Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A day off! yeah, right...

One of my insanely generous friends, Jen (a.k.a. Boom Boom, a.k.a. Sour Kraut, a.k.a. Shirley), is at it again. Raising money for those less fortunate. It's tough times for everyone, we all get it, but if you can find some spare change in your seat cushions or cup holders, consider donating it to Jen's Yogathon page. You can donate here: the amazing Sour Kraut does it again!
And, stay tuned, because I'm pretty sure that my other selfless friend, Susie (a.k.a. Smack Frost, a.k.a. Street Tart, a.k.a. Shove-Asana, a.k.a. Winky Tuffsadero...yeah, we like nicknames...so what!), will also be raising funds for this so maybe you can spread the wealth... I'll send a link if/when I get it, don't you worry.

These are the girls I spend my days with. These crazy thoughtful people who just seem to know nothing but how to give back (well, I mean, they know lots of things! They're very smart ladies).  They are ever inspiring and hard to keep up with, but other than my own family (and my one work friend: Hey, Paula!), I've never had as much fun as the days I get to hang with these nuts. Birds of a feather..., as they say, I suppose.

Here are some more shots of us at our last trip to wellfleet.  We had the place to ourselves, so we could really let loose and start to get comfortable picking up speed.  I'm digging just getting up high on the ramps and going wherever my wheels decide to go. Each day, we try a little more.
photo-bombing Kraut's plank pic

trying to find a good spot for our obligatory group shot

our usual 'not ready' selfie
Wellfleet really is a great park...can't wait for the traffic to die down a bit so we can spend less time getting there and more time skating.

In other news:
Pallets are ready for the Thompson's water seal....and then they'll be ready to be put into their final resting place. Eager for this to be done so I can clear a little space on my plate!
All the major details are in place for the Iceland trip: travel logs set up with credit cards & bank, hotels are booked, car is reserved, dog sitter is available...
Unfortunately, Icelandic is impossible to learn.
okay...not impossible...but super difficult! I have my book, and I'm pretty much stuck at page 20. I broke down and ordered a CD for the car, though, I had to get it from Germany if I didn't want to pay an arm & a leg, so it'll probably be 2 weeks before I get it. But this is not a necessity...it's just something I want to attempt. Goals, people! You gotta have GOALS!

And, today the Moxie goes to the vet to get a Rhinoscopy to see why she was sneezing up blood on Saturday. yippee....
I'm sure she just snorted up a piece of mulch, but she won't sit still enough for me to shove a pair of tweezers up there!
Tonight: Wizard of Oz on the big screen in Dennis with my pal Paula and her son! Should be cool...76 years later.

Summer's winding down, folks...how are you making the most of these last days of summer sun?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

So busy!

The run-down:
Another week has gone by and I can't even believe it!!
Got some more skating in, of course.
Still getting back into the habit of working out, so that I'm not completely embarrassed to do some pool hopping while in Iceland.
Also still waiting for the book I ordered, to help me learn the language...I'm afraid it's just not going to happen.  I guess I'll just be that idiot tourist that expects the entire world to speak English.  (yes, I know that pretty much every other place in the world learns English in school, anyway.)
And I'm determined to get that darn pallet patio finished!

I haven't had so much fun skating, since I was 13!  In fact, these ridiculous clowns I skate with make me feel 13 again!!  It is such a treasure to find amazing people in your 'adult life' that just seem like they were made in the same factory...slightly different models, with the same internal processor!
We hit the Wellfleet skate park on Monday.  Met up with our friend Jody. And, Kraut had her first go on the ramps and things.  She did great and you'd never know she shattered her ankle less than 4 months prior!! Let that be a lesson, kiddies: DO YOUR PT! (also, she's tough as nails!)
pin-up girl

There were some punk kids hanging around...not sure if they were trying to get the nerve to get our digits, or what, but they just had to be where we were, even when we tried to give them their space.  I did get some time in practicing some footwork, though.  Wellfleet is a great park! The set up is really nice...all concrete is super inviting for newbies, I think.  It's a lot like the Martha's Vineyard park, in that way, but MV has a cool 'snaky' ramp thing that winds through half the park. 
cool snaky ramp thing, in the background
Tuesday morning we did a little trail skating so we could hang with our friend Amy.  It was so bloody hot, I think I paid the price with a little heat induced sickness the NEXT day! (or maybe I was just not feeling well...but I like to blame the heat.)  Crossing the roads around here is nerve-wracking! Every crosswalk is basically a little hump you have to go over, with a lot of loose gravel and sand on either end.  The raised paint lines make for an extra bumpy ride to the other side of the road.  But the trail is a nice ride, with lots of pretty scenery, a small tunnel, and a little rotary that splits the route into two directions.  It's a minimum 8 mile (roundtrip) skate for us, now, so it's a great way to spend a morning with friends.
Thursday afternoon: Finch Skate Park, Orleans!
This was another new park for us.  It's a 'pay to use' park, but it's nice.  Mostly ramps and half-pipes with a couple grind boxes and a funbox with stairs. All concrete, with metal sheets connecting ground to ramp. We had a little issue with the tiny bits of debris for the overhanging trees in the corner, but we also enjoyed a little shade from those trees, so the goofy trips and spills were worth it! Kraut mastered her drop in and 'Bert', while Tart and I continued to try to make friends with speed and height. The guy monitoring the park was funny and nice, too, so that was a bonus.  One young kid showed up as we were leaving, but before that, we had the place to ourselves! Hard to say if it's a place worth paying to use ($5/day or $20/season membership) since we are still just learning. Great for boards, I'm sure.

Pallet Patio!
While I continue to decide on my best course of action for this project, my mind goes crazy trying to figure out how to get the bottom boards off the pallets.  After an hour of prying off ONE board, I decided to just bury the whole pallets (bottoms intact) and buy what I needed to fill in the gaps.  After hearing from a friend at work that her husband also gave up trying to get the boards off their pallets, I felt better about not having any success, myself.  I still had it in my head that, if I could cut through the nails, then I could still get the boards off.  I thought of a sawzall, but I've never used one, so I didn't really know if it could do the job.  I have been reassured that it most likely could.  Attempting to find one to borrow, rather than buy, I'm holding out hope that this may actually work out after all.
In the meantime, I remembered the poorly designed, hand-made shelving unit that was in our basement when we bought the house. Three levels of the deepest shelving, wedged into the back corner. One of the first things I did, when we moved in, was disassemble that monster.  I have used some of the wood, stacked the rest, and had one platform still leaning against the wall!  Wide planks with no massive gaps between boards.  Pretty much just asking to become part of my zen patio.  However, it's so large, that I had no way to get it out of the basement...it was clearly constructed on site. 
So, I had to cut it down...
And, since I had some time, a nice day, and most of the major pieces...I began staining the pallets.
Pecan.  I have 2 pretty new, fresh pallets. Two new, but kind of warn and weather-beaten pallets.  And the 2 pieces from the monster from the basement. Of course, all six pieces took up that stain in different shades, but I'm glad for that...the stain is on the orange side, and I wasn't super happy with it at first.

So, today, I'll try to track down a sawzall, finish staining, and figure out the final layout pattern. Then, maybe by the time I'm done, my book with arrive and I can continue with my Icelandic lessons while I listen to the rustling of the bamboo.