With so many coniferous trees here in western Oregon our autumns aren't exactly spectacular panoramas of color everywhere you look. I've been back in New England in the early Fall and even then there's more color there than I've ever seen out here. But just about every year Dear Hubby and I take a Saturday and go for a long drive up onto some rather remote logging and mountain roads in the Mt. Hood National Forest. We go there when the Vine Maple are at their peak before their leaves drop off. I dunno...maybe I'm strange, maybe because I grew up out here in the Pacific Northwest, but I think I prefer our autumns. Instead of scarlets and russets and golds and oranges every which way you turn, almost overwhelming you with their abundance...well, I kind of like taking a turn on a mountain gravel road and seeing a valley hundreds of feet deep suddenly appear with splashes and slashes of brilliance tucked in among the huge Douglas Firs. Kind of like God decided to flick His paintbrush when He got to our part of the world. Maybe He got a little overwhelmed, too, but didn't want to leave us totally colorless out here, either, and gave us just enough for us to say, "Thank You!"
As I climbed out of bed this morning Dear Hubby's first words to me were, "Good grief, a stiff wind would blow you away!" Maybe besides bras I need to pick up some new sleep shirts? The one I had on this morning was big enough for two of me to fit into comfortably, ha! I asked him, "Have I lost that much weight?" and he said yes, I have...it's very noticable. This is kind of a weird place for me to be. Losing weight in the past was always a huge struggle for me and to lose what I have just in the past few months...well, my mind hasn't caught up with it all yet. I know I feel lighter but I spend next-to-no time in front of mirrors so I haven't taken a good look at myself to readjust my head to my body image. I want to reassure you that I am eating but this time around I'm taking my doctor's advice and eating smaller portions, less salt, less fat, and drinking lots of water and juice. The last time I saw my regular doctor he'd told me he wanted me to lose 10 pounds before I see him in December when he's planning on doing fasting blood work on me. When he'd given me my pre-surgical physical before my hysterectomy my good cholesterol was low and my bad cholesterol was high. Since my Dad and his mother both died of strokes, Dr. S said I'm 'predetermined' to have this problem genetically in my system. So...by losing the weight - which is already gone - and cutting back on salt I'm hoping the new results in December will show some kind of improvement.
Don't you hate running in to someone at the store who you don't know very well but you both feel compelled to chitchat as you stand in line because to ignore each other would be rude? And yet you don't know each other enough to make it an easy conversation? I had such a thing happen when I went back to Fred Meyer to buy another hummingbird feeder this morning. A lady from my church came up behind me in line. She's related to people who I do know rather well but my path and this lady's have crossed only a couple of times in the past 20 years. And she's the type of conversationalist who, as soon as you get something out of your mouth, kind of jumps in there before you've finished your thought. So as I was walking out to my truck I'm muttering to myself, "Now, THAT was awkward!" I felt like I'd been tripping all over my tongue. People who aren't good listeners always make me feel a little off-balance. I get flustered and lose my train of thought and feel like they're not really interested in me. So I get tongue-tied or, even worse, become a blathering motor mouth. Depends on the other's personality, I guess, as to whether I clam up or chatter like a magpie.
This thought came to my mind this week while I was out walking Chloe dog. Four people have lost their spouses on our street this year...four!!! Two wives and two husbands. That's a rather sobering thought. One was from complications of being diabetic, one was from complications from several strokes over the past few years, and one was from tongue cancer and the other from breast cancer. Then I've had my physical problems and the husband of another neighbor has had his, too...it seems like most of his and my conversations center around how we're feeling on any particular day, ha! When we moved in to this neighborhood 26 years ago most of us were in our 20s, 30s, and 40s. Now we're all falling apart! A bit of good news, tho...I got a statement from our health insurance provider and the $18,980 bill from my gall bladder surgery has been paid in full. Amen!!!
I got an email from my younger brother a few days ago. He'd been down in the Bodega Bay area of California on a vacation where he was going out on boats to tag Great White Sharks for research. He came back with all his fingers and limbs intact. And a huge respect for those magnificent creatures. He's taking off tomorrow for a couple of weeks of bird watching in Ecuador. In the Amazon River basin. I never dreamt the little guy I taught to read at the age of 4 would grow up to be such an adventurer.
Should I quit rambling and do some housework? *Sigh* I suppose so. Dear Hubby is sighting in rifles at a rifle range he belongs to. My daughter' working. At least my grocery shopping is over and done with and everything's put away. I'd much rather sit here and listen to the stereo, read the good book I'm reading, and watch the birds at the feeders. Maybe I'll do that for an hour or two. The housework will still be there when I'm done with that. And no one really cares whether it gets done except me, anyway. I'll go put on the coffee.