn. Climbing a steep levee and hiding in the bushes halfway down the other side, waiting for "shoot-time" Crouching in tall wet grass, wearing camouflage britches, jacket and hat. I LOVED it! At one point Mr. M said "You're going to take a shot at the next flight" and I said Oh no thank you, not really wanting to tell him that I would fall right down the hill if I tried. See, the geese were coming from the uphill side of the bank we were standing on, and you shoot practically straight up. I can't look straight up because my neck is held together by a plate and screws and bone grafts and it just doesn't do that, and I have to arch my back to look up. So, standing uphill, arched back looking up then add a shotgun punch to the shoulder -- it all adds up to rolling right down that hill like Jack and Jill. No, that's not going to happen - and he braced me. I sighted, squeezed the trigger and on the second shot a goose spiraled down and I was so shocked!!! And that good dog shot off and came back a few minutes later with my goose - WOW!! VERY exciting day! Later that day we drove out to Bodega Bay (where Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" was filmed) and had a wonderful lunch at The Sandpiper. So named because of the constant hoard of sandpipers that live right next to the parking lot.
Mr. M walked down to try to stir up the flock so I could get a shot of all of them taking off at once, but they were too calm for that.
So do you want to hear about more of our adventures? The next couple of dates were fun too -- Let me share a quick pic of ONE room of Mr. M's house - he has hundreds of mounted trophies through out his house, this is just one wall.
Why yes, that IS a real bear!! My head just about fits perfectly between those paws.........

I realize that hunting isn't for everyone, and I do not mean to offend anyone, EVER. It happens that it is a huge part of life for someone who is getting to be important to me and I am OK with it, so I'm sharing it as a part of my life. I don't expect everyone to be accepting and that's OK - we all get to be ourselves.
Thanks for visiting and hope you'll come back to see what happens next!
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Or - Where's SuBee? Well, I'm here and there. Recovery is going so well it's hard to believe how distraught I was for so long. I've been busy, and been roaming around too. My favorite places are all water, so that's where I naturally go when I need healing the most, and here's a few of the best spots:
Ft. Bragg, California - Too beautiful for words! Pull up a rock and sit awhile. The sounds, the smells, the power of those waves -- all of that serves as a reminder of how small we are, how TIME marches on and you might as well go with it.
Cache Creek, Lake County CA - Up a creek without a paddle! Well, the boat had a good motor so a paddle was unnecessary, thank goodness! There was a million water birds of every description up the creek - but my all time favorites are the Great Blue Herons. We saw a LOT of them, and I was fortunate enough to catch this guy in about 30 fast frames as he took off and flew almost across the bow of the boat. Once we pulled out of the creek, we opened up out onto Clearlake, which is the largest natural lake in California.
We were on that lake for nearly 4 hours, and didn't cover 1/2 of it!! Of course, we spent some time with the engine cut off just drifting out in the middle of the lake, where I nearly fell asleep in the very warm sun, being gently rocked by wavelets. Sheer heaven! Being on water (even near it, but ON it is best!) always calms me immediately - like a fast acting drug. I've been craving water for months.
This is the Navarro River, near Hendy Woods State Park on New Years Day. Surprising that there were so many leaves still on the trees and they reflected nicely on the water, posing for my camera. Awful obliging of them, wasn't it? We had a nice long hike through a virgin redwood grove containing trees thousands of years old, and in the 200 - 250 foot tall range. Imagine a tree laying down that is as long as a football field, and wide enough to drive your car thru. Some of them have hollowed out caverns from ancient fires, leaving a cave-like opening at the base of the tree large enough for several people to stand in. The forest is hushed, damp, cool, and dark. The smell is earthy and rich. Another magical place to do some spirit healing.
What I have NOT been able to muster is sewing, and I can't imagine why not. I certainly have more than ample opportunity and a beautiful, fully stocked studio - what the heck? Talking to a friend of mine whose marriage also collapsed abruptly, I was surprised to hear that she couldn't sew for a year afterwards. A year, huh? Yikes. Well - I need to have a sew day at my house pretty soon and get it back into gear! That's part of who I am, and I need to get all my PARTS back together - lol - so I can really figure out who I'm going to be now. Sound strange? Yea, it does to me too, but here I go!
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