Monthly Archives: January 2016

You Too Can Be Up Close to a Rear Cassette!

Standard

Thanks to a BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage) “Build-a-Bike” class, one can be up close to all the parts of a bicycle and begin the learning curve on how to care for them. A 20 hour commitment to start the education, and a lifetime of riding a bicycle and learning how to fix it! All great fun!

IMG_2146

Bike Paths are to Love!

Standard

When bicycling on a bike path, here’s what to like:
1. Seeing people be active; roller blading, walking, jogging, bicycling. Even blind people can enjoy this space.
2. Knowing the bike path is a valued piece of real estate in a community. You can bicycle many places in the world; paths are available.
3. Seeing people support each other; a victory sign, a thumbs-up, or a hello from one to another. No other language needed beyond a smile.
4. Knowing people are choosing to cycle to the local coffeeshop or farmers market rather than use a motorized vehicle. Follow that person to some place fun!
5. Seeing a person help another person when a tire is flat or a chain is jammed. We all appreciate a helping hand!
6. Knowing there are railroad tracks being converted to bike trails (thanks to people who support Rails to Trails Conservancy).
Simply enjoying outdoor weather, wildlife, camaraderie and to know

Bicyclist on wooden path in Tarifa, Spain.

Bicyclist on wooden path in Tarifa, Spain.

the bike path will be here tomorrow to enjoy alone or with others. Actually, I love it!

Today’s My Dad’s Birthday, but….

Standard
My Dad's hammer represents much to me.

My Dad’s hammer represents much to me.

It’s his birthday today….I will not get to celebrate it as I had done in the past; he died a few months ago. Each new year celebration had been my reminder that his birthday was approaching. I was always grateful for the longevity gene in this family and would then wonder what an 80+ year old person needs/wants for a birthday gift. Would it be a Chicken Soup book, chewable dark chocolate, a historical novel? I would send a card and sometimes a gift, but would always have a phone conversation with him on his birthday. It usually involved what’s the latest there with him and here with me, and my latest home building/maintenance questions?

When younger, my family traveled with the wood-paneled station wagon pulling a trailer. There were skills gained during those adventures that translated to much of my success while camping, backpacking or traveling the world and needing to know how to feel comfortable in new situations. Even though my Dad taught Industrial Arts to male students, because that was the day when only boys had that class, my Dad taught his 4 girls how to use a saw, hammer, screwdriver, etc and it was no surprise to me to see my siblings all have a strong science background.

My Dad helped me with every apartment and house repair, even showing up at times to lend a hand with the actual job or providing me insight to solve concerns. We once put a bay window into an Adirondack shack I owned and built an outhouse there! We painted rooms at a rental property, and gutted and rebuilt an entire kitchen at another house. (Although when I left for work one day, I returned home to discover every exterior window with repainted shutters, RED ones! He was convinced they sold the house.)

I will miss his conversations and help as I currently work on a new home construction. Of course he would say, there would be little to do with new construction! Yet he had discovered that would not be true, since we did have a project list for him at our last new home.

This year I dedicate all volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity to my Dad. I have his hammer, his work ethic, and his joy and love of creating something constructive with and for other people, no matter who they are. While I will always miss my Dad, this can be a good year! My heart will be with his hammer and we will work as one. Build on!

Five Years Later; In Remembrance.

Standard
IMG_2127

John Green unveiling a plaque for all to remember his daughter and why this green space is important for us all.

I do not remember where I was 5 years ago when I heard about a shooting at a Tucson Safeway store. I heard people were gathered outside there to listen to Gabby Giffords speak, this young girl: Christina-Taylor Green was one individual in attendance. Gabby was severely injured, Christina-Taylor was killed and many other spectators were part of the horrific moment.

Now five years later there is a section of the Tucson bike path with an area, and future cacti garden, to commemorate Christina-Taylor’s memory. Her father, John Green, spoke about his family’s use of the recreational areas nearby and their use of the bike path. The family has plans to continue developing a couple of acres of land here with everyone’s financial support.

The bicycling group I was with the day of this presentation did bike ride to attend this plaque unveiling and rode to the Safeway store where flowers were present. It’s unfortunate we in the USA are still amidst such gun violence, but I have hopes we will always remember those we have lost and work toward a safer USA.

When’s Your Golden Hour?

Standard

I am figuring this “golden hour” out for myself because my time seems to fill and often burst with to many things to do in short time. I think I should have a golden hour … what would it involve and/or look like? I wondered too if others have a “golden hour”, or does time just fill with no special acknowledgment, but instead the usual work, play, cocktail hour?

Within my American Red Cross course, I am reminded of the medically-referred golden hour: when prompt medical care must be provided someone within an hour or less of their medical emergency to hopefully prevent his/her death. And then too, within my photography work its reference to the golden hour: time shortly after sunrise or before sunset when a photographer hopes to capture a softer, redder daylight compared to time when the sun is higher in the sky.

That’s it! I need an hour or less when it is imperative to react to a behavior, or to act on a regular basis to a specific time of day. When working, I had limited time in a day so I felt there was little precious time for myself… just do and do … and occasionally catch my breath for the relaxing moment. Now with so much available time, other things fill my time: volunteering, tennis, road bicycling, tai chi, reading, etc and yet I believe I should have a golden hour each day. Does anyone agree?

My golden hour may be time to think with no interruption. A quiet, reflective time; maybe even meditative. I am not sure yet, but I plan to chisel a time per day, at a minimum, to listen to my brain. I have ideas that need sorting; thoughts that need encouraging; nonsense that needs deleting. I do not want to do these things while I fall asleep at night. I need a golden hour.

When’s your golden hour? Are you a reactor creating your time, or do you act each day at the same time with a special activity? Please feel free to comment. I am interested in your ideas.

New Year, New Start!

Standard

I am fully retired from working, but not retired from life!

My “work” now will be fun on a tennis court, riding a bicycle, learning how to use my camera, and volunteering for special projects around the world. And once again, understanding how to blog with informative written pieces about the environment, a photograph where I challenge myself to learn a new technique, or to just write a commentary about whatever because a thought possesses me and I want to share.

I like new years; I like new starts. It allows me to start fresh and so it will go with this blog! With my right effort, I hope to enjoy it all!