Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Unsettling peripherals and sad nekkidness

Happy Hump Day all!

You ever sit there and see something out of the corner of your eye out the window?  I went to investigate and saw twice the amount of robins than I was able to take a picture of.


This was unsettling as the Mr and I just watched The Birds a few days ago.  (Awful!  Confirmed, I am not a Hitchcock fan.  This was supposed to be his masterpiece and we both hated it.) 

Yesterday was a sad day for us because the tree finally came down.  There's just nothing sadder than a nekkid tree stripped of its ornaments.



Given how utterly crappy my foot/leg felt upon getting up and hobbling to the bathroom, I didn't think I was going to be able to do much stand up work yesterday.  But the lighting was too good and after some massage and rolling, it felt like I could at least stand for a bit.  I did a vegetarian dish and was happy with what I ended up with but I wish I wasn't eating lunch at 3:30pm because of it.  Pfft.

We did a strength workout and it was all I could do to get through it.  My elbow is seriously screwed up to the point I can't lift weight very well.  I don't know if this is what tennis elbow feels like even though I haven't played tennis.  I made an appointment with the chiro for tomorrow so I might see if he can zap it.  It started up when we started doing ChaLean Extreme and lifting slow and heavy.  Step in line bod...mama ain't got no time for this!

After that, it was dinner time...fish taco night.



How's your week going so far?

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snow day!

Well, we FINALLY got to strap on the snowshoes and get out and play!


We really lucked out because it snowed all day and it's such a treat to be able to snowshoe while it's still snowing.


My ankle was still sore but honestly, it felt better snowshoeing than it did shopping in those damn devil shoes so I was going to push it as far as I could.  We were able to do four laps which is 3 1/2 miles so it would basically equal one way to the cabin at Trapp Lodge that I'm shooting for in December.


Knowing that tells me that I need to keep up the booty work (no choice in that matter but still) and maybe doing some knee strengthening exercises could be beneficial too.

The Mr decided it best to stay off his skis since he got injured pretty bad the last two times he did it.  Never the less, being a dude,  he wanted an action shot.


We were the only two shoers to be on the trail but we went around so many times, it looks like a busload from snowshoe club escaped from school early.


When we got home, I immediately began work on our chili rice bowls (thank you, Hawaii) and he cut up my veggies for the week then promptly conked out on the couch.  We'd spent a lazy morning in bed so we ended up skipping breakfast (well, had breakfast for lunch) and I think we were both ready to dive headfirst into our dinner.


It was a wonderful day and we stayed toasty warm especially with our hand warmers in our gloves.  I think it should be cold enough for the snow to stick around until Friday so if it does, I'd like to try to go back out Thursday.  The Mr. started pondering jobs in his field in Vermont as we talked about how nice it would be to get season passes and do this almost every day in the winter.  Gotta admit, that made me smile.  He said he is so glad he's not one of those people who b*tches about the snow anymore.  Yes, it sucks to drive in but when you find something fun to do in it like ski, snowshoe, build a snowman, sled, build snow lanterns, make snow angels, go tubing or just sit inside with a mug of hot tea watching the snow lightly fall to the ground...it makes you truly appreciate the beauty of the season.

What is your favorite way to play in the snow?

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy Monday!

It was a nice weekend for us.  Friday, I told the Mr that I know it wasn't our usual hot chocolate night but I wanted a special mug of the fancy stuff to send out our tree.  I knew that would be the last snowfall before we took it down and I wanted to give it a proper chocolatey send off.  We turned off all of the lights except for the tree and little ceramic tree.  I made hot cocoa (truffle for me and his special Lake Champlain Guatemalan Chocolate I got him for Christmas) and we sipped watching the snow fall.  He said it tasted and felt just like Vermont.  Score.  We reminisced about our pup and the silly things she used to do.  Then he surprised me and brought up some 8mm tape transfer DVD's of our first Christmas and so many wonderful memories with our girl.  He also brought up my grandpa's last Christmas which was bittersweet as he and his mom and dad were in it.  At that point, he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we all knew it would be his last but he was thankfully early in the diagnosis so he still looked healthy.  We would lose his parents two years later within a week of each other after 70 years together.  After the present opening, the Mr filmed me and my two cousins having a snowball fight.  It was so funny to watch and listen to and brought smiles to our faces.  That was my favorite night of the year so far.

Saturday we woke up to a goodly amount of snow but it was quite cold which I can take but it was gusts up to 40mph which would've been not so fun to navigate.  We went out to lunch and went shopping afterward.  I found a place that had a holiday sale that carried this North Pole Post mailbox I've been eyeing for two years.  I was able to get it for $19 so I couldn't pass it up. 


I also found this little box that I can't wait to fill with greens!



We swung by a few other stores and after having felt better than I've felt in months for the previous three days, I could feel my foot starting to flare big time.  I finally figured out the root of my worst pain...those effing Brooks shoes that I've dropped over $300 on in the past year.  When I had my Saucony's, I was fine and the only time I used Brooks were to workout so I had a wider toe box to work with.  When a stick stabbed through my shoe in Martha's Vineyard and I knew I had to replace them, I did so with a Spenco insole which I used for years.  The problem is, the arch support was now rubbing the bottom of my arch in the plantar fascia making it sore and so I thought the Saucony's were the problem.  When I got the Brooks, I got Spenco insoles for those in lieu of their insoles since the chiro said those are the only shoes I should have (even the podiatrist said so 5 years ago).  But that's when the problem just built on itself.  So by the end of the day, all of the forward progress I made was out the window.

That meant Sunday was spent going to the shoe store and trying on other shoes with wider toe boxes.  We wondered if maybe the Brooks would be okay if I got the women's model (which only comes in barf colors) over the men's (which had more colors and less Rainbow Brite looking).  Well, one walk around in those and it hit in the same spot.  So Brooks are out...period.  Really sucks because I love the ones I just bought 3 months ago that are one week out of their return period.  *bangs head against wall*  I walked in the New Balance and I've never cared for those but they hit on the same spot.  What were the last ones he brought out?  Saucony's.  Of course, they fit the best and the arch support hit right where *I* need it to and I felt so much more comfortable wearing those.  Not like their color selection is much better but I picked some  (affiliate link) that didn't make me recoil in horror in wides.  I don't know what it is but it's like all running shoe companies treat people with wide feet like the bastard child that should be lucky we even get a shoe.  We'll see how I like them once they come in and I'll have 90 days to test drive them.  But it's a good thing my butt muscles are built up so hopefully, the ankle pain will go away quicker.

We got snow overnight so we're going to try shoeing today.  I know the ankle isn't in the best shape to be doing that but I get so few chances to do it that you've gotta do what you've gotta do, yo.

Happy MLK Day.  If you have 30 minutes, please make sure you watch this amazing movie that they show at the National Civil Rights Museum.  It is truly heartbreaking, inspirational and gives the full story of what happened that day.  It's on YouTube so it's free for now.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, January 12, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #2

It's finally Friday!  Woo hoo!

I think we're supposed to get some snow this weekend after having had crappy rain to wash away any Christmas base that formed.  I'm really hoping to get enough to snowshoe but that never seems to happen anymore.  Might have to head north.  (Nervous laughter from the Mr as he proofreads that.)

Let's blaze a trail with...


How to Find Your Motivation   (Yike!  So much for the "21 days to make a habit" adage!)

6 Best Everyday Foods That Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally  (Sorry beets, it ain't happenin')

Here's What a Doctor Has to Say About All That Protein You're Eating  (If you're over 160 lbs, use this link under where it says 'how to calculate your protein needs.')

10-Minute Vegan Dinners to Sneak In More Plants This Year  (Meatless Mondays...or Thursday.  Whatever.)

7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick  (Word.)

7 Weight-Loss Secrets Doctors Tell Their Friends  (Good reminders)

40 Weight Loss 'Secrets' That Don’t Work  (In case you need more info to make coming up with a plan that works for you a little more maddening.)

6 Mood-Boosting Foods to Help Soothe SAD This Winter  (For those who suffer)

40 Ways Your Body Changes After 40  (Well, this is depressing.  Hello wrinkles and baggy cooter)

Is It OK to Use the Pill to Skip a Period?  (Sure is and I wish I'd known that before planning my wedding two years out around my period.  Boy, the gynie got a laugh out of that one when I told her!)

I Smiled at Total Strangers For a Month, and It Drastically Improved My Mood  (Definitely worth a try.  Imagine how nice the world could be to each other!)

Easy, healthy flatbread pizza (One of our go to's for years!)

Not a whole lot planned until we wake up and see if the weatherman was right or not.  It seems with all of the technology we have these days, they can't seem to predict weather within 2-3 hours.  So I'm hoping to return Monday with pics of us dashing through the snow.

What do you have planned for the weekend?


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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Is it the weekend yet?

Happy Thursday all! 

I've been hitting my goal of getting in more water though I need to make sure I get it in earlier.  I find myself chugging late afternoon so I'm basically dehydrated all morning and early afternoon.  (Unless I have a mug o' tea which is probably once or twice a week.) 

It's been a little warmer the past few days but unfortunately, the Mr got held up at work so we couldn't walk like I planned.  I need to start testing out the gams for my walking goal for the end of the month.  While Walk Away the Pounds is nice, it's not the same as actually walking in terms of how it works your muscles.  I gave my booty its mid-week PT break but rolled, stretched and did some vibration board.  I'm finding getting off the couch and side kicks are much easier which tell me the glute medius is starting to fire regularly.  The amount of times I need to stretch my extensor muscles to my toes is reducing slightly so I know I'm on the right track.  I have GOT to remind myself that physical therapy must be a part of my life five days a week no exceptions...especially on vacation.  It obviously works even if it isn't in my time frame.  Four months to see the beginning of results isn't a fun thing to go through. 

Dinner was fish over polenta.


It's funny, seeing that picture I immediately heard my grandma's voice say the word "feesh" in my head.  I'm so glad those little things are still prominent in my mind. 

We got caught up on the DVR.  Kevin Probably Saves the World, Bull and The Goldbergs.  I love being able to fast-forward through commercials.  I'm still enjoying the Christmas tree.  Yes, it's still up.  It calms me so much to just sit and watch it with the lights off.  I'll get one more snowfall with it tomorrow and Sunday will probably be its swan song for this year.  It won't hit our record though for the latest we've taken it down...January 22nd a couple of years ago.

I've got some work to get done today and start making a grocery list since it's refuel weekend.  Depending on the weather I'm hoping maybe I can strap on the snowshoes.  One can dream.

What's on your DVR these days?  How are you doing with your goals for the week?

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It seems trivial but it's not



Did anyone see the premiere of Ryan Murphy's new first responder drama, 9-1-1?  I had to watch it because I'm a diehard Six Feet Under (affiliate link) fan and love Peter Krause.) If you've never seen Six Feet Under and have Amazon Prime, it's free as part of the membership.  Watch it.)  As I watched the internet slam it up and down because it wasn't a "typical" Ryan Murphy show with insane situations that make you cringe and/or watch through your fingers, I had to shake my head.  I went straight into old lady mode...it's called character building.  Where you don't just glaze over something that has two lines and then jumps into the faceless demon literally drilling you with a strap-on.  (Yes, that happened...American Horror Story fans know the deal.  Last season was the first season I didn't watch because I'm done with the whole "how much can I shock you?" crap.  Boring.)

I actually admire that it gave you just enough of the taste of personal lives of the first responders to get across that those who run into danger deal with their own problems and demons.  I come from a family of first responders and health care workers on both sides.  Just like all of us, they are not perfect, and the way they deal with their problems or even egos that are a weird side effect of saving lives can be less than admirable.  This show, if given the opportunity, will shed light on that based on the previews for the season.

But here's why this show has me shaking my head, and it seems trivial, but it's not.  Connie Britton's character is a dispatch operator, but at home, she cares for her mother with Alzheimer's... "late stage."  Now if they'd just said Alzheimer's and left it at that, we'd have been fine, but they make a point of emphasizing late stage.  The problem is, her actions, abilities and cognitive function are moderate stage according to the Alzheimer's Association.  Why am I making a big deal of this?  Who cares what stage this is and what the exact symptoms are?  Because until you have watched someone you love more than anything deteriorate, the only thing you have to go on is what you see on TV or read on a website.  There is nothing that accurately depicts what actual "late stage" Alzheimers looks like because frankly, it's too ugly.  You want a true American horror story?  Real life late stage is it.  They have no problem showing us dead bodies on the news during breakfast or dinner (hence the reason I haven't watched it in almost 2 years).  They have no problem showing all kinds of violence and abuse that desensitizes us as a society, but God forbid they show the accurate depiction of this or any disease.  It angers me because some poor person who sees this show and is dealing with their parent, spouse or grandparents going through the condition assumes some myths portrayed in the scenes with her mother.  They may expect that they can carry on a coherent but sometimes confused conversation with them or read a book (that still has the Mr screaming).  That they'll still be able to eat somewhat normally and of course any caregiver that may come in when they're not there won't take care of them and will ignore them.

Can we please stop perpetuating stereotypes on all levels where this is concerned?  Can we get "real" about diseases of any kind if you're going to bother portraying them on your show at all?  It's admirable that they will eventually represent the hardships on the caregiver family member(s).  But showing the hired caregiver not doing their job the second they walk in the door is a slap in the face to all of the good home health care workers that give family caregivers a break.  By perpetuating this image, you are scaring and guilting people into feeling like they honestly have no other options than to take on a superhero mentality to do it all because no one else can be trusted.  That is unsustainable.  Caregivers need breaks...period.  They need to know that not everyone sent from whatever program they finally broke down and asked for help from isn't going to send them a worker that ignores the patients needs when you're not there.  I firmly believe this is the exception rather than the rule, but because it gets more clicks, you only hear about the bad cases.  Our hired caregiver is very trusted and takes excellent care of my grandma a few days a week.  She doesn't ignore her, her needs or even Grandma's husband who can be aggravating on a good day lately.

If someone you know is going through a disease, please initially go to forums and support groups online.  These people will give you a true picture of what to expect.  Don't get your idea of expectations from a TV show.  I firmly believe going in armed with a true representation of the facts will help you be better prepared for the harsh realities that may face you.  Obviously, every person is different, and one person's late stage may not look like someone else's but knowing what you could face will arm you emotionally and mentally for the road ahead.  I don't mean look up every horror story out there, there are plenty of those.  Do it once for a whole day, take notes and then stay off the internet unless you're looking for clinical trials, music, and holistic therapies or nutritional support- all of which can make a huge difference in the patient maintaining as much cognitive function for as long as possible.

9-1-1 airs tonight (Wednesdays) 9pm Eastern/8pm Central

Did you watch 9-1-1?  What did you think?  


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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

It's good to have goals

Happy Tuesday all!  We've got the first full week of the new year under our belts.  How'd you fair?



We dropped the ball the night the ball dropped and didn't workout last Sunday.  Not quite how I wanted to send out the old year.  :-\  We didn't plan to skip, we just kind of realized it around 10:30pm and at that point I wasn't feeling like it.  We did start out the new year right and exercised Monday through Friday.  I won't lie, the cravings were REAL yo...for both of us.  We had to adjust back to not stuffing anything in our pieholes we desired.  I think that was really my main goal was trying to slay that demon.  Most people have a tendency to want to jump back in full blast and that's fine if it doesn't overwhelm you.  I wanted to do that first and this week I will work on getting in more water.

You know how you have that one pair of jeans or whatever that tells you where you're at?  Well, I have a pair of underwear that tells me when I sit down if I'm back to pre-holiday/vacation weight.  Nope, my band runneth over.  Sigh.  But it is better than it was a week ago so that's something I guess.  Actually, Aunt Flo is in town later this week and she usually brings me at least a two-pound loss...from what, I'll have no idea.  My mental state would crumble depending on that number and I have no desire to let a number rule me right now.  We're also working on not letting our high cal day stay so out of control.  We got away from what it was intended to be when we started which was one meal and one dessert out to a free for all to see how much we could cram in without splitting open just because it was the weekend thereby allowing us to mostly maintain.  But both of our weights have crept up a little and I'm tired of losing the same weight.  I really have about 60 pounds to lose to a weight that will finally allow me to not have to worry about weight limits on activities and I'd really just love to get there.  We know what works for us and where we have to improve, now it's up to us to make the commitment to just friggin' do it.

I think that's the hard part.  When you go from basically being a social recluse because you don't want to subject yourself to the harshness potentially waiting for you at almost 500 lbs to someone 225 lbs lighter, a whole other world opens back up to you.  You're not worried about if you will fit at restaurants or huffing and puffing just walking up a flight of stairs.  You get comfortable because life is now much more comfortable.  But we're not getting any younger and we still qualify as almost morbidly obese and you don't see a whole lot of morbidly obese people making it into old age.  I'm not ready to think that I've only got 20 or 25 years left in me.

I am still dealing with the ankle/leg issue which prohibits me from going gonzo on exercise.  On a happy note, last week I was able to do my first star excursion exercise.  (My PT requires it 3 reps to the side, 3 to the back and 3 to the other side behind the standing leg.)  This is a balance test and one that even 4 weeks ago, I was completely unable to do.  My chiro has said until my butt/hip muscles kick in to take the load balance as they're engineered to do, my pain will not go away.  The medial glute is starting to fire and the pain is slightly reduced so I can only pray that as I go forward, my pain will go down.  My first goal is to be able to walk 5-8 miles on an upcoming road trip we have planned at the end of the month without being totally crippled the next day.  That will only happen as long as we take breaks.  The chiro recommended a 20 minutes rest every two hours.  My ultimate goal is being able to snowshoe to the cabin at Trapp Lodge in Vermont in December which is a 6-mile round trip.  Because you've got snowshoes on, it will feel like 10 miles.  There will be incentive to stop in the forest here and there to keep my legs on track and truly take it all in.  It's good to have goals, right?

What health or fitness component are you working on this week?

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