Showing posts with label young old fogeys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label young old fogeys. Show all posts

Friday, July 28, 2017

Voila! Nothing There.


Until yesterday, that is what the Husband, Molly the Cat, and I saw when we looked out the patio door. Sitting behind the shed was a small chicken coop. Molly loved to climb up the chicken coop, along a plank, and onto the shed's southern eaves to take her nap between breakfast and lunch.

For the past year,  the Husband and I have talked about taking down the structures because they were useless. No chickens for the coop (never were!) and if we did have chickens I would rather see them strutting freely (kind of) around the yard. As for the shed, only hobbits would be short enough to stand in it. If, even then.

So, why was it built?

I don't know, and I don't care to speculate about how it came to be built. When I heard a crow and saw a butterfly as we dismantled the structures, I knew that the Mama liked our decision.

It felt good swinging the hammer and being constructively destructive. Pound! Pound! Grunt! Pound! GRUNT! Pound! Pound! The most physical activity that the Husband and I have done in a very long time.

Before we began our Pound! Pound!, the world was silent. Well, except for the sawing and hammering by the neighbors on our northside, who are building a beautiful deck. Our pounding seemed to have brought out the neighbors from the two houses on our southside. They were probably curious to why the quiet fogeys were creating such a racket. It felt like a party with all the chattering on the other side of the fences, the construction noise next door, and, of course, our Pound! Pound! Pound! and yakkity-yakking.

The once upon a time shed and chicken shed came down in about two hours. And, that's only because we had the help of our awesome friend Mister D. The Husband and I are barely at 70 percent in shape, and I think I'm being generous. Mister D and the Husband have known each other since college. He has always been there for the Husband and, ever since I've known Mister D, for me.  Thank you, Mister D! Thank you very much!

Look! See the gift that Mister D gave us. The apple and avocado trees that were boxed in by the shed look happy with the nothingness, too.  I'm sure Molly the Cat will be glad as well, in time.


P.S. Mister D also helped the Husband fix the side gate for us, which got destroyed during the winter storms. When he and the Husband pulled the old post from its hole, they found that the gate post was held up by a just-the-right-size piece of branch wedged between the post and the concrete. Something, huh? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Zowie! Such Zoolness.


What a zool cinderella dress, don't you think?

Sometimes I see a Cinderella dress in this dressmaker's shop in town that I wonder what a petite, zaftig "young" old fogey woman like myself would look like wearing it. Giggle.

I'm hooking up with ABC Wednesday, the fun weekly meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and now hosted by Roger Green and the ABCW team.  Check out the meme here.



Monday, October 19, 2015

Painting Olive Branches


Friends Jenn and Moose and the Husband and I took part in a paint party at the San Benito Olive Festival last Saturday. Altogether, there were 18 participants. Hmmm, I think the Husband and Moose were the only guys. What's up with that? Is getting guys to paint the same as getting them out on the dance floor? The Husband and Moose have no problem shaking their booties.  We did a lot of that at the festival, too.

Our teacher-host was Artist/Sculptor Paul Loughridge. His robot and metal sculptures are especially trĂ©s cool. Check some of them out at his website.  Okay, back to the paint party. Being that it was at an olive festival, Paul guided us through a painting of olive branches.

Having not painted since grammar school, I was hesitant about whether I could recreate his painting. Several other participants articulated how I felt. He reassured us. We were not to worry. We would be creating our own original paintings. And, so we began. He told us which brush to use, what colors to blend, and so forth and so on.

We were the afternoon session and I'm happy to say we were a handful. We gave him a hard time in a delightful way. We vied for his attention. "Teacher! Teacher!" We glowed when he gave us positive feedback.  And, yes, when it was all done, we each had a unique painting. 


By the way, my olives are in the shape of hearts.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Your Grandparents' Music


"And that's how our generation does it!" exclaimed one of the rocking band members, who was in his early to mid-60s.

"Whoooo-hoooo!" shouted the Husband and I, clapping wildly on the dance floor. We'd been dancing our hearts, souls, and bodies out for the past three hours to soul, funk, and good old rock 'n roll. That last dance—Johhny B. Goode. Whooo-hooo!

Most of the evening, we shared the dance floor with a few other old fogeys and one younger couple who had sweet technical dance moves. During the last hour, young men and women of the reunion Class of 2005 streamed into the lounge. But, it was not until the last two songs that they had enough liquid courage to get out on the dance floor, and finally get into the music of their grandparents generation. 

What a fun night! The band even dedicated a song to me—Cinnamon Girl. First time, ever. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Up in the Sky

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been

Look up in the sky. Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No. It's Su-sieee! Mac.

Nine years ago, I fell through the sky with my fellow Jumping Beans Jeanette, Jennifer, and Charlie. That was our big thing to mark being in our 50s.

Yes, yes, I know. I've mentioned my jump before in other posts.  But, I haven't ever described being up in the sky, free-falling, and then floating downward. It only took nine years to write about it.

Jennifer, Jeanette, Su-sieee! Mac, and Charlie
photo courtesy of Lisa Q.


We, jumping beans, waited four hours one Sunday afternoon to board a small plane, get attached to a professional skydiver, be dropped off at a certain point in the sky, and fall, then float, within minutes to the drop zone. Interestingly, none of our significant others wanted to experience it all with us.

Charlie and I opted to fall from the highest altitude—18,000 feet.  Gulp. I just came back from figuring how high that is—about 3.4 miles. Wowza (said in a little voice).


What do I still remember about being up there?

I was grinning like a crazy person on the plane ride. We reached a certain altitude and out came the oxygen masks. I felt fine without it, but still put it on. The view of the top of the Diablo Range was spectacular. I wondered if I was looking into a caldera at one point.

I sat on my instructor's (aka the professional skydiver) lap in order for him to attach him to me. I outweighed him by at least 30 pounds. I felt bad that I may have been crushing him. When it was time to jump, he and I inched our way to the door, me in front of him. The videographer jumped first. I hesitated at the door. The instructor pushed me, and voila I was yelling and "flying" away from the plane.

Supposedly I arched my back, and my legs bent back between the instructor's legs. He stretched my arms out in, I guess, a standard position. He motioned for me to yell, which I still don't understand why. The videographer flew up to us and motioned for me to look up at him and the camera.  I was more interested in looking around. I could see all the way to the Monterey Bay.


Think of all the superlatives you can and that's what it was like to be up in the sky.

It was very noisy up there. I suppose it was the sound of our bodies, clothing, and skin flapping about. I can almost approximate the sound when I lean my head out the car window when the Husband is driving at a good clip.

The deployment of the parachute was kind of jarring. It opened and we jerked up in the air. Then, we began a smooth, quiet descent. The instructor zig-zagged us downward over the golden hills of San Benito County. I became a chatterbox. The Husband said he could hear me from way below.


The drop zone was the field across from the small church where I was baptized as a baby. As we approached the drop zone, I held my legs straight out. Bump! I was down on the ground. And, then came the hardest part—getting up.

Soon after that day, I fantasized about being a very old lady shuffling to the plane every morning for my daily jump.

You never know.


It's the letter U (as in Up) at Alphabe Thursday, hosted by the delightful Jenny Matlock. To participate or check out other U posts, please click here.



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Niles Canyon Railway

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been

Toot! Toot! Allllll Abooooarrrrrrrrd!

Last year, the Husband and I took a ride on the Niles Canyon Railway, a living museum that runs through the gorgeous Niles Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area. We rode in historic train cars pulled by a vintage diesel engine. It was about a 90-minute round trip between two small historic towns, Niles (which is now part of Fremont) and Sunol (which is off of Highway 680).


The Niles Canyon Railway is operated by volunteer conductors and engineers. They're part of the Pacific Locomotive Association, a non-profit organization. The volunteers in this group rebuilt the line that was once part of the transcontinental railroad. The volunteers continue to obtain and rebuild train cars. Near the Sunol depot is the train yard where the cars are stored and worked.  One of the association's objectives is to provide the public with a sense of what riding trains was like in small communities throughout the United States once upon a time.


You can sit either indoors or outdoors on the train. On good weather days, the outdoor seats are very popular. We took indoor seats and once the train was on its way, we walked towards the front to outside cars where you can stand and gaze at the passing scenery.


Niles Canyon Railway schedules several trips on Saturdays and Sundays. You can get on at either the Niles or Sunol station. If you time it right, you can get off at one station, explore the town or eat at a restaurant, and then get back on another train. 

I like starting our round trip at Niles because afterwards we can wander through antique shops. Not that I buy anything. If you're a silent film fan, you'd especially like hanging out in Niles. Between 1912 and 1916, many silent films were made in and around the town, including ones by Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy. Check out the Niles Film Museum for details.

Here are a few more photos from our train ride.










Today is the letter N at Alphabe Thursday, hosted by the lovely Mrs. Jenny Matlock. Click here to join in or to read other N posts.



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Between Lovers Point and Cannery Row

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been

Lovers Point in Pacific Grove is about 1.25 miles to the west from Cannery Row in Monterey via the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. It's a fun, lovely trail to take however way you choose to travel it—walking, jogging, or pedaling a two-wheeler or a four-wheel surrey bike.


Lovers Point is a popular city park and beach to both locals and tourists. It's a great place to picnic, stroll, swim, or simply sit and enjoy the amazing Monterey Bay views. When you're there, don't be surprised if you happen upon a wedding ceremony.

The Husband and I walked the trail between Lovers Point and Cannery Row with friends on New Year's Day 2014. We started from Lovers Point, where we had a picnic and remembered our friend Charlie who had passed away the previous year.

The walk back from Cannery Row was tough. My knee protested every step back. Thank goodness for the camera, which distracted me as I clicked away.

Looking east towards Cannery Row.

One year, the Husband and I rented one of these surrey bikes and pedaled from Fisherman's Wharf to Lovers Point. The Husband did most of the work since I had a hard time reaching the pedals.

This is part of a long mural that depicts the history of Pacific Grove. In the late 1870s, Pacific Grove was established as a Methodist seaside retreat. By 1910, it was incorporated as a city. Pacific Grove is also known for being one of the places on the California Central Coast where Monarch butterflies return every Fall.

Odd-shaped rocks on the beach, you say. They're resting sea lions.

Look at that rock's profile. Does it remind you of a cat?

Cannery Row. Yup, the same place that John Steinbeck wrote about when it was full of sardine canneries. Today, it's home to many, many shops and restaurants as well as the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Heading back to Lovers Point, which is just beyond that point on the horizon.

It's Alphabe Thursday with the lovely Jenny Matlock. Today's letter is L. Click here to read posts by other participants.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Dude, The Husband -- and His Zzsuzzsie!

My Alphabe Thursday theme -- The Dude, The Husband

This month marks 20 years of the Husband and I knowing each other. Was it true love at first sight? I don't know. I definitely felt an electrical current running between us, and it was a cool, overcast morning in San Francisco when we met.

Our first play outing was a week later. We hiked up Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County. Hmmm, I think I mentioned this before. It sounds familiar. So, I'll just say this: We talked nonstop all the way up to the top and back down. And, we've been together ever since that day.

A Few of the Things We Had in Common When We Met
• We were widowers.
• Our first spouse was older than us.
• We each drove an old Volvo.
• We spent time in Santa Cruz during the summer when we were kids.
• We liked puns. (We still do.)


Today is the letter Z at Alphabe Thursday, which is hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Please click here to check out other participants of this weekly ABC meme.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Dude, The Husband -- Youthful

My Alphabe Thursday theme -- The Dude, The Husband

He may be collecting his pension and social security, but that doesn't mean the Husband is old. 


Not at all.



Today is the letter Y at Alphabe Thursday, which is hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Please click here to check out other participants of this weekly ABC meme.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

That Effervescent Older Couple


I was in my late 20s when I first noticed that there would always be one older couple dancing their hearts out to a band playing in the middle of a mall or a hotel, or at a street fair or a farmers market. The couple would waltz, do the box step, cha-cha-cha, boogie-woogie, or just freestyle to the music.

The couple would be so full of joy that others would watch with big grins and smiles on their faces. A few people would even clap in appreciation. And, yes, there would be the few boors who would point at the older couple, laugh and make fun of them. But, then that's what boors do.

Well, here's the good news. Turns out the Husband and I have become one of those effervescent older couples.

Sam Farr 30-Day Challenge

I'm done! Yesterday was the last day. Whoo-hooo! I followed the rules as well as can be.
  1. I ate no foods made of flours or had more than 20 grams of sugar per serving.
  2. For 29 out of the 30 days, I ate no food nor drank alcohol after 7:30 PM.
  3. I worked out every day, pedaling Tilda-Hilda, the pretty pink cruiser, for a total of 303 miles and walking an altogether 6.55 miles.
Pretty darn good for this "young" old fogey.  Onward!

Today, I'm joining at  ABC Wednesday. This week is the letter "E" as in effervescent.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grey Hair Stops Cars


It started happening last year. Well, I noticed it last year. A wonderful phenomenon that sometimes happens at intersections where there are no traffic lights or stop signs. The Husband and I stand at a corner, waiting to safely cross the street. We are in no hurry, usually. So, if there are several cars about to parade in front of us, no big deal. But, then, unexpectedly, a driver stops for us. We walk as quickly as we can across the street, waving our thanks to the driver. 

The first few times this occurred, I was amazed that there were still kind drivers in the world.

One day it occurred twice—drivers stopping their car to let us go by. The first time was in a parking lot, the second at a street intersection. As Yul Brynner in The King and I sang, "But is a puzzlement."

Then it dawned on me. The drivers who stopped saw two old people standing on a corner. Perhaps we looked forlorn or lost. Ha! I doubt it. Our normal stance is silly. They probably felt sorry for us being old and felt like paying something forward. Which is nice.

The Husband and I don't think of ourselves as old, except when another aspect of our health goes wrong, or, when we look in the mirror and see how grey our hair is. But, you know, if our grey hair will get us across the street sooner, that's okay by me.
I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Dime. . .Two. . .Three. . .

"I think I have 86¢," I said, when the fish lady told us the lovely looking rockfish was $5.86.

Pulling out a handful of change from my purse, the fish lady said, "Yes, I think you do."

I plucked out two quarters, two dimes, a nickel, and a penny from the coins in my hand and put them on the counter. My mind when blank. "How much was it again?"

"86¢," said the Husband.

I fished out more coins. My mind went blank again. "What was it?"

"86¢," he said.

I looked down at the change. Total blankness. "What?"

"86¢!"

I gave up. "Okay, that ought to do it."

The fish lady picked up the change, laughing with the Husband and me as we chattered on. "And, to think he has to deal with me everyday," I said while the Husband rolled his eyes and threw up his hands.

I noticed the fish lady counting the change. "Did I give you enough?"

"More than enough," she said, handing me back two dimes.

"I used to be so good at counting change," I said.

"We should get you a change maker," said the Husband.

"Like a train conductor. Yeah. I could go for that."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Brickload of Fun


Rattle, rattle, rattle. 

This afternoon, I pulled a little red wagon down our driveway to the end of the street, around the corner, and over to the next block. The Husband walked ahead of me, looking for the house in front of which 20+ red bricks, three 18-inch scalloped bricks, and one half-circle of scalloped brick laid waiting for us. All free, courtesy of a recycle-friendly lady who we've never met.

Yesterday, an email popped into my box from the local freecycle group to which I subscribe. Usually, there's nothing that I want. Well, actually sometimes I do, but then I hear the Husband's voice in my head say, "What are we going to do with it? We still have a storage room full of stuff that we need to deal with." I heard him say that in my head as I read about the free bricks, but my inner voice overrode it. Bricks! These bricks can come in handy.

I quickly wrote a response and asked if the bricks were still available. Yep, they were. I wrote that I would take them, sent off my email, then said to the Husband, "I'm picking up some free bricks tomorrow."

"Where?"

"I don't know yet."

Pshew. He did not say what I heard in my head. What a guy I married.

It turned out the brick-giver lived one street over from us. "Do you think the little red wagon could carry those bricks?" I asked the Husband at breakfast.

"Sure," he said. "I was thinking the same thing." 

The Husband is so adorable.


I could hardly wait to go pick up the bricks. Not because I wanted to bring them home, but because of the means by which it would happen—pulling a little red wagon with the Husband.

As I hopped around the house trying not to be impatient about going already, the Husband finally asked, "What are you going to do with the bricks?"

"I don't know yet. Maybe make a pizza oven."

"You need more than 20 bricks."

"Well, they're a start. Right now, I'm just building an arsenal for us."

"An arsenal?" he asked. "Are you thinking that we will need to be ready to throw bricks someday?"

"You know what I mean."

At noon, we were on our way. I pulled the loud rattling, little red wagon all the way there. I hoped I wasn't waking up babies or the elderly from their naps.

The Husband is a former warehouse manager ("I was a supervisor," he will correct me, and I will respond, "In title only. You did management work. Your idiot bosses were just stingy."), which meant the bricks were loaded onto the wagon professionally and nothing fell along the way. We took turns pulling the wagon and pushing it from behind. The two of us must've been a sight to behold.

We got a load of free bricks and we had loads of fun getting them. Best of all, today is the 23rd, our monthly date. Pushing and pulling a little red wagon full of bricks down the street was a great way to start us off.  As the Husband said, "It doesn't take much to make us happy."

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Amazing, But Unplanned, Stunt


The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday morning, as I was pedaling my pretty pink bicycle. Quite freaky, in fact. Totally insane. I wish I had one of those cameras strapped to my head so I could've recorded the whole thing, which lasted a few seconds but in slooooooooow motion seemed God, Almighty! long. In my mind, what I did is akin (almost) to attempting the circle-of death-biker stunt. Hey! Don't laugh. You gotta remember I'm a fat, young old fogey turning 60 in a few months, which I say in a very positive way.

Okay, okay. I think I've got your attention to the kinda, somewhat, yes, indeed risk I experienced yesterday morning.

It was about 8:17 a.m. For those of you who don't know my normal pattern, that hour is like sunrise for me. The Husband was still snoozing in bed, the Mama was eating her breakfast, and Molly the Cat was gazing out the back window probably thinking about climbing the fence. Me, I had a meeting to go to and by, golly, this time I had planned to not be the one straggling in behind everyone else.

The morning was overcast. By the end of the block, I realized I should've worn gloves. That's okay, I thought. I'll just pull the cuffs of my hoody over my hands.  Nothing to it. So, steadying the bike with my right hand, I reached with my left to tug on the right sleeve when. . .

What the heck! The bike became unsteady. It wobbled, leaned to the left, and suddenly I found myself coasting at a slant as the bike began arcing into a circle. Oh, my God! I'm going to fall!
I believe I was actually riding on the inner rim of the tires. If there's anything I fear, it's falling. Yes, yes. I jumped out of a plane at 18,000 feet, but that really is different. I did not want to fall sideways in the middle of the street, my body tangled with pink metal.
 

The bike headed towards the sidewalk. Oh, my God! I'm going to crash into the curb! An even worse place to land would be the gutter. But, inches away from the curb, the bike turned itself. And, Thank you, God! began righting itself. 

Before I knew it, the bike had done a complete circle. I was back at the same position where I had begun. Without blinking, I pedaled forward, as if nothing happened.

A few houses away, I passed a young woman getting into her truck. She looked at me, smiling broadly, and said, "Good morning."

"Good morning," I chirped, wondering if she saw the whole thing and thought look at that old lady doing a neat stunt. Pedaling onward to my meeting downtown, I tugged at my sleeves to cover my hands.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Paying No Mind to Conventions


This is dedicated to the Husband's and my friends—the Young Old Fogeys.
We Do It!
We're too old to do this.
We're too old to do that.
We're too old so some think.
But, we do it.

I'm not a young man.
I'm not a young miss.
Ah. But, we have much bliss
For we do it.

We hike up the hills.
We zip through the trees.
We pedal against the breeze.
We like to do it.

We're too old to do this.
We're too old to do that.
We're too old so some think.
Ha! We do it.
© Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Walking on the Ancient Ocean Floor


A couple weeks ago, some of us young "old fogeys" took our merry selves to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, California, about 45 miles northeast of San Francisco. This park overlooks the Carquinez Strait, an estuary of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers, which drains into the San Francisco Bay. It is a beautiful place to picnic, hike, and check out nature.

Once upon a time, hundreds of millions of years ago, the area was under an ancient sea. And over millions upon millions of years, wondrously wonderful earth changes built up the sandstone hills as well as crushed living matter between layers of rock to form black diamonds. During the last half of the 19th century, the Black Diamond mines were the largest coal mines in California, and from the 1920s to the 1940s,  white silica sand was mined out of the sandstone hills for the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company in Oakland.  

We, young "old fogeys" took a tour of the Hazel-Atlas Mine that afternoon. With our hard hats on, we walked, and climbed a bit, through over 900 feet of the underground mine. We stood in a "room" larger than a two-story house that had been dynamited over and over to scoop up tons of white silica sand. We stopped on wooden bridges, built by park workers, to gaze up and down at other levels of the mine. Every now and then we saw things that looked like square plaques on the walls. Ha! They are not plaques but 6 or 8 foot bolts that are holding up slabs of sandstone walls. Gulp.

For me, one of the most staggering realization was the notion that we were walking on ancient ocean floor. In one part of the mine, one side of the tunnel showed evidence of ancient tidal movement, while the other side was embedded with tiny fossilized sea critters.

Ancient ocean wave action
And, then there was that part of the tunnel where we stood and looked at a fault in the wall. Yeah, as in earthquake. Mind blowing.

That black "line" is an earthquake fault.
To learn more about the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, check out this link. And, here are links to two articles by writers who have explored the park and taken the Hazel-Atlas Mine tour.

Check out other A to Z Challenge
participants by clicking here.