After that Long Walk down Western, I had some blisters. They were in the same spots I had always been getting them, the inner side of my heels. There were layers of the rumpled skin over the weeks, but nothing too bad. This week, the top layers starting peeling off, nothing gross, mind you, just the natural thing. But as I sat on the couch last night picking at the edges of the dried skin, it reminded me of being on the crew team in college. When you row, you get blisters on your hands which you then work up to nice calluses, but there are always little blisters showing up along the way. At morning practice we usually left before the men's teams and tried to arrive back at the dock before them. The guys would yell at us, "STOP PICKING YOUR CALLUSES AND HURRY UP!" And you'd realize that in fact, you do spend a lot of time picking your calluses when you are on crew. It made boring classes go by faster.
Last night at Trader Joe's a song came on the PA -- John Denver singing "You Fill Up My Senses". Talk about a sentimental journey. It took me right back to Jen and being little, when we still lived on Oahu. Mom played his albums over and over and my other sister, Dor, later learned to play guitar and could play all his songs. (Which I thought was unbelievably cool, still do, actually.) I remember going to his Concert at the H.I.C (Now the Neal Blaisdell Center) with Mom and Jen and Jackie and Sloane. Was Betsy there too? Can't remember...anyway...it was awesome! Walking the aisles last night listening to Johnny D made me teary eyed and I would have been fine, but then the next song was "Seasons In The Sun" from that same time period. Lyrics anyone? Yeah "Good bye my friends it's hard to die/when all the birds are singing in the sky..." Thanks TJs, thanks a lot.
But the evening was not awash in tears as I was at TJ's to buy treats for the weekend. Kurt and I are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary (which is on Monday) by staying at a swank hotel right here in town. We are bringing our own little picnic basket with yummy snacks (to save a few $$ on room service) and just relax and not think about a thing all weekend. It's the same hotel we stayed in for two nights when we got married. We called it our Mini-Moon because we didn't go on an actual honeymoon until a year later. Seven years ago I remember lounging around watching whatever was on tv and a rerun of Barney Miller was on. We were enthralled.
We got a Wii Fit a few weeks ago and I started using it recently. I highly recommend it. The exercises are fun because there is so much variety. The strength and yoga exercises are straight forward with a "Trainer" walking you through it all. More fun are the balance and aerobic exercises as they are fun games. My favorite so far is the ski jump. My least favorite is the skiing slalom race.I am really bad at it! Missing gates all the time. I do pretty well on the penguin/fish slide thingy. Yesterday I did a set of boxing exercises and dang if my shoulders and biceps aren't sore this morning! Since it is a game system, as you repeat more of the exercises, new balance or aerobic games are unlocked. I value any exercise system that keeps me interested and coming back. The only downfall is that the program will say things like "I noticed you didn't work out yesterday, Julia, why not?" (or something like that.) But there is no interactive "Hey, I put on my shoes and went for a walk, shut up!" But aside from that, I am enjoying the variety and fun of it.
There has been much wildlife activity in our backyard, more than just squirrels. First there is Groucho, a mostly black cat with white spots, and a mustache that makes him (her?) look like the famed Marx Bro. This is not a feral cat, he's very friendly, especially now that we've started giving him a little food when he comes by, which is about once or twice a week, at most. He has no collar and is very clean and tidy. I'm sure he belongs to someone nearby and is just working our soft spot for cats. There is another cat who cruises through from time to time. We call him Smokey - long hair, smokey gray calico. He is much more aloof, bolts if you step out the door. With all this cat-activity, it doesn't surprise me to see one of them walking along our backyard fence out my window in the mornings. So imagine my double and triple take when I saw this the other day:
Momma Opossum and her four little babies. I know possums can creep people out, but to see one in bright daylight (it was way past their bedtimes) with babies clinging on, I was in love. (You can click for bigger cuteness.) I ran around trying to get pictures of them without scaring her too much. I took the above photo from inside and this one from outside:
I'm hoping she found a snug spot to settle into.