What a surprise – attempting to gain weight is just as frustrating as when trying to lose weight. I couldn’t guess the number of times I’ve stood in the grocery store debating whether to pick up that bag of Chips Ahoy, candy or that carton of ice cream, most of the time I can successfully walk away settling for some 1% low fat chocolate milk and a bulk bag of dry children’s cereal. (Want a great recipe for quick DIY chocolate pie? Ritz crackers and a chocolate pudding cup.)

My last couple of shopping trips have been quite different though – no apprehension about the purchase and of consumption of ice cream and cookies or the frozen dinners with lots of rich cheese and sauces – I WANT SOME WEIGHT BACK! lol Yup, gaining is as slow as losing but I’m afraid if I don’t stay on top of the situation and monitor it carefully I could take a short nap and wake up 200+lbs! lol

Don’t believe there’s any serious physical damage from that strenuous excursion or anything but it sure is strange eating things I’ve always made great effort to avoid because I didn’t want to tip the scales over my desired weight. Yup, never say never…wanting to gain weight! ha!

Body/skin lotion. That’s another purchase I rarely make as I still have bottles and tubes of the stuff abandoned by my Mom and various guests who left the stuff behind. No sense in purchasing what I already had somewhere even if I didn’t use it but on the desert and suddenly realizing my skin (entire body actually) was indeed beginning to exhibit clear signs of fluid loss I began going through the traditional places searching for relief. First aid kit? Nope. Glove compartment? Nope. Tool box? Nope. Finally found a tube of some Coconut sunburn relief lotion underneath the pickup’s folded back seat. I kid you not – felt as though I had discovered gold and admit to pausing for a moment and looking up to say “Oh thank you Dear Lord” as I smeared the stuff over my dry and cracked fingertips and hands – rest of the body could wait. My hands were shot. The last few mornings there even had great difficulty in lacing up my boots for the work day. Couldn’t find my bottle of brush-on New Skin so I used a comparable spray medication I bought for Liz when she has abrasions or small cuts on her paws.

WEIGHT LOSS UNDOUBTEDLY RELATED TO EXTREMELY LIMITED BEER CONSUMPTION. (What a shocker!) Yup, although I had plenty of it on hand it was not appealing working in that heat. [Perhaps the added 3,500′ in elevation made an impact as well?] Besides, productivity always goes down with alcohol consumption – that’s why it’s best towards the end of the day – like a celebration of what’s been learned and/or accomplished. The few cans I actually did open were rarely finished (warm beer isn’t too appealing to me [I like my mountain “blue” lol] – but once out of the ice chest and opened must be consumed rather quickly – and slamming beer has never been an activity I’ve pursued) – No, I wanted Gatorade, water or a cold Mountain Dew. Yes, I know the “Lew Dew” is not good for hydration issues, but it tasted good and provided some needed extra energy – and those I could put away rather quickly before turning desert warm. At one point (between ice runs) even used melted ice chest water to make some instant lemonade with a powder mix. Not bad if one didn’t mind whatever the wind might have blown into the chest when open. Next trip going with an AC/DC cooler as “ice runs” were quite inconvenient due to the rough roads and time required – plus in that exceptional heat ice only lasted a day or so. Please don’t think I am complaining, as the experiences (even negative ones) were exactly what I was seeking in adequately discovering and evaluating such an environment for the possibility of another place to call home.

Dramatic changes in weather with the customary afternoon cycling of strong winds from one direction then another and the only shade was what I brought with me. No large trees with canopies to keep the shaded ground underneath cooler than the rest of the radiating ground and because my shade cloths were much smaller than the shade produced by a large tree, as the Sun moved across the sky so did my little patch of shade thus the ground never had sufficient time to cool down a bit. (NOTE) Next time – more shade cloth over a larger area which can be rather tricky in adequately securing with those oscillating strong winds. Seriously, it’s just like the old expression, “If you don’t like the weather wait 15 minutes”! lol

I was particularly surprised when a very light rain fell for just a couple of minutes (you were so right Cousin S!) – just like someone had turned on a large swamp cooler or lower functioning air conditioner, and once again with head tilted back while looking up in acknowledgment while that misty rain spotted my sunburned face and sunglasses, I softly expressed my appreciation and thanks. Funny how the little things in life that are taken for granted so often can be transformed into wonderful (and necessary) blessings you might not have ever experienced but for the placing of yourself in a challenging foreign environment. Yes, I’m learning much and look forward to more desert educational lessons. Flash canyon debris flows? Good heavens I never would have guessed such tremendous power would have been released in that area to reshape the landscape as it did in July. Sorry I missed that geologic show because it undoubtedly was a major event without comparison in the last four decades or so. Yes indeed, a dramatic desert environment on multiple fronts.

Anyway, last night I was sitting in the recliner planning various other projects I won’t be able to complete in the time I IMAGINE I COULD IF I REALLY APPLIED MYSELF (LOL) [old fart rationalization] when I glanced over at a bottle of Lubriderm sitting on the coffee table I bought while grocery shopping for those weight gaining substances usually avoided. I swallowed another mouthful of Strawberry ice cream then began massaging the lotion in to my still extremely dry hands and fingers when a humorous thought emerged from the grey matter in my re-hydrating brain. Why not? Haven’t touched the guitar in months and it might even be good for my hands and fingers anyway – shouldn’t be too strenuous as I only know a few chords anyway……

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