Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 2013

Last week was my birthday - it is just hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am 62 years old.  Where indeed does the time go?  I have been feeling particularly old lately because the arthritis that is setting in is starting to get really painful.  For several nights the past few days it has been difficult to sleep because of all the joint pain in my hips.  Where I would have probably not believed it before, I do think that the weather plays a large part in the amount of pain.  Since my birthday fell on a Tuesday this year and I was off, I wanted to do something special and fun for a change.  I honestly could not think of a thing that I wanted to do that I could actually afford to do.  I would have liked to take a nice, long walk in one of our natural areas but the weather did not cooperate.  I did take an amount of money that I had put aside and went to my favorite store - Half Price Books.  Things are REALLY cheap there and I bought a bunch of books and videos to enjoy over the upcoming weeks.

I have also been finishing up the garden clean up.  I finally pulled up the last of the tomato plants and the vegetable garden.  I think I finished just in time as it is really cold this morning and possible frost.  I took the last of the tomatoes and made a final batch of Whimpy Ass Salsa and also took a bunch of the berries I had put in the freezer and made Triple Berry jam. 

Sunday was the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.  This year it moved from Aurora to St. Charles and a new walking venue.  I liked this years venue a lot more than schlepping around the Chicago Premium Outlet Mall as we have done the past 7 years. 

We had a great bunch of costumes on hand this year and our team came in as the top fundraiser. 

I ended up the top individual fundraiser.  That was weird because I have had larger fundraising totals in years past and was never the top fundraiser.  MSABC has been expanding the last couple years and adding walks so I guess that is why I did better in the "standings".  It doesn't matter where one falls in the overall race for donations...the important thing is that one does what they can.  I wore my X-Wing Pilot costume on Sunday and am ever grateful that I have lost enough weight the last year that this costume is once again more comfortable. 

There was a time not too long ago that I could barely zip up the flightsuit and that was bumming me out.  The flightsuit is now much more loose but I would love to lose more weight.  One of the things I bought on my birthday was a Billy Blanks Bootcamp DVD (for 2 whole dollars...lol.) and went through it once and plan to add it to my "rotation".  I have no delusions that I will ever be 128 pounds again, but it is still great to start feeling a little better about myself....old wrinkly face aside.

I did another workday on October 12th and the chainsaw was still behaving itself.  I did, however, hit another piece of barbed wire and that is not good for the chain.  We are working in yet another new area of the Preserve.  I am getting a little frantic at having so many areas "under construction".  It is hard to keep up.  I am hoping that the FPDWC gets my site burned this fall as that makes going out to work in areas a LOT easier. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 6, 2013

Been more of the same the last couple of weeks.  Thankfully, I have finished painting the house!  That nightmare of a project is out of the way but I still have some trim to paint and a decision about replacing some of the windows in the house. 

The project to replace the roof on the Jeep is also finally done.  The headliner is all back in and next on the agenda for the Jeep is new tires and trying to figure out the exact cause of the front end shake at 60 mph and above. 

Last Saturday was National Public Lands Day and it was another chainsaw workday at Romeoville Prairie.  It was really a warm day so that was a little hard on the body.  At least my chainsaw was behaving itself.  Looks like the problems with the saw were probably narrowed down to gasoline.  I used to buy 2 gallons of gas at a time for my old saws and with the new saw, I went down to a gallon at a time.  Looks like the Stihl is so fussy I can only buy 1/2 gallon of gas to mix at a time as the saw does not want to run on gas that is even a couple months old.

Last Sunday I did a Star Wars event-  a 5K for the Max Lacewell Foundation.  It was a super early event which was nice for a change.  It was at the Bolingbrook Golf Club which was an easy drive and I got there around 6:00 AM.  By 9:00 AM we were done with the event.  Basically we were just there to lend atmosphere to the event because our little friend Max (who we did a fundraiser for and then he passed away at age 6) loved Star Wars.  We cheered the runners on as they headed off on the 5K and as they returned.  I didn't do a hell of a lot when I got home...too tired from the workday and the event.

Yesterday was Star Wars Reads Day.  There were a bunch of events to choose from as every Library and bookstore tries to request an appearance by us for this day.  I chose 2 events to attend.  In the morning I was at the Frankfort Library and in the afternoon I was at the Plainfield Library.  I had Artoo with me so that adds a layer of stress and extra lugging but he is usually worth the effort.  Kids and adults always are appreciative to see Artoo.  I wore my Imperial Gunner costume for both events.  I don't wear that costume much and have been struggling with putting fans inside the bucket now for months.  The first two fans I had in there just didn't do anything.  I had larger fans, but anything more than just one of them and the 3 - 9Volt batteries could not even kick the fan on.  So, I put only one of the larger fans in that the batteries will operate and the fan worked GREAT yesterday.  It was hot out and I would have melted and fogged up my lens so bad without the fan.

 That single fan circulates a LOT of air, I could not believe how much.  Although I did not run the fan continually, I did run it a lot and the batteries held up well.  If that would have been my TK bucket, the battery would have been dead in 10 minutes.  The one drawback - the fan is noisy!  I got used to the noise after a bit but I know that people can hear it running.  Of course the good thing is that people can hear something running but probably don't know what it is....so...they could use their imagination as to what is going on under that bucket...lol... 

On Tuesday of this week a bunch of us Rebel Fleet Troopers did a photoshoot at the Joliet Historical Museum.  We just wanted to do something that was just for fun. 

We tried to make some funny shots using a TK target.  We also tried to do a few photos recreating one of the scenes in "A New Hope" that had RFTs in it and lastly we made a little Public Service Announcement "movie" that was a little over a minute and a LOT of fun to do. 

Today I am taking it easy again.  Doing laundry and putting away all my toys.  I might take a run out to "Apples on Oak" later on this afternoon and see what they have that is ripe.