Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 32 - Rhode Island Bound

You would think that since I was leaving for Rhode Island in the wee hours on Thursday I would have kept the beginning of the week free but is that my style? Not so much.

Despite still being in the throes of year end closing meeting prep at work, I still knitted on Monday night and went to Dunkirk after work on Tuesday with Anne and Rene. Good thing I’d set aside all the clothes I needed to pack on the weekend and was dressing strategically for work (nothing I’d need to launder or take to RI) because I needed to pack and be ready to go (plants watered, cats all set to be inside for 5 days, etc.) and be in bed by 9:00 on Wednesday night. Yes, I did it all and was in fact in bed on time with 3 different alarms set for 2:45 so I could get to Eppley for my 5:20 am flight. Well one of those alarms was my iPad but I didn’t account for the calendar reminder for my flight, which chimed at 2:15 and woke me up even earlier. Oh well. I got up and to the airport and had uneventful flights. All good.

Carolyn picked me up and we immediately drove to my aunt’s and took her out for lunch. She is 95 years old and sharp as a tack, plus she gets around better than I do sometimes, despite being legally blind and having bum knees. We had lobster rolls and caught up. It was lovely. Now our plan had been to go from my aunt’s to the beach but Carolyn was as exhausted as I was, having spent the previous week helping her parents pack for a move to assisted living on Wednesday. Her father had called to say he couldn’t find the box with his meds so we went into lunch thinking we’d be driving to Providence to find them. Well, when he called to report he’d found the box, we’d already resigned ourselves to not hitting the beach so headed straight home to veg. With low energy levels and a fully packed weekend ahead, it was a good decision, even if it meant I wouldn’t get a beach day this summer. Oh well.

On Friday’s agenda was heading to Sharyn’s for lunch and shopping, which was fun, as always. After salads at Panera, we hit The Christmas Tree Shops and 5 Below, where I bought tons of stuff. From there we went back home to make blueberry cobbler to take to Peter’s that night. Seeing Bob for dinner had morphed into a barbeque at Peter’s for 7, including Tracy and Andrea. After a tour of Peter’s beautiful gardens, we had a wonderful night sitting on the deck enjoying food, drinks and conversation. Perfect!

Carolyn had an appointment on Saturday morning so I’d made plans with Deanne. She picked me up and a tour of the old neighborhood lead to all kinds of fun. First I noticed that my nana’s ivy had come back around the tree in the house I grew up in so I stopped to ask if I could pull a piece and was offered a tour of the house I grew up in. A family with 6 kids lives there now and I got to see my old room. How fun! I then stopped at the Corrigan’s (next door neighbors) to give condolences on Mr. Corrigan’s recent death so got a hug from Danny – the youngest Corrigan kid who was older but really hadn’t changed much at all. I then headed across the street to talk to Mr. Hatch, who was out in his garden, as usual. He’s 92 and still going strong, which is a testament to how healthy gardening is, right? As if it wasn’t already Old Home Week, Deanne suggested we see if Mrs. Bassett, our old girl scout leader, was home. She was and we spent 45 minutes chatting before heading to Providence Coal Fired Pizza for a yummy lunch. From there we went to Wickford to walk around and I hit The Mermaid’s Purl, where I bought yarn, which is always happy. We stopped for a drink on the water in East Greenwich – a great way to end a fun day with Deanne, who is my oldest friend. 

Carolyn had been cleaning at her parent’s now empty house after her appointment so when Deanne dropped me off, we were happily in for the day. I did go out to pick up spinach pies from Don’s for dinner – YUM! – but that was it. And Michelle came over after dinner to visit and drop off some yarn from her mom. LOTS of yarn. Clearly I'd be taking the duffle bag bag to Nebraska again. Gotta love Southwest's 2 bags free. I crashed early after Mitch left. Sunday was a day of rest, which we both needed.

The only commitment on Sunday was Cornelia coming for dinner. I’d brought brats from North Dakota (one of the many packages my nephew, Drew, had brought at Easter) so after a Job Lot run, we got corn at Morris Farm and macaroni salad for an easy supper. It was great to hang with Cornelia, who told me all about her new man. She’s happier than I’ve seen her in years, which is understandable since she’s been dealing with her late husband’s sickness and subsequent death 2 years ago. The low key day was much needed and appreciated. I did do a bit of organizing before bed because I was leaving the next day. I had some final fun planned for Monday but didn’t want packing to keep me from sleeping well.

It had been a quick trip but so worth it. While I’m happy living in Nebraska, my summer trip to RI is always special. Rhode Island is a wonderful place to visit and I’m so glad I grew up there. Regardless, it would still feel good to get home to Nebraska. I went to bed hoping for a good night’s sleep and drama free travel on Monday.

Week 29 - Recovery and Recharge

I was back from a wonderful trip and it was time to get back to reality. I had a whole week to get through at work and wanted to start rotating so had some planning to do for that to happen. And while I should have kept my nights free, did I? Not so much but then when do I let a little fatigue hold me back.

I only got about 5 hours of sleep to start the week but managed to dry the load of laundry I’d put on in the wee hours so had fresh undies to wear to work. I was OK in the morning but started to fade after lunch. A frapuccino helped my flagging energy so I could make it through the afternoon and then on to knitting that night. The cupboard really was bare so I’d have to restock before I could eat anything, never mind anything healthy. Add that to the list.

With not much in the offing for dinner on Tuesday, I called Andrea and we headed to Todd’s Tavern in Cedar Bluffs. Lorri had told me this place about while we were in Portland and I was excited to try the deep fat fried tater tots, which were delish. The burger they came with was too. The beer in a frosty glass that we enjoyed nixed any hope of getting anything done that night but it was worth it. My plan was to start rotating on Thursday so it was almost my last supper.

After swimming Wednesday night, I hit Fresh Thyme to stock up on all things produce. That got me home at 8:00 but at least I was set to start eating healthy on Thursday, which I did. It was actually a relief to get back to my 600 calorie days. It’s not much to eat but food decisions are off the table. I know exactly what I’m eating and when so easy peasy. I swam Thursday night too so went home ravenous. All worth it though.

I was very excited for the weekend but I’d been roped into seeing The Hero at The Ross. Now this was a preview Cindy had seen when we went to the movies a week ago and she said she absolutely wanted to see it. Tammie chimed in “me too!” but I remained silent having little interest. But since Cindy was on vacation, Tammie wanted me to go. How could I say no when it was leaving the theatre before Cindy got back from vacation? While I wanted nothing more than to head straight home, it was actually a perfectly pleasant movie so not a burden at all. I even abstained from popcorn. When it was done, I drove home like a bat out of hell. I was very excited to be home with no commitments for two whole days.

I slept until 10:00 on Saturday morning! I needed the sleep and it had the added bonus of being so late that I skipped breakfast, which gave me extra calories for lunch and dinner. On a 600 day, that’s a blessing. While I had unpacked my dirty clothes in the wee hours of Monday, I hadn’t touched my suitcase so started the day unpacking. The rest of the weekend was a blur of catching up in the house, prepping produce and stashing all my new yarn on Ravelry. Heidi came over Saturday afternoon and knitted with me while her son mowed but otherwise it was a solitary weekend with the perfect mix of productivity and relaxation. I ended the weekend with enough food prepped to get me through the week and feeling refreshed and grateful for the recharge time. I needed it with fiscal year end mania on the horizon. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep my energy high and get through the next few weeks. Rhode Island is less than 3 weeks away. Yay!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Week 31 - Fiscal Year End

It was fiscal year end closing meeting week but Mary was out Monday and Tuesday so those days felt like the calm before the storm. Waiting…. waiting…. waiting. The first meeting was Wednesday afternoon and then they were jam packed for the rest of the week.. But since I had plenty of time to prepare, the meeting stuff went swimmingly and the second half of the week flew by.

On the non-work front, Anne and I firmed up our plans to head to Belfast after our knitting tour in October and meet up with Bridget and Francoise, the 2 Brits we met in Canada in May. They found a wonderful house on the seaside an hour south of Belfast on Airbnb and rented a car. With those plans set, Anne and I bought our tickets. While they were super cheap, they would have been cheaper if we’d bought them at lunch when Anne first found them. We thought we would need our passports to reserve so when Anne went on after work, not only was it $175 more for each ticket but it didn’t require a passport. Oh well. It’s still $900 cheaper than last year’s tickets to Edinburgh and we both emailed our passport info to ourselves so we’ll have it handy next time. Lesson learned. And now to get with the Irish travel agent to book our trains and a hotel at the airports for our last night. Getting excited!

The weather broke mid week and with that came almost fall like temps. I happily turned off the AC and opened the windows, which meant I’d be sleeping better for sure. And the cooler temps were going to last through the weekend. I was totally looking forward to another weekend at home, catching up on things. I was a bit delayed leaving work slamming on a huge spreadsheet but got it done at 5:30 and the delay meant no traffic and the market was less crowded. How’s that for positive thinking?

It was downright cold when I got up Saturday morning – so cool in the house that I put a sweater on over my nightie. Love it! I had a Friends of the Library meeting at 9:30, after which I had to do a big deposit of book sale proceeds. I was only home for an hour before it was time to head to Todd’s Tavern in Cedar Bluffs where I’d be meeting Nancy Meyer and family, who were treating me to lunch for finding their daughter a summer job in Payroll. You know I was getting tots. Yum! The vanilla porter and club sandwich were delish too. Having beer with lunch didn’t lead to much productivity once I got home but oh well. I brought home half my club sammie so had that for dinner. Who needs productivity?

I made up for it on Sunday. I did the laundry first thing and when Andrea brought back my shop vac in the early afternoon, I got busy reclaiming the car from the dump trips with the yew. There were needles in every nook and cranny so it took an hour and a half to get it back in shape. That done, I planted fall crops in my empty bed then went inside to get cooking. I’d be leaving for Rhode Island on Thursday so wanted everything I’d eat until then prepped and ready to go and everything else bagged up to give away at knitting or for Lori’s chickens. I even froze 4 servings of my turkey dinner casserole for when I’m home with my knee. The kitchen looked like a bomb went off by the time I was done but I’d get that cleaned up one evening before I leave.

So all in all, it was a good week. Mary is always SO appreciative of all the prep I do for the closing meetings so work was productive and satisfying. Add the cool weather and my weekend productivity and it was a banner week. And with going into a 3 day work week and a trip back to RI, what’s not to like?