Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week 23 - I'm Over It

My “somewhere to be every night” schedule is beginning to wear on me. Add in that it’s the time of year when I struggle to sleep and I was getting more tired with every passing day.

It’s especially bad that swimming is later – only 15 minutes later but it leaves me getting home at 7:15 and that’s if I go right home. Add just one stop at the market and it can be closer to 8:00. The biggest victim of this time change is dinner. I find myself not wanting to eat meat/veg when I get home that late, even if it’s ready to nuke, which it wasn’t this week. I think I had a bowl of cereal one night, a noosa yogurt another… the salmon I cooked on the weekend was untouched and will now be cat food. There’s still hope for the Brussels sprouts.

Despite this eating of crap for dinner, I still managed to lose some weight over the week and am down 7 pounds from my post-surgery high. That’s with 2 weeks of kinda sorta dieting with too much snacking in the evenings. I guess the lack of sweets in my house meant the snacks were on the healthy side so I still lost some weight. I need to give this some thought since rotating is harder to stick to than it used to be. Whatever. At least the scale is going down.

I’m also over PT. On Tuesday they upped all my weights and gave me new exercises so clearly I’m making progress. On Friday I informed them that I wanted to be done on June 30th and they seemed OK with that. I see the doctor on July 10th and I’m sure he’ll release me at that point and since the 4th is Tuesday, what’s the point of going the Friday after? No point so done on the 30th is the plan. Yay!

Having spent the past 2 weekends solo at home, it was time for an excursion. I slept late (8:30!) on Saturday so the 1:00 pick up time for Drae came early. We were headed to Omaha for pedicures, lunch, thrifting (both drop off and shopping) and an Aldi run. We had planned to start with lunch but when the salon could fit us in at 2:15, we reordered the day. We hit one Goodwill for drop off but found nothing to buy then had a lovely pedi that was almost 2 hours long. The color I picked is perfect and I left with happy toes. Having eaten nothing since breakfast, I was more than ready for dinner, which was burgers and beer at Farnam House.

My reason for wanting to thrift was my impending sister weekend with Dottie in the Quad Cities area of eastern Iowa. She has already used all the yarn I gave her at Christmas, which was my big suitcase FULL! The plan was to meet in the middle and offload more yarn for her hats for the homeless project. I started collecting acrylic from thrifts as soon as I knew she was out and would add more from my basement and donations from Anne’s stash. But I also want to teach her to harvest yarn from thrift shop sweaters, which are much easier to find than yarn, so I was on the hunt for acrylic sweaters. I found 11 for $10 at the Goodwill we always do best at. Yay! We hit HyVee for strawberries and closed down Aldi at 8:00 so it was a long day but I was happy with all my finds and had no plans outside the house on Sunday.

I slept late again (8:00) and had a lovely day of doing load after load of laundry (mostly sweaters) and hanging them out on the line. Between loads, I neatized the house a bit but mostly knitted and streamed Orange is the New Black, which I finished late Sunday. I did do a quick bit of dyeing – taking the sleeves off of one of the wool sweaters I’d bought and dyeing them as blanks. I also did a small skein of sock yarn with the extra dye the sleeves didn’t absorb. It felt good to dye because I hadn’t done any since last fall. The only cooking I managed to do was a big batch of egg salad, which I’d have to lunches but also had Sunday night for supper since it was all that was ready.

In addition to booking a fun B&B in Rock Island, Illinois for our sister weekend, I also bought my ticket to Rhode Island for after fiscal year end. It’s a good thing I waited because Mary is going to be out during most of the fiscal year close so my busy weeks have shifted a bit later. On another travel note, I dragged my ass deciding on Ireland in October and the knitting trip Anne and I had been considering is now fully booked. Oh well, back to the drawing board for Europe in the fall.

On a closing note, Cindy and I ended the work week watching a video of the Life is Good founders that Anne had sent me. It was very inspirational so here’s the link. Take half an hour and watch it. You won’t be sorry. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Week 22 - A Crafty Weekend

What’s not to like about a week that starts with a Monday holiday? Nothing! Then add total productivity and the week was off to an amazing start.

I went back outside again on Monday morning and had the rest of my containers finished by early afternoon. Since the flowers all looked good, I decided it was time to clean up the deck from winter and get the hoses situated. I puttered all afternoon until Heidi arrived with John so he could mow my lawn. Heidi was hosting knitting at her house but I told her I would most likely not be coming because I didn’t want to stop. After she left, I ran over to Lorri’s to water then finished prepping my last raised bed (John had tried again and did a better job but it still needed attention.) With that done, it was time to plant the veggies. I pulled out all my seeds, happily finding that I had just enough to plant this year’s garden, which was a darn good thing because I hadn’t ordered any seeds nor so much as cracked a catalog, which I so should have done when I was home in March. Anyway, I planted everything but pole green beans (I had leftover seeds but hadn’t liked them last year so would look for a new variety) and even mulched – in the beds (or one bed anyway) with the clippings John collected when he mowed and between the beds with non-organic clipping from my neighbor. I was done by 7:20. Yay! Mission accomplished.

Once the gardening was done, it was time to slam through the book for book club on Thursday – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I’d been reading it a few pages each night before bed for a month but had 2/3 of it to go. I thought I’d get right home from PT on Tuesday and start reading but the tech who works with me on Tuesday asked me to look at a tree in her yard and by the time I did that then stopped at my neighbor’s to get her opinion (she’s a horticulture extension educator), I didn’t get home until after 8:00. I had a bowl of cereal for dinner and did get a bit reading in before bed but not enough. Oh well.

The gorgeous weather was hanging around (how nice!) so I read during lunch on Wednesday, took a reading break in the afternoon and then went to swimming. I did almost all of the weight work, using a tiny weight on my left side and seemed fine. Showered and wearing veg clothes, I headed home to read. And read I did for 2.5 hours, finishing just in time to go to bed. But with nothing to read, I struggled to fall asleep. I finally got up at 11:45 and since June 1st started at midnight, I casted on my June socks. Luckily 20 minutes of knitting was all it took and I was able to sleep.

I woke up sore on Thursday morning. Maybe I shouldn’t have done all that weight work in the pool.  I decided to skip swimming Thursday night, which would leave me time to make a decent dinner (I hadn’t eaten one yet all week) before book club. But I was so hungry Thursday afternoon that I ate everything healthy I could find in my desk drawer – almonds, raisins, peanut butter on crackers – so much that I wasn’t hungry so didn’t eat dinner after all. Stupid! At least book club was good with a great discussion that had us surprised when we saw it was 7:55 so we had to pack up. And just one more day until the weekend.


I had 2 meetings on Friday, lunch with Layton at the Chinese buffet followed by a HyVee run for groceries. Add in leaving at 4:00 for PT and the day was over in a flash. Nice. I had no weekend commitments so was planning to hunker down inside with the AC on because summer weather had arrived. 

My goal for Saturday was to put my new loom together and get it warped. I dug some crappy yarn out of the basement and had a few inches of a scarf done before the day was over. Yay!

The heat and humidity were killer but I had a few more things to plant (I was done on the weekend but then picked up just a few more plants on Tuesday at lunch - sheesh!) I went out late Sunday morning and planted the last few pots. I'm trying tomatoes and peppers in pots on the driveway, where they will get more sun than they do in my garden. I was outside for an hour in the shade doing not very taxing work and was absolutely dripping with sweat! Have I mentioned how much I HATE summer in Nebraska? I thought Rhode Island was hot but it's nothing compared to Nebraska. Anyway, I went inside, happily, and spent the afternoon knitting and streaming, which is my summer go to activity.

I began to feel guilty around supper time and got up and got cooking. I had lots of produce to prep and wanted to take the scraps to knitting for Lori's chickens so I got busy. We also were having a food day on Monday so I had to figure something to take for that. I was in the kitchen until bedtime but by the time I was done I had made macaroni salad for food day, stew, tabbouleh, jello, beets, homemade bread, the piece of salmon I'd thawed on Tuesday and Brussels sprouts plus had prepped berries and rhubarb, freezing a bag for pie this coming winter. I had a few pots and pans left in the sink but figured I'd better shower and get to bed since it was after 10:00. 

So I ended the week with my gardening and chores done and a fridge full of food for the week. My last minute burst of productivity helped assuaged my guilt with at having crafted all weekend. I know, I shouldn't feel guilty but it's how I roll. What can I say? : )

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Week 21 - Able to Garden

With my evenings all full, now I got to add work being nuts to the equation. Again, better busy than bored.

The complicating factor at work was Nora was leaving for vacation on Wednesday. That lead to a flurry of emails, making my to do list huge. Then in addition to my training classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, I was in charge of keeping Brook busy while Nora was gone. We were both going to AP training on Wednesday afternoon and I scheduled a one-on-one session in the conference room on Friday afternoon. That meant that half of every day except Monday was fully booked. Then Nora actually left and I got to handle all the calls she normally would and be Mary’s go to for all things Nora would do. She pulled me out of the AP training after only 15 minutes and 2 hours later, we were still in the conference room. Whatever. It all pays and as I’m fond of saying, I’ll do anything but toilets.

At the same time Nora left for vacation, so did my friend Lorri. So on top of my fully scheduled evenings, I had to add watering at Lorri’s house. Just one more thing to add to my evening list every night. I’d be needing some recharge time so it was good that a 3 day weekend was coming.

The forecast for the weekend was rain on Saturday but then nice weather on Sunday and Monday. With this in mind, I planned to do my chores on Saturday and then work outside starting Sunday once the rain stopped. By noon on Saturday, it was clear the rain had and would pass us by but the chores were done so I was still ready for Sunday outside. I did manage to go out late in the day and use my garden weasel to prep one of my veg beds. It was an experiment of sorts to see if it would hurt. It didn’t appear to but I’d wait to see how I felt Sunday morning. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I woke up feeling none the worse for my garden weasel work so went outside first thing Sunday, not sure what I’d tackle first. I had done absolutely nothing outside because by the time my shoulder would allow limited gardening, the weather had turned chilly and rainy so I had lots to accomplish. I started with containers.

Now my normal process for planting the 30 or so containers I do every year is to set up a table in the shade and then fill the wheel barrow with soil, which I mix from the previous year’s soil, sifted compost and peat moss. Well, that wasn’t going to work this year because of my shoulder so I got out my orange rubber garden bucket and did everything in small bits. I’d mix up enough soil to fill it halfway so I could pick it up with just my right hand, pot up as much as I could with that amount and then start again. It actually went faster than usual. I spent all day Sunday outside, finishing about 2/3 of my containers and prepping 2 more of my raised veg beds VERY CAREFULLY.

So, another productive week over. I must have been getting used to my new schedule because I wasn’t exhausted on Friday like I had been last week and was able to power through all the yard work. Clearly my shoulder was on the mend, which took a load off my mind. I had Monday off work to look forward to and another few days of gorgeous weather. All good.

Week 20 - My Summer Routine

Things just all fell into place so that I started a new routine that will take me through the month of May and into June. I’d have busy evenings but it would all work and busy is good, right?

First off, I started a 600/900 calorie week and was happy to do it. What started with gaining a few pounds in Scotland last summer and then a few more over the fall, became a full on OMG situation post-surgery. While I had had plans to eat healthy and try to get exercise when I was home recuperating in March, I see now that that was ridiculous. I was purely in survival mode and when you’re completely disabled and in pain, eating a salad? Not so fun. But being 30 pounds up from my sustained low meant it was time to get serious and lose that weight. With my mind in the game, rotating was easy and the weight started to come off. I’ll be rotating for the foreseeable future but it’s worth it to be heading in the right direction.

On another positive note, with PT only twice a week from now on, I could abandon my early Monday sessions, opting instead for Tuesdays and Fridays at the end of the day. Not starting the week with 7:00 a.m. PT was a gift.

Also on the healthy side, after being told we wouldn’t have water aerobics until early June, it was announced that we would have class after all but in the lap pool so we could use those life guards. While the shallow isn’t ideal for knees, it actually helps with bum shoulders and with my new PT schedule, it meant I could swim Wednesday and Thursdays. It was joyous to be back in the pool! I had to limit some moves and getting in and out of the pool was awkward (try going up a pool ladder and not using one arm – not easy) but my friends were there to help and I managed just fine. I did need help getting my bathing suit pulled up in the back on the first night but they were there for me then too. All good.

The weather was hinky on top of it all. The week started with 2 days of heat and humidity, which I toughed out without putting the AC on. Once the weather broke, the temperature plummeted and it started raining. We got 5+ inches between Tuesday night and the weekend. But after my week of something every night (Monday was knitting, Tuesday PT, Wednesday and Thursday swimming and Friday PT again), I was ready to be home in the house all weekend so the soggy yard was a good excuse. I spent the weekend inside getting chores done and recharging. I ended the weekend in good shape for another week of this new, busy schedule.

As I’m fond of staying, busy is better than bored so I’m going to power through my new schedule. It’s all progress and I’m happy to be back in some semblance of normal. Now to get my gardening started once the ground dries up a bit. Happy summer!