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Happy belated 85th! by Leah Jean
Uncle Jr., hope you have recovered from all the wild partying and that your health is doing better. Wow, I didn't even know that you had been in an auto accident before and had metal plates in your head!

And, Janell, you poor individuals down there in Irving with that nasty hail! Ugh! I'll bet the insurance companies are having all kinds of fun this year with all the nasty weather. We just hit 105 (about 115 heat index) yesterday and 103 today with high humidity. Don't think we quite broke any records but it has been just miserable. The stores and movie theaters are doing great business because no one can stand being outside. But I'm sure all you people down south are going "big deal" considering what the temperatures have been down there.

And speaking of movies went and saw the final Harry Potter film again but this time in IMax. It is excellent! The best of the lot! Very good special affects, full of action, and very emotional. There were a couple of times towards the end of the movie you could hear people sniffing a little. Fortunately I hadn't reread the final book in several years so a lot of things I didn't remember. [I'm rereading it now though.] Which made me appreciate even more the writing skills of J.K. Rowling with all of the wild plot twists and turns. The acting was quite good too. Okay, most of the "children" (several are no longer) will never win any Oscars but Daniel Radcliff is getting better and better. But then he is really working hard at making a career out of acting. If any of you watched the last Tony Awards show (which was just amazing fun!) he came out and did a song and dance number with a large cast since he is now on Broadway staring in the revival of "How to Win at Business Without Even Trying". I think a lot of people were quite surprised at how good he did! He can sing pretty descently and he was keeping up with all of those professional dancers very well! The whole Tony's show was great though because it was pretty much one long advertisement for the different shows. They also brought back some old production numbers with their casts which made it even more fun!

Fortunately a couple of friends at work have taken up a new hobby that works well with the weather ... kayaking. That is, if you go out early in the morning or evening right now. And they went out and bought a couple of kayaks that come in 3 pieces that can be snapped together to make 1 or 2 seat boats. So they invite me along sometimes. We paddled out in one of the wide rivers that feeds into the ocean a few weeks ago. Kind of fun looking at all the nice houses with their docks and big boats. I was temped to buy a kayak at first. But I would have difficulty handling one myself, don't have any place to store one, and don't have any way to cart it around. Guess those are pretty good reasons. ;)

But there is a state park about 5 miles from my house where I can rent a kayak and paddle around the descent sized lake. It is good exercise and kind of peaceful ... when there aren't too many paddle boats around. Tourists. [I'm such a snob.] You also have to watch out for the people fishing along the banks. Personally I don't think there are any fish in that lake anymore 'cause I've never seen anyone reel anything in.

I did make one mistake at the lake the other day though. When picking out a rental kayak I picked one that was smaller then the rest. Figured it would be lighter and easier for me to move in and out of the water. Well ... yes and no. Unfortunately it was a little narrower which made it a bit unstable for someone my size. I was fine until returning to the cement docking area. I knew I was in trouble when I was trying to stand up and could feel the boat pitching forward. Ker-splash! Fortunately the water only came up to my waist but I went in head first so I got thoroughly soaked. Ugh. Nasty old lake water! Fortunately a very nice young man who was wondering around with his son helped me get the water filled kayak back out of the water. Me in the water pushing up while he pulled on the shore. [The cement dock extended about 1.5 feet above the water.] Man, was the kayak heavy and kind of hard to get the water out of it! The guy kept saying, "I knew I should have asked you if you needed help getting out of the boat." Oh well. ;) After finally getting out of the water and taking care of the boat, I didn't want to get into my car until I had dried off some. Unfortunately I had a knit sleeveless top, sneakers, and jeans on. I literally sloshed when I walked. And the floor of the lake was muddy. Eeeeeew! Picked out a bench and periodically rung out my shirt and socks and let them drip for awhile. After about a half hour I felt safe to get in my car without dripping all over everything. Also had brought an extra towel which came in real handy.

Tell you what. I was having no trouble beating the heat that day since I was so soaked. But I wouldn't recommend this method for people who want to beat the heat.

Stay cool!


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