It's been hot. And it's only rained a couple short bursts, enough to jack that humidity! Whew! It feels like what I remember July and August feeling like. Hot, dry, dead grass, wilted leaves, dogs laying on their sides in one spot so long they make a little puddle with their hot, wet breath. It's hot enough that to check the mail-a walk so short I have often gone without bothering to put on pants-I put my hair up, slather on sunscreen and have gone so far as to use an umbrella to shade my hide a bit.
I have been sort of productive. I borrowed a steam cleaner and made myself ill cleaning the carpets. It was hot and gross, the cleaner was much better than any I have used before and the amount of sheer mud it sucked up from the dirt that filters under the carpet was appalling. I did 3 runs and the last was just as bad as the first as far as the amount of fine silt that poured out. And the dog hair!
Washed the baseboards, the bricks, the cabinets and Matt mopped the kitchen floor. Then I made cake because it's his birthday today. Devil's food with chocolate marshmallow icing. It was not half bad and there's 3 slices left on the island, just waiting... I have to think it through.
Had lunch with Daddy last Thursday and walked with Karen on Wednesday. We did 7 miles, which is pretty good for this heat. The week before, we went swimming and Matt and I walked at the track a couple times. Other than that, I have been home reading, organizing, planning and ordering stuff. And sitting in front of a box fan. We mowed, Ben and I have been messing with the dog pool which has been taken over by frogs. 17 at last count. The dogs are drinking out of one of my big mixing bowls, which is a PITA because they need refills 2-3 times in a day. That's why I bought them a pool 3 years ago-I can wash it out once a week and refill it every 2-3 days instead of morning, noon and night!
The new boat dock, it has a jumping platform, which I did not even go look over. eeee! It's not heights, it's the water closing over the top of my head. It skeeves me right out!
Nia was given 1 week to live, I mean given a bath, last week.
Look at that face, UGH. She's so the drama hound.
After our HOT walk, Karen said, "Wow, you look pretty good!" in response to "How hideously sweaty am I?" We went out to eat anyway.
I like to think sweat is melting fat, but the scales beg to differ.
I have more shoes on the way. I have tried on so many trail shoes and I have sent them all back. So many have safeguards against pronating and it ends up meaning they press the side of my foot just above my arch. I wore a pair of Sauconys in the house for about 10 minutes and I had a red spot. Those were the worst, but they all do it. My beloved boots SHREDDED my left heel (it looks like leather now), I was looking at trail shoes to lighten my load, but the only brand left is Keens and they are just as heavy as my boots. hahaha! Oh well, Matt swears by them because they are made for Fred Flintstone, the toe space is phenomenal. As long as his toes only hear vague rumors of a shoe nearby, he's happy. I like toe room, but I need that arch support. Just, apparently, not ALL the arch support.
I bought a stack of National Geographic maps. At $10 a pop, they are so pricy I usually just print out the sections we plan to hike via the internet but I decided $10 was WAY cheaper than 'totally lost'. When Chan and I were in VA, We just had the map for the section we were hiking, in fact we walked off the map at one point, went around a curve and popped back on it 1/8 mile later. But we did not explore beyond the boundaries because-who knows what trail went where? They were all marked at turnings, but no mileage or destination indicated. There was a young man who spotted us at an overlook from down in a valley and he waved us down and slogged up the hill to see if we knew where we were...or actually, where he was. I decided I would like that very information at hand all the time, so I bought maps to cover the Jefferson National Forest and Mt Rogers, Springer and Cohutta, Chattahoochee National Forest and specifically the Tellico/Ocoee areas of Cherokee National Forest.
While there are 19 maps for Tennessee, there are 0 for Alabama. Not even for the Pinhoti! The Pinhoti trail crew has their own set of maps which are HUGE and cost a fortune. And I will buy those at some point, too. I have map apps on Matt's old smart phone (which I have inherited), but only an idiot would trust there will always be a signal (there isn't) and a way to recharge as needed. I don't want to be a slave to the socket and have to plan my hikes around recharging and I am not hauling a solar charger around, mainly because I am not planning on walking in the sun any more than I have to! When they perfect that generator that goes in your shoe and stores power via walking, I will look into it. Still won't mean I don't need a map! I will say, the AT is well marked-until it isn't. There were a couple sections just in Grayson that had us confused and from reading blogs, I am seeing that nearly everyone walks off the AT at some point and wanders around until they find it again. Trails overlap, share a corridor and then careen off, cross and recross...there's ALWAYS good use for a map. Even if it's just to see the next water source.
Anyway, that's the news. We are headed out after these storms move through, going to swim and do some very minor backpacking. Be back for the weekend because I don't fancy being out on a holiday! I can't even think of anywhere that would not be packed, other than home in front of my fan. hahaha!