A High-Altitude Excursion

Well, I got kicked off my computer before I could post last night. Yesterday was a quiet day except for when I got to go meet a friend for lunch. We had a nice chat over Middle Eastern food.

Flynn had to work late again, so I did some cleaning for him and had a nice hot meal waiting when he finally was able to come home. This week has not turned out at all the way we thought it would.

This morning, Flynn went to work early again. Later in the morning, Lucy and Jasper and I took off for Manitou Springs. I knew Lucy would love it there. We found a parking spot and then spent some time browsing through a hippie emporium where I found a hat (and many other things, to be honest). It is so extremely rare for me to find a hat that fits my oversized head that when I do, I feel obligated to buy it. Besides, I figured I would be glad to have a hat later in the day.

We browsed our way down the street and stopped into a coffee shop for some hot drinks. The weather, instead of clearing up as predicted, was chilly and drizzly. Even on this National Coffee Day, I drank tea. It’s not that I don’t like coffee. It’s just that the only way I like it is with lots of cream and sugar, by which time it’s more like liquid candy and as we all know, I can’t even have sugar at all anymore.

After the coffee shop we continued on to a shop that sold work by various artists. There were several displays of ceramic items, which are one of my known weaknesses, and the reason I had sought out this shop in the first place. I have a tradition of buying a souvenir mug when I am on a trip, and if I can get a handmade one, why not?

I found a gorgeous blue mug, and possibly a bowl to go with it. After that, I was almost relieved I didn’t find something else I was kind of looking for.

Flynn finally got off work for the afternoon, so we met him at a nearby Thai restaurant for lunch before heading to the cog rail station for our ride to the top of Pike’s Peak. It was a little sad to be setting off for the summit of a mountain in mist, fog, and rain. It was our only chance to go and it was so wet and foggy!

But amazingly, about halfway up the mountain, just as we got to the groves of aspens with their golden leaves, we rose above the cloud layer and found ourselves in glorious sunlight, which made the aspens glow with color. It was a beautiful ride, despite the tight quarters. The seats on the train were not designed for tall people. We sat facing each other, which meant Lucy and I had to alternate knees, while Jasper and Flynn went for the double knee-lock.

When we emerged at the top, I was glad to have my new hat as temperatures were below freezing there. I offered to take photo of the kids, and a man standing nearby insisted that I stand with them while he took the photo with my camera.

The kids got drinks and the famous donuts, while I browsed around the shop and took photos outside. During the half hour or so we were on the summit, the weather went from sunny to thick fog to sunny again. There was quite a bit of snow, which made Jasper happy.

I handled the altitude better than I have in the past, but I was still quite happy to return to the warmth of the train, even though I found the seats very hard on my back and knees. All four of us dozed on the way back down, and of course once we descended through the clouds we were back in the gloomy weather we’ve had all week.

We rendezvoused at Flynn’s apartment before going out for supper, as we had run out of suitable food from which to create a main meal. It was a lovely day and I am so glad Flynn was able to come with us today.

Two Social Events in One Day

Yesterday we hung around the apartment all day. Many naps were taken. Rain fell. When Flynn got off work (late) he took us to dinner, and when we got back from dinner, we watched Wonder Woman.

Flynn received some very disappointing news at work yesterday. They changed their minds about letting him have time off and in fact they now want him to work extra this week. So . . . . the brother/brother camping trip has had to be canceled. And this morning, Flynn went to work early, where he received alarming news of a deadline he hadn’t been informed about.

So while he was having a very frustrating day, I went off to have an early lunch with my college suitemate, Dianne. I have managed to visit her every time I’ve come to Colorado. We sat and talked for four hours! It is always so good to see her.

On the way back to the apartment, I picked up some cleaning supplies and a couple of games. The weather has been so wet since we arrived that we’ve pretty much been stuck indoors.

Jasper and I played a rousing game of Yahtzee before getting ready to go out to eat again. Flynn had to work late, so we were supposed to meet him and two of his friends at a German restaurant here in town. We got to the restaurant all right, and we met up with his friends all right, but Flynn couldn’t get away from work because of the big deadline, so we sat waiting for him for over an hour before he was finally able to join us.

We enjoyed some delicious German food but had to hurry back so Flynn could get online and get back to work. He’ll be working another long day tomorrow, instead of getting the rest of the week off, as he had planned. *sigh* We will make the most of the time we have.

 

In Colorado

It has been a few days since you heard from me! I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that I am safely in Colorado.

Lucy and Jasper and I left just about on schedule on Friday morning. I had not had a great night’s sleep, so I resigned myself to a very long drive punctuated by multiple power naps.

However, the day went much better than anticipated. We stopped only to put gas in the car and use various facilities on the way. We ate on the go. Somehow, I was able to stay alert. This is not normal for me.

We arrived in Amarillo in the middle of the afternoon, earlier than ever before. That is normally my overnight stop on the way to Colorado, but this time we just put more gas in the car and kept going all the way to Raton, New Mexico.

We checked into our motel in Raton and spent a leisurely evening before going to bed quite a bit earlier than usual. In the morning, we checked out and drove around town a little before heading over to visit my friend Donita, who moved to Raton after getting married two years ago.

It was so nice to visit with my friend and meet her husband for the first time. They made us a nice lunch and then we got back on the road to Colorado Springs. The drive from Raton is breathtaking, even in the rain.

We made it to Flynn’s apartment a little after 6:00 on Saturday and have been hanging out here ever since. Yesterday we went to church with him and then out to Garden of the Gods in the afternoon. This is Lucy’s first time to visit Colorado Springs but so far she has yet to catch a glimpse of Pike’s Peak, which has been shrouded in clouds since we arrived.

Today I got up to make breakfast for Flynn before he left for work, then spent some time cleaning in his kitchen. After lunch, I drove to the north side of town to spend the afternoon visiting my friend Jane. It was so good to see her and get caught up on her life.

After Flynn got off work, we hung out together, had supper, and watched a video. I am so thrilled that I have been sleeping fairly well here. Normally, I cannot sleep at high altitude. I literally lie and stare at the ceiling all night. This time, I prepared by getting a highly-rated sleep potion that tastes rather odd but I can’t complain as it seems to be working!

All People That On Earth Do Dwell

All People That on Earth do Dwell

William Kethe

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.

 

Getting Ready

Today I started packing my suitcase. I also started a sewing project. I plan to finish it before we leave. Jasper and I did quite a lot of school. I worked on preparing for tomorrow’s class and went shopping for food that Walter and Spencer can eat while we are gone. Everything that didn’t get done today has to be done tomorrow!

Talk Like a Pirate Day—and Guns

I haven’t done much talking like a pirate to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day. I did sit down with my autoharp and figure out how to play “What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor.” Does that count?

Jasper had a very fun morning. After doing his math, he got to go with two of his neighborhood friends to a local shooting range and shoot guns. Their teacher and chaperone was a veteran who kept them very entertained and let them shoot a variety of guns. Jasper loved every minute of it! He brought back several empty shells as souvenirs.

Meanwhile, I had plenty of paperwork and crafting and housework to do at home, not to mention filling 56 little zip lock bags with my supplements and medications for our trip. We got the rest of our schoolwork done in the afternoon and evening.

I am starting to set aside things to pack for our trip. We aren’t leaving till Friday, but Thursday is a very busy day and I will have very little time then—so most of what needs to be done must be done by tomorrow night. I’ve done a bunch of laundry already and have more to do. I hope I am also able to get adequate sleep before my long drive.

My Diabetes Miracle #8: When the Going Gets Tough

I have been faithful at sticking to my plan. Depending on what is going on during the week, I may or may not fast on weekdays, but I am still averaging a total of 4-6 meals a week. Weight loss has slowed way down. I’m not sure how to get it going again.

Meanwhile, maybe because I’m discouraged about how slow it is, I have been struggling more than usual with temptation to have “just a taste” of some of the foods I can’t have anymore. I know I can’t have them, in moderation or at all. They are banned for life—but I still miss them and want them, sometimes intensely. It’s especially disheartening to make sweets for other people but never get any myself. At times lately, the temptation has been very powerful.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I made a list. I am a list-maker. I’m not as extreme as some, but I do love my lists. I made a list to read to myself every day until things get easier again, and I’m sharing it with you.

Reasons I Can’t Ever Eat Sugar Again

  1. It will kill me. (Because I’m diabetic.)
  2. It will cause me to gain back the weight I’ve so painfully lost.
  3. It will cause runaway inflammation throughout my body.
  4. It will exponentially increase my likelihood of getting Alzheimers or dementia.
  5. It will exponentially increase my likelihood of getting cancer.
  6. It will make me prone to Candida and other fungal infections.
  7. It will increase my risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
  8. It will rot my teeth out even more than they already are.
  9. It will make me hungry, which will lead to overeating.
  10. It will raise my cholesterol to unhealthy levels.
  11. It will make me more depressed and add to my fatigue.
  12. It will reduce my focus and attention span.
  13. It will speed up the aging process and make me look older than I am.
  14. It will lower the quality of my already-impaired sleep.
  15. It will force me to go back on insulin and other meds.

By the way, even if I wasn’t diabetic I would no longer be able to eat sugar without offending my instinct for self-preservation. The evidence is too strong about the link between sugar consumption and Alzheimers and cancer—the two health issues I am most afraid of.

So far reviewing the list each day has been helpful. I wonder if I’ll ever rise above these temptations?

 

Moment By Moment

Moment By Moment

Daniel W. Whittle

Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

Refrain

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I’m under His care.

Refrain

Never a heartache, and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger but there on the throne,
Moment by moment He thinks of His own.

Refrain

Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus my Savior, abides with me still.

Refrain

 

A Day at Home

I had originally planned to go back to the Canterbury Renaissance Festival today, but I really couldn’t afford to be gone all day and I was more than a little intimidated by the heat as well. So instead I went shopping at Walmart this morning and then came home and talked to Mercy on the phone and helped her figure out her Russian oven!

I also did paperwork, writing, and some cleaning in the kitchen.

This afternoon, Lucy needed to go to Hobby Lobby so I went with her to get a couple things that I forgot to get when I was there yesterday.

I worked on the music for church tomorrow and got some hand-sewing done while we watched a video. Now my fingers are sore so I hope they will recover by morning . . .

From Grocery Shopping to a Sea Shanty

Today was a surprisingly productive day. Of course I had to go grocery shopping, but I do that every Friday. And of course we had to do schoolwork too.

I also went to the gym, ran several errands, got some knitting done, planned a sewing project, cleaned and organized part of the kitchen counter (which I’ll finish tomorrow) and got some revising done.

I’ve had kind of an informal goal this week. Since my fingers have been feeling better than they have in a long time, I have tried to work out an arrangement on my autoharp for a song each day this week. I have this hilariously unrealistic goal of performing at a Renaissance Faire someday, so I’ve been working on my playlist and each day this week I’ve nailed a different song. I almost forgot today, but this evening I cranked out a very catchy sea shanty that is also very easy. Even if I never perform, I can at least amuse myself by playing some of my favorite old tunes—and my list is growing!