Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Good Idea

It was early, the air was cool, there was a slight breeze from the southwest and the low sun was hidden behind fading clouds. I was walking alone on the gradual uphill route to the west. I checked my heart rate and it was one-twenty-something. I wanted to push it higher so I increased my pace. After a while I checked my rate again. It wasn't increasing much.

I had an idea, a good idea, that was guaranteed to work. I began jogging.

In high school I hurt my left knee and periodically it reminds me. In 1995 after moving to Texas I was jogging and it swelled up. I gave it a month or two and it wouldn't heal so I saw an orthopedic doctor at a sports and occupational clinic. His response was "You're getting older. Don't jog."

It used to be that I could tell how far I had hiked by my knee. After five miles it would make a request to stop -- a request that I ignored. For the last few years it has been fine and pain free unless I did several miles downhill on a steep grade.

Back to Monday morning. I jogged, got my hear rate up and felt fine. About noon I was getting a load of water and sat down on the ground in the shade while waiting for the tank to fill. As I sat there I noticed my left knee feeling a little strange. As the day went on it complained more.

On Tuesday, had I lost all feeling, I would have been aware of my knee because I could hear an obvious clunking noise as I walked. Today the knee doesn't want to bend ninety degrees.

OK, this will pass in a few weeks. Actually, I enjoy it. It's a pleasant little annoyance that reminds me I'm alive and encourages me not to take my youth, health, abilities and transient good times for granted.

After this heals I'm going to try jogging again. But this time I'll do it a little different. I think I'll start with level smooth ground and wear something other than my hiking boots.

Monday, July 05, 2010

112 over 65

It's siesta time! I'm going to read a while and dose off but first a short record of the day thus far.

Our intended time to get up this morning was 4:30 but we had to go to town yesterday evening. The net result was home late, to bed late and sleep late until about 6 AM. For years I lived with four to six hours sleep. I learned three was the minimum to function near normal. Then, I met Julie and got a little wiser due to her influence. Seven hours minimum is the rule.

After breakfast we set a destination about a mile away for our morning walk. We wanted to check on a perennial flower: Oxytropis lambertii -- Lambert Locoweed aka Lambert Crazyweed, Colorado Locoweed and Purple Locoweed. This sentence from a Wikipedia article on locoweed is interesting: "It is the most widespread poisonous plant problem in the western United States." In addition to begin poisonous it's native, xeric and beautiful. I've found a source for seed and plan on planting a few in the yard.

I planted twelve or thirteen items in the garden including one small unidentified bean that was mixed in an envelope with another variety. This morning I found the first tomato turning color, the first small Thai hot pepper and the first squash blossom. Exciting finds!

Lunch menu.

While I was working in the garden Julie was cooking. We have an excess of Swiss chard and cauliflower. She fixed a lunch of cornbread, pinto beans, chard, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. The cauliflower was baked and was irresistible. I could have eaten more. Undoubtedly the best I've ever had.

Each afternoon during the hottest part of the day we take a break for two or three hours. After a shower I took my blood pressure and learned it was 112 over 65. Julie's was lower than mine.

Life is good!

Saturday, July 03, 2010


During Friday morning's walk we saw a small variety of litter.

Plastic bag litter.
Grocery bag: 21st century. In previous centuries litter generally didn't blow across country and get hung in trees.

Food can litter.
Food can: early 20th century. Cans can be dated by the type of construction -- material, seams, tabs and other features.

Pottery shard litter.
Pottery shard: 15th-19th century? On this walk we saw multiple pieces of pottery but none with paint. I'm not an expert and can't date shards by style, color and paint.

Friday, July 02, 2010


  • Date: Friday, July 2, 2010
  • Time 1:30 PM
  • Temperature outside: 97.7 F
  • Humidity outside: 18%
  • Temperature inside: 89.3 F
  • Humidity inside: 23%
  • UV Index: 10.4
  • Wind: 15-20 mph Southwest
  • Gallons of water hauled: 500
  • Gallons of garden water used per week: 300
  • Items Planted: Bunching onions and 2 varieties of radishes
  • Temperature in compost bin: 135 F

I didn't get this posted yesterday so here are today's values for comparison.

  • Date: Saturday, July 3, 2010
  • Time 1:30 PM
  • Temperature outside: 94.2 F
  • Humidity outside: 10%
  • Temperature inside: 83.0 F
  • Humidity inside: 26%
  • UV Index: 9.6
  • Wind: 15-20 mph Southwest
  • Items Planted: 2 varieties of Penstemons, Lambs Ears and a wildflower mix
  • Gallons of water hauled: 250 (another 250 planned)

Timer on drip system.
Timer on drip system beneath potato plants.

Potatoe Blossoms.
Potato Blossoms.

Raised Beds.
Garlic was harvested this week leaving a vacant spot in the second raised bed.

Garden Box.
Julie went to a store that carries used building materials and bought a mailbox for the garden. She keeps gloves and small items in it. Next year, hopefully, I'll build a garden shed.