Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week 31 - Bored and Hot

Well, I survived the first of my two annual hell weeks. It was the first week of closing meetings so work was non-stop. Other than Monday, it wasn’t too stressful though, just busy.

I had just sat down at my desk on Monday morning when my old boss from HR was at my desk with a data request from the vice chancellor. She had actually been waiting for my IM status to be available and so truly was at my desk before I even had my purse put away. Not the way to start the day, never mind my first hell week. The data request was not easy and she was at my desk every half hour or so looking for an update. By noon I was nearly frantic – unable to pull the data and worried because I’d been told the VC needed it right away. Well, I sent my boss downstairs, only to find out it wasn’t an emergency after all and I had a couple of days. So I went to lunch with Darla and calmed down. I also thought of a different way to approach it and so spent the rest of the day tackling that. Sheesh!

I worked late to finish it, which actually made my night easier because I didn’t swim. Instead I went to the laundromat to throw in the comforter one of my rotten cats had peed on while it was in the middle of the living room floor on its way from the spare room to downstairs. Then I went home and actually got to eat dinner before going back to put the puff in for one dry cycle to fluff it (I would hang it to dry all the way) before heading to the library to knit. See? Easier. Also, my swap box had arrived so I brought it with me for show and tell and gave away some of the little things I wouldn’t use. Nice.

The closing meetings started Tuesday so I was slamming to prep all the handouts and then do the follow up work too. The day flew by and then I walked over to The Ross to see the new Woody Allen movie with Marge. The movie was a bust. I knew it would be as soon as I saw that Woody was actually in it, playing his normal neurotic self, as usual. Oh well.

Wednesday flew by with more meeting prep, blazing heat and working through lunch. I got to swimming late but still went. Just two more days to go.

I dropped my car at the mechanic’s on Thursday for an oil change, tire rotation and brake check. They’d been squeaking so I thought I might need new ones. When they called at noon, I thought the worst but he said I didn’t need brakes. They were squeaking because they were so dry. Another victim of the heat wave. Nora was going to drive me there after work but we got held up and by the time I left the shop, it was 5:30 so I skipped swimming and went directly to the mall. I returned the Tevas I’d bought before finding my Birks, getting a $53 credit. Then I crossed the lot and used my 40% off coupon at Michael’s to save $2.40 cents on a skein of yarn then spent $30 in the bins. Sheesh! Then I went to Trader Joe’s and spent the rest of my credit. I got sushi for dinner and stopped at Anne’s to meet her new kitten and see her kitchen remodel. Anne was a good sport and actually ate her first sushi.

When I got home ~8:15, Pie, my ex-feral cat I took from campus, was nowhere to be found. I hadn’t seen her since Wednesday morning and was now officially worried. She always comes in for a few minutes morning and night to eat and this was now a day and a half. With the triple digit weather, I was thinking the worst. Maybe she was stuck in someone’s garage or shed, dehydrating. I called and called then walked the neighborhood, asking anyone I met to be on the lookout for her. I was dripping with sweat when I got inside, more worried than ever, so took a shower and tried to get to sleep. That was a no go and I slept fitfully all night, getting up a few times to call her and finally getting up at 4:45. When she still wasn’t there, I made a missing cat poster (it had now been 2 full days.) I put on some grungy clothes and was about to print some posters when she walked in the back door like nothing was up. I was thrilled to see her but also wanted to wring her neck. I was exhausted and had the whole day to face.

Caffeine got me through. Starbuck’s in the morning and then 2 sodas at lunch, which I had at KFC with Darla after thrifting. We hit pay dirt and I got lots of fun stuff – yarn, a big 70’s punch bowl with orange and yellow flowers and some fun plates and mugs with French scenes. The afternoon was over in a flash and I headed straight home to start another weekend inside because it was going to be another hot one.

It was a slow, lazy weekend. My cousin Debbie from California called on Saturday morning, which was a nice surprise, but delayed me getting out while it was still cool. Ish. I was outside around noon for half an hour getting plants watered and hoses set up and I was dripping. After I’d cooled down and had some lunch, I headed downstairs to do some sewing – lining a cute knitted bag that I wanted to enter in the fair. Well, my iron, which wasn’t very old, was dead! I really needed it but didn’t want to drive to get a new one so called Anne Marie and drove over there to borrow hers. I did finish the bag but at the end of the day, didn’t have much else done.

Sunday didn’t look like it’d be much better. I was completely unmotivated but went downstairs and did some mending before returning the iron. Then I decided to dye some of the yarn I’d gotten Friday, which was fun and it was so hot that it dried in an hour on the line. I then made roasted potatoes, carrots and sausage for dinner. Yes, I had the oven on at 450 degrees while it was pushing 100 outside. It was yummy though and the only cooking I did, despite needing to use things up before I head to RI on Friday. Oh well.

So, one more week to go of closing meetings and I fly out on Friday, which is my usual fiscal year end routine. The books close and I get on a plane. It has got to be cooler in RI and it’s always great to see everyone. I’ve done little to nothing about making plans once I’m there. I think it’s time to get on that.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 30 - My Meloxicam Experiment

So, I’ve been taking meloxicam (an anti-inflammatory) for a couple of years – pretty much since my knee problems started. Several times I’ve planned to stop taking it to see whether I still needed it but then didn’t. Well, I got up Monday morning and decided that was the day. I was home that day and was pretty much going to be cooking and doing chores that I hadn’t gotten done over the weekend. It was a nice, relaxing day and my knee was fine.

Still fine on Tuesday. Darla and I went thrifting after work so I got home at 7:00 (same as if I’d gone swimming) and despite having dinner ready to nuke, I couldn’t face even heating it up and so had cheerios for dinner. Did I mention the blazing heat? Now THAT was painful.

Wednesday was food day, which was fun but despite that, it was a cranky day for me. I just had a bad attitude from the start and it lasted all day. I had baked muffins in the morning and had the sprinkler going on my veg beds. When I got to work, I couldn’t remember if I’d turned the off so called Lorri and asked her to go out in the heat and check. It was off. Damn good thing but am I losing my mind? I swam but Wednesdays are NOT fun in the pool (we share the shallow end with 20-30 kids having swim lessons) and my knee was starting to be problematic. Not pain yet but I could feel it with every movement. More cheerios for dinner and I watched Moneyball. I could only hope the cranky would be cured by a good night’s sleep.

My bad attitude was much improved on Thursday but my knee was definitely worse. I could feel it (discomfort rather than pain) with every step and now my ankle was bothering me too. I had lunch at the dorms with Anne and Darla and then swam again after work. It was deep water so less problematic. And yes, I had cheerios AGAIN for supper. This has got to stop!

By Friday everything hurt – my knee, my ankle, my thumbs (from knitting) and my shoulder was twinging too. Crap! By the end of the day, I felt like my whole body was falling apart. It was even hotter on Friday (triple digits) and I just wanted to go home but forced myself to hit the grocery store (I HAD to get TP!) and then scored some fun yarn and a sweater to rip apart for the yarn at Goodwill. Then I went home, made fresh Brussels sprouts and had dinner for the first time since Monday. I was done with cheerios!

Other than watering my neighbors and my plants, I had no intention of leaving the house over the weekend. Since there was no way I could live with myself if I didn’t get something productive done, I spent Saturday afternoon reclaiming my spare bedroom, where the bed was pile 2 feet high with crap. Well really mostly yarn so not crap but it still looked awful. When I was done with that, I had a few piles around the house to put away but the bed was clear. Yay! Then I tackled the desk, going through all the paper. All that done, I ate dinner and went to bed feeling pretty good about myself. And since I’d caved and started taking meloxicam in the morning, my body even felt a bit better.

I spent Sunday morning on the phone, finally making some plans for my RI trip and then went out for BK for lunch. Afterwards, I watered all the plants and started schlepping the piles to where they belonged. I was SO overheated by the time I was done that I had to rest. It was 105 outside. I did venture out to hang some laundry a bit later but I’d cooled down by then so was OK. Andrea came over later in the afternoon and I made sausage and peppers to go with the potato salad (her mom’s recipe is SO yummy) she brought. We knitted and chatted for a couple of hours, which was a pleasant way to end the week. It was supposed to be Masterpiece Theatre then bed but I started a new knitting project and so stayed up later than I should have. Nothing new there.

There’s hope for some cooler weather (low 90’s, which ridiculously will feel great) and as the meds reach a therapeutic level in my body, I should feel better too. It’s fiscal year end closing meetings this coming week so I can use all the help I can get. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 29 - Our Endless Summer

It was another week of blazing heat and doing everything in my power to avoid sweating. This was not easy because I was suffering from hot flashes again and so brought my own heat with me. Sheesh!

I started the work week with allocations. I was under the gun to get them done Monday so that I could run the utilities bill on Tuesday. If the allocations weren’t done, it would mean a ton of manual work for the Facilities business office, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone so I was motivated. Unfortunately I didn’t get one of the things I needed to get them done until noon so I slammed through that over lunch and then worked like a banshee to get them in. They were posted minutes before 5:00. Talk about a day that flew by! Then it was swimming and right to the library for knitting. Yee ha!

Tuesday dawned and it wasn’t as hot. The humidity was gone and I was OK. Until I wasn’t. Just getting ready in my well air conditioned house started me sweating bullets. By the time I left the house, my head was dripping. Picture this – me driving down highway 77 at 70 mph with my head hanging out of the window like a dog. Yup. That was me. It felt like heaven and my only complaint was I couldn’t cool the other side of my head. It worked though. I was considerably cooler by the time I hit I-80.

I started the cutest pair of Mary Jane baby booties that morning and finished the first one at lunch sitting at a picnic table. Yes, outside! I showed it to Cheryl (they’re for her granddaughter, who is due next week) and the consensus was it was too small so I ripped it out. Since Tuesday is my non-swimming night, I went right home after work and cranked out both before bedtime. They were cute as can be.

I had to meet my boss at her mechanics at 7:45 so there was no dilly dallying on Wednesday morning. I had lunch with Darla at the dorms and then left early so I could drop Mary back to pick up her car. Then it was on the hairdresser for me. I had made the appointment Tuesday morning while recovering from my hot flash and so when I left the hairdresser at 6:00, my hair was summer short. Not a minute too soon. I was jonesin’ for nachos so when I saw Andrea’s car in the dental office parking lot, I convinced her we needed to go to the Mexican restaurant across the street for dinner and margueritas. She was game so off we went. The nachos were pretty lame but the marguerita was icy and delicious. One was all it took and I was done for the night. When I compare how looped I get from one drink with what I’d consume in the average week during college…. I’m getting old. Getting. I’m not there yet.

Thursday was the annual sale at the Birkenstock store. Since the downtown store is closed for construction, I had planned to skip the sale but when Nora said she wanted to go and would drive, I couldn’t say no. The south store is tiny compared to downtown so the usual mob scene was amplified by the tight quarters. But I still managed to find the perfect Birks in tan. They even had soft footbeds. Since I had bought 2 pairs of not quite right sandals, I was thrilled to get them. I’m glad I had such a successful lunch because after swimming, I had the exact opposite.

All I was looking for was a simple pair of infant socks with a lace on the cuff to go with the Mary Janes. I had tried to get them in Wahoo with no luck so decided I’d stop at ShopKo after swimming. When I struck out there, I headed to Wal Mart where I’d been assured they had them. Well I found some with pink tulle – not exactly what I wanted but I bought them. Then it was on to 3 more stores, all with no luck. At least I returned one pair of the reject sandals and bought some cat food but still didn’t have the socks I wanted. I got home after 8:00, had a bowl of cheerios for supper and called Nora for some sock tips. I still had Target to check in the morning before work but if I couldn’t get them there, Nora said she’d stop at the mall for me after dropping the kids at day care. It’s good to have friends.

I was at Target at 7:45 Friday morning. Target opens at 8:00! So I drove to campus (40 blocks east), fed my cats, got my coffee and then headed back. Of course they didn’t have them either. Holy crap! I called Nora but she wasn’t coming in because she had to take Drew to the doctors so I gave the Mary Janes to Cheryl along with the pink laced socks. Damn! At least I tried though. Next time I see the perfect lacey socks, I’m going to buy them for the next time. Damn skippy.

I was excited for the day to be over because I had Monday off and a free weekend ahead of me. I had a vet appointment with Tot on Saturday at 9:30, which got me up, dressed and out of the house. When I got home, I went downstairs and started on the craft room. I spent about four hours down there over the course of the day and went through every box, tote and basket, ending with a craft ready room. Yay! Sunday found me downstairs doing a bit more sorting and then I made myself a book bag. It felt good to be sewing and clearly I have enough materials to sew for years without buying a thing. When I went to lock the side door at bedtime Sunday, it was still locked because I’d never left the house. And I didn’t have to go to work the next day. Isn’t life grand!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 28 - Too Flippin' Hot!

Let me just say this. The 4th of July being on a Wednesday SUCKS! It wouldn’t have been so bad but I volunteered to be the lone member of the reporting team to work Thursday and Friday. And I’m the one hosting a cookout for 18 on the 4th. Sheesh! The 100+ degree heat was just the icing on the cake.

Work on Monday and Tuesday felt pretty nutty, with the people who were gone at the end of the week trying to cram everything in before they left. But at home, things were pretty normal since I’d don’t all the shopping on the weekend. I swam and knitted at the library on Monday and just went home to relax in the AC on Tuesday. Considering how hot it was, everything else wasn’t an option.

To beat the heat, I got up early on Wednesday (would actually have loved to sleep a bit late but it didn’t happen) and did the outside prep for the cookout, which was mostly cleaning my deck and furniture and pulling tables and chairs out of the garage and getting them set up. I did do a bit of yard work but it was already too hot by noon so I gave up and called it good. I headed inside to get the food prepped. I ended up having to bake because after calling the people who were coming, I was going to be short on desserts. Otherwise, everything was ready and I had some knitting time in the afternoon, finishing a sock I’d only started Sunday, which is a record for me.

I showered just before people arrived and had burgers and dogs going too. It was over 100 and muggy at 6:00 so it was not my normal cookout. Other than the brief time when we ate outside, the women were inside, the men were outside at a table in the shade and the 10 kids were running in and out the whole time. The Harts left early because their two oldest were detassling and had to be ready before sunrise and Andrea left too. Nora and company stayed for the fireworks so we did our usual clean up before we left for the park, even getting the dishes washed. The fireworks were wonderful (they seem to get better every year) and everyone was gone shortly after so I was showered and in bed by 11:00. Too bad my neighbors had spent a ridiculous amount on fireworks because they were still going off until midnight.

I was exhausted when I woke up on Thursday but stopped at Starbucks for a big coffee and headed into work. Unfortunately I forgot my coffee in the car and despite it only being 9:00, I was dripping wet when I walked back to my car to get it. I was SO sick of the heat. Cheryl and I went to lunch and I swam after work. I was just going through the motions but made the effort so called it good.

When I got home, I looked out the slider and there was one of the neighborhood cats who sleeps on my deck, meowing at the door, skin and bones and with a broken leg. He must have been holed up somewhere until he could move. I haven't fed cats on my deck since last year's BB gun incident but I gave him some food and water and then asked the BB gun toting neighbor is she knew whom he belonged to. She did so I trudged over there and had her come and get him. Since she never bothered to neuter him, I was a bit skeptical that she would take him to the vet but she said she would so I called it good. I can only hope he's OK.

Friday morning was even harder. All of my cats had refused to come in Thursday night so I left them out. Well, first thing Friday they were all at the back door except Tot, who is the youngest and most likely to get in trouble. I called and called but nothing. I was worried that if she had followed me the night before or maybe was stuck in someone's shed, which she wouldn't survive in all day because it was still blazing hot. So I tried to keep the worry at bay and had breakfast then went to get dressed so I could walk the streets calling her. When I went to the back door to leave, there she was! I was super relieved but with that, all the energy I had (which was minimal to start) drained out of my body. I even laid back down, fantasizing about calling in, which, of course, I'd never do. Bummer.

I made it to work but felt like a zombie. At least I was getting some stuff off my desk because it was dead quiet on campus. After lunch with Layton, I intended to dig into the NUCorp bill, which needed to be rewritten against new tables, but didn’t finish something for Mary until 2:30 so only started then. I was in the middle of it with the programmer at my desk finagling something to get me the tables I needed when the phone rang. It was Tammie from Facilities saying she needed the bill Tuesday, which was early. So I ended up working late on Friday (SO wrong!) to get it finished because I had a busy day Monday doing allocations so I could rerun the bill first thing Tuesday to pull them in. So, I had to get it done. Damn!

I had planned to do the aisles at Menard’s after work. I did have a short list of things I needed but since I haven’t shopped a whole store in years thought I’d see things I needed and it would be cool. Not so much. Either the AC was broken or they were being cheap but it was as hot inside Menard’s as outside so I got my three things and was out in 5 minutes. After a quick stop at the market, I was home for the weekend. Yay!

The heat was supposed to break overnight but not with a storm but just gradually. It was some cooler Saturday morning but with no storm to blow the heat away, the hot air was still hanging around. I had planned to spend the morning cleaning out the garage and then head down to the craft room in the afternoon. Well, I had just started the garage when I looked up and a woman from work had dropped by on her way through town. So before I’d even begun, I was sitting on the deck visiting with Jennifer. She left ~11:00 so I was behind schedule. It was also pretty hot outside so I worked for an hour and a half before heading inside for lunch. Then I went back outside to finish and get the yard furniture into the newly organized garage. I was a sweaty mess but loaded up the recycling and cookout leftovers and headed to town. When I got home I loaded up the Lincoln recycling and took a shower. It was 3:00 and I was done. The craft room would have to wait. All I managed to do for the rest of the day was the 2 loads of laundry of garage stuff, which I hung on the line.

Despite having so much down time on Saturday, I was slow getting going on Sunday and had just gotten out of my chair at 11:00 to get dressed when Lorri stopped by. So I was still in my nightie at noon but got dressed and busy. I had three more loads of laundry to do and my regular chores. The cleaning lady called to say she was coming first thing Monday so I had to do them all.

All in all, it was a good week. I got to spend lots of time with friends, got lots done at work and had a relatively productive weekend. But the best part was that the heat was over.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 27 - Avoiding the Heat

How happy am I? I think I’m very happy and enjoy my life but I just finished the book The Happiness Project and the take away I got from it was her question of what ACTUALLY makes me happy vs. what I think should or would like to make me happy. This lead to a lot of introspection this week. While there are many things that I can put firmly in the Yes column (friends, knitting, swimming, thrifting with Darla….) there are some surprising things in the Not Sure column (Friends of the Library and gardening, both at home and the Master Gardener thing, to name two biggies.) I spent time thinking about all this and will spend more. So, how happy are you?

It was another busy week (how many times do I blog that?) marked by blazing heat and avoiding it at all costs. The news of the day was Darla getting the job in Engineering! She will be able to start fresh away from the turmoil of her current job. ‘Nough said about that. I’m just VERY happy for her.

I was watering Nora’s containers while she was away and had planned to water before work on Monday but completely spaced so had to go after work, which meant skipping the pool. So I actually had time to do a return on the way to Nora’s then have dinner before knitting, which is always a treat (both knitting and not being hungry while I’m doing it.) Unfortunately I realized when I was leaving the library that there was probably a Friends meeting the next so had them check the calendar. Damn! I had to go home and prep a two month treasurer’s report.

Tuesday should have been my night to go right home but instead I found myself grabbing a quick dinner and rushing to the library. Then the meeting was a total waste of time. There was not a single bit of new business so it was just a rehash of things that don’t matter, e.g. that the country club was reserved for the Wine & Dine NEXT FEBRUARY! When the president wanted to schedule the next meeting, I asked why we were meeting at all during the summer (only 6 people came) and someone else brought up not liking the weeknight meetings. Yay! So our next meeting is mid-September and back to Saturdays. So the meeting wasn’t a complete waste. I’ll be happy to go back to Saturday morning meetings.

Having missed swimming Monday, I swam on Wednesday and Thursday. When I got home on Wednesday, there was a box of yarn waiting for me on my front step from a trade I did on Ravelry. I had fun sorting, caking and looking it up online while watching (although I was pretty distracted!) The Iron Lady. The yarn score was definitely more fun.

The rest of the week went by in a blur and it was the weekend. Andrea and I did an Omaha run in the blazing hot afternoon Saturday. I had cookout supplies to buy and we hit Penzey’s, TJ’s and Aldi. With all the in and out of the car and the heat, I was spent by the time we headed home. I had TJ’s dinner – sushi, baguette and cheese – with a glass of wine that hit me like a brick but when that buzz wore off, I stayed up late finishing some fugly mittens so I could cast on my July socks first thing on Sunday. I had also done most of my chores so I could knit all day .

Luckily, Andrea called and asked if I was going to dye Sunday afternoon (I’d been mentioning it for weeks.) So that spurned me on to get off my butt. She came over at 2:30 and we each dyed a skein then sat down to enjoy tea and knitting in the cool while the yarn cooled then dried on the line, making for a very pleasant afternoon. After she left, I made a chicken pot pie with Brussels sprouts (yum – total comfort food!), watched TV all night and then finished my chores. What a nice week. How was yours?