212: Karma’s April Photo Scavenger Hunt

Body of Water

At the beginning of the month, Karma posted a photo scavenger hunt challenge that I couldn’t resist because I thought it would be fun and help me stretch a little creatively.  I was right on both counts.  Thank you, Karma!

I was tempted to use some stuff from Ye Olde Archives, but that would not have been as fun or as challenging.  I wasn’t quite sure I’d get them all before the deadline (which is April 24th so you still have time if you want to join in the fun!).

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61: Fear the Roo

Last night’s outdoor time was fabulous.  M and I went to Akron to watch the Akron Zips Men’s Soccer team play in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.  They beat West Virginia University 3-2.  But I gotta tell ya, I was worried near the end.  Akron was up 3-0 for the first 80 minutes.  WVU came in and scored in the 81st and 86th minutes.  It was (to me) a brutal game in that there was a lot of fouling going on, not to mention some injuries here and there.

Akron is unbeaten in its last 37 matches at home.  Let’s hope it stays that way as they will be hosting Indiana (who beat Tulsa last night) next Saturday.  If the weather is good, perhaps we’ll go.

(Fear the beach bird, especially when he looks at you like that!)

The Roo, by the way, is the mascot for the Akron Zips.  Zippy, the kangaroo.  To be honest, Zippy is more cute than fierce.  I met him last night at the game.  Nice Roo.  Funny Roo.  But fierce Roo?  Nah.  Maybe he has a more frightening side that doesn’t come out when he’s meeting and greeting the fans.  (The kangaroo pictured at the beginning of this post is not Zippy but a kangaroo who lives at the Cleveland Zoo.  I took the photo back in April of 2007 when visiting the zoo with my granddaughter.  If you would like to see Zippy, click here.)

Mascots are interesting.  I wonder if they’re supposed to be totems.   Click here to read about the kangaroo as an animal totem.  Somewhere else I read that kangaroos only go forward, never backward, and if the kangaroo is your totem, you will have the strength and power to keep going as long as you keep moving forward.  That one seems to fit the Zips soccer team pretty well.

(Today’s early morning view of the pond.)

Last night’s moonrise was incredible.  A big, pinkish-orange moon came up from behind the city buildings in Akron while we were watching the soccer game.  The weather was wonderful.  Breezy but not too cold, the scent of the air fresh and clean.  I did not have my camera with me hence I have no photos of Zippy or the moon.

(Pussy willow budding.  This shouldn’t happen until spring.)

I only managed to fit in ten minutes of my outdoor time this morning.  Just after I went out the wind began to whip and there was lightning and thunder in the distance.  Storms are coming, bringing winter with them.  It’s a good thing, too.  The trees have started budding and the buds on the pussy willow are starting to open.  The unseasonably warm weather has been confusing the plant life.

(A break in the clouds.)

The rain promised by the gusty winds, lightning and thunder never materialized.  Or hasn’t materialized so far.  When I went back outside this afternoon it was still windy and warm with a big break in some of the clouds that allowed the sun to come out.  I stayed out longer than planned.  I love this kind of weather.  It’s invigorating, crackling, almost breathtaking when the weather is on the precipice of a big change, the kind of change that causes the temperatures to plummet sharply.

(Sunlight breaking into the afternoon.)

About 30 minutes after I went out I felt the wind shift.  The warm air became cooler and cooler air.  By the time I decided it was time to walk back to the house and do a few chores, I almost needed a coat.

I saw a couple of frogs hop into the pond as I walked by.  I hope they hurry up and get themselves back into the mud so they don’t get caught in the freeze when it arrives.

A puzzling update

As you can see, we are slowly but surely putting the puzzle together.   I’ve discovered it’s best to take the puzzle in small amounts, not spending too much time with it in any one sitting.   It’s funny how a piece I’ll be looking for one day will suddenly pop out at me the next day, but hide from me if I stay too long looking for it.

There’s not much new here in the Bogs.  I’ve been exercising, eating healthy food, and losing weight.  I had an epiphany or turning point when I hit the anniversary of the day I quit smoking.  It’s as if I’m finally working on the next part of the lifestyle change puzzle.  I’m motivated and that motivation has turned into some small successes.  I took a self-portrait but… eh… I’m not ready to show my face just yet.

Prepping and getting into shape for the surf lessons are part of my big motivation.  I’m working hard at the core (ab) exercises and push-ups.  I’m up to six real push-ups, doing the rest at either an incline or decline (which makes them easier).  I have a feeling it’s going to take a while for me to work up to the required number.  I’m also getting in plenty of cardio to go with all the weight training.  I follow up my exercise sessions with yoga practice.  Sometimes I think I’m getting more benefits from the yoga than from anything else I’m doing.

The weather continues to be wintery.  Cold, but not as bitterly cold as last week.  We had some snow flurries today.  I heard that Lake Erie is frozen so that turns off the lake effect machine for now.  This has not been a good winter for sledding, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.  Without the snow, the gray days are a little more difficult since we can’t get out and play like we do when we have a good covering of the white stuff.

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  Hope all is well with you.


A quiet moment

(Playing Mario Kart, the Wii generation.)

It’s been a busy holiday season here in the Bogs, leading to one of the longest breaks I’ve taken from the blog since I started it way back when (“way back when” being a euphemism for “I’m too lazy to look it up”).  Currently, Dad and M are watching the Eagles (football), the homemade chicken pot pie (which is not a pie but is cooked in a pot) is cooling, and I thought it high time I posted something.

I’m not sure busy was the correct word for this holiday season.  Full might be more appropriate.  Full of family, full of celebrations, full of love, full of all kinds of emotions, and full of a variety of weather which went from icy and snowy to a rainy warm-up and is headed back to icy and snowy again very soon.

(Maddy with her Great Grandfather.)

We’ve had the good fortune to spend two weekends in a row with our granddaughters, something I think is one of the best gifts of the season.  Of course that meant spending time with our oldest son and his wife, the wonderful parents of our marvelous granddaughters.  M the Younger and his lovely wife came in from Colorado for a brief visit.  And my father has been here since the 17th, getting through Christmas as best he can without Mom.  Having him spend Christmas with us seems to have been a good idea.  He has mentioned a few times that it would have been much harder for him at home with the ghosts (memories) of past Christmases.  Being here is something different for him.  Even so, we’ve both had moments of thinking Mom was somewhere else in the house, expecting her to be upstairs when we were downstairs or the other way around, because this is Dad’s first visit with us without Mom.

Taking out the holiday decorations was heavy with sadness for me, sorting through the decorations that Mom made for us or gave to us throughout the years.  I took a time-out, spent a few moments off on my own talking with Mom and wishing her a Merry Christmas.  It helped, a little.  I felt like she was here, in my memory and in my heart.  Maybe more than that.  Who knows?

Mostly it’s been good.  We saw the movie Avatar in 3D at an IMAX theater last Monday.  We all enjoyed it, being thoroughly entertained and marveling at the technology (especially Pop!).  We watched movies here at home on the large screen when we had some spare time.


Real bowling is harder than Wii bowling.  ~ Emma

Today we went bowling.  This was Emma’s first time at the real thing.  She did well, getting the hang of it pretty quickly.  The bumpers greatly improved my score (which would probably have been lower than Emma’s if we’d played without them!).  I’m not a good bowler, but I enjoy it in spite of my affinity for gutter balls and low scores.

I’ve been dealing with a cold that has turned into a nasty ear and sinus infection.  Two days of antibiotics have not improved things and I’m wondering if I have contracted a resistant-to-the antibiotic-I’m-on infection.  I hope not.  I’m currently mostly deaf in my right ear and have started developing pain and pressure in my left.  Hopefully the antibiotic will catch up with it soon and all will be well.

(Yesterday’s sunset view of the pond.)

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  I hope all is well with you out there and that your holidays, whatever you may or may not be celebrating, were filled with joy.


The pool table

(090:  The pool room at 69 Taps)

A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength.  It has been universally established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal-sized billiard balls.

~ Terry Pratchett


I’ve been spending a little of my computer time lately playing Human-Age.  That might account for the lack of blog entries lately (and in the future).

The game is described as a virtual simulation.  Here is the description of the game from the Human-Age FAQ:

The aim of the game is to make your character evolve throughout the ages of mankind. To do so, you must take care of him or her, and earn money so he or she can gain capabilities, and build a nice house. To get you started, you get 200 kneecaps, which is the currency for the first level. With the cash in your pocket, you can hunt, work or bet with other players to earn more money, and buy luxury items.

So far it doesn’t take up much time.  I just started playing this past weekend so I can’t say whether or not it will get more involved.  It should be noted that I have an interest in posting about the game.  I’ll earn 40 kneecaps (and boy, could I use them).

I have my friend the English Nutter to thank for this newest internet addiction.  Addiction may be too strong a word, at least for now.

Hop on over and join if you have a few spare moments of time.  You’ll find me with The Frozen Feet clan.  Pretty appropriate given the weather we’re experiencing here in the Bogs.  Bitterly cold (and about to get colder) with more snow in the forecast today.