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.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Week 19 - A Quiet Week

It was a quiet week with busy days at work and little to no exercise.

First work. There were two all day events this week that messed with my schedule. Tuesday was U-wide IT symposium at the Cornhusker Hotel in downtown Lincoln that started at 8:30. Thursday was an all day Tableau (software to use data to tell stories - I'm not kidding. That's their shtick.) session at UNL. Rather than hurry like crazy from gym to seminar, I skipped both morning workouts. It was also the week of the campus steam outage so swimming would be in cold water and no showers afterwards. Needless to say, I skipped swimming too. 

You would think this lack of swimming would lead to being productive after work. Not so much. Monday was knitting, I had a Husker Cats meeting Wednesday so didn't get home until 7:30 and had a graduation party on Friday. I was so exhausted from sitting in boring sessions all day on Tuesday and Thursday that I went home and sat like a zombie. Knitting, of course, but still. I had high hopes for the weekend.

Of course the weather turned on Friday night and it was raw and chilly on Saturday. I got the house picked up and cleaned (at my minimal, post cleaning lady level) and did some shopping on Saturday. I managed to get outside on Sunday to plant a few more containers but with the weather not cooperating, my early lead in gardening for the year was slowly evaporating. I could only hope that I could pick up the pace for next week. What are the chances that that happened? Ha!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 18 - Drama and Gardening

The week started with a milestone - the end of my handicapped parking permit. But that was a good thing because I didn't need it anymore. I actually hadn't needed it in awhile but it sure was handy. Otherwise it was a busy week with some highs and some lows.

Being a Master Gardener shouldn't be so hard! I had emailed the new MG coordinator for my county and she confirmed that she had DOUBLED the annual volunteer hours from 20 to 40! She had a long rationale about "unmet educational needs" in the county and tried to convince me that I should give up every Saturday morning all summer to staff an Ask the MG table at the Fremont farmers' market. Nope. Her email shot dead the fabulous mood I was in. I sent an email to the UNL MG coordinator asking if i could transfer and she cc'd my county coordinator in her response. Busted! And have I heard back from either of them with any resolution? No. And it's been 10 days now.

The same day all this happened, I also got an email from Eileen saying it wasn't going to work for me to visit in June because her daughter was having surgery so she'd be on grandma duty, becoming the primary caretaker for her autistic grandson. Now I can see Eileen anytime but Connie is going to be in Toronto visiting her new grandbaby so I was coordinating trips so I could see her too. She's going to be so disappointed and I still haven't told her. Chicken - that's me.

Enough negativity! I had some fun this week to offset all the drama. I went to 2 retirement parties (people are leaving UNL in droves) and failed to make it to a third but at least we got ice cream while we were on East Campus. I had fun thrifting with Cindy on Wednesday and then had a rare lunch out with Dodie to catch up. Somehow it's much easier to talk while sitting/eating rather than walking. And I ended the work week with swimming and a trip to From the Ground Up to buy annuals for my containers. All good.

Saturday morning was more MG volunteer hours, this time at the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum's native plant sale. I had to be on campus at 8:30 so of course I asked Darla if she wanted to do breakfast. I was on road before 6:30 and we had some rare face time over sausage and eggs at Cook's Cafe (best sausage links in town.) So worth it though and then the sale was fun. Not super busy but not boring either. I got some free plants and chatted with the NSA director quite a bit. Got some knitting done too. : )

I had big plans for errands after the sale but having sat outside in the wind for 5 hours, I felt gritty and tired so just stopped at From the Ground Up again to buy one more six pack before heading home for tea. I relaxed for the rest of the day, having earned it.

Sunday was gorgeous so I got the laundry in and headed outside. My goal was to edge all my garden beds so that John, who would be mowing for the first time Monday evening, would know where to mow. IT took hours but I got it done along with a few other things. I felt good, but tired, at the end of the day. 

I'd moved on from the drama of early in the week, despite getting no resolution, and enjoyed some spring weather and making progress in my yard. With Canada cancelled (hopefully postponed) I have no travel planned, which is odd but feels OK. Maybe when the summer heat sets in I'll be ready to think about getting on a plane but for now I'm happy to be home working in my yard. Happy spring!