Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 17 - My Disgusting Easter

This week started out with a leisurely pace, which was good because I needed it for the end.

The early week was uneventful – knitting on Monday night and a dentist appointment on Wednesday morning were the highlights. Boring! The dentist did offer to completely redo the crown on my hell tooth free of charge. I was so taken aback I didn’t immediately agree. Since I have to clean out around it every time I eat and it’s still sensitive, I’m going to be taking him up on his offer and just need to figure out the best timing for my schedule.

By Thursday, things were stacking up. I was swimming for the first time this week, stopping at a co-workers to give her landscaping ideas and food shopping before heading home. Everything took longer than I’d planned, even swimming, so I got to HyVee too late for the steak dinner and then had to do two loads of shopping. Andrea had emailed me earlier in the day to ask which HyVee was closest to Wahoo and figuring she wanted a couple of pounds of the butter that was on sale Thursday only, I said I was going anyway and asked what she needed. Before you know it, she had emailed me the shopping list for her Easter dinner! Two legs of lamb, a turkey, veggies and BUTTER. By the time I did her shopping and then mine and stopped to drop off her food, I didn’t get home until almost 9:00, when I ate a bowl of cheerios and fell into bed because Friday was going to be a long day.

Spring Affair was Friday after work and I LOVE volunteering there. It really is my favorite thing to do – helping people find plants and, strangely, I love neatening the plants after the sale. There’s something very satisfying about filling in all the gaps and ending up with a perfect flat. It harkens back to a peg game I was obsessed with during kindergarten play time. But I digress…. I met Lorri at the pre-sale at 4:00, where I was oddly unmotivated to buy plants. I think I’m finally growing up! I have plants I need to move and was thinking of those as I shopped, only spending $2 more than the $10 in free plants that I got for volunteering. From there Lorri and I went to HyVee for an early supper then back for our shift at 5:30. I spent 3.5 hours on my feet with lots of bending to fill those flats. When we left at 9:00, I was exhausted and achy. I could not fathom going back the next day for the education sessions and that was before I struggled to fall asleep because I couldn’t get comfortable in bed. I finally got up and took another meloxicam and fell asleep after midnight.

I woke up feeling better than I’d thought I would – tired but my knee was fine. But I knew I wouldn’t be very productive so when Lorri called, instead of making excuses and staying home, I agreed to go for all three sessions. I grabbed some knitting and we headed out at 9:45. It was a pleasant day of sitting in sessions knitting while watching slides of plants. What’s not to like? We grabbed a hotdog and shopped at the vendors between sessions (I only bought 2 more plants) and left at 3:30 with 3 hours of CE’s under our belts. It was cold and dreary so I spent the rest of the day sitting and knitting, knowing I’d have lots to do on Sunday.

I planned on my normal Easter – cooking a good meal (I had thawed a turkey breast) and working outside. I slept late and should have known when I wasn’t hungry at breakfast time that something was amiss. I had planned to have a big breakfast and then have the turkey mid afternoon but ended up eating a small bowl of granola after 9:00 and wasting away the morning on the phone. I finally got dressed and busy just before noon. I put in a load of laundry and sat down to make a chore list and get organized. But when I went downstairs to put in the second load, I was faced with a flooded floor in the laundry room. I knew I’d been on borrowed time with my drain since Ed fixed it out a couple of months ago but why did my main line have to pick Easter Sunday to completely clog? Adding to the problem, I had 2 big bags of kitty litter that were in the puddle and when I picked the first one up, the bag let go so I had a pile of litter in the muck. Not being able to use the water was going to put a huge cramp in my style!

I called Roto Rooter, deciding it was better to pay now and get it taken care of. It was only laundry water but it was backed up from the sewer and smelled BAD. Luckily Roto Rooter works every day and there was no extra charge for it being Sunday or Easter but I would have to pay $59 for them to drive to Wahoo. Sheesh! He got here mid-afternoon and cleared out the clog. But my bottom basement step being on bricks instead of attached to the staircase meant he couldn’t get the machine up the stairs (it weighs 350 pounds) so had to ask my neighbor’s Easter guests to help him. When he left after 4:00, I had a ton of clean up to do. The kitty litter was now soggy and I had to keep it from going down the floor drain so I scooped it into a bag, squeegeed the floor and then got out the mop and cleaner. I wasn’t done until 6:00, at which point I was exhausted and still had the turkey to cook. So I made the stuffing and got it into the oven by 6:30. I had a bowl of Cocoa Krispis while I waited for the dehumidifier to work in the laundry room then went down and did more laundry. When the turkey was done at 9:30, I ate a few slices and shared some with the cats before throwing it in the frig and going to bed. What a day! I still need to do another mopping of the floor but hopefully my drain problems are over. How was your Easter? Hopefully full of egg hunts, family and fun. Maybe I’ll aim for that next year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 16 - An Uneventful One

It was a relatively uneventful week, which was nice. I knitted on Monday night and Wednesday over lunch, swam a couple of nights, had a busy week at work, slamming through the hopefully last identify management issues before the programmer I worked with’s last day and ended it all with a relaxing weekend. Not bad.

I had grand plans to get a couple of hours of master gardener continuing ed hours on Tuesday. I went to work early, which took some doing, so I could be at the Research breakfast by 8:00. I figured I wouldn’t want lunch so had planned to drive over to east campus for an arboretum walk at noon but lost track of time and missed that. Then I had planned to swim and head directly to one of Lincoln’s library for a composting presentation. But then I checked the forecast and saw that Tuesday was my only option for gardening after work so I decided to miss the presentation too. I went straight home and made more progress on the back bed I’ve been reclaiming, planting some more library plants. I’m really liking this new plan. An hour after work may not seem like much but it’s adding up and feels painless.

The rest of the week flew by and the weekend was here in the blink of an eye. It was a strange one. I had no plans, Carolyn was busy with Aaron’s birthday so we wouldn’t be talking as much and Andrea was out of town, which meant no dropping by the store or other visits. It felt weird. On top of that, the weather was cloudy and chilly so working outside wouldn’t be pleasant. I was facing 48 hours with potential but was facing an ambition shortage. It figures.

I managed to get a few things done Saturday – organized my coupons, created binders for all my knitting patterns, weighed all my yarn leftovers and posted the amounts, stocked up at Dollar General – such gripping stuff! I did try to do some gardening but it was really chilly outside so it didn’t last long. I had considered going to Omaha but decided against it.

By Sunday, my chores were all done so I spent the day knitting and cooking. Mid day, Totnes (the kitten) came in holding her paw up and meowing plaintively. I couldn’t find anything and she could walk on it so I just kept an eye on her. Then the swelling started. It was pretty dramatic. Her paw swelled enormously and then it started moving up her leg. I called the vet who recommended a drop of children’s Benadryl, which I borrowed from my neighbor. The swelling lasted all afternoon but after a brief nap (brought on by the Benadryl maybe?) she was wanting out and seemed fine. I can’t believe with all the cats I’ve had this is the first bee sting they’ve had. Get a load of the size of her paw though – scary. Anyway, I ended the day with a bunch of cooking. Like I said, an uneventful week but one of those is nice every once in a while.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 15 - Clone This Week!

Although the week started off on a downer, it turned out to be a good one. The weather was gorgeous, I made progress in my yard and ended with a long weekend. What’s not to like?

The downer was a phone call letting me know that the Library Foundation had decided to rip out 3 of the perennial beds in favor of (gasp!) rocks and more grass. While I wasn’t surprised (I’d actually predicted it when the new president – the one who kicked me off on a technicality and then surrounded himself with bobble heads who nod in agreement every time he opens his mouth – was elected), I was completely disheartened. These were the very beds that I wrote my first grant for and spent countless hours tending in the past five years – weeding, mulching, even starting new plants from broken stems after a hail storm. Anyway, we were given until Saturday to remove any plants we wanted to salvage. Five whole days. Gee, thanks!

I surveyed the beds before knitting, seeing there was plenty that I could find new homes for, and then went inside for knitting therapy. Andrea bailed me out when I had to rip out an inch on my color work mittens and couldn’t get them back on the needles. It’s good to have friends. : )

I had planned to go to the pool on Tuesday but got held up at work, leaving just late enough to make it not worth getting wet. So I spent some quality time with my campus cats and then went home for Plan B – gardening in the gorgeous weather. I started by the air conditioner and just kept going until I had gone all the way around the house. I was tired but felt great about my progress. I also figure I got a better workout than I would have had in the pool. Win win!

Wednesday at lunch was the first get together of the new UNL knitting group. I drove over to the Beadle Center and we met in a conference room. It was lots of fun and I got to meet some new knitters. By then I’d also decided to take Friday off to meet Lorri and Sarah at the library to dig plants. I ended the day at the pool then home for Survivor. What a nice day!

Thursday flew by. I had a nice lunch with Dodie at Panera and then crammed to get everything done before my day off. I ended up working late so didn’t make it to the pool but was OK with that because I’d be getting a gardening workout in the morning.

I slept in on Friday and met the others at the library at 9:00. It was damp and chilly but we had a nice time catching up, talking plants and digging. When we finished earlier than I’d thought we would, I suggested we go to Hansen House (a historic house in Wahoo where Lorri maintains the gardens) and plant the 2 bushes we’d dug for there to save time. While we were planting, a reporter from the Wahoo Newspaper showed up for some pics and an interview. I insisted she not feature my butt in the air while planting so she cropped accordingly. What a relief! It was still cloudy and cool when we were done there so I decided to keep going at home and planted a rose bush and three lots of perennials in the parking strip. It took a long time digging out the old rose bush and I was exhausted and ready for a shower. I had a late lunch and spent the afternoon knitting. What a perfect day off!

It was supposed to be pushing 90 degrees on Saturday so after a hardy breakfast, I headed right outside. I spent two hours clearly the back bed around the maple tree, sweating buckets in the process. I had just sat down with a huge glass of water taking a much needed shower when Nora called. She was coming to Wahoo with scones in hand for tea and to dig up some plants. I ran around neatizing the house and just finished as she drove up. She had Drew and Elise with her so we had a little tea party. After she left, I started my chores and did some more knitting. It had hit 89 degrees outside so I was cowering inside, where it was only 76 because I’d shut up the house and pulled the shades to keep the sun out. Andrea popped by after dinner to drop off more of her home brew and we chatted for awhile. Yet another nice day!

Sunday dawned much cooler. The front they’d forecast to come through mid day had come through overnight so it was cloudy and cool. I was feeling like a third day of knitting would be too decadent and I wasn’t feeling up to gardening for a third day in a row so I just started doing chores and let the day unfold. I did end up outside doing low impact gardening – weeding mostly – on and off all day in between cooking all kinds of things. By the time the day was over I had a frig full of food ready for the week and I hadn’t knit a stitch. Still, it was a wonderful day and a nice end to a wonderful week.

If the rest of April is this happy and productive, I’ll be on cloud nine and my yard will look like a magazine. OK, it’s not likely but I can dream. There’s no time like spring for fresh starts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 14 - Evaluating My Commitments

Other than having a couple of nights of bad sleep that left me exhausted and numb by Thursday, it was a normal week – knitting, swimming, blah, blah, blah. But normal for March meant more dreary weather. March was a miserable month. It felt like the sun was never out and we got snow on and off all month. Blech!

When I woke up Friday after a great night’s sleep, the world looked shiny and bright. April had arrived with sun and warmth, which couldn’t have been more welcome. It was deans’ reports day so it flew by and I headed home to prep for the weekend, joyful that spring seemed to have arrived overnight, both the weather and my mindset.

I had a Friends of the Library meeting Saturday morning to prep a treasurer’s report for plus was scrapbooking at Camp Fontanelle. I was up until 10:30 doing the report and uploading pics to Walgreens. I woke up to another gorgeous day, made a nice breakfast, loaded the car and headed out. Only 3 other people were at Friends and I had printed the wrong report after being so ahead of the game (damn!) so we weren’t doing much. I left early to make deposits, headed to Nancy’s to drop some seeds and drove to the camp, stopping to pick up my photos in Fremont on the way.

I unpacked the car, set out all my supplies and started sorting pictures for my UK trip album. After a lunch of bad chili and no dessert, I tried to dig in but the room was stuffy and hot and I was sitting right under the vent. I was clearly not into being there. Having spent so much time inside in March, all I wanted was to be outside. When the heat kicked on yet again, I grabbed my knitting and headed outside to sit in the sun, hoping inspiration would strike. But after basking in the sun and knitting for awhile, I was fighting tears at the thought of going back inside so I gave my $45 check to Dori, packed up my stuff and left. It was absolutely the right decision.

I didn’t get home until 5:00 so Saturday was shot but I got organized so I could have a productive Sunday. After a yummy breakfast and enjoying Sunday morning TV and the paper, I dug out my gardening gear and headed outside to start my gardening. I tackled the bed between the sidewalk and the street first, figuring that had the most impact, then pruned some roses and the crab apple before hitting the first bed in the backyard. By then it was getting windy (not a good time to be raking) and I was petering out. I took a restorative shower and had my favorite comfort food – a tuna melt and tater tots. Guaranteed this was a better day than I’d have had scrapbooking. After lunch I started chores and did some cooking. What a wonderful day! If I can have one of these every weekend this month, this will finally be the year when my gardens looks like they should. I can only hope.

The take away from this experience is it's time to revaluate where I'm spending my time. Mindful - isn't that my word for the year? While sitting in the sun at Fontanelle thinking about how little free time I seem to have, I decided it was time to get serious about choosing how to spend my time. That may mean changing up my workout so I have less days in the pool and so can get home in time to do some yard work. I also need to work on not offering my time so liberally, which is always my knee jerk reaction. So if I offer you help, please remind me of being mindful. It's going to be a hard change to make but I'll work on it with your help. : )

P.S. I came into work and round this Ripples in my email. How perfect! Time to start creating my life.