About Us

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Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Every year is getting shorter....

Saturday morning. The first Saturday, and weekend for that matter, in over 2 months that Lorrie and I haven't had anything planned. Wow, it's felt like  we've  been living out the last 8 lines of Pink Floyd's song "Time", since our return from the Feb trip:

"And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say"

Ah, but I do have more to say and most of it will be connected to time and how fast it goes.

  We just got our November trip squared away (we haven't gotten Feb. started yet. We're way, way behind.) We'll be staying in La Hueca this time, another  trip to jumping rock might be in order or maybe just more exploring of that coastline. Lorrie and I are trying to buy property in that barrio, property which she hasn't even seen yet. So that's another reason for the La Hueca stay. If and when it ever comes to fruition I'll tell you all about the saga it's becoming. Lot's of fodder for a blog post there.

It looks like Cape Air will not offer that early morning flight out of Vieques anymore. The 7:30am departure allowed us to arrive back home as early as 4pm, now it's  more like 9pm. All of the carriers we use either have a 9am connecting flight in SJU or something much later, like 3pm.  We'll miss being able to leave early.

This spring marked a milestone for Jessica, her completion of an undergraduate degree. Originally we were all going to fly to Vieques to celebrate. It was Jessica, upon her high school graduation, that steered me to Vieques and began this love affair Lorrie and I have with the island.  Instead Lorrie and Jessica flew out to this swanky resort/spa in Utah, Red Mountain Resort. it was Jessica's choice. The idea of spa treatments, pedicures and stone massages just didn't flip my switch. They were able to spend some wonderful mother/daughter time, between the sore muscles,  blisters (there was a 3 mile morning hike every day) and some "way out there" spa treatments.

While those two were enjoying adobe lavender hydrating cocoon body wraps (yes...they do those at Red Mountain Resort), I was in Vieques, solo.  I wrote about it here Vieques Solo.

After that we dove straight into summer.  This summer has been one of the wettest and coolest I can ever remember here in Indiana.  I mow quite a lot of lawn and I take great pride in the way ours looks, being sure to follow strict mowing patterns that create diamond like grass strips.

I have come upon a formidable enemy this year in my quest to maintain our lawn. Maybe because of all the rain or because our lawn has become so lush, I dunno, but word has gotten out and I've been invaded by a motley crew of moles that are hell bent on destroying what I've created over the last 20 years. This is the first time  I've ever had moles and it's not just the lawn either, they've invaded the landscaping beds.

That's my lawn chair ( one of many, I might add, that are spread out over the yard) where I sit vigil, hoping to catch one of the little stinkers at work.  In all the hours I've logged on "mole patrol" (that what Lorrie calls it) I've only managed to get one. They on the other hand continue to claim more territory. both from their industry and my continually unsuccessful excavation of my once glorious lawn. I feel like Bill Murry in  Caddyshack:

Between mole hunting excursions  we did find the time to move Jessica into her apartment for med school and attend her white coat ceremony. It's been an amazing journey up to this point and I just can't imagine what lies ahead for her:

The garden this year has been just amazing. We've never seen so much produce as a result of our own hands. I thank gawd that the moles haven't found the garden yet!

The summer is just about over for us. There are subtle reminders around me, I just have to take the time to notice them. Last evening as was walking around the yard, taking a break from mole patrol, I noticed the monarch caterpillars all  over the butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). 

I have, in the past, allowed the common milkweed plant to grow in our landscaping beds, much to the disdain of my mother, who's a master gardener. Not a lot of them, just enough for the monarchs. We also have two different types of milkweed in the prairie, out in front of the house. I mention all of this because of the real threat to the monarchs. Their numbers have dropped dramatically in the last 5 years. In case you didn't know, monarch migrate to central Mexico and California,  where they over winter. It's a fantastic sight to see. The single most damaging factor in the decline is said to be lost of habitat, especially milkweed. For more info on Monarch butterfly decline check out Monarch Watch

I remember when we bought our property and I turned the front 5 acres into prairie. A number of the local farmers were amazed how I could take perfectly good farm ground and turn it into a weed patch.  Well, this is one of the reasons. Time and time again I've read about loss of habitat from modern "efficient" farming and it's impact on wildlife and ecosystems. In a small way Lorrie and I are trying to create a little oasis.  I'm not saying that everyone should turn their yards into prairie or that farmers should stop using herbicides, there just has to be a balance.  So the next time you see that milkweed plant coming up in your landscaping, think about leaving it. Then keep an eye on it towards late summer and see if you find the caterpillars. You'll know that in a small way your helping the monarchs survive.

Lastly today marks 28 years I've been with my wife, 33 together. My grandmother always told me that it just speeds up the older you get. A few years ago my grandmother gave me two newspaper clippings she had kept for nearly 25 years. They appeared in our local newspaper on consecutive days. First day was my picture, the next was Lorries. It was from when  we were in college, a long time ago and was just a fluke that the newspaper photographed us on consecutive days . I didn't know my grandmother had kept them.  These have to be circa 1982, or so.

We keep them in a glass bookcase shelf now.

“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
                                                                                   ― Dr. Seuss


Monday, August 11, 2014

O'Captain, my Captain....

The world lost a comedic genius today. How someone could bring so much joy and happiness to so many people, yet be unable to find any for himself....well...it's just so sad.

RIP Robin... you'll be missed.