I try NOT to make New Years resolutions since I know I'll probably break them anyway, but I will try to encourage myself to
be more timely in updating these Ramblings. See, not much resolve expressed there! Since this is the fifteenth year of
my doing this it seems like quitting if it just peters out. If I have ANY excuse at all, blame it on Facebook for taking up
most of my reporting time! You can follow me there as "Bud Trees".
Since the middle of December, both Mom and I have been
fighting this upper respiratoy crud that is going around and, unfortunately, Mom is not handling it as well as I am. Thank
goodness, it hasn't progressed to hospitalization level, but there's been a lot of doctor visits. Combined with her being almost
95, she is spending nearly all her time in bed and her mobility is mostly by wheelchair, so I have been getting out less and less.
just realized that I had failed to announce the birth of my third great-grandchild back in November. Jane Elizabeth McDougal
arrived November 19th and is my first great-grandaughter. Thank you, Jessica. Wesley and Kurt are gonna be joined next
month by another male cousin, Donovan, thanks to Jess' sister Kat. Have I mentioned that I'm too young to be a great grandfather,
let alone FOUR times?
<<<NINE HOUR BREAK>>>
During that time, Mom woke up and I did all the morning stuff;
once she was taken care of, I geared up and rode for a couple of hours, came back and got her lunch and then watched the Patriot-Broncos
game, got dinner and found I had no interest in the 49ers-Seahawk game so here I am. The weather was perfect for riding and
I got some Interstate time in as well as catching up with some friends just as the ABATE meeting was breaking up.
So that's all the excitment that's going on around here. We had the annual ride planning meeting last Sunday so this week has
been involved with updating the What's Happening page for the year. Y'all ride safe, be good to one another and I'll seeya on
the road(I hope).
Aha...fooled ya! I snuck back on here only a week later. I've been taking advantage of these few days between Arctic
blasts and getting some riding in. I have to admit that I'm feeling older and 50 degrees is the new 40 degrees, regardless of
how much I gear up. I actually wore my chaps for the first time last night to ride to II Wheelers. Today wasn't as cold
but low 50's is reaching my new limit for pleasure riding.
An update on something I brought up back in December...those yellow
lenses DO make quite a bit of difference with bright headlights but, on the other hand, they also cut down on the night vision as
well. I've given them quite a bit of use in the past month or so and I've come to the conclusion that, for me anyway, the negatives
outweigh the positives and I'm not using them anymore. Maybe it's just my aging vision and my own sense of caution (self-preservation),
so I'll leave it up to you if you want to try them.
I might get some riding in tomorrow but the middle of the week looks
like it is gonna be shot, as far as I'm concerned...currently forecasting lows in the 20's and teens. I',m due for another blood
donation (#131) on Tuesday and an eye exam on Wednesday but between temps and precipitation, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be by cage.
If you are gonna be out and about by scoot, be sure and dress appropriately and be real careful. 'Til next time, y'all be good
and look out for one another...
I think I'm officially old; I haven't ridden since last Sunday (a long time for me) and I don't feel like going out on a Friday
night. Of course, I might just be prescient since when I went outside to secure everything, it was raining a light mist.
When I was younger, I'd have just said "fuggit" and gone anyway but, with my diminished night vision, rain at night on my glasses
could be deadly. When I told Mom I was staying in tonight and gave her the "officially old" line she told me to wait for Saturday...if
I still didn't feel like going out, THEN it would be official. Mother knows best and she knows me well.
At the first of
the week, when we got the alert about Winter Storm Leon, I put the battery tender on the scoot in anticipation of the severe cold.
It's still on. Hopefully, I can get some seat time in tomorrow and early Sunday since it looks like we've got rain coming in
with the warming trend over the next few days and into the week.
Okay, that's all I've got for now and I was pretty sure
I wouldn't do this Sunday night since that's the Super Bowl. I know for sure that I'll be staying in for that but, if you are
out and about this weekend, try not to overindulge and ride. A cab ride is a helluva lot cheaper than a DUI, hospitalization...or
worse. At my age, I'm losing too many friends to aging, so I don't want stupidity or stubborness (the same, maybe)to add to
that. Ride safe, be good to one another and maybe I'll seeya on the road.
Two weekends have slipped by since I last dropped in and I've finally gotten some riding in. Not like in the "Olden Days"
when I could stay gone all day...and into the night... but at least several hours without worrying too much about Mom. She's
been doing well enough lately that I can get out a tad and actually enjoy it instead of just decompressing. Funny how hitting
the century on the slab tends to concentrate your attention.
Yesterday's ride was a lot more laid-back, though. It's been
quite a while since I took the beach loop down along Perdido Key, Canal Road and the Beach Expressway. I even indulged myself in a
smoke stop at The Wharf to gaze upon the millionaire's toys moored there. All in all, it was a quite pleasant day, both road
AND temperature-wise, also evidenced by all the other scoots I saw out there....PLUS, I got to actually witness the odo hitting 77K
on the way home. Electronics just don't have the same cache as watching
that row of numbers roll over all at once.
note for this time: I'm gonna have to stop developing a fondness for any particular watering hole in this town. The Bluegrass
Bar on Blue Angel has shut down. The only negative I had about the place was those hard barstools. I wonder what its next
incarnation will be?
Okay, Folks, that's it. Y'all take care, ride safe and be good to one another. I'll seeya when
Fially, a break in the cold and rainy weather last night so I was able to get out on the scoot. Some Facebookers were
having a Single on Valentine's thingie at the new O'Reilly's Irish Pub downtown, so that was as good a place as any to start.
Unlike the old place on Olive Road (still there, I think), this place has ambience, in the form of Irish music, lots of wood and downtown
prices. A glass of draft (or at that price, draught)was $3.25 but at least it was cold. About 7 ladies from FB were there
and I got to meet someone in person I'd only met on-line before. Before too long, they were ready to move on to ther establishments,
but I'd had my fill of downtown.
Since The Bluegrass is closed, I took the long way around and wound up at D&R and more folks
I know, but with Kategory 5 playing. The place was totally packed out so I was gone with one more beer in me and headed for
the house. With clear skies and reasonable temperatures, I was planning on getting some daytime (read sunshine) in but
while I was checking the bike out, I found out that bike got lucky last night, even if I didn't (and wasn't trying). The rear
tire was 10# low and I found it managed to pick up a screw last night sometime. My riding time today, then, was devoted to getting
a tube put in and havng the brake pads replaced...no relation..just time as long as I was there. Gonna ry and make
II Wheelers tonight for some good music.
Tomorrow is ABATE meeting day but I doubt I'll get Mom settled in time to make the meeting.
Luckily, the weather is supposed to be even better tomorrow so I'm keeping my fingers crossed to get a ride in. Take care of
yourself, and one another, and mabe I'll seeya out there.
Finally, some riding weather! Not a lot, but enough to keep me sane, whatever that is! It was pretty decent for
Wednesday's Ollie's bike night, but there wasn't nearly as many folks there as I thought would be for the weather. Out of the
habit I guess. On Friday night, I rode downtown for Gallery Night, but was disappointed by the paucity of costumed Pensacon
participants. I saw a fair Batman, a small contingent of Star Wars characters and one Wonder Woman (I think), but not nearly
as many really outrageous characters as I had hoped. The usual musicians were there, but I was really impressed by one named
"Joint Custody". I got the feeling the name was inspired more by an herb than by any legal description, but they were good.
Saturday, I got in the first 100 mile day I can remember in ages! Granted, it was in two segments so I didn't leave Mom too
long but I did burn some asphalt. Geez, it felt good! Saturday night was off to II Wheelers, listening to Lauren Kay and
Tony Ray for about a set and a half before it was time to get home for Mom's bedtime meds. She's doing damned well for being
seven weeks shy of 95. Sunday, of course, was 2.5+ inches of rain and the longest (start to finish) Daytona 500 I can remember.
Today was a gorgeous 70's kinda day, but I had to take Mom for a doctor's appointment and then to Ryan's for dinner,
so the scoot stayed in the shed. There's supposed to be another one of the Arctic Vortex things midweek so I'm just playng the
riding by ear(or thermometer) at this point. Don't forget the Make A Wish festivities at D&R this weekend and be safe.
With any luck on my part, I'll seeya on the road. Be safe, y'all!
So much for the riding weather! Oh, last weekend was great, but we're now in another cold snap...WITH rain...and it looks
that way for the rest of the week. I really do wish I had more to share and write about, but with Mom being pretty much bed
and wheelchair-bound, I'm just not getting out there that much. When I can, it's usually just short rides running errands or
a short bar-hop here and there. What sticking close to the house has let me do is attack my overgrown jungle of azaleas
and camellias. Perhaps, by Spring, I may have a yard again.
Okay, this was just a drop in and report so you'd know
we've both still alive, so I'm gonna say ciao for now. Everybody stay safe out there and be good to one another. Peace
New week...same story! A little riding, here and there, but nothing to write about I renewed the tags for the scoot
and the car, but only for one year this time, since rumor has it that they're gonna lower the tag fees next year. No sense giving
the state any more than I have to.
Gallery Night is coming on Friday but the weather prediction is coolish. That's
fine as long as it's dry. It's raining now...a light mist...and it's relatively warm, but the cold front is supposed to
come through tomorrow and dry it out.
Okay, out of things to say for this week. We're both getting by (although I'm hurting
from carrying boulders around) and nobody has any doctor's appointments until next month. Y'all take care of yourselves, and
each other, and I'll catch you on the flip.
...and a Happy St. Pat's to ye all! It's been a wet couple of days...over 2.5"... and gonna be coolish again tonight.
The only riding I've gotten in since last time was to Ollie's on Wednesday night, Gallery Night on Friday and II Wheelers on Saturday.
At least, the beer was colder than the air.
Being stuck around the house hasn't been all tedious, though. I've been able
to re-rearrange the boulders I wrote about last week into a less-jungle-like garden and I'm going to sow a lot of wildflowers in it.
I'm also installing a new flagpole in the front yard and incorporating it into an enlarged birdbath area. I finally found a
galvanized steel 15 footer on-line and it came in last Friday. As usual, I can't leave well enough alone and have been making
modifications to it. The cleat for the rope was too low for me, so I've raised it to a more comfortable level. I had to
wait for the rain to quit before I could dig the hole and set the ground sleeve in concrete, but that should be ready to remove the
bracing (this one is actually plumb)and play with the border tomorrow. Before I finish assembly, I think I'll wax the whole
thing so it will weather a little better.
Mom and I are both well (for old folks) and I hope to get in some riding later
in the week as it warms up...and hopefully stays dry. 'Til next time, then, take care and look out for one another!
The flagpole is completed and installed and the garden area enlarged around it. The flag looks so much better with the
bigger pole and it's actually high enough to fly at half-staff when it's called for. The riding weather is getting
more comfortable and I've actually been wearing the mesh armor a few times...but not at night, yet.
With the warming weather,
I'm feeling a bit of the pressure of having to take care of Mom but, on the flip side, I've been given an blessing several of you
have expressed that wish you had but it was too late to take care of your mothers. All in all, I can't complain because when
I finally do have all my time to myself, I'll know I'd done everything I could with no regrets.
Enough for now...Mom's got her
meds, the coffee pot is ready for tomorrow morning and I'm seeing double so I'm gonna shut it down for this week. Y'all take
care and be good to one another and I'll seeya around.
Another week and another ton of Mom's rocks has been excavated...only a slight exaggeration! I'm still reclaiming the jungle
and found a rock garden Mom had forgotten about under some more of her azaleas. For the most part, I'm using them where she
can see them again and enjoy some of the memories.
As usual, I've been grabbing my riding time in bits and pieces but, at least,
the weather is finally becoming warm enough to enjoy it. Even this past week's cold front, which dropped six inches of rain
on us, only got it down to the upper 40's. It's probably time to store the gauntlet gloves away until next winter.
calendar program just popped up a reminder that I'm elegible to donate blood as of today. I don't know if I'll get down there
today but probably will sometime this week. This will make 132 pints...right at 16 1/2 gallons. Maybe tomorrow, as a 71st
birthday present to myself? Damn, never thought I'd make that number but here it is, staring me in the face.
Night this Friday so maybe I'll see some of y'all there. Take care and be good to one another..and yourselves. NAMASTE!
The house is quiet as I hear the rumble of thunder outside, waiting for the squall line to arrive. The only sound besides
the rain on the steel roof is the soft murmur of the TV tuned to the weather radar. I was jolted awake in the early darkness,
once again, by the imagined/dreamt sound of Mom calling my name only to find her, as usual, sleeping peacefully. The mind
does strange things... For instance, Dad died on his 77th birthday and Mom's 95th is 10 days away, on the 17th. Both reduce
to the number 5 (7+7=14, 1+4=5; and 9+5=14, 1+4=5). I don't subscribe to numerology but I still feel a sense foreboding.
The squall line has arrived! The tympanic concerto drew me outside to the carport and, in a matter of
minutes, I watched my rain gauge reach the half-inch mark. A lightning bolt struck within 500 feet or so, based upon the half-second between
the flash and the sound. The thought strikes me that this will clear the pollen, at least for a little while. Myrtle Grove
is getting a good cleansing shower.
It is quieting down, now...the thunder drawing away, leaving only the steady drone of rain
on the roof. The house is still again. Peace, my Brothers and Sisters.