Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Week 26 - Small Town Life

It was a week of small town fun. At least I got some gardening done.

Tuesday was going to be the last nice day before more blazing heat set in and since I had half a vacation day in the bank (I hate having uneven days!), I decided to take Tuesday afternoon off. I called my hairdresser from the road and she could fit me in so I was coiffed and working in the yard by 2:00. Since we’d had so much rain, the weeding was easy so I moved my car to the street and cleaned all the driveway cracks then started in on the weed trees. I’d bought Roundup Gel, which looks like a big roll on deodorant and is the perfect solution when I can’t spray the weed trees growing amongst my perennials. I took one small break but otherwise was outside until 6:00, heading inside exhausted and in need of water and a shower. I was so tired that I was falling sleep at 8:45 so went to bed at 9:00, sleeping like a rock until 3:30.

Did I mention that it’s illegal to park in the street overnight in Wahoo? I saw there was a ticket on my windshield at 3:30. Whatever! I never fell back asleep so puttered all morning until my doorbell rang at 6:45. Huh? I went to the door to find the sheriff and a police officer (2 different branches of law enforcement mind you and most likely the entire overnight contingent.) One of my neighbors had seen my car in the street and my garage door open and sent the cops to check on me. Ha! I was actually touched but what a hoot, right? Small town living.

But it gets better! I was telling my PT the story on Friday and was wondering out loud which neighbor it was, figuring it was one of the 2 across the street who could see my garage being open. Well, he’d already heard the story from my neighbor Kim (one of the 2 I’d suspected) so I was the talk of the town. I’m going to make Kim a pie and take it over on the 4th as a thank you. It’s nice to know my neighbors are looking out for me.

Otherwise it was a pretty normal week. I bailed on Thursday’s swimming in favor of going to a bad French movie at The Ross with Cindy. I finished PT on Friday so am calling my shoulder as good as it’s going to be. And then it was the weekend.

It was still hotter than Hades on Saturday but there were storms coming that would break the heat. Andrea and I were heading to Omaha Saturday afternoon for errands and knitting at Lori’s. Having hit Penzey’s, Michael’s and Trader Joe’s, we got to Lori’s ~3:00 and happily knitted the afternoon away, paying zero attention to anything. Oops! When we left at almost 7:00, there were ominous clouds in the west – the direction we were travelling. The skies opened up just as we left Omaha and we drove home in torrential rain. It was so bad that cars were pulling over to wait it out but Andrea kept her eyes on the white line (it was all we could see) and kept going at 25 mph. It had let up by the time we got to my house but it was a harrowing, hour long drive. It rained on and off all night and there was another 1.5” in my gage to add to the 4.5” from last week. Sheesh!

At least the heat had broken and Sunday was gorgeous! I opened the windows and did something I haven’t done in more than 2 years – mowed my own lawn. John, my friend’s son who mows for me, was away so I got out the mower, which started right up, and mowed. It felt great and I got every little nook and cranny done. I tried to cut more weed trees afterwards but the bugs were so bad that I gave up pretty quickly. It was such a pleasure just to enjoy the fresh air and having the windows open. All good. Just two more months of heat to get through. I can make it.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Week 25 - Lots of Rain

It was a pretty normal week. Except for the rain. Inches and inches of rain.

This was actually not a bad thing because I was on watering duty at Lorri's house, which is not an insignificant task because she has a huge yard and many, many containers. I had watered Sunday night and was on deck through Thursday. When the forecast called for rain everyday, I lucked out. I did go check everything on Monday and smartened up on Tuesday, pulling out the few plants that were under eaves. It was raining so hard on Wednesday that I didn't even check and on Thursday I dumped water out of containers without holes and watered nothing. We'd had 3+ inches at that point and it rained again on Friday so the weekly total was 4.5". Nice.

Otherwise it was PT twice, swimming on Wednesday and FEC (Friday Eve Club) on Thursday instead of swimming. A bunch of us from the office went to the new Green Flash brewery by campus and I had hands down best chicken sandwich I've ever eaten. Everyone else ordered burgers and were served but no sandwich. After 5 minutes, I asked the server and he'd forgotten to put my order in. Free sandwich! That was a nice touch because I thought their food was pricey (by Nebraska standards anyway.) It was worth the wait. It was so yummy that Lana got one to go for her husband. Here are the details.

I had a busy weekend, choosing to cram everything in on Saturday so I wouldn't have to leave the house on Sunday. First up was a run to Fremont to pick up canning jars from the house we'd helped clear the sewing room of last weekend. Andrea had wanted the jars but was out of town so I was on delivery duty. I got there at 11:30 and spent awhile chatting with Jerry and then went home for a quick lunch and clean up so I could meet Anne in Lincoln at 2:30 for Rene's open house to celebrate her son's wedding. The sun came out for the first time in days as I was driving south. It was a fun event and it was nice to meet Rene's son. I then braved WalMart to pick up a few things I hadn't wanted to get on Amazon. I dropped Andrea's jars (boxes and boxes of them) at her back door and was done for the weekend.

Sunday was chore day. Go figure. I needed to give some serious attention to housework so got my laundry done and hanging on the line then started. Bathroom first then all the floors - sweep, swiffer, vacuum and wash. I was sweating profusely but the house looked good when I was done. Alas, I got nothing else done, not even the pots and pans. No cooking either so it would be a repeat of last week, with cooking Monday before work. Whatever. I did manage a bit of weeding in the veg beds but that's all.

I hope you had a good week. After the week of rain and one nice day, we have more rain in the forecast then the heat will be back. Summer in Nebraska. At least I'll be in Rhode Island in 2 weeks where it's sure to be cooler. Stay cool.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Week 24 - A Sad Week

It was not a happy week. The things that I’d normally complain about (not sleeping well – check, starting the week off with 7:30 a.m. PT – check) were trivial. Alas.

I got a phone call right at bedtime Tuesday night that the grandbaby of one of our accountants had died that afternoon. She was less than 3 months old and at her second day of daycare. I could not imagine the devastation of her parents (she was their first child) and my co-worker. I was ready for bed when I got the call but couldn’t stop thinking about it and barely slept that night. So sad.

There was a pall over the office the next day and my energy level was rock bottom so I just stayed as busy as possible to get through the day. I drank copious amounts of caffeine on a nearly empty stomach (600 calorie day), which lead to a sour stomach. We were supposed to go out for dinner after water aerobics but I knew I’d never make it so asked if anyone would mind if we postponed until Thursday. That actually worked out better for most everyone (I hadn’t been the first to bail on Wednesday night) so I limped through swimming then happily went home to veg. I went to bed early and was able to sleep some better than the night before.

After a good swim Thursday night, we all went to Blue Blood Brewing. There were 9 of us and we had a ball, which I needed badly. I enjoyed beer, roasted Brussels sprouts and a small serving of loaded felony fries. Not diet food but worth every calorie. I didn’t get home until after 9:00 and by the time I watered containers and made some cranberry cole slaw, it was time for bed. I got a great night’s sleep, helped by the beer no doubt.

The office was getting together a meal for before the visitation and rosary on Friday night, hence the cole slaw making Thursday night. Lana organized it all and I volunteered to deliver the food on the way to PT. Friday went by in a blur and I left at 3:00 with my car loaded down with food. Another of the accountants met me to help with the delivery, which was difficult but easier than going to the rosary or funeral. It took several trips to bring in the copious amounts of food and then I visited for a few minutes before bugging out for PT. I was so glad to be done with the work week. I went to bed early, slept like a rocks and got up ready for my weekend.

I had a lovely Saturday morning, with a gloriously late start after sleeping until 8:15. I chatted with Carolyn and my sister Dottie, who rarely calls. I had planned to make cookies to take to spinning but time got away from me so I threw a pan of blondies in the oven, grabbed a quick PB&J and was at Andrea’s at 1:00 to head to spinning in Fremont. I hadn’t been in awhile so it was good to see everyone. I sat and knitted socks while they were all glued to a spinning video. The real fun started when we left.

Drae and I were helping a friend load her stuff so had her spinning wheel by her car. A man saw the wheel and pulled over to chat. He was cleaning out a nearby house after a woman had died and had a sewing room full of things that were a complete mystery to him. The rule was anything that would cost less than $5 at a garage sale was up for grabs but the rest had to be photographed and the pics emailed to the woman’s children out of state. We spent an hour of so going through the room, leaving it cleared out and organized. We each left with a big box of stuff. I should mention that the woman appeared to be a hoarder and in addition to sewing supplies, we found totes full of Y2K prepper food (threw that away) and old papers, prescriptions and such. Unfortunately the man had already thrown away most of the fabric. Bummer. But with our good deed of the day done, Andrea and I ran our errands in Fremont and then headed to Todd’s Bar for my favorite vanilla beer, burgers and tots. Gotta love tots, right? I went to bed as soon as I got home.

I rose early Sunday and had hopes of having a productive day. Alas, I struggled to get motivated and spent the lion’s share of the daylight hours knitting and streaming. I did manage to do laundry, pick up the kitchen and do a sink full of pots, pans and plastic but did little else. It had been a long week and I think I was just spent. It didn’t help that it was 100 degrees in the shade. Oh well. Cross that week off and hope for a better one next week, which is pretty much a sure thing. I went to bed grateful for all the goodness in my life, including a work family that sticks together through thick and thin. I really am a lucky person.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Week 23 - Back to PT

It was a quiet, normal week for the most part. But all my gardening had left me with shoulder issues so I made an appointment to see my shoulder doc's PA and before the week was over, I was back in PT.

I blame my garden claw. This is my favorite way to till my raised beds but this year I used it to till the big perennial bed I've been working to reclaim and that soil wasn't the light, fluffy stuff in my raised beds. The claw worked to loosen the roots of the water grass that had overtaken the bed, which I then teased out of the soil by hand. But by the time I was done last weekend, I was having the same pain I had at the start of my rotator cuff issues. And since I'm NEVER going through that surgery again, I made an appointment at the first twinge.

The good news is the bone spur hasn't grown back and it's not a tear. I have rotator cuff tendinitis and so left the doctor's office with a prescription for 6 weeks of PT. I called and got the last appointment for the day on Friday so ended my perfectly normal week at PT. They were surprised I was back for my shoulder but after one session and a weekend without gardening, it's already feeling some better. I have stretches to do everyday at home and will be in PT 3 times a week for the 4 weeks until I leave for RI. 

The week was uneventful otherwise - work, knitting, swimming. You know the drill. I actually only swam Wednesday because I got held up at work and then couldn't find close parking on Thursday and since I was already late, I just drove away. I'll live.

The weekend was relaxing. I had a Friends of the Library meeting at 9:30 on Saturday and had used my swim free evening Thursday to prep and send my treasurer's report, leaving me stress free Saturday morning. I chatted with Carolyn, went to the meeting and then had coffee with Lorri to catch up. I picked up BK for lunch and then headed home for a leisurely afternoon and evening. 

I skyped with Eileen first thing Sunday then got busy because I finally was starting a rotation again. After taking a month off from dieting, I was ready. Since I went to PT instead, I hadn't shopped Friday after work so would be cobbling things together from whatever I had. Of course, I did fine. Input - it's a strength. It felt good to be eating healthy again and I did a bunch of cooking and produce prep in the afternoon, ending the day with enough food ready for the week to be successful. I hope I can drop 10 pounds before I leave for RI. I only found 2 pairs of capris and they're tight. This cannot go on! Time to lose the weight I gained in 2017.

So, a new plan for June all around - eat healthy, lose weight and get my shoulder back to normal. While I'm not using my shoulder in the garden, you guessed it - I'll be knitting. I came home Wednesday to a package of German supermarket sock yarn gifted from an online friend on Ravelry so I'm excited to try it. One day I'll get to Germany to buy some of my own. : )

Monday, June 4, 2018

Week 22 - Finally Nice Weather

But not on Monday. Memorial Day was still hellishly hot but, you guessed it, I was outside gardening anyway.

I went out first thing to beat the heat and with my two must do's done already, I started on the berry beds, which were a mess. I weeded them then prepped the flower bed along the fence. When I was done with those, I started weeding the big perennial bed around the maple tree, which was in horrible shape. After being outside all morning, I gave up and headed inside for a shower, BK for lunch (yes, again!) and an afternoon of sitting and knitting while trying to cool down. Heidi had offered to host knitting at her house but no one had responded so I happily stayed home, inside and cool.

The heat broke on Tuesday with big thunderstorms. After work, I went to RBG at The Ross with Tammie. It was a very good movie and I had no idea how much of an impact Ruth Bader Ginsberg had had on sex discrimination law in the 70's. I got home at 8:00 to see that we'd had .6" of rain in Wahoo and with the heat and humidity gone, I couldn't resist going outside again. I finished weeding the big perennial bed at 9:00 - just as it was too dark to see. I went in and showered, happy with all my progress but ready for a few days off from gardening.

When I got to work Wednesday, I realized that my wallet wasn't in my book bag. It's very disconcerting not having money, ID and my Starbuck's card. Cindy fronted me some cash and we went thrifting at lunch (found nothing) but I had money to get an iced coffee from Dunkin' in the afternoon. I saw on a bench and knitted for a bit, thoroughly enjoying the perfect weather - low 80's, no humidity and a nice breeze. I swam after work and went home to sit on my butt. Thursday was a repeat except it was lunch with Dodie at Panera. I wasn't set on swimming that night so decided to let the parking gods decide. There were plenty of places so I swam, stopping on the way home to buy 10 bags of mulch. All good.

Gotta love a 4 day week! Layton and I went somewhere new for lunch - Nate's Cafe, which is a rework of Bethany Cafe. I had big plans for shopping after work but just couldn't cope with the traffic so headed home, stopping in Wahoo for a few necessities. The weekend was here already and I was thrilled, especially because the weather was still gorgeous.

Having a normal Saturday morning was lovely. I talked to Carolyn and then, knock me over with a feather - my sister Dottie called. After a lovely morning of talking and drinking coffee, I got dressed and headed out for library deposits. After hitting the library, bank and grocery store (I'd made lists for the local markets having skipped shopping in Lincoln on Friday), I popped into Andrea's store. She needed to go to Fremont so we made plans to leave late afternoon for errands and dinner in Fremont. She had seen something on Facebook about free fireworks at the Starlight Ballroom just outside Wahoo so we timed things to end there at 9:15.

I puttered around the garden for a couple of hours, showered and picked Drae up at 4:45 so she could go to confession in Mead on the way to Fremont, during which I happily read and knitted in the car. We drove to Staples, where the order that was the reason for the trip wasn't ready. We hit Goodwill (nothing) then went to Mac's Cafe for a comfort food meatloaf dinner. I'd always wanted to eat there and will again for sure. We then hit HyVee as our last stop before home. They were out of the ice cream cones I'd wanted but that was a good thing because they'd have melted for sure. Our friend Jan was sitting out on her deck when we drove by so we stopped to say hi. Jan used to knit with us but hasn't been coming since her husband died a year ago. It was great to catch up and then we convinced her to come with us to the fireworks, which I had been considering skipping but the timing worked perfectly so off we went.

There is a fireworks distribution company outside of Wahoo that has fireworks tents in 5 surrounding states. The fireworks event was to display all the new wares for their vendors so they announced the price of each one before they let it off and the people were taking notes all around us on provided lists. We were leaning on a truck from Iowa and the owners gave us the scoop of how it all worked, telling us the finale would be great. OMG! I've seen fireworks all over, including Disneyland, and they didn't hold a candle to this finale. It was amazing! I got home at 11:00, happy after a productive and fun day. 

I was pretty tired on Sunday and had another nice, normal morning of watching CBS Sunday Morning while having coffee then chatting with Ginny before starting chores. With so much time spent outside over the past week, the inside of my house was a train wreck. I got the kitchen picked up then started cleaning. I did go out to putter in the garden some more after lunch but mostly I worked inside, ending the night making a strawberry/rhubarb pie for knitting, rhubarb compote (I burned the first batch so made a second because I have plenty of rhubarb) and an antipasto macaroni salad for Tuesday's food day. I didn't do any cooking for the week but can eat out of the freezer until I make some food.

So all in all, it was a lovely week. It's amazing how nice weather can make everything better. My yard is looking better than it has in years and I have high hopes that I can keep up with maintenance this year. I still have a few more plants to get in the ground and I never touched the bags of mulch but there's still time. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Week 21 - Gardening in Hell!

It was a super busy week at work – the busiest I’ve had in ages but at least it flew and ended with a 3 day weekend. Too bad the weather was blazing hot but I still made the best of it.

It was a training week so I had 2 afternoons written off plus I was doing an add on training after Tuesday’s class for people who had driven in from Mead that had me training right up until 5:00. A training week normally wouldn’t have thrown me but I had missed most of the previous week with my stomach bug and I had a 3:00 meeting on Wednesday to share a database with a client. I had started it but still had the lion’s share of work to do before the meeting. I worked through lunch both Tuesday and Wednesday, something I rarely have to do, and worked late on Tuesday. I got enough done that they were happy but it made for a grueling week.

When my Thursday afternoon class was done, a bunch of us from work went on a long ago scheduled FAC, enjoying beer and pizza outside at SchillingBridge Cork and Tap. I was tired and am such a light weight that I only drank a third of my tall beer (peer pressure – I only ordered a tall because everyone else did. Lame!) before giving up. Mitch, one of the accountants, had no problem finishing it for me.

Campus was a ghost town on Friday and I can’t say I had the most productive day. On the work front anyway. I hit HyVee after Chinese with Layton at lunch so had groceries for the weekend. After work I picked up the last 6 packs of flowers I needed, having to stop 2 places because Menard’s didn’t have dusty miller, which I always include in my mixed containers. With all that bought, I was ready for my weekend and happily headed home.

Blazing heat had set in so I had to rethink my normal weekend plans. There would be not lazing around all morning and going outside in the afternoon. I got up Saturday, had a quick breakfast and talked a bit to Carolyn while drinking my coffee but then headed out early. I had 2 main goals for the weekend – finish planting my containers and prep/plant my veg beds. I started with the containers.

Now when I say blazing heat, I mean hotter than hell. It was 100 degrees on Saturday and 101 on Sunday. I drank lots of water and had a towel to wipe my face but it was brutal outside. I finished my containers just after noon on Saturday, at which point I went inside, started drinking some Gatorade left from my stomach bug and took a shower to cool off. I was starving so decide it was time for BK. I called Andrea for something or other and she asked if I’d bring her BK so I did, splitting a meal for 2 coupon. It took hours to cool down but I eventually did, enjoying some streaming and knitting. And when I’d dropped Drae’s BK, we made plans to head to Ashland for loaded tots, brussels sprouts and my fave vanilla beer. It was a lovely reward for all my hard work. There’d be more on Sunday.

I went out Sunday as soon as CBS Sunday Morning was over at 9:30. I was outside even longer, finishing at 1:00 but my veg beds were 100% done. I sweated even more doing all the tilling by hand with my garden weasel. At least I had leftover tots when I went inside for lunch then just sat on my butt all afternoon and evening. I couldn’t muster the energy to cook supper so made a taco salad with taco meat from the freezer. It was refreshing and delicious. With my 2 major projects done and Monday yet to go, I’d figure out something to do. It’s not like I don’t have hours and hours more of work but I went to bed feeling great about my progress despite the ridiculous heat. There’s nothing like a deadline to get me motivated, even self-imposed ones. : )

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Week 20 - Horrible Intestinal Bug

Did you see that title? Get ready for some TMI - keep reading at your own risk.

I was feeling off when I woke up Monday morning but went to work thinking my thermos of coffee would settle my stomach. Not only did it not settle my stomach (I couldn't even finish it!) but by 11:00 I had the runs. Now I am usually too riddled with guilt to call in sick (I don't do mental health days) but when stuff is coming out of one end or the other of my body, I have no problem calling in. I left work immediately and headed home. Little did I know that was the best I'd feel for days.

I took some pepto and went right to bed. I slept until 4:00 and when things hadn't resolved, I took an immodium, which did the trick. I was worried that I wouldn't sleep that night after such a long nap but went to bed and slept for 10.5 hours. I took more immodium Tuesday morning and went back to bed, sleeping for 2 hours in the morning and 2 more in the afternoon. When I woke up from the second nap, I was feeling some better. So much so that when Nora called, I said I'd be in on Wednesday. I had tried to bend over and was light headed, which should have been a clue but I went to bed thinking I was on the mend.

I woke up at 1:00 a.m. with the runs again and was on and off the toilet for 2 hours before 2 more doses of immodium got it under control. I emailed my plight saying I wouldn't be working Wednesday after all and went back to bed. When I finally got up, I called my doctor's office and left a message. My friend Heidi, who teaches at Wahoo Elementary, had said this was going around town and lasted for days so I wanted some advice. I'd already called Lorri to ask if she'd get me some chicken soup and apple juice but when the nurse called back at 3:30, she told me I needed gatorade rather than apple juice and that there was no reason to come in so just to stay hydrated and tough it out. It was a 3-5 day bug. OMG! I didn't take a nap Wednesday afternoon so was exhausted and went to bed at 8:00. Of course someone started mowing at 8:45 (in the dark!) and woke me up. I was awake for hours and so didn't set my alarm.

I woke up feeling MUCH better on Thursday and actually ate an English muffin for breakfast. My energy was back and when my breakfast didn't cause issues, I called Nora to say I'd be in after lunch. I had left Andrea a message the night before asking if she'd be willing to pick up some gatorade and crackers for me if I was still sick. When I forgot to call her back, she arrived just before 10:00 with 6 bottles of gatorade and 2 boxes of crackers. It's good to have such wonderful friends! I paid her but sent her away with 5 of the gatorades, figuring I'd keep one in the cupboard for the next time I was sick. I ate some soup and went to work, feeling 90% fine. I actually finished a project I'd started Monday morning and figured I was done. Until I was an absolute idiot.

Now the nurse had told me not to drink apple juice when I had diarrhea but I was done with that so poured myself a big glass Thursday night. STUPID! I set the alarm for Friday morning and felt fine when I got up but half an hour later was back on the toilet. I called in AGAIN and it wasn't until midday, when I felt fine and had had no further issues that I realized it was the juice. How could I be such an idiot? It did taste great though but I would not be drinking more anytime soon. I was fine by the end of Friday and even ate my first normal meal (pasta with red sauce) for supper. Nice.

It's a good thing I got so much sleep all week because I set my alarm for 4:50 to get up for the royal wedding. A few weeks ago I'd tried to convince friends to come over for a wedding breakfast but had no takers, which ended up being a good thing. I enjoyed watching the wedding and afterwards got busy cleaning my house - scrubbing the bathroom, changing sheets and sweeping/vacuuming floors. Lori was in town for a hair appointment and we'd made tentative plans to get Chinese for lunch but I wasn't sure if we'd be eating at Andrea's shop or at my house. Andrea had to leave right at 1:00 so we ended up eating standing up at her shop. The food tasted amazing after 5 days of minimal amounts of bland food. Yay!

There was a high point in this awful week. Earlier in the week, Anne had emailed me about an estate sale in Lincoln with lots of high end yarn for sale. It started Friday and then went to 25% off Saturday morning and 50% off at noon. She'd gone first on Friday to check it out then went back at noon Saturday to buy some yarn. She had bought lots, including some sock yarn for me, and since I desperately needed to hit a good market, I headed to Lincoln at 3:00. OMG! We happily opened all the bags and sorted the yarn. We split the yarn and the cost so for $40 I got hundreds of dollars worth of gorgeous yarn, most of it sock yarn. Yay! After hanging with Anne for a bit, I hit Super Saver for non-bland food and headed home. With only one day of a wasted week left,  had high hopes for finding space between rain showers to garden on Sunday.

Nope. While the forecast said cloudy, it pretty much rained on and off all day. Every time I thought it was going to clear, it started raining again. At 3:00, I finally gave up any hopes of getting outside. I kept busy inside but was not a happy camper. All the optimism I had after my week off in April, when it seemed possible that this could be the year I got my yard back under control, was evaporating. The forecast for the coming week was blazing heat and humidity. Oh well. At least I was healthy again. That would have to do.