Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Random Hump Day Babble

This is just a bunch of random stuff because, at this point, I'm sick of hearing about my body betrayal, so I imagine y'all are MORE than tired of it.

I was jolted out of my attempt to get in 30 minutes more sleep yesterday morning by the sound of pounding outside.  I guess they thought fixing the gutters was prudent at 8:00 am.  Apparently, the trash truck rammed the neighbors can into the gutters.  They are always very pissy about if they will or won't pick up your trash based on how far out your can is on the road, so I seriously don't know how it happened.  They would've had to pick the can up with the mechanical arm, dump it and then ram that thing at full speed sideways based on the point of impact.  Perhaps let the new drivers finish Arm Training 101 before letting them loose?  It's a good thing we were home because they needed my car moved (not really but I think they were just testing to see if we were home) so because we're attached we got a new front gutter now too.  I kept the blinds open, so they knew I was watching them because I'm annoying like that.  Kind of like how it's rumored Steven Speilberg will get his name on a movie, put his chair with his name on the set but never show up...except I make no money compared to his millions.  So we're almost alike.

Did anyone hear about Kevin Smith surviving a potential widowmaker heart attack the other night?  Well, he's probably our size maybe a little less since he hides behind those huge jerseys and is more fit than he was a few years ago.  He's also not much older than we are and frankly, it kind of scared us.  I don't know what his health stats are as far as blood pressure and all of that, but I know his dad died of a heart attack.  Then last year with Bill Paxton passing from heart issues and Bob Harper having a massive heart attack had a family history, I think.  We thankfully don't have a family history, but it still shakes you a bit.  The Mr and I have average to even lowish blood pressure.  So how do you even know if you've got a blockage going on?  Do they let you get a stress test or whatever just in case or only if you've had symptoms?  If you have 19 minutes, he gave an update yesterday talking about his whole ordeal.  What is most interesting, and something all of us with weight issues can relate to, is how even while dying what he was thinking about.  I urge you to check out his video but not at work without headphones on because homeboy curses like he medaled in the Olympics.  Get well soon Kevin!

I received my charcoal teeth whitening powder yesterday.  I read another blogger was going to give it a go and had done her research so I thought I'd try that since my hot tea consumption has been up.   I don't want to look like a snaggletooth.  The downside is while I use it, I'm going to look like the kid from The Grudge when I brush.

I was doing some work and a video recommended to me was the first scene after Edith died on All in the Family.  Like an @sshole, I watched it and ugly cried for five minutes!  What sadist is working for the YouTube "recommended" department!?  I would like to firmly smack them for distracting me with their downer.

We rented Just Getting Started (affiliate link) last night with Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, and Tommy Lee Jones.  It was cute.  I wouldn't call it a must rent but if you've got a rent one, get one free from Redbox, it might be good for your freebie.

Share something random from your week.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tools in the Arsenal

As my body goes back and forth on whether it likes what I'm doing (absolutely nothing) to what it never wants me to do again (apparently a 1 1/2 mile walk that I consider easy ticked it off but good Sunday night into Monday), I have built up quite the arsenal to attempt to combat the pain.

My chiro offers Bemer therapy which is touted by hardcore athletes as key to help aid in their recovery.  At $50 a pop and recommending several sessions before being able to see the potential benefits, that is not something sustainable for me.  Theirs is a full-length pad that is over $10K for them but I found this one (affiliate link) online that was recommended by other Bemer patients that got good reviews.  It's the equivalent of if I'd gone to five sessions and I get to keep it so that's a bonus for me and the chiro was actually really excited I got one.   I'll be honest, I have no friggin clue if it works because my legs are basically dead nerve wise.  The chiro can go to five with me on his ultrasound machine and he's told me people will literally jump off the table at two.  The pad enhances microcirculation and other patients say they get the same pain relief that Bemer gave them but I haven't really had pain relief with it.  What I did have is that as long as I do 30 minutes, if I have twitching muscles, it will calm that down.  I can also tell you if you lay your head on it for 10 minutes before you go to bed, you will have dreams that make you think you took some trippy drug left over from a bag in your parent's attic.  They say that laying your head on it will also dilate the vessels helping to potentially keep dementia at bay.  You know I'm all over that.

Spiky balls are my saving grace sometimes.  I remember the Mr initially got it for his plantar fasciitis but it was too hard for him to use without feeling like it was going to impale him.  I felt the same way until whatever is going on with my ankle/foot started.  It's almost like this layer of impenetrable fascia has formed and this ball is the only thing that will make it feel a little less stiff.  Luckily, there is a combo pack of both soft and hard (affiliate link) for the days I need to just keep things a little loose or dig until there's no tomorrow.

Starting yesterday, I began using my portable at home ultrasound machine again.  When I had TTS, this was the only thing that really helped the nerves stop firing and I was pretty consistent with it.  This is nothing like the big boy at the chiro but I think the consistent use of this may help with the horrible scar tissue that is rearing its ugly head in my upper gastrocnemius.  It was rock hard after walking Sunday night and actually woke me in the middle of the night into Monday.  This model (affiliate link) is similar to the one I have so I can't vouch for it but it is pretty close to what I have.  I am pretty sure the nonstop PT I have been doing for a year has built up such bad scar tissue that it contributed to the leg horrors of Valentines night because when I push on it, I feel it in my inner thigh a bit.  I MUST be consistent about using this daily so it along with the 50 other things I have to do just to stay upright should only take 4 hours a day.  :-|

If you've been here any length of time, you know what a fan the Mr and I are of The Stick.  (affiliate link)  I've had ours for 4 years and it's a Godsend.  Anyone who runs, exercises at all or just is mobile should have one of these.  Matter of fact, it was right beside me and I just stopped and rolled that hard knot on the gastroc and it feels a little better.  I didn't want to dig in too much since I just used the ultrasound on it too.  It gets in those places that a big ol' foam roller just can't quite touch.  I even got a travel size that is in the car at all times because sometimes I need the relief if we're doing a long shopping day and especially for road trips, the Mr's leg gets fatigued and this helps him big time.  Click the same link above and just choose the 14" one if you're interested.

Another thing that really helps is our vibration board.  (affiliate link) It still amazes me even as recent as last night how you can stretch, release muscles and do all of that fun stuff after a workout and you put your legs on that thing and it tells you right away that you are STILL stiff inside.  There's a 7 minute program that just shakes the hell outta ya and by the end of it, my legs feel so much better from the blood that is getting into those sore spots.  So grateful the Mr found it and insisted on buying it.

I was listening to this video the other day from a holistic personal trainer and he talks about contrast therapy which is alternating cold and hot.  So according to what he was researching, he said by applying cold, it constricts the blood flow to the area and you apply that for 10-15 minutes and then he said to wait say five minutes and then apply warm compresses and that opens the vessels and also releases some kind of repair cells to help speed the healing process and then repeat the process a few times.  I have this pliable ice wrap (affiliate link) that I can wear as I do stuff around the house which works perfectly for the ankle too.  Then I used this microwave heating pad  (affiliate link)to use for the warm compress.  I only started that the night before last so I can't give any kind of report on that method yet but fingers crossed.  It makes sense and at this point, I will take any aid to speed healing.

Speaking of that, he also mentioned speeding the healing of a soft tissue injury, that using grass-fed collagen is a good idea as it helps repair the body.   I bought this stuff (affiliate link) a few months ago but discontinued the use of it when it started plugging me up.  To be fair, I wasn't drinking water very well like I am now so I just started adding that back in.

Since the cramping of mid-month, I've also been faithful about taking my Nature Calm magnesium supplement (affiliate link) morning and before bed which is the #1 thing they recommend for leg cramps.  I have it but didn't take it regularly because it takes so long to dissolve sometimes.  So I might switch to a supplement because I know based on when I track regularly, I am deficient for sure.  I typically only get in 30% of my recommendation and I think I saw the supplement at TJ's is 50% so if I can shoot to get half by supplement and half by food alone then I think that's a good goal.

This is probably only half of the various things I use but they're the big ones.  I wanted to list the things that work best for me to hopefully give someone else out there having leg/muscle issues somewhere to start.  It's not fun but it's good to know there are things out there to help and it's important to consistently re-evaluate what is and isn't working.

What are your go to "after care" products for your problem spots?

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Thanks to my Rock and a not so happy anniversary

Happy Monday all.  I hope you had an awesome weekend!

As promised, I kept it low key...again...for real this time.  Apparently, when the doc tells me I can do walking and stretching only for my leg recovery, I should've translated that as "2-3 full days of doing absolutely nothing because even when you try to pull back, you don't pull back enough."  It wasn't until I was suffering everything short of the potential stroke inducing trauma of the previous Wednesday the following Wednesday that I just pulled the plug on doing anything more than standing to make a meal or two.

I want to take a good moment to thank my rock, my protector, my wubby, mah boo...the Mr.  From Valentine's Day eve until now he has truly taken care of me from the leg issues to a blast from the past gone sideways to the mammogram scare to the leg thing AGAIN.  This was all in a span of time where work was particularly grueling for him and had him working a triple shift from home Thursday into Friday.  Despite the demands of his job, he still checked on me, made me breakfast (and other meals) in bed on days when moving was not possible...

(Breakfast in bed!)

(Love is when your honey knows you don't like the hard part by the core and scoops 'em out for you without asking)

He endured watching marathons of Flea Market Flip and Vacation Rental Potential in short stints (but then tortured me with a Tesla and Mythbusters marathon so I consider us more than equal on that one) and all while still making sure to keep up his workouts.  I seriously don't know what I would've done without him especially the night it all went south.  I know I am lucky and I try not to take that for granted.  So consider this my virtual flowers on the Mr's desk at work.  (You know how it is when you get flowers at work ladies.  Everyone sees the flowers on your desk at work and the women swoon and the men all b*tch you're making them look bad.)

It was the first sunny day in a while so we decided to slowly work me back into walking.  It feels good to get back to a "baseline" of sorts and I will continue to encourage the Mr to do the more challenging workouts for himself while I ease back into this.  Just doing two grocery stores Saturday was enough to leave me a little sore and the ankle flared right back up.  So frustrating to say the least but I'm trying not to focus on that.  I just have to hope it's another part of the manual my body is giving me to properly care for it going forward.  All I know is I need to get PT back in the picture because it's been 2 weeks since I've done it and I don't want all of my work to go to waste.  I must do it 3x week and no more at this point and gauge from there. We have also decided maybe we need a floating active rest day in there somewhere.  We both lost 3 lbs last week and there has to be something to that. 

We marked a somber anniversary yesterday with the one year passing of Bill Paxton.  It still gets us every time to think about him being gone and more so given the recent news his family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit and he didn't have to die according to them.  As if losing someone isn't bad enough, knowing they didn't have to die is even worse and we've been through that first hand.  We watched Twister to honor him as its a movie we most often quote him from so to us, he's never really gone.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, February 23, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #8

Wow.  Two months of the new year under our belts guys.  How crazy is that?!

Let's rocket into...

If You Have This Surprising Habit, You Could Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer  (Go for the natural stuff)

40 Tips for Men Who Want To Lose Weight After 40  (Good things to keep in mind)

Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind: Pay Attention to Lose Weight  (It can easily sneak up on you)

10 Tiny Changes That'll Help You Drop Serious Pounds  (Great places to start)

100 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself  (Save yourself some money, honey)

I Took Turmeric Shots Every Day For 1 Week, and Here's How My Body Reacted  (Why am I intrigued?)

12 Oatmeal Alternatives That Are Just As Hearty  (Hmm, I'll have to give a few of these a try just for some variety.)

Alzheimer's Disease Is Completely Reversed by Removing Just One Enzyme in New Study  (How amazing would this be?)

Is Winning the HGTV Dream Home Actually a Nightmare?  (I've often wondered this)

Since I was knocked off my arse Wednesday night with a revenge of the legs scenario, I'm taking off all forms of exercise and stretching until Sunday.  I'm sure we'll probably go out for lunch or something tomorrow but not a ton of stuff on the agenda for the weekend.  Ugh, I just remembered it's grocery refuel weekend.  Sigh.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Taking a breath

As you know if you've been reading, it has been a week, y'all.

I had a good amount of work I could've dove headfirst into in the morning but I just wasn't feeling it.  I put the TV on mute and just sat listening to the rain and the sound of the cars driving by in it.  It was relaxing and nice not the have the static of life swirling in my head.  I think we should all do that more, just take 15 minutes to listen to nothing, not have our face buried in a screen and just reconnect with ourselves.  Taking time to take a breath without the weight of our worlds sitting on our shoulders.  I heard a few bird chirps and knew I wouldn't have heard them otherwise if I had Hallmark's Home and Family blaring in the background as I hunched over my laptop.  It was nice to just focus on having my feet up on the couch in recovery mode, getting my water in and not thinking about anything other than how thankful I am to choose to heal my body rather than being forced into fighting for my life had things turned out different Tuesday.

A week ago today is when I was sitting in bed with 90 minutes sleep praying for meds to allow me to walk from the most horrific pain I'd felt in my life.  Truly, I've never been that scared before...until several days later with the mammogram call back.  You sandwich a not so great reunion with someone from my past in there and it was a lot for my brain and body to process.  When I woke up yesterday morning, I was just so grateful.  My legs were sore from the two miles we walked around the lake and I used my microcirculation pad on the top of my quad which was particularly sore and it felt better in about 10 minutes.  We've been good about stretching every day the past few days with my sessions going anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on if it was after a walk or a whole workout.  The muscles are still very tender from the trauma they endured as well as the efforts to stretch things out since they're not used to that.

I've made sure that pigeon pose stretches are a go to as it really seems to target the area that was most affected.  Hip flexor stretches are also very important since that's where the pain also stemmed from.  Basically, every leg muscle you can think of needs attention.  My quads where it connects by the groin were greatly affected and sore so I make sure I do a bending hip flexor stretch on my balance pad and then straighten the forward bent knee to get a good hamstring stretch which got bunged up by default from everything else being so out of whack.  The soleus and gastrocnemius muscles in the calves are also tied in and very sore from the contraction and being pulled upward as well.  The only positive to come out of that is it has taken the focus off of my ankle but my ankle always feels better when I don't put weight on it.   It has been the hardest thing to basically be told "no exercise for you!" for a whole week and I need to listen to what my body is telling me which is those muscles are not ready for prime time yet even if I'm technically cleared today.  I need to respect the healing process since I've neglected it for so long in the past in an attempt to get my body to work on my timeline. I fear my body is still going through a very dicey game of push and pull right now that left me feeling back to square one last night.

I thought it was timely that as I was taking this "me time" that this article from about How to Stay Fit While Injured or Sick showed up in my feed.  It all made sense and just reinforced how important taking a breath is to heal not just your body but your mindset.  I am trying to find the good in this forced hiatus.

Do you stop to take a breath when your body/mind need it or go full speed until you hit the proverbial wall?

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Hamster Wheel of Fear

I wanted to thank those who sent their good vibes, prayers, and messages yesterday.  I am always so thankful to know you're on my side.  I'm starting this an hour before we're going to leave and need to keep my mind occupied so bear with me.

It was a beautiful day outside

I couldn't help wondering if yesterday was going be the "before."  I remember at my last call back, to waste time we went to this vintage toy store and took pics in a photo booth.  As I look over at it on the armoire now, I'm reminded of the thought I had then looking at our smiling faces..."I wonder if this is the last picture before my life changes."

I was surprised how much less stressed I was as the night went on from two years ago when I got my first call back.  Then you start thinking "wait, should I be more stressed?  Am I going to get a karma switch flipped for not worrying enough because God thinks I'm cocky and need to be knocked down a peg?"  Ahh, there's the anxiety I know and loathe.  I did do some research because I'm not one to go in blind to these things.  So I start putting in things like "mammogram asymmetry result" and stuff like that to see what pops up.  Of course it says it's relatively common and if it does find a reason for the asymmetry then it's likely a hormonal issue where your fat is moving around, a skin fold that wasn't smoothed out (I ruled that out because that woman had me holding arm fat and did everything short of ironing my boob) or possibly a fluid-filled benign cyst.  Or you know, it could be cancer, and some studies have shown that women with X amount of asymmetry may have a higher breast cancer risk.  Oh well, thanks.  One piece of info I absorbed was to ask for the BIRAD score which you want 0-2 for completely clear, and anything above that starts to go into small and medium suspicion of malignancy, and if you're at like 5-6, you might want to sit.  I kept telling myself not to forget to ask because they can still give you a clean bill of health but you could be a 1 or 2, and at that point, I'd have questions.

I did a pretty good job keeping my mind immersed in work during the morning hours.  I ate breakfast as soon as I got up so I could eat lunch sooner since I tend to eat later on a normal day.  Around noon, I decided I should go ahead and get my shower.  I made sure to soap up the pits nice and frothy since you can't wear deodorant.  As I was showering, the thought slid in "will this be the last "normal" shower you take?"  As I looked down at the girls, I bent over trying to see how noticeable this asymmetry was.  I felt like I might be able to see where one part was slightly fuller than the other.  I felt around to see if I could feel any kind of cyst or mass and didn't feel anything different to me.
"You behave missy," I said.

As I dried off and went into the bedroom, I needed to pick out an outfit I wouldn't mind burning if I got bad news.  Seriously, I always remember what I was wearing when something bad happened, and I didn't want to burn a new favorite shirt or jeans, so I dug deep in the closet to the section of "still fits but you forgot you had it" and pulled out a black loose fitting shirt.  I'd planned on wearing my yoga pants in case the shine from a jeans button would somehow reflect off a wall and into the machine, but they were black too and if I walked in like a was already in mourning, was I willing a bad outcome?  I grabbed a pair of jeans that are so so, but I wouldn't be sad if I had to throw them in a burn barrel.  I went down and ironed them and decided to make lunch.  I started getting really weak and shaky.  I didn't have "pit hunger" which can make me feel that way on a normal day, so I knew nerves were really setting in.  I just did some deep breathing as I made lunch and unloaded the dishwasher.  As I carried my plate out to the table, my bowl of fruit was shaking on the plate.  "Calm down, asshat!"  It's like I felt calm inside, but my body was telling me otherwise which is a bizarre feeling.  I decided since the tech was fidgeting with my hair so much the first time, I was just going to chuck it back into a ponytail.  The wind was blowing really hard anyway.  Was that an omen?  Is a metaphor for a storm coming into my life?  Stop it!!  I had to keep my body relaxed because I was still recovering from the leg stuff and I could feel my body tensing in the spots I needed to improve.  That brings us to now.  The rest is written afterward.

I went back after they got some insurance info adjusted and got into my snazzy shawl.  The tech was the same woman who took the pics the other day, and while I felt she was super thorough the first time, a part of me was like "um yeah, she wasn't a good photographer the first time, can we bring in  the second shooter please?"  So they want it squished from every angle.  The first is the side squash, then the re-shoots of the ones we did before but with 32 lbs of pressure which you can imagine felt lovely.  She had me sit in between because of the type of settings they wanted.  I had to look over at the image on the screen.  It looked fine to me, but I'm no doctor.  Then I did see a small spot and started to freak out.  "Is that something?  Is it the start?  They would've seen that before wouldn't they?  That's not an asymmetry problem.  Stop looking over there."  The final one she smooshed parts I didn't know could fit under there and it didn't hurt per se, but it wasn't kickin' back by the campfire either.   I told her I was hoping it was a case of "vacation boobs" since I was back from recent food tour of the Windy City and hadn't yet gotten the weight off...she didn't get my humor.  Have you not heard of defense mechanisms woman??  LAUGH wench!  "Why isn't she laughing?  Is it because she lacks a humor gene or she sees something and is thinking "sorry sister, it's not vacation boobs for you.""  She drapes me back up and takes me to the radiologist waiting room.  I've been here before.  This is where the Mr and I waited for the news on my baseline, and they had me get dressed that time.  Why isn't she having me get dressed?  Because you need an ultrasound.  They saw something, that's why she retook that last one, you're screwed.

As I looked around the cold, impersonal waiting area, my checklist began to tick off.  "Okay, you need to get the Mr the schedule of all of the bills and show him how to pay them.  Some come in automatically, but others don't.  Film all of the rest of his favorite recipes so he'll have your voice and instructions on how to make them when you're gone.  You should probably think about cleaning out the entire house, so he doesn't have that much to go through while you're still able.  Stop it!  You're dusting up The Secret kind of sh*t and negativity is going to come back to you if you keep this up!  Annnd you're talking to yourself.  Yep.  Talking to yourself because it's taking so long for them to review things."  I heard a noise and footsteps.  "Life about to change in 3...2..." 

"Follow me please," my tech said.  "Yep, here it comes, you're going in for the ultrasound."  She led me back to the screening room and closed the door with a paper in her hand.  It was the x-ray image:

"It was vacation boobs*!"

Okay, she didn't say that, and while I assume, that's what my actual boob looks like inside right now. This is what she really said when she shut the door. 

"Good news" she smiled.   I burst into tears, and she said this is always the good part of the job and hugged me.  I said, "this SUCKS!"  She said she knows and then gave a long-winded explanation of why they had to do it, and I told her I forgot to tell her that at the last callback they said to let the tech know to smash those puppies.  So you can bet I'm considering a tattoo in between them that says "mammogram tech: Smash these effers like pancakes or until they pop!"  She said she didn't want to bring the Mr back for that news so she'd let me tell him.  Did I ask for the BIRAD score?  No.  Totally forgot.  *rolling eyes*  I told him all was good and he was relieved.  He said he was worried but didn't want to let on.  I had to laugh a little because ever since the call Monday morning, any time he'd look at me it was always with this pained look on his face like "you poor thing."

We left and decided to go to a nearby park to talk and walk around the lake for our exercise.  I couldn't help but notice how turbulent the waters looked on our way back.

I wondered what my thoughts would've been had the outcome been different.  Would we have stopped there or gone home to start research and making plans?  Would the water have looked as blue to me with eyes that had just seen an uncertain future?  Would I look at them as a storm that's coming instead of potential one weathered?  I'm grateful I didn't have to answer those questions but know others are not that lucky.  For all of the stress and racing thoughts and honestly, just plain being pissed that it's happening again, I'll take cautious and catching something early than ignoring what needs to be done and finding it too late. 

Thanks to my rocks both IRL and here.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  You have no idea what it means that you all pull for me in times of trouble just as I hope you know, I pull for you as well.  Thank you for letting me rant about the hamster wheel of fear that goes off in my brain when that phone rings.

It's a scary thing to have that doubt, but I know it's nothing compared to what those who get the news that they have a new challenge to face for the fight of their lives.  If you or someone you know is newly diagnosed, and you're looking for a place to start your/their fight, consider these resources for some of the most up to date information:
Susan G. Komen Foundation

*- in no way am I using the x-ray image to make light of the potential seriousness of the situation.  I am a big believer in using humor to relieve anxiety and fear.  I hope that anyone who may be dealing with cancer takes it in the spirit in which it was intended.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Here we go again

Welp, I got a callback on the mammogram.

Mother effer.

I've got no mental capacity to come up with something for you today so please forgive me for that.

I will refer you to this post from two years ago to refresh what is going through my mind but replace the dense spot in the right breast to an "asymmetry" problem on the left.   I still have what I call "vacation boobs" which I usually have for 2-3 week upon return before they begin their slow deflation.  I'm praying because I'm about 13 lbs higher than my last mammogram (ouch) between the holidays and a recent Chicago oinkfest, that I'm packing no more in my left boob than some leftover Gino's East deep dish and a Bent Fork Bakery ginger molasses cookie.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Learning A Lesson the Hard Way So You Don't Have To

I read articles all the time talking about the importance of stretching and resting your body.  It all sounds fine and good but at the end of the workout, the amount of time either of us dedicates to stretching is negligible compared to what we just put our body through.

When we were in on our trip, I walked a total of almost 15 miles between Woodstock and Chicago which was good for me considering my ankle/foot recovery.  I had my roller with me but did I use it?  No.  I was more focused on using the TENS unit and the microcirculation pad.  Then when we came back, I had to ease back into exercise but still did decent strength sessions and we walked a bit to try to keep any endurance I may have gained from the trip up.  After weighing in, I knew we had to get on it and really buckle down to see results.  I had jumped back into PT hard since I basically didn't do it on the trip.  Part of the clamshell exercises I do with my heavy band requires my inner thighs to do a good amount of the work.  You throw on top of that two other PT exercises that require the inner thighs more than other exercises and things are going to get bunged up in there.  If that wasn't bad enough, my new incentive to get vacation weight off, came with a dive in mentality that has screwed me before.  My exercise schedule looked like this:

Sunday:  Free Weights with emphasis on upper body with a few lower body things thrown in
Monday:  Powerstrike (lots of kicking and made sure to really try to kick high)
Tuesday:  Turbo Fire Tone (uses bands and did some wicked hard lower body stuff)
Wednesday: Turbo Fire 45 EZ which also has a lot of kicking & I kicked high

I didn't stretch properly at all after any of these sessions and throw on still recovering from Chicago and my body let me know in no uncertain terms, it'd had enough.

Late on Valentine's Day, I had a horrible outer thigh cramp.  It thankfully passed rather quickly and I should've taken that as a sign to just hop on the floor and stretch...I didn't.  At midnight, after a few inner thigh twitches, I grabbed my Graston tool to dig stuff out.  Just the act of bending my knee up onto the couch sent off an inner thigh cramp that was the worst pain I'd ever felt.  I've been attacked by a dog, had gallbladder attacks and surgeries and none of them delivered the kind of pain I felt in that moment.  I was SCREAMING at the top of my lungs as nothing would make it stop.  The Mr. was trying to rub the area, even trying to punch it into submission since that gets rid of his.  Nothing was making it stop.  My mouth went dry, I started sweating profusely, my hands went numb, my breathing was shallow and I had to stand up to get to the back door to get cold air or I was going to go down for sure.  The Mr coached me to take long deep breaths after a while because he was scared at the sound of my breathing.  After 20 minutes of consistent pain, we decided to head upstairs and just get me into bed.  At the top of the stairs, the other inner thigh set off with just as much ferocity.  Cue the sweating, dry mouth, feeling of passing out, etc.  I spent 2 hours at the top of the stairs attempting to roll out my inner thigh without setting off another attack while the Mr looked up info on Dr. Google

We tried everything from drinking pickle juice for electrolytes, drinking even more water than I was already drinking, eating a banana for potassium, taking an ibuprofen, digging into my legs with my Back Buddy (affiliate link) and foam rolling and a bath was out of the question because just the act of raising my leg would send me into another episode.  I sat with a heating pad on the areas and the muscles kept trying to fire again so I was up until 5:45am because everytime my body would relax to almost fall asleep, my muscles anywhere in my body began to twitch and kick a limb into the air.  I got about 90 minutes sleep and the next day I couldn't move so I did a session with Doctor on Demand as my last resort to see if they could get me muscle relaxers.  She said my body didn't appreciate the overload and I, unfortunately, paid a painful lesson and that even doing something good for yourself can have side effects if you don't properly do aftercare.  She prescribed low dose muscle relaxers, Prednisone (7-day course) to calm down the inflammation and 800mg Ibuprofen as needed.  I was told no weights for a week and nothing but stretching/yoga and walking for exercise.  She said that other symptoms I was experiencing with the sweating, dry mouth, numbness, etc were because my blood pressure was probably at stroke levels and often times, it's not the event that kills someone but the stroke they can have as their body reacts to the pain.  That scared the sh*t out of me.  The fruit of my digging efforts really showed themselves the next afternoon and my thighs looked like a cheetah.  The Mr would cringe when he saw them and said I looked like I'd been beaten.  Accurate.

The Mr really took care of me and made all of my meals that day while I stayed upstairs all day Thursday.  It felt like things could fire if I moved wrong so even stretching was not in the cards that day.  I wish I could say the muscle relaxers made things feel better but they didn't, they just made me sleepy.  The Prednisone seemed to reduce the inflammation which was nice and I'd take one ibuprofen before bed just to hopefully keep anything at bay while I attempted to sleep that first night.  I got decent sleep but the muscles were still sore from all they'd been through.  I was served breakfast in bed so I could get my meds in for the morning and I got ready for my mammogram.  Thankfully, that went smooth and I didn't have to be in any positions that put a strain on my legs.  Then I wanted to hold a puppy after all I'd been through and we got a long haired Daschund out.  She was cute but way too barky and rambunctious for us so no chance of being tempted by her.  It was nice to get a shot of puppy breath to help heal me.  When I went home, I did as much standing stretches as I could and spent the day resting.  It was really hard but I had to do it.

This weekend was obviously the lowest of low key.  It took me about five hours to get the strength to be able to go to a thing my mom wanted me to go to.  I really only just went so the Mr could get his belated Christmas gifts.  Don't ask.  We ended up being there for two hours which about took me out so back home we went.  Sunday, my legs were less twitchy but still not great.  We sat around and had a good talk, I did a little work and then I decided I wanted to walk for a workout which the doctor said I could do.  We did about a mile and a half before we both had to pee like racehorses and it was probably better for my legs anyway.  We immediately went downstairs and I did a one-hour stretch session.  I determined what stretches would be most beneficial to me in the immediate future and ones that I can sneak in during the day to help as well.  (I'll be using my 30-minute water alarm as a reminder to also stand up and stretch because that ain't helpin')  I used my microcirculation pad (affiliate link) on any area that began to spasm and within 10 minutes, it would calm down.  I made dinner and then watched Blade Runner 2049 (affiliate link) to thank the Mr for all he did to help me in this past week.

So the take away in all of this is if you do any kind of exercise, you need to respect your bodies need to recover properly which includes more than just a few 30-second stretches.  Yes, it sucks to have to add maybe another 15 minutes onto things but even sitting on the floor stretching in front of your favorite show will make it seem less daunting and your body will thank you for it.  I have known the benefits of stretching but quite honestly, felt like stretching either took too long, didn't apply to me or was for wimpy people.  I know better now.  My body told me to stretch or die...almost literally.  That is a warning I can't ignore and neither should you.  I don't want anyone to go through what I went through.  I know it sounds like "oh shut up, you just had a leg cramp in a tender spot, big deal" was a big deal.  It wasn't just a little cramp.  It was debilitating and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy especially once, much less twice.

What was the most excruciating pain you've ever had?  What lesson did you learn?

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Friday, February 16, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #7

Happy Friday all.

I'm getting my mammies grammied today.  Have you made your appointment?  If not, get on it, please.  I am still amazed every time they squish da boobs the kinds of horror stories I heard growing up about mammograms.  I smash my boob harder on accident grazing it with a free weight.  The worst part for me about a mammogram is holding your breath while they take the image so if you're scared, don't be...unless you basically just have nips and very little breastage, then I hear it can be a little more uncomfortable but not painful.

There's my public service announcement.  Now, let's scan...

50 Things You Don’t Know About Chocolate  (Dig in)

16 Things All Smart Homeowners Do Once a Year  (Better get on a few of these!)

My Body Size Does Not Determine My Ability  (A good goal to shoot for!)

7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health (Start today!)

Why I Regret My Weight-Loss Surgery  (This is an interesting perspective.)

What to Do When You're Sick of Your Side Gig   (The burnout is real, yo)

I Swapped My Headache Meds For Peppermint Essential Oil  (I can vouch for this.  Last week I was plagued with kink-in-neck headaches combined with hormonal headaches and peppermint oil reduced it by 75%)

These Everyday Habits Can Seriously Increase Your Dementia Risk  (The more you know)

How to Avoid a Dangerous Flu Complication  (We need all the help we can get with this deadly flu season!)

Not sure what we have on tap for this weekend.  I'm going through a physical issue right now so hopefully, I can report good news come Monday.  This weekend will be about rest for me.  All I can say is thank God for the Mr and will report back when I have a better idea what I'm dealing with.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Progress Report

Good Thursday to you all!  Did you do anything fun yesterday?  (This would also include curling up on the couch and binge watching a show with a box of truffles because that sounds like a whole lotta self love to me!)

I already gave the Mr his gift early for our Chicago trip because I told myself if he mentioned them before we left then I'd give them to him.  Of course, he did so he got a razor he wanted for travel and his snore ring (affiliate link) that helps him get a solid 3 hours before the bathroom calls in the middle of the night.  I saved back some of his favorite candy for the actual day which are Curly Wurly's that I split up between stocking stuffers at Christmas and Valentine's Day and mint meltaways.

I also put together a crossword puzzle for him with hints of our love story so that was fun to watch him struggle with two of them.  HA!

He got me my favorite candies to show he was tucking away ideas as I mentioned stuff I liked over the past month.  Of course, I split some of it with him like the box of Hawaiian Host.  

I made dinner of filet mignon, baked potato and asparagus and a little appetizer of arancini balls.

It was a nice chill evening which I needed after a few hectic days to start the week.

I figured since it was mid-month now, I should look at a "progress report" of sorts to keep me on track with my February goals.

Food:  We did have popcorn one night but it was a movie night.  We have a lot of sin to work off from Chicago and we're having a lot of talks about that.  I'll update when we have a firm plan in place.

Exercise:  I have been keeping up with breaking up the scar tissue around the elbow and I think between that and the laser, it's been slowly helping.  I am modifying what I can and am seeing small improvements in the elbow situation.  Earlier this week was NOT good for the foot but I may have found some spots that jamming the golf ball in until they release may help going forward.  Who knows.

Water:  I am kicking @ss on this right now.  Go me!

Sleep:  I'm hoping it'll be better once I get the new pillows.  I've got some deadline stuff to get done this week so I know I will really have to push it to get in bed by 12:30am.

Mental Health:  Hit a bit of a rough patch leaving Chicago and had a tough mental week following.  The month started off great with friends but then a wave came over me that left me feeling very worthless and unmotivated.  Trudging forward as best I can and trying not to get overwhelmed.  I'm hoping I can end the month on the mental high note I started on.

What's your progress report for February looking like?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Funny Valentine

I am a sucker for vintage Valentine's.  I really wish I would've kept some of the Valentine's from my youth to see what was popular back then.  Anyone else remember making the homemade boxes and hoping for the one from your crush?  If it was more than just their signed name, you were in a committed your own mind.  It wasn't like it is now where everyone must get a card or get in trouble or incite a lecture for 30 minutes about why there will no longer be Valentine's Day boxes from this point on.  You weren't forced give someone you found icky a Valentine.  There was nothing worse than seeing the new girl that every dude was frothing over dump out more Valentine's from her box than there were people in the class and you got like 19 out of 25 kids.  I'm not bitter.  Honestly, I'd rather have it that way than someone forced to give me one because at least I knew who to trip in the hall.  

Here are the ones I could find online that would have likely been in the box.


Actually, I think I gave the Strawberry Shortcake ones, and I'm pretty sure I know who I gave that particular one to.  Whazz up, Brian P.!!

But it's the original old schools, that really win my heart so I thought it'd be fun to share vintage Valentine's I'd like to get in my current Valentines Day box.

(Now I'll have that song in my head all day!)

(So sweet!)


(Now I want Krispy Kreme)

(I actually have this one from an estate sale!)

(Perfect for a tea freak like myself)

Here are ones that will identify serial killers:

(If someone gives you this, run far and fast.)

(Yeah, this will win me over...not)

("Let's come to the point. Be My Valentine."  I'll pass, thanks.)

(Given the bloody arm and the way they spelled steak, I must decline.) 

I'm hoping to get an early workout so the Mr and I can enjoy the evening.  I've got filet mignon, potatoes and roasted asparagus on the menu.  For me, saving $40 for the same dinner is the way to my heart even if I have to be the one to make it! 

Any plans for Valentine's Day?  (Remember you don't have to be in a relationship to celebrate.  As long as you love someone, honor your friendship, family or with your fur babies!)

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pillow talk and long distance planning

Well, the pillows came yesterday and as per my luck, they are the wrong ones.  *facepalm*  They are basically the same ones I paid $7 for from a big box store.  So I would have to pay to send them back and my shipping wouldn't be refunded so I let the Mr take the one I got him for a test run and he seems to think it'll work out.  He tested it last night so we'll see.  If so, we'll jam them under the dresser and he can have two brand new pillows for the ready when this one wears out.  In the meantime, I'd contacted customer service about the uber fluffy pillows I experienced and he said they were the other feather/down combo they sell for $60 a pop.  I looked online and found a website that sold soft support pillows with the same technology and has a 30-day hassle free return policy after you take it for a test run.  Yes, please.  Plus it was 20% off if you bought two pillows and then if you signed up for their email stuff they send you a 10% off code and the topper, 5% off with Ebates.  So I would be getting two pillows for the price of one through Omni.  Oh, and I also saw at the bottom of the Omni email that mattresses and box springs are non-refundable.  Pass.  However, I did manage to find it on Serta's website.  I had the Mr take pics of the tags and stuff so we could track it down.  Once I find out a little more info, we'll see if we can track it down somewhere to take a test run.

I gabbed with my friend yesterday about her nuptials and she added me to her Pinterest board for her wedding.  She said that they are doing an intimate ceremony and won't be having a wedding party so family and friends can relax.  (She's a recent bridesmaid and was miserable and stressed.)  She said had there been a traditional ceremony, I would've been her main maid.  I told her I was a little relieved because my leg has been in a state of disarray for 4 years and the last thing I'd want to do is disappoint her on her wedding day not knowing if I'd be able to do the things she'd need that day.  I still worry about that but I'll at least be able to sit if necessary.  I seriously pray I'm not still dealing with the crap in a year and a half but if history is any indicator, I can't just assume I'll be better.  It was fun going through what she's pinned in the past week since her betrothment.  I guess this is how you plan weddings long distance with your friends now.  While I sometimes curse the internet, I'm grateful for the ability not to miss out on the fun stuff as she plans her special day.  On the same token, I didn't get 80% of what I needed done because I spent too much time chatting and on Pinterest. 

I started tracking yesterday.  I don't know the last time I did that.  Hang on, I can check.   Looks like the end of September...when this foot issue flared uncontrollably.  Interesting.  I hope to keep it up.  You know how it is trying to get back into a habit.

We started watching Miracles (affiliate link) last night and got through four episodes.  Given the Olympics have all of our shows pre-empted, this will be the perfect time to blow through it finally and then we can donate it.

What was the last thing you ordered that wasn't what you expected?

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Weird weather behavior and time flies

(or tea...or bourbon.  Nah, probably shouldn't on the bourbon.)

Good Monday to you all.

It was grocery refuel weekend, and I don't know if people in your neck of the woods don't know how to drive when it's foggy out, but apparently it's like Armageddon here.  Freeways shut down, traffic everywhere we went, just a weird vibe EVERYWHERE and when we tried to go to Trader Joe's and Target it was so friggin' crowded that we were like "not happening."  We had to wait and went back around 7 pm, and it was much more tolerable.  Everyone we talked to noted how weird people were so we were glad we weren't the only weird ones.  I told him I wasn't up for splitting up the trips like we usually do so let's just do it all Saturday night and we did.  I thought it would make for a more relaxed Sunday but somehow it didn't feel much different.  We watched Music and Lyrics since it was on TV after we realized too late I just donated it last month.  My mission this year is to watch and donate the "WTF was I thinking" on some movies we own and determine whether or not they're worth keeping.  We have the full series (one season) of this show we used to watch called Miracles with  Skeet Ulrich that was really good.  We never watched the end!  It was cancelled before they aired the ending and we were so excited when it came out on DVD and why we didn't watch it is beyond me.  It began and ended in 2003.  15 years ago for those not up for math this early.   Now I have no idea what the show was about so we'll have to watch the whole thing one weekend now that binge watching is a thing.

The Mr got a new toy over the weekend.  (Affiliate link)  He recorded "Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies and it came out really good.  I'm already giving him a list of other songs to record like "Run" by Foo Fighters and things I know he'll like playing on the guitar.  It'll be a nice change from playing video games for a while.  Speaking of Foo Fighters, this is one minute long and hilarious especially if you know who Christopher Walken is.

Let me see, of my best friends got engaged last weekend!  I'm happy for her but I have to admit, when we were in school together if you'd ever told me that she'd be engaged to someone I've never met, I'd have said you were nuts.  It's just weird and makes me a little sad that we live so far apart now.  We'll get to meet him over the summer so fingers crossed he's cool because you know, if he's not, it's a lifetime of gritting our teeth when we do get to see each other!  Bwaahaha!

I'm excited because my Omni pillows come today.  I wake up with a headache every friggin' day from my pillows and they are a mix of older ones that should be more comfortable, one that's not that old but totally shot (don't bother with Brookstone's "Better Than Down" because it was a lumpy, misshapen mess much like my mid-section within 6 months) and one that is a month into use and isn't working out.  Why is finding the right pillow such a pain in the arse?!  So I'm praying these squishy pillows of heaven will allow me to sleep better.  Oh, I ordered a pillow top mattress pad from them too which will hopefully be here by weeks end.  I thought it might get us by until we get a better mattress.  The fact that I'm talking about a better mattress after it only being a few years...

Um yeah, I guess it's been 7 years since we got that mattress according to some scanning through pics of our bedroom remodel.  Seven.  Years.  Well within the limits of replacing mattresses according to a Google search and several sites.  Sigh.  Seven years...I thought it was like three or four.  We're gonna be worm food sooner than we think.  Well, my goal is to get the topper to get us through this year since we have some expenses potentially coming our way and then that'll be our winter gift to ourselves next year.  My back would like some relief please and thank you.

I am happy to report that my little email reminder seems to be working for me to drink my water so I'm hoping it's going to be a fabulous February on the hydration front!  Sometimes it's the little things.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, February 9, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #6

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you're ready for the weekend.

Let's get right into...

What Does It Really Take to Get Back in Shape?  (Very good info especially if you're recovering from an injury like I am)

If You Stop Thinking Of Exercise As A Way To Lose Weight, You May Actually Enjoy It   (Interesting take and while I agree with most of it, I'll probably have a blog post on my thoughts on this)

Body clock disruptions occur years before memory loss in Alzheimer's  (Attention frequent nappers!)

3 Things to Do When You're Not Seeing Results  (Great article)

Are Essential Oils BS?  (Definitely, a must read for those considering using them.)

People Who Swear May Be Happier, Healthier And More Honest  (Then I will live forever.  I call swearing the "cayenne pepper" of my spicy vocabulary.)

Please Stop "Baking" Your Under Eye   (Unfortunately if you're 35+ you're going to want to stop with this.  I could get away with this when I was younger but now that skin shows EVERY bit of color I try to put on it.)

19 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Make Winter Hibernation Fun  (Some really good ideas!)

7 Things You Definitely Missed During Last Night's 'This Is Us' Episode  (This was after Jack's death episode and we were in Chicago when we watched with no way to rewatch it.  When I saw number 1, I broke down ugly crying trying to tell the Mr about it because I missed it.  Just stab me in the heart, Country Living.)

No real plans that I know of.  I do want to get the house back in order so everything is cleaned up but that shouldn't take long.   It's supposed to be a potential sloppy mess out there so not sure what's on the agenda.  Oh wait, it's grocery weekend.  Oy to the vey.

What are you guys up to this weekend?

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday check in

Happy Almost Friday all!

We're getting back to semi-normal after our jaunt to the windy city.  Visiting Woodstock for Groundhog Day was such a wonderful experience and we can't wait to watch the movie again next year because I'm sure it'll have a whole different feel to us.  After a few days there, we went on to Chicago because this view is something I never tire of...

When we arrived, it was barely still light out but walking around after dark in our area is never an issue for us.  But two straight days of waking up at 4:45am had taken their toll and we didn't have it in us to go out.  We split a turkey panini and fruit from the restaurant downstairs and that was the last healthy food decision we made. 

The next morning, we met a friend of ours for breakfast and had a nice time catching up.  After that, we wandered the city for 5 miles before my leg threw in the towel.  I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed because the last time we were there we walked 12 miles before I got straight up crippled.  (We're talking blood blisters on the bottom of my foot and practically army crawling to make it back to the hotel.)  I know I'll get there again someday but I'm trying to be grateful for the amount of time I did get.  The next day we had some snow and one of the reasons I wanted to go to the city was to see the lights on Michigan Ave so I wasn't missing it regardless of how my leg felt.  I always love seeing the bean in the snow.

We walked another five miles and they were pretty treacherous in spots.  As long as we avoided manhole covers and metal grates, the sidewalks were pretty good.  It was Super Bowl Sunday so we knew not to go to any bars.  The Mr went to Portillo's to grab us dinner after we watched the replay of the Puppy Bowl and we watched the last 2 minutes (aka 20 minutes total- bleh) of the Super Bowl waiting for THE episode of This is Us(Affiliate link) 

We were prepared.

Pretty much ugly cried the whole time even through the twist with Tess. 

I have to say I love the Omni's bed and pillows so much.  I ALWAYS get up in the middle of the night and I was so comfy I didn't wake up once and didn't have any aches or pains when I got up.  Did you know you can actually buy their beds and stuff they have in the room?   I just ordered us some pillows and you can bet the second the Mr gives the green light, we're getting their mattress too.  Even for the mattress and box spring, it's a few hundred less expensive than our last one.

Our last morning, we went out for breakfast at a balmy -2 degrees.  The .6 mile walk seemed to take half the time then when we went a few days earlier.  Funny how not being able to breathe due to snot freeze with every inhale makes you walk a little quicker.  When we left, the sun warmed things to about 10 degrees which actually felt really tolerable.  We walked a little more since we'd be in the car all day.  I always hate seeing it in the rearview mirror.

It's chiro day so I'm hoping to have him zap away some of the damage I did on the trip. 

Where is a town you love visiting over and over?

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Living in Groundhog Day

If you've been here any amount of time, you know the Mr and I are movie buffs to the hilt.  Anytime we travel anywhere, we always see if there were any movies filmed there.  One of our favorite movie sites is Woodstock, IL which was used in the Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog Day(Affiliate link)  We've visited a few times and the town is basically exactly as it was when it was filmed just over 25 years ago.  One of our bucket list items was to actually attend Groundhog Day festivities and as we waited for the day to roll around on a weekend, this year was it!

We invited a friend of mine who lives not too far away to come along for the merriment so we all met up at a hotel in town to camp out at overnight and then went out to dinner.  At 6pm was the "awakening" of the groundhog where a costumed "Woodstock Willie" comes out on the balcony of the Opera House (one of Phil Connor's suicide scenes when he jumps) and fireworks go off, etc.  We headed over in the whipping wind and 10 degrees hoping to see some magic to get us rarin' for the next day.  The mayor was meeting and greeting people and said hello to us and was a very nice guy. 

Then the countdown began.  5...4...3...2...1.   Nothing.  Some dude popped open a window on the balcony but no groundhog.  It's okay, they do say he "reluctantly" emerges and I wouldn't be anxious to pop out in 4 degrees but in a furry costume he's way warmer than the rest of us.  We count down again...nothing.  Um, yeah.  Third time's a charm, right? 


There he is!

Sadly though, only one side of the balcony lit with fireworks.  The other side said, "nope, nope, nope."  Then some firecrackers went off late and it looked like he was getting shot or something.  We all cracked up at how comical it was and then got the hell outta there with the rest of the people.  You've never seen people split so fast!  We went to a local chocolate spot and got some hot chocolate to warm up and were glad to finally be able to feel our earlobes again. 

When we went to Read Between the Lynes bookstore, they were fully decked out for the festivities.

The cashier said they opened at 6am the next morning and expected huge crowds for the 25th anniversary and parking would be scarce so she advised getting there at 6am.  We all agreed later that might be overkill so we hung out at the hotel room gabbing until about 10:30pm until we came up with our plan for the next morning and that we'd leave at 6am-ish since we were a 3-minute drive from downtown.

We got up at 5am and I was awakened by the Mr playing this scene from Groundhog Day as my alarm.   We left just after 6am and we thought we'd go to the square to chance a space being available at 6:15am and there were quite a few.  I'd made some hot chocolate to take with us and we knew it would be ice cold by the time of the prognostication so we enjoyed it in the car. 

My hat suffered an unfortunate ice dam situation with a rogue open water bottle so we had to go back to the bookstore and buy a hat for my noggin.  Then we headed over to Swiss Maid Bakery (still there from the movie) and picked up our groundhog cookie which was actually delicious!

By the time we came out, the polka band was playing and the square was getting crowded. I led the charge and burrowed through the crowd to a pretty decent spot. 

We sang the Milwaukee polka, the EIEIO polka and listened to the others as the mayor led Groundhog Day specific polkas that we didn't have lyrics to.  I have to say though, we were both really disappointed they didn't play the Pennsylvania Polka from the movie just before the prognostication.  They may have played it while we were in the bakery but I don't know why you wouldn't play it in front of the biggest crowd so it could feel just like the movie.  It was a beautiful sunny day and the breeze was a little less so even at 4 degrees it felt a little better than the previous night. 

Richard Henzel, or DJ#1 in the movie, comes out yearly and does the whole scene doing both DJ's to get the crowd warmed up.

They rapped on the door of the stump...

... and Woodstock Willie emerged reluctantly from his weather shelter. 

He got close to the mayor's ear and whispered his weather report in Groundhogese.

The mayor read the prognostication declaring that Woodstock Willie saw his shadow and therefore there would be 6 more weeks of winter.  (You know like the calendar says.)

Everyone began booing and he didn't appreciate it so when he was being hoisted overhead, he basically told everyone to p*ss off by urinating. 

This too is becoming a tradition which is why I didn't need to get too close to the gazebo. 

Then it was off to breakfast and because we have a curse, we were the cut-off point in the line and began the wait.  So we took the opportunity to go see the newly completed mural on the right side of the movie theater.

I also loved the carving of the groundhog in the back of the alley and the inscription of Phil + Rita.

We got our text that the table was ready so we had breakfast then went back and checked out of the hotel so we could be back in time for the movie which the theater is kind enough to show at 10am free to the public during Groundhog Days. 

I have to say, it was awesome watching the movie with the locals!

It was nice to hear roaring applause at the first sight of the town square which looks almost exactly now as it did then.  It was great seeing it on the big screen after 25 years and all of us laughing at the same parts and applauding together at the end.

Back in the square, a local guy was cutting a new groundhog to replace one that had cracked with age.  It was cool to watch him work and kind of reminded me of the ice sculpting scene in the movie.

We stopped in another store that was closed earlier and then that about rounded out our time there.  Before we left, we drove past the B&B where Bill Murray stayed.

If you ever want to do it, visit their website and you can get all of the details.  I'd book the B&B now as they fill up early.

It was an awesome visit and even though we all froze our gonads off, I'd do it again.  I'm reminded of my favorite quote from the movie after having done this event..."When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney (Woodstock) and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."

Amen to that.

Have you ever gone to Woodstock?  Have you ever attended a groundhog day event in your town?

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