Our weather has been exceptionally changeable this week. On Sunday, for example, we woke up to nice sunny skies, but by the time I was ready to go out, it was cold and rainy again. However, yesterday was gorgeous, so Maja and I did a nice-day hike we’ve never taken before, the Columbia River Dike Trail. It’s completely flat along the top of a dike, but it’s long enough to get a good walk in. We did not go all the way but managed to hike about 5.5 miles. The trail follows the Columbia River west toward the gorge, and although it is industrial next to the trail for a while, when you get up next to the Steigenwald Wildlife Reserve, the industrial sites are gone. Hanging above us for our entire hike was Mt. Hood. We have had a lot of rainy days this year but not so many really beautiful days like this.
On the way back to the car, we encountered two women who were putting Mardi Gras beads around people’s necks. What a fun thing to do. I had forgotten it was Fat Tuesday, as Mardi Gras is much more present down in Texas than here.
Another major thing going on this week is that Friday we got our Sleep Number bed delivered. I have to confess to mixed experiences with it. So far, I have had one good night of sleep and a couple of uncomfortable nights. I don’t think I’ve figured out my sleep number yet. Wayne is still waking up in the middle of the night but says he’s sleeping a little longer. Part of what’s hard to get used to is not having a three-inch memory foam pad on the bed anymore. I’m used to sinking into our bed a few inches and then having support underneath. We could cut a slit in the top of the pad (we bought a top-split bed because of Wayne’s sleep apnea), and put the pad back on, but the bed is supposed to keep us cooler at night, and those pads make you hotter. There’s no point in making the bed not be able to perform one of its functions. I get hot enough at night.
Lately, I’ve been getting a little bit back into creativity by editing my brother John’s book manuscript. He tends to make the same types of grammatical and punctuation errors, so I’m making him work by explaining the rules to him and making him search for the changes. He says he’s learning something. The thing that makes editing boring is that almost all amateur writers (and some professional ones) make the same mistakes over and over. They’re just different mistakes from other people’s. I worked on his earlier draft a bit, but then he told me to stop because he’d rewritten it extensively. I can’t really tell the difference. I think he’s telling a good story. He just has a few little writing quirks to clean up, and he really likes complicated sentences.
Lukey did really well in dog class both on Saturday and on Monday night, heeling mostly off leash and then doing an exercise where we put the dog on place, walk away and call them, and then walk off and ask them to heel as they approach. Then we walk back toward their place and stop well back from it to send them to place. He pretty much perfectly did this exercise every time, completely off leash, just trailing his little leash behind him, except that sometimes he came to heel on my wrong side. (He’s supposed to be on my left.) The only time he broke when he was supposed to be on place was one time when another dog owner called her dog in a really high-pitched voice. For some reason that made several dogs break and run toward their owners, Luke among them. Still, I can see that I’m closer to the point when I’ll be able to take Luke off-leash to places like the beach and he’ll just follow me around. Of course, I’ll always have a leash handy in case I need one.
Starting next Monday, Luke will miss his Monday night classes for a month, because I am going to be attending a tai chi class in Orchards, a suburb of Vancouver. I’m doing this because Wayne was told by his physical therapist that tai chi would be good for him. I tried to get him to go to my class when it started, but it’s a four-month class, and now they won’t let new people in until the next one starts. So, for a month we’ll go to the class in Orchards, and I will also continue to go to my Wednesday class in Battle Ground, then in April Wayne will start over again when the beginning Battle Ground class restarts. I can already tell I will need to repeat the beginning class, maybe even several times, before I go into something more advanced. I am slow to learn anything physical.