28 Feb: Just as soon as February became the new normal it will be gone tonight at midnight. Short and sweet, that's February but not our days; they are racing by as we pack and prepare to be gone hiking for six months. Younger Next Year is wearing Ron out at the Fitness Center. See you next month!!!
23 Feb: Life is good here in Montgomery, TX. Temperatures overnight allowed cool sleeping, so Ron is again up & at James Lea at 5 AM. (Actually up and at coffee first, e-mail second, blog third, then James Lea - or William or George Lea.)
22 Feb, Sun: Fatigue is apparent with midnight bedtimes and early risings. Vol. 6 Index is so very close to completion. James Lea is in the backseat for now. But, we are being faithful to Younger Next Year by showing up. Speaking of showing up, we did indeed show up for brunch at the Yacht Club, but we could not be seated without reservations because the house was full of reservations - something about a stage reducing seating. Our second choice was brunch at the golf club house; the food does not compare to the fine food at the Yacht Club, and we missed Oscar to cook our omelets. We spent most of the afternoon on our computers before going to the fitness center for an hour's workout. Ron had a second strong showing after being puny (full/upset stomach) for a couple of days. Global Near Frozen will appear in Houston on Tuesday. Rain is forecast for almost every day for the next ten days meaning our motorcycle ride to Raleigh might be postponed due to inclement weather.
21 Feb, Sat: Ron crawled into bed about 3AM after re-working the Vol. 6 index because of too many variant spellings--one alphabet letter at a time-- arising about 8 AM. Vol. 6 MAY be sent to Dropbox yet tonight. We had a lovely day; Ron walked to the Fitness Center while Cynthia baked bread and nursed her feet; the footies are suffering from tendonitis due to daily 4.4 mile hikes on concrete. Will the feet be ok for our BIG hike??? The new Superfeet insoles are helpful; shoulda coulda woulda bought multiple sets to use in all her boots and shoes. Oh, well. The feet will be good by the time we commence hiking the AT. We seldom use the Jacuzzi, but it was wonderful this evening.
20 Feb, Fri: Auuuggghhh. Someone (unnamed) left the keys in the car's ignition last night and the battery was dead this AM. Fortunately, Jon was still home with cables to jump the battery; Cynthia drove the car around the block to recharge the battery a bit. The driveway repair crew cancelled today because the rain forecast is too great. Packing, editing, exercising will continue for more exciting days with the Beatty's. Ron started creating our gear list on Trail Journals besides updating our TJ diary. Notes on the gear: the solar charger charged, the JetBoil appears to be a good purchase and Cynthia reports the LuluLemon Sports Bra is Comfortable. A hiker named Lady Grey recommended 100% Merino wool tees will work for three seasons. Ron's umbrella hat arrived; pictures to come soon. The excitement builds.
19 Feb, Thurs: Off to UPS to return some shoes that won't work, a polar fleece shirt that won't work and the Garmin 920 that worked erratically. The weather on the East Coast will NOT work.
18 Feb, Wed: Cynthia drove to the Woodlands to the orthodontist; she thinks he is wise because he tells her children their mother is an amazing woman. Her plans to spend the rest of the day with her daughter were postponed so we exercised. Imagine that!! The point of Younger Next Year is to keep showing up. Consistency pays off. Boxes of gear are arriving making the afternoon a little like Christmas.
17 Feb, Tues:
16 Feb, Mon: how quickly we forget.
15 Feb, Sunday: In Montgomery, Texas counting down days until departure March 1 towards Harpers Ferry and the AT. We will ride the motorcycle, stop at Mountain Crossing, photo James Lea documents in Raleigh, and be ready to hike by March 17th when warmer overnight lows average above freezing. Jim has graciously agreed to let us park our motorcycle in his garage for the duration, and Cynthia, the veteran on-line shopper, is accumulating gear even as we speak. Pr. Hinkhouse had a marvelous sermon on this Transfiguration Sunday sharing his life experiences of being transformed making the points: Jesus Christ is the center; being transformed cannot be manufactured and it happens within the communion of saints. After such good news we enjoyed brunch with Roxanne and Kiira at the Walden Yacht Club; Jon is sick in bed with a bad cold. Now, back to Vol. 6 since the skies are leaking. Cynthia, have you ordered those rain ponchos yet????
14 Feb, Sat: Happy Valentines Day from the TWOS of US. Our Younger Next Year increased by two minutes this morning as we exercised our hearts fitter at the Fitness Center including the usual 4 mile round trip walk to and from, preceded by breakfast brunch at the Golf Club. Valentines dinner at the same place was delightfully festive with a rose and a filet mignon for the girlie. In between times Ron exercised the motorcycle briefly and returned with coral pink roses for Smooch Smooch. She failed the "you didn't notice" quiz and was surprised to see the updated slide show of recent sunrises and sunsets on Lake Conroe. (On digital photo frame that was a wedding gift from Walt & Pam; many thanks.)
Friday the 13th: Smooch and Smooch Smooch! Marvelous food and service for dinner at the Walden Yacht Club, except we forgot about their noisy Happy Hour revelry. We were also force to sit seated across the table with a vast gulf of dead air between us; we do so prefer to side snuggled against one another.
12 Feb: Good grief, awake at 2 AM in Montgomery, Texas, but Ron had 7 hours sleep already, and there is plenty of coffee needing to be reheated. James Lea calls as soon as e-mails are answered and blog updated. Happy Valentine's Day to my beloved SmoochSmooch; I love you so much. (I wonder which day is actually Valentine's Day; guess that will be the day all the candies go on sale at big discounts. Maybe I can afford roses then.)
11 Feb: Another 5 AM day in Montgomery, Texas. The lake is so foggy this morning that nothing is visible beyond the patio railing. Perhaps we will have another lovely red sunrise like yesterday. (Photo still captive in camera.) (Nope, dense fog only today until late.) Valentine countdown: I love you SmoochSmooch. Mmm! We did indeed have a lovely day with a 4.5 mile walk, round trip, to the fitness center so Ron could sweat enough working out to fill Lake Conroe. The walk on concrete sidewalks has been hard on our bodies -- especially Cynthia's feet when she is hustling. Four pair of new shoes have arrived; we have hopes that hurty feet will soon be permanently banished. The Salomen's are the most comfortable. Her present pair of Vasque Vista which work well for hiking have been joined by a brand new pair. The other two pair will be returned immediately, worlds less comfortable than the Solomons. Ron decided to post a gear list on Trail Journals.com; we looked at Gossamer Gear groundcloth, OutDoorGearLab for solar cell phone charger, AntiGravityGear rain poncho, and Big Agnes tent. We love our Marmot down undie_wear and mittens, ThrmoRest air mattress and down comforter, GoLite and Granite Gear backpacks, and Ron loves his treadbare "layered" clothing. Good night from Cynthia; Ron crashed before finishing one sudoku after his workout this evening. He must plan to become Younger Next Year by sleeping.
10 Feb: And yet here we are again at 5 pm, wide awake and back to work on Ben Rose's books about Caswell County Lea Families. News agrees that N'oreaster did indeed clobber Boston. Today Ron MUST shift gears and begin preparing for departure to Harpers Ferry. We seem agreed to ride the bike so that we can stop at Mountain Crossings in Georgia to acquire needed ultralight gear. Long range weather forecast for Harpers Ferry is cold, but we can sit in Raleigh researching while waiting for warmer weather. Let's hope my beloved is feeling better this morning. Happy Valentines Day sweetie. (Is that enough planning?) Her first (of six !) new shoes arrived; these Solomon's seem to fit her hurty feet perfectly. Cynthia wore the shoes for an hour before bedtime, and the feet felt comfortable until she took the shoes off - then the pain resumed !! Ron is again Younger Next Year for 10 minutes on elliptical at 95-104 bpm; Ron is also exhausted. Where did the day go, it was suddenly 7:30 PM and time to slice and bake sweet potato french fries; the experiment was successful, but the oven needs to be hotter for crispy fries.
9 Feb: Coffee is on at 3:30 AM, kitchen floor swept, cereal quieted the hungry beast, and it is time to resume James Lea (and plan Valentine's Day). Plan ? Who wrote that? Younger Next Year is again the mission, and it is amazing how much effort is required to raise my heartbeat to 100 bpm. After reviewing photos of Wilhelmina Lea's diaries, Ron is ready to resume forward progress on James Lea whilst Cynthia sleeps. Omelet finished, Vol. 6 indexing progressing, fitness center elliptical machining completed with complementary talking while walking to & fro fitness center, a bit more indexing, and after doing the dishes at 10:30 pm, Ron is ready to sleep - it has been a long day. The genealogical highlight of the day was diving in to Chronicling America and discovering nothing useful therefrom, but finding two gems via Ancestry: Vance Mechem is on Find-A-Grave and George B. Mechem is in Pennsylvania death records on Ancestry; both died in 1960. Sistah Carol is excited to track down children for more DNA samples.
8 Feb, Sunday: Rev. Hinkhouse delivered a wonderful sermon promoting distributing the good news. Breakfast buffet at the Yacht Club is always a real treat. Amusing that Ron coached the novice omelet chef to use a little more cooking spray for the egg white veggie omelets; that worked out much better than too little. Next on the agenda was restocking the depleted diet cherry coke supply (plus veggies, flour, cereal, etc. etc.). After a couple of hours proofing Vol. 6 index Ron walked & talked while walking to the fitness center for 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, simultaneously watching TWC live coverage of yet another N'oreaster about to clobber Boston. The disadvantage of a low heart rate (50 bpm at rest) is the amount of effort required to get to 65% of max (99 bpm). After walking home, consulting with the "boss" afoot dinner (skip it), and an hour editing Jonasson vs Jonason in Vol. 6, Ron suddenly became incredibly tired - at 7:30 PM. Good Night. Cynthia, poor dear, is suffering mightly with hurty feets from those blisters. (Mankind's worst enema is continually changing my words.)
7 Feb: The Garmin 920xt is looking good; battery lasted more than 10 hours and still shows 50% charge, heart rate showed reliably, but menus decidedly awkward. After brunch at the Walden Golf Club we walked home to get our workout clothes and walked the 4.5 miles RT to the fitness center, worked up a good sweat, stopped at the yogurt shop followed by lunch at the Caddy Shack. In the meantime, sistah Carol and bro Dean provided non-stop humor by phone. Sistah Carol is just overjoyed that cousin Ray found obituaries for the two John Mechems who died in Belmont County within two years of each other, although the tombstone she found is not our ancestor. Fatigued but busy, Cynthia addressed 75 Save the Date cards for Roxannes birthday party while Ron is indexing. We are too tired to go out to eat, or to Wal-Mart to shop, besides Cynthia's feet are badly blistered - and painful. Online articles from Backpacker are pretty good reading. Only three weeks to go before departure.
6 Feb: We really got younger today after a 4.5 mile RT walk to the fitness center plus using the machines and weights until soaked with sweat. The Garmin 920 works better than the 305. But it is impossible to get an elevated heart rate, even while walking fast to catch up to Cynthia. Party canceled; the birthday girl has the flu; the anticipation of a wonderful dinner at Perry's with Roxanne and Kiira will have to continue until they recover. So instead we enjoyed Mardi Gras Seafood Buffet at the Walden Yacht Club. At 10:30 Ron said he'd be back in an hour and walked the golf course for two hours; one hole out there is surrounded on three and a half sides by water.
5 Feb, Thurs: The Garmin Forerunner 305 was returned. It worked erratically. The Garmin 920 will be tried out today. Brother Dean is sending his Polar heart rate monitor. Free. That's the best kind: free. We exercised. We ate. Volume 6 with 802 pages was sent out via Dropbox. Checking for/ correcting duplications in the index, and then it is done. Done too: We have completed our medical visits, most of the tax info, with four weeks to departure for serious hiking. It is time to get serious about shopping for hiking. (Obviously Cynthia wrote that last sentence, Ron serious about shopping - HA !)
4 Feb, Wed: Etc., Volume 6 is close to completion. James Lea needs a lot more work. After working on our projects we repeated yesterday's schedule apart from breakfast at the Toasted Yolk; and we stopped to rent the car for another month followed by a sweat producing workout at the Fitness Center, lunch at the clubhouse, computer work, another two miles walking, dinner at the Caddy Shack, and now one more walk around the golf course while talking to Ed K. We must be getting younger next year???
3 Feb: Lake house on Lake Conroe, Montgomery, TX. Yup, been here for nearly a month already and we are still working on the same projects. One difference is that this year we are interested in leaving less in storage than last year. That is going to be a BIG challenge since the Christmas reindeer& ornaments are occupying a top shelf. We went to the Toasted Yolk for breakfast yesterday and resupplied the frig with fresh veggies, so today I cooked egg white veggie omelets. Dishes are done, work on James Lea preceded breakfast, so it is now time to create index for Volume 6. Wish me luck. More later. And... Later we worked out at the fitness center actually reaching heart rate goal for a brief time on the elliptical machine. We spotted 13 or more deer leaping off into the bushes on our walk home from the fitness center. Did I mention we are having fun, too?
|Fleurs for Smooch Smooch|
|Once a comedian... always a comedian!|
2 Feb: So it says on this computer. Golly gee, where does the time go? The newest gadget is a Garmin heart rate monitor (discontinued 305 model) that tells me that I cannot achieve "Younger Next Year" simply by walking briskly. My heart rate never climbed above 79 beats per minute; it needs to be above 90. Fooey. Maybe I can carry a couple of cans of beans to do curls while walking. Either that or I'll hafta learn that duck waddle race walking. There, now that Cynthia will be shocked to see that I've updated the blog; it is time to return to editing James Lea. Our lives here in Texas are just too consistent to provide fodder of interest for this blog. I wake up early, make a pot of coffee, drink that while editing James Lea; Cynthia wakes up, I fix omelets & wash dishes, we go for a walk to the Caddy Shack for a late lunch and continue afterwards the fitness center - or vice versa. Then we type or read until dark:thirty and go to bed early. Can you figure some way to liven up that schedule for daily blog posts? I cannot without resorting to fiction. We walked to the fitness center, and even on the elliptical machine for 10 minutes I couldn't get my heart rate above 90. This "Younger Next Year" gig is becoming much more difficult than I imagined.
1 Feb, Sunday: We enjoyed going to Grace Lutheran Church again; pastor Hinkhouse delivered a timely message to spread the good news. Although I grew up Methodist and converted to Southern Baptist during high school, I prefer the Lutheran focus on the grace of God. (Never mind that I don't know who/how/what/or why God is - not my job - my job is simply to Thank God and praise "Him" - and I do that continually). Hmm, let's do the calculation for my heart rate. 220 minus my age (67) gives a "max" of 153. 65% of that is 65+32.5+1.9 = 99. With my knees, I'll need some way besides walking/running to get there. Hard for me to imagine a way that I can get it up to 90%, i.e. 153-15.3 =138