Monday, April 30, 2018

Workouts in One Place

I was looking for a workout I put together on here and I thought, "why not go back through some of my workouts from the past so they could be in one spot?"  I know it'd be easier for me and thought some of you would appreciate a single post to many options.   We actually use quite a few of these on the go and you can too!

As always, I must remind you  I am not a health professional and these routines should not be construed as medical advice.  Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.

Paddling Workout  (Upper Body)

Better Boo-tay Workout (Lower Body-with or without weights)

Don't Wake the Neighbors  (Lower Body)

My Lower Body PT

The Mr's Upper Body PT

During the Commercials workout

Body Weight Vacation Workout (Upper Body)

Body Weight Vacation Workout (Lower Body)

Ab Workout

Until You Fail Hybrid Workout (Upper Body)

Until You Fail Hybrid Workout (Lower Body)

Total Body Stretch Sesh  (Obviously, total body)

Total Package Workout (Total body resistance bands/cardio)

I will try to remember to add workouts to this page as I add any new ones in the future so bookmark this page if ya like!

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Friday, April 27, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #17

Happy Friday, y'all!

It's been a long week and I am ready for the weekend!  I bet you are too so let's get right to...

How Negative Self Talk Affects You  (Still haven't mastered this one)

Four Things Procrastinators Need to Learn  (You talkin' to me?)

Do These 8 Things Every Night to Lose More Weight  (All good tips)

Get the Most Out of Your Workout  (Will do)

Katie Lost 150 Pounds in 3 Years — and She Still Ate the Foods She Loved  (Get it, girl!)

Researchers propose new Alzheimer’s definition  (Oy)

What Really Happens When You're Cremated (In case you've ever wondered)

6 Tips For Driving Across America on an Extra tight Budget  (Road trips are the best)

The 50 Most Photogenic Vacation Spots in Every State  (I've seen a few of 'em too)

The world's 41 most incredible private islands  (Yes please!)

Dwayne Johnson Reveals How He Deals With Sadness, and It's Totally Relatable  (It's good when strong men come forward to let everyone know they suffer too)

We've got a lot of running around to get done this weekend.  I was hoping to squeeze in seeing Labyrinth which is back in theaters Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday but the thought of having a ton of kids in addition to obnoxious adults hath deterred me. 

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

How to Be a Thoughtful Guest at a Funeral/Showing

**This blog post is part of a series on death after a long illness.  This was written while going through the experience.  Just as I shared the journey of losing my Grandma to dementia, I am sharing our journey to healing as well as any tips or lessons learned that helped us cope with the loss.  Your experience may be different.**

As part of the bereaved brood at Grandma's funeral, I can tell you I saw and heard some stuff.  It is hard enough going through it but having additional crapola added on top isn't cool.  So I gathered some of my best tips I wanted to pass on should you find yourself needing to paying your respects.

Silence your cell phone! -  Let me repeat this...SILENCE. YOUR. CELL. PHONE. PERIOD.  I shouldn't have to explain how immensely disrespectful this is if your cell goes off at a quiet moment or while you're comforting an upset family member.  There were a few people that almost got them rammed into an orifice for multiple offenses.  It might be a good idea to talk to the funeral home and ask that they put a note beside the guest book informing guests to silence or place their phones on vibrate before entering.  I would also consider asking them to make an announcement two minutes prior to the funeral service starting on the day of burial "the service is starting momentarily, we ask that out of respect for the family, you all place your cell phones on vibrate or silence for the remainder of the service."

Keep your condolences short and sincere - There is nothing more appreciated than someone paying their respects, it is so comforting during that time.  But try to remember the family has a lot of people to see and speak to during the viewing hours.  A couple of sentences is sufficient to the spouse or those closest to the deceased.  Feel free to look at any picture boards/books that are around.  Chances are, various close family members are hanging out there and you can give your condolences to them as well.  They are more than happy to share their favorite memories of the person whether they know you or not.  Obviously, you can stay longer if you get the feeling they need you or have asked you to stay.  When a friend came during a good chunk of the viewing where we didn't know many people, she was kind of our anchor and made it so we weren't just sitting there twiddling our thumbs.  Assess the situation and if someone comes up to pay their respects, take it as your cue to step back and if the person thanks you for coming then it's okay to leave.

Put yourself in their shoes- As an addendum to the above, please don't ask if they remember you or a specific event.  They can barely remember how to tie their shoes during this time of immense loss.  Don't put more pressure on them by making it about yourself.  It's not about you.  One example (and there were, unfortunately, multiples) I had one person I didn't recognize because I don't see her much but she made it about her.  I'm sorry if in my two hours sleep and just having had five people I don't know shoved in my face that I don't know your face that I haven't seen in 4 years.  (To be fair, her physical appearance has changed quite a bit too.)  I know most people aren't that way but you'd be surprised how many times I saw this.  (Or maybe you wouldn't be!  LOL)

Share a memory- You can't believe how comforting it is to hear stories from different perspectives of your loved one, even ones from family.  Just as Grandma cupped my face with her hands and told me I was her first grandbaby, she would do something similar with another cousin but put her hand on her chin and tell her she was pretty.  This cousin doesn't always have the highest self-esteem and it made me happy to know that Grandma wanted her to know she was pretty even if my cousin didn't always feel that way.  Many funeral homes also have memory cards for guests to fill out.  PLEASE, fill them out even if you didn't know the deceased.  You can say "I didn't know _______, but I'm a friend of ____ and they always had such wonderful memories to share of them so I wanted to pay my respects."  It is a joy to read them after the fact and can spark many wonderful conversations that help comfort the family.

Make sure you leave the first 2-3 rows of seats at the service for family-  Depending on how large the family in attendance is, make sure that you aren't in the first two rows for sure.  Some people like myself and the cousin that sang need to be on an end so we had easy access to get up.  Our family went three rows deep.  Just keep an eye out and move back if need be on your own because some people won't want to ask.  Also, if you see a row of seats behind the family empty just before the service starts, don't hesitate to move up.  The family doesn't need to be isolated either and a hand on the shoulder can mean a lot during tough moments.

Be empathetic but...- don't tell them you know how they feel and start talking about a story that you may think is similar.  We've all experienced loss but each person's experience with loss and how they handle that loss is different.  Rarely do two people grieve and that is totally okay.  While you may have had a similar situation, now is not the time to compare notes.  For example, after we were done watching Grandma be laid to rest, the funeral chick (maybe 23-27 years old) who was nice enough the rest of the time said her Grandma had dementia and she passed as well.  I politely said I was sorry to hear that.  Then she said "yeah, she got violent toward the end and was throwing things.  Did your Grandma get violent too?"  Stunned, I said, "no, we thankfully didn't have to deal with that."  Inappropriate!  If you have someone who went through the same disease you can say something like "our family has been touched by dementia too and while I know it's different for every family, I can empathize with what you must be going through.  I'm here if you ever need to talk to someone who has gone through something similar."  A funeral is not the time to swap war stories about what each respective family member went through.

Share your talents-  If you have a talent for putting together playlists or slideshows, offer to do that for the service.  When a co-worker's husband was in the final stages of leukemia, she asked if I would mind doing a slideshow or playlist for his service because she heard I was good at them.  I told her I would do both and to get me pics ASAP so I could have it ready when it was needed.  The funeral homes or professional places can start at $250 and go up to $750!!!  If you don't mind giving your time, you will give them an immense sense of relief and peace that they were able to memorialize their loved ones the way they wanted to and not be taken advantage of financially.  As the music played at his memorial, she told me many times how much comfort it brought her.  If your talent is baking, offer to bake cupcakes or requested items to take to a luncheon that may follow.  Or cook meals and freeze them.  Make them smaller servings so they can spread it out over time.  (Freezing pieces of lasagna instead of the whole lasagna if it's a spouse who is now alone and doesn't want to unthaw an entire lasagna/casserole, etc.)

Don't forget about them-  Grief extends far beyond after the loved one is buried.  Do not give well intentioned advice within a month or two on how they can move on.  (Therapy, support groups and the like are all immensely helpful if someone has been struggling for a few months but suggesting this within the first few weeks can make people feel like they are being judged on their grief process.  No one needs that in addition to what they are already going through.)  Some people need distractions, some choose to let the wave of emotions wash over them and need to be alone.  Some need to blog.  ;-)  If you check in on them and feel they're still having a hard time, offer to go pick up their groceries for them.  (Many stores have pick up programs where they can place their order and you can go pick it up.)  Tell them you don't even need to see them if they want to leave the door unlocked and you can put them away.  Send them a gift card to a favorite restaurant, especially if they have curbside pick up and tell them you know there are still times they may not want to cook, so enjoy a meal on you.  Or better yet a DoorDash gift card so they don't have to go out.  Ask them if they want to go to a movie.  Sometimes getting out but not having the pressure of conversation could be just what they need.  If it's summer, offer to mow their lawn so they don't have to or shovel snow in the winter.  So often, you feel the societal pressure to just move on and be "over it" and that leads to more depression and isolation because you feel like people don't understand or you're grieving "wrong."  (NO SUCH THING by the way!)  By letting them know your patience, support and love are still there even weeks to months later could make all the difference in their lives and helping them adjust to their new normal.

*Again these tips are based off of our recent experience

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Halo Top: Candy Bar

As the Mr and I had made our final round of the grocery store and were almost home free, we spied this.

Well, we can't pass that up.  Okay, we could've but we didn't and at only 30 calories over our usual snack, we justified it.

Don't judge us.

Here's the nutritional info:

Here are the ingredients and we're always down with a chocolate swirl and a caramel swirl but I know to be cautious with 'diet' chocolate ice cream.

Yum!  This looks promising!

We scooped it up and let it soften a little, as recommended.

So, how did it taste?

It was pretty good!  I'm always leery of chocolate flavored ice cream but they did a good job with this.  I thought for sure there were nuts in there from the crunch but I didn't see any listed so they must've had this with Twix in mind due to the caramel and chocolate swirls and then do a cookie crumble in there for the crunch.  I'm not sure I'd need to get it again only because for me there wasn't enough of the crumbles.  I know in order to keep it a healthier ice cream they can't run that stuff all through it like they would in regular ice cream.  But it just left me wanting more which could entice me to polish off an entire pint if I didn't have the Mr to share it with.  So, personally, I would want a single scoop of something like the churned Moose Tracks and be done with more bits o' goodness.  But if you have more self-control than I do, you may really like this!

What's your favorite candy bar?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

This post contains some affiliate links.  See the Disclaimer page for more info.

Mother's Day is a few weeks away and you don't want to be one of the people who panics last minute trying to find the perfect thing!  Of course, it can be daunting trying to come up with the right thing because what do you give the person who housed you for 9 months inside their own body then shot you out of their hoo-ha or had surgery to get you all born and stuff.  I'm here to give you a few ideas so you can cross it off of your to-do list.

For the progressive mama:

If your mom has expressed an interest in aromatherapy or needing to relax, this Essential Oil Diffuser may be the perfect gift!  I can vouch for a similar one that can make getting to sleep much easier when I'm wound up.

Don't forget the essential oils!  This 14 Oil Set has regular oils as well as blends for sleep, stress relief, and muscle relief.

For the cook:

Your mom might've heard of the Instant Pot craze but said it was too much to spend on herself.  Well here's your chance to look better than your siblings and get it for her.  Or if you're an only child, just pony up, you gave her morning sickness for 3 months, it's the least you can do.

For the sentimentalist:

So often when someone leaves us, there are things we wish we'd asked them when they were still here.  Mom, Tell Me Your Story is a 124 page guided journal that will ask about your family history as well as many questions you never thought to ask.  It will help you know your mom better.  My mom did one of these and I'm so glad she did.  I wish I'd done one with Grandma but you can get one for yours so you can have her with you always.

To tug the heartstrings:

I have been eyeing this for a long time for myself with my Grandma but if you have a mom who is spending her first Mother's Day without her mom, this Customized Handwriting Bar Necklace is sure to bring the tears.  See if Dad or siblings know of any cards her mother signed to her and have them take a clear picture so you can get this thoughtful gift in time.

For the Joanna Gaines devotee:

If your mom shows her love through cooking and is one of the ones mourning the end of Fixer Upper then Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering will give her the Joanna Gaines fix she's missing!

For the mom on the edge:

Look, motherhood is messy and she holds her tongue a lot more than she should.  Mama Needs a Mother F**king Nap would be a great stress reliever for your bestie for Mother's Day!  Don't forget the colored pencils!  Just remind her not to mix it up with the Paw Patrol coloring book in the toy room.

For the mom who likes biological real-life horror shows:

If your mom talked about putting Elmer's glue on her hand and peeling it off when it dried as a kid or is constantly sharing pictures of diseases to convince you to have safe sex, she may just love the Soft Touch Foot Peel Mask!

I saw this on a vlog of a girl I follow and it works.  It was good appetite control though because we were eating at the time and had to turn it off.  So if your mama is ready for sandal-ready feet for summer but enjoys picking, popping and all of those other embarrassing things, she'll love this.

For the pet mom:

Even pet mom's need some love on Mother's Day!  After all, pets are basically babies forever and they are on poop duty for 10-15 years!  This cute travel mug will make those anxiety-filled trips to the vet or leisurely trips to the park more relaxing for mama!

I hope these gave you some practical, sweet and weird ideas for your mama!  Tip o' the hat to all of you moms out there rockin' it every day!

What's the best Mother's Day present you ever got?

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Spring weekend recap

Howdy do all!

I don't remember if I ever updated you on the patio estimate.  The original place told us about $3300.  After we regained consciousness, based on the size they were estimating, it was about the middle of the road price wise.  Well, we found the place who did our original patio, and he came out to look things over and priced out our absolute favorite stones which of course are the most expensive stones they make, and it was $4400!!  So we went back to the other people and said we weren't in love with any of the stones from the people they said we had to use, were there other options and the ones from the second landscaper was one of them and the local distributor.  So we headed out to see the stones in person and I have to say, we kind of loved them.

(The gray ones inside the border)

We're waiting to see what the new price would be with those stones since we were quoted with lesser stones the first time and will go from there.  The thought of paying around $4000 for a patio has us both crapping bricks. 

Big, expensive bricks.

We also visited Grandma.  All of the flowers are gone now...sorry deer.  They had a field day with them, and I could envision her yelling at them to get off of her grave.  "Shoo!"  Now she has straw to encourage grass growth.  We checked with the front office, and they said her vase is in, but they're just waiting for the bronze.  We went to another part of the cemetery to visit a friend of mine who was murdered my freshman year in high school.   She was so much like me in so many ways and didn't deserve to die the way she did.  I had to laugh when I saw pussy willow branches in her vase.  I assume her mom brings them from her childhood home.  But she had no problem calling people that so they seemed fitting for her.  I still can't believe she never made it to 15.

Saturday seemed to pass in a flash, so I feel a little cheated.  That night we got all of our grocery shopping done which was nice.  It seemed like everyone was being complete a-holes whether on the road or in person.  We, as a society, need to STOP enabling people to not pay attention while in turn lanes by not honking at them when the light turns, and they're still not moving on three Mississippi.  That's awesome you're carrying on a conversation at the light but we have 4.5 seconds and should be able to get four cars through, and when it's two cars, you've just screwed half the people.  Use the horn people or you're part of the problem.  You don't have to be a jerk about it but a quick beep to alert them to what they should already be paying attention to is appropriate.

Sunday was quite nice.  We had a beautiful day weather wise so after I made brunch, we went out to enjoy the day.

We stumbled upon an open house, and I got kitchen envy which isn't that hard to do when yours is the size of a drink coaster.

Tip toe through the tulips.

We stopped into some fun shops and found cute things.

We weren't the only ones enjoying the day.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, April 20, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #16

Happy Friday everyone!  Are we ready for a weekend is here dance break?

Click here to commence dance party.

Now that we've gotten in a little cardio, let's booty pop into...

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to the 50+ Best Dumbbell Exercises  (Bookmarked!)

Pasta, as part of a healthy diet, not tied to weight gain  (Pass the lasagna!  Seriously.  We ate lasagna when Grandma passed and lost weight that week.)

These Simple Tips Can Trick You Into Eating Healthier  (Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.)

Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News  (Amen!  Going on year three of not watching the news just like Morrisey says!)

Top 50 Spring Diet Foods for Weight Loss  (Yeah, sauerkraut ain't happenin')

Doctors Told Her She Was Just Fat. She Actually Had Cancer.    (These accounts are MADDENING and unethical.  Our former doc blamed everything on us being fat when we were heavier but she is the one who ended up having a stroke being at a normal weight.  Can't judge a book by its cover either way.)

7 Signs A Home Seller May Be Hiding Something  (Interesting and I had to laugh at a few because we've encountered open houses using those techniques.)

5 Steps to See Any Goal Through to the End  (Must do this now.  Today.)

10 Items You Will Never Regret Bringing on a Trip  (My list is vastly different but still good ones.)

20 Quotes About the Importance of Traveling  (Word up!)

WATCH: “Kiss Guy” Gets Pulled Onstage By Dave Grohl, Nails “Monkey Wrench”  (EPIC!)

We don't have any plans for the weekend that I know of.  Just have some planning I need to get done to lift some more burden off of my shoulders then I can hopefully breathe next week.  Strange concept!

Anything fun planned for the weekend?

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Every day is a wave

**This blog post is part of a series on death after a long illness.  Just as I shared the journey of losing my Grandma to dementia, I am sharing our journey to healing as well as any tips or lessons learned that helped us cope with the loss.  Your experience may be different.**

Tuesday night, as we were watching more of our show, we were on the episode called Space and Timing where Brenda's father dies.  When it's the death of a character on the show compared to the other deaths the Fishers deal with, it's just a little closer to home.  He passed of gastric cancer, but it was the way she described his death that was so familiar.

Watching him die, it was like watching someone get washed out to sea only they're sitting right there in bed.  A wave comes, takes them a little away.  Another wave comes, takes them a little away.  Every wave is a day.  Then they go.

I was a little teary during the episode but not bad because as any SFU fan knows, all of life's pain is tempered with humor.  After the episode, the Mr looked at me and asked what I was thinking based on the look on my face.  I started crying and said I couldn't help but think of how she described her dad dying and how much that sounded like what happens with dementia patients.  Her character only had to deal with it for 3 months, but we had to deal with it for over seven years.  When you don't see someone every day, the wave can feel like a tsunami because so much of them are gone from the last time you saw them.  It is so rapid that you feel like you're drowning and panicked because if X has changed that much, what else is going to change so fast the next time?

The wave analogy has applied a lot to many parts of this process.  The day of her passing, a dear friend told me "think of it as a wave in the ocean, where the emotions come in up to your chin (sometimes feeling like they might drown you), and then they go back out.  Multiple times a day this will probably happen so give yourself permission to just feel whatever you feel in the moment."

Tuesday night was one of those moments.  I cursed myself for being so emotionally weak and that I wish I had the strength to have seen her more.  No matter how much I saw her in the beginning, I would inevitably end up with tears filling my eyes and need to excuse myself.  Obviously, I couldn't cry in front of her especially when she had more of her faculties about her because I couldn't say "I'm losing you and I am devastated of how much more of you is going to be gone the next time I see you."  It's like holding on to someone with one hand dangling off of a cliff, and you're desperately trying to hold on.  The Mr said she understood how sensitive I was and gave me that pass, but it doesn't make it any easier especially when it feels like you're being judged for not being 'in the trenches' with everyone else which I totally understand.  He talked about the last family reunion we went to in 2014.  It was actually for the other side of the family, and this is when they were more about trying to get her husband out of the house and not really assessing what kind of day Grandma was having.  This was before she was on meds that truly zoned her out and she was very irritable.  She was not having a good day at all, but she was taken anyway.  She was in a short-sleeved shirt but had a sweater on too, and this was August, and it was HOT.  I was sitting beside her, and people kept overloading her with questions.

"Are you hot?"
"Are you thirsty?"
"Do you want some more food?"
"Do you need to use the restroom?"

This was literally every five minutes for half an hour.  *I* was getting irritated with everyone for the constant yammering.  I was talking to someone else, and someone asked me to ask her if she was hot and I said she wasn't sweating, she looked fine, but she also looked like she was in pain.  (Something I was kind of brushed off on several times so it made interacting with her even harder thinking she could be in pain from the potential static in her head.)  I was told again to ask her, so I said "do you want your sweater off, Grandma?" and that was it.


I was devastated and became 4 years old, looked down and said "I'm sorry" as my voice cracked.

She said, "not you."

I forced a smile and tears filled my eyes, and I excused myself.

The Mr said that moment always stuck with him because even though she was so angry, confused and just wanted people to leave her the hell alone in peace, she recognized that her words hurt me and her love to correct that situation came through.

We laughed over a time earlier that year when she was having a day where she was staring into space due to the drugs.  It was after our trip to San Francisco.  Her husband always picked us up from the airport, and this was the first year he couldn't but still wanted to hear about the trip, so we went over.  We were telling him about it, and I was sitting by Grandma, and we were talking about how expensive the Cliff House was, and I said how little food we got but paid $75 for lunch.  Out of nowhere, she looked over and said, "WHAT!?!?!"  We all busted out laughing because we didn't know if she could hear or understand what we were saying.   Another time a few weeks later, he gave us a check, and she said "I'll take one of those," and we were cracking up.  Then the cell phone rang, and she started dancing in her seat to the ringtone.  It's a good memory, but she didn't know me anymore at that point, but it was good to see those little glimpses of her personality.  It was truly the last moments of hanging on to herself on the outside before dropping into the abyss.  You have to be thankful for those moments.  You learn to cherish the little things that are left of them because too quickly those things will be gone and you'll wish you had them.  That's the thing with dementia, just when you think you've gotten to rock bottom, a new bottom seems to be dug out.  When you hit actual rock bottom, you'll know it, and nothing can prepare you for it.  So it's even those small moments of coming out of the fog for a moment that can sustain you during the loss.  I wish I'd started doing the gratitude journal/one happy year when she was diagnosed.  There are so many other things I wish I could remember but I think it was all so overwhelming that I didn't think of it.  It's not those times I wish to hang on to anyway even if I'm grateful for the few moments where we were able to see the real her.

I choose to remember the woman who would tell me to "put my shoe-bees on" or not to stub my "toe-bee."  These are words that are part of our everyday vocabulary in this house.  It isn't unusual for me to tell the Mr to put his shoe-bees on and he doesn't bat an eye.  He loved that about her too.  I remember the woman who bought me a black and white TV for my bedroom back in the day as well as this creepy ass 1980's replica of a 1960's ventriloquist doll called Willie Talk.  That effer is like straight out of a nightmare, but because I wanted it so badly, she made sure I got it.  This is from a girl who would turn stuffed animals around at night so I couldn't see their eyes, but I wanted that friggin' doll...what a freak ass kid, I was.  When I was 3 years old and walked onto the pool cover to get my ball...a potential disaster in waiting, I think Grandma was the one I went to as three people tried to coax me off.  She would let me play "radio station" in her house that had the room with the stereo that was wired to the entire house.  I'd write some fake radio station name on a sign, slap it on the outside of the pocket door, close it and start my "shift" to broadcast to the whole house.  Since I was a super dork, in between each song, I'd open the door and yell "that was the Oak Ridge Boys with their hit song Elvira!  Now, on with the show!" since she didn't have a mic that would broadcast out.  It was no surprise to her when I went to school for broadcasting, I'm sure.   I try to search my mind for more memories like that from childhood.  The time that I truly idolized her when I had her to myself for the first 8 years of my life, and she doted on me.  I even remember the way she'd yell at me when I was getting on her nerves and trust me, I'd have gotten on my nerves as I understand more about being sensitive to noise.  She had this fridge that came with the 'radio station house' that you would push a button and it would open the fridge door with this "whirrr-errrr" sound.  I was fascinated by it.  Sometimes, I would just walk by and push the button to open it and then shut it a few times.  It gave me some kind of joy like dialing a rotary phone.  After a few times, I'd hear her yell in from the other room "that's enough!!"

Tee hee.  😆

As I sit here at 12:30am typing, I'm surrounded by many cards she gave me with special messages written inside.  In the middle of them is a framed picture of her and I together where I had my head on her shoulder at my birthday dinner 8 years ago.  My mom saw she was getting mushy with me and grabbed my camera.  It's the moment she is telling me I was her first grandbaby and the moment is so full of unconditional love from both of us for each other.  It's a moment that I am forever thankful for having captured especially now.  Seeing her hand over mine and almost kissing my forehead as my head is on her shoulder is like having her here to hug and comfort me all the time.  My mom was never a picture taker, but I'm so grateful she took that one.  Just as the emotional wave felt drowning that night, almost two hours later after having written this post, I felt better.  The wave pulled back, and I was able to laugh thinking of examples to write of the woman I loved so much.  I know one thing for sure, that woman loved me as much as I love her and death can't break that bond.  It will never be the same as hugging her or smelling her White Diamonds in the house, but I have that picture that speaks of over 40 years of love in one wave of tenderness that will sustain me until I see her again.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Productive and butt kicked


Yesterday was a super productive day.  I got a lot of stuff done that I needed to and now I only have one thing I need to focus on instead of three or four.  I wasn't sure I could get back into being that productive so soon but it was out of necessity.  There's nothing better than having a workload off of your shoulders.

The Mr and I were both super sore from the previous night's strength session.  The deadlifts and lunges really tightened the ol' rumps so I said I didn't have it in me to do something like Turbo Fire.  So what did we do instead?  Tae Bo Get Ripped.  You know because it's so much easier.  [dripping with sarcasm]  I even tried to modify a bit but dang it was still a butt kicker.    So there's my part of adding in more moderate exercise for the month.  We should both be crippled by week's end.  HA!  On the upside, I hit two bottles of water so that was good.

I was glad I had the last of my pre-made meals in the freezer and was able to just heat up some chili for dinner. 

Since we're still dealing with snow, we were under blankies and had the fireplace going while getting deeper into season three(affiliate link)   Then it was time for some tea and that about rounds it out. 

I know, nothing exciting but that's day to day livin' yo.

What workouts kick your butt?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April: Mid Month Progress Report

The editor is in bed, so you know the drill. 

I should've known to set goals other than emotionally survive the first two weeks of April.  Here's how things are going so far this month.


April goal:  Get out of my food rut and make different things.  If you can't friggin' decide where to go on high cal day, then just fix something at home.  If you're really that uninspired, it's not worth the calories.

I have made a few different things, but the first week I didn't have the desire to plan anything concrete for the rest of the month.  So the food rut is a good fall back for me right now since it doesn't require much thought.  I'll have to make that a goal for another month.


April goal:  Test the waters with moderate impact exercise and continue with the extensive stretching sessions which are obviously helping.

We did Atletica (affiliate link) last week at the Mr's suggestion, and when I called his bluff, he turned white.  I did it with as heavy of weights as I could manage with the elbow.  I do want to throw a Turbo Fire in there this week because I'm sick of walking.  It'd be nice if this ankle thing would ever resolve but I've basically given up and stopped seeing the chiro.  I've told myself for 4 weeks I need to make an appointment with him, but I don't make it a priority because I'm just salty over it all.  I have no desire to go through dry needling and $1500.  Whatever.  Next.


April goal: Get back to three bottles of water per day especially on weekends.

Water is crap even with reminders set up.  I've been getting up so late that I don't even start drinking anything until 11am anyway.  Weekends are horrible.  I'd love to get back to where I was, but only I can do that so...


April goal:  Get back to 12:30am as the goal.  You're out of control with the late nights.

Bwaaahaha!!  12:30am is early these days.  I'm back to 2 am bedtimes, wake up at 6:30am and toss and turn until my pill alarm goes off, do some work from the phone for an hour or so then am so exhausted I fall back asleep if I'm lucky for another hour.  It's a crappy pattern, but I don't see it breaking any time soon.

Mental Health:

April goal:  Video chat with a friend once during the month.  Journal all of the emotions you're going through with Grandma's passing and be good to yourself.  You're not even in the thick of the potential worst of the "after."

Meh, not feeling the video chatting.  I've been emailing some friends and seeing some of them in person which does a lot to make me feel better.  I'm also getting adept at immediately cutting off other people's BS that I am not ready to deal with.  I've journaled what I feel I needed to and made them into a series that'll be here so hopefully that can help some people.  The Mr has been a great friend on that front and started a lot of conversations to help me.  I am pretty much through the fog of Grandma's death because we've talked about everything there was to process.  I guess you'd call me almost at the "acceptance" stage.  We've talked about the other health issue that has come up, the person is unreasonable, and I'm not taking it on.  I've said my prayers about it and that's that until the end comes for them.  Looking like it'll be sooner than later, unfortunately.  The best thing that will help in the mental health department for me is getting as much done as humanly possible this week on a few fronts, and I need to remember to wear my mouth guard, or my jaw is going to break.  (affiliate link)  

I'm going to cut myself a little slack this month.  I'm not stress eating like I wanted to do continuously for the 2 weeks after grandma died and we're still exercising 6 days a week as usual.  At this point, that's going to have to be the biggest victory for me.  I do want to improve on the water, but I'm not going to make myself feel like crap for my mojo being off so far this month with all we've been dealing with. 

How's your April going so far?  Anything you want to change for the rest of the month?

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Fishy, friendly weekend recap

Good Monday mornin' Y'all!

It was quite a whirlwind weekend for us and full of friends and fish.  Saturday, I was glad to have some plans to get out and see some friends of ours at a craft show they were hosting.  We got to visit with their daughter who remembered us and see her new baby who seemed to be a happy little one smiling and kicking up a storm.  Our friends were surrounded by a ton of people but we got to slip in and give them a hug and talk with them for a few minutes.  She's just come through cancer and is looking well so it was good to confirm her good health with our own eyes.  I, unfortunately, didn't see anything I had to have so we walked out empty handed.

We went to a cafeteria style restaurant and I was glad we tried it finally (one of those places that have been around forever) but I don't know that I'd need to go back.  They do have a bakery with donuts as big as your head and since I owed my friend who just moved into a new place a housewarming gift, I got him 4 donuts and a fritter.  We visited for two hours and it was nice to catch up and see his new digs.  When we left, I had to come to terms it was time to invest in some new boulder holders bras.  All of my current ones are a little tight in the band area and there are some from Fashion Bug days and if any of you shopped FB, you know it's been closed for awhile.  :-|  So we went to one plus sized shop and it didn't have the material I preferred.  I don't like padded ones because I've got my own and you can brush up against something and then the cup can invert and leave you looking like an alien.  One I saw had SO much padding, there wasn't even room for a boob in there.  I ended up dropping $165 on 6 bras at Lane Bryant because I needed good bras.

Then we passed some spa that just added those fish treatments that you see on some travel show in Singapore or something where the fish eat the dead skin from your feet.  Since I'd just been complaining our life is like the Groundhog Day movie, I said "let's do it!" and walked in.  I have literally been too lazy to file my feet lately so I thought I'd pay to let some fish do it for me so they got quite the buffet.

I didn't even think about the possibility it might tickle and it did for the first 30 seconds but then it just felt like bubbles circulating after a hot tub has been turned off or like you maybe stuck your feet in soda or something.  We did it for about 20 minutes and it was more for the experience.  I still would've had to file my feet if I was going to the chiropractor or something.  But it was a fun thing to do together and I was surprised the Mr did it since his feet are so ticklish!  We read about it after the fact and I tea tree oiled mah toes just to be safe.

When we got home, there was a message the friend we spent Easter with was in town and since I already had plans for a dang good lunch the next day, I told him to come on over.   We had BBQ beef sammies, sweet potato casserole and homemade mac and cheese.  (With company coming, I made it a little more decadent than I would've if it was just for us.)  It was nice to hang out since we only see him usually every other year so 3x in three months is quite the treat for us even if some of the visits weren't the best circumstances.  I consider hanging out with or talking to him part of my mental health goals because he's such a sweetie and such a positive person always looking to improve himself.  Those are the kind of people to surround yourself with whenever you can.   We were all in a food coma so he went back to his hotel to nap and we got in episode one of season three of Six Feet Under before I yelled "nap!" and we were out for 90 minutes.

Then before we knew it, it was time to workout and go to Ready Player One.  The best part of the movie for me was before it when during the trivia section they played Marlon Williams "Make Way For Love!"  I almost squeed myself!  As for the movie, I didn't care for it.  I don't believe in putting 80's references in just for the sake of making them, especially where they make no sense.  The Mr said he wasn't overly impressed with it.  There's one part in the middle about a date night movie that was cool but other than  Oh yeah and don't bother staying until the end of the longest credits in cinematic history, there are no easter eggs at the end of a movie about easter eggs.  #fail 

That about rounds it out for us!

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, April 13, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #15

Happy Friday all!  It's been a long but productive week for the most part, so that is good.  It's supposed to be almost seasonal for a change and while I'm certainly not one to complain about snow, but if you don't give me a base for snowshoeing, it's hard for me to get on board with April snow.  Nah, that's a lie.  It's still relaxing to watch.

Let's get right to...

Healthy Weight, Healthy Mind: 7 Tactics to Avoid Emotional Eating  (Anyone remember when Tami from The Real World had her mouth wired shut?  I don't see that here.)

Strawberries, spinach top 'Dirty Dozen' list of fruits and vegetables with most pesticides  (Always buy these organic if available!)

10 Bad Habits to Ditch for a Happier You  (Yes indeedy, Ally Sheedy)

The Squat Variation You Need to Do If You Want Strong Legs and Glutes  (#futureleggoals)

Why Are My Hamstrings Always Tight?  (Well if you're doing those pistol squats, that could be one reason!)

The One Dangerous Mistake You’re Making With Your Slow Cooker   (Interesting.  I do this all the time but will usually let it go all day from that state.)

How to Find the Motivational Style That's Best for You  (I don't see mine.  "Get off your big butt, or the ejector seat engages in 5...4...3...")

10 Tech Habits That Are Damaging Your Health  (Pay attention techies)

You’re Not An Idiot For Speaking To Your Dog In A Baby Voice, Study Suggests  (What if you speak to dogs on TV, in passing cars or in magazines that way?  Asking for a friend.)

This Man Lost 70 Pounds, and Now the Internet Thinks He Looks Like a Disney Prince  (Beast!)

You Put Da Lime in Da Coconut  (Easiest risotto ever and perfect with seafood!)

A friend of ours has a craft show this weekend, so I'm thinking about going to that tomorrow.  (This is news to the Mr.)  I think he also has plans for us to see Ready Player One.  Lord help me.  That audiobook was HORRIBLE, so I hope the movie is nothing like it.  (It had more to do with the narrator than the content and when you are ready to turn the steering wheel into a barrier to just end the pain of having to listen to it, you know it's time to turn it off!)

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Date night

My editor is in bed, and it's late, so forgive any typos/grammatical errors.

Yesterday was a productive day.  I was able to get a few things done but of course, not quite as much as I wanted.  I need to stop going to bed at 2-3am because I get late starts and then the day gets away from me but I'll take what I can get right now.

The Mr informed me Monday he wanted to take me out on a date Wednesday.  He would make dinner and told me to save room for licorice, and it was a surprise.

So he did his workout in the morning, and I was left to my own devices which meant it happened way later than I would've liked so that I didn't have to rush around.  Why change now?   About 1pm, I heard a rushing water sound and freaked out and ran into the kitchen because I thought it was flooding in there.  Nothing.  I checked outside and didn't see anything, so I went back to work.  An hour later, I went to get more water from the fridge, and the dispenser wouldn't work.  I was so irritated because I'm like "really God, now you're breaking my fridge?"  I said screw it and went to fill up from the tap, and it didn't work.  Awesome.  We have no water.  I have to pee like a racehorse, I still had to workout and no way to take a shower.  Hiss.  I called around until I finally got some smart ass giving me incompetence as the answer to my questions which was basically I had a potential of 5 more hours to go without water.  I messaged the Mr and told him to grab two big things of water on the way home since I had no idea how long it would be out.  So I didn't finish my workout until about 4pm, and between that and a company screwing up a month-long wait on an order I need, I was in a bad mood.  The Mr let me vent but was bouncing off the walls excited for our date night, so it was hard to be consumed by the nuisances of life.  Probably wouldn't have been the case a week ago though.  He even bought me flowers, but because I just threw out all of the funeral flowers the night before, I was used to them being there, so it wasn't until I saw the flower food in the kitchen that I thought to look at the table.

I was pretty sure he was taking me to see Cock Blockers.  (I don't know why they don't just call it the actual name of the movie.  I hear them say way worse on TV now!)  But nope, that wasn't it!  He took me to the 40th Anniversary screening of Grease(Affiliate link)  I have actually been jonesing to watch it again over the past couple of months, so this was perfect.  I remember wanting to see it when it came back for the 25th anniversary, but we didn't.  It was nice to see it on the big screen again, and since I've been listening to Marlon Williams version of Olivia's "Carried Away" a lot lately, I've already been in an ONJ mood.  The only thing that ruined it for us was this couple that came in as the movie was starting and they sat right beside the Mr (seriously?  Who reserves seats next to someone in a theater that is 1/3 full???  Her man dolt found it necessary to talk in a register just over conversational in a loud public mall setting, and she found it necessary to recite every damn line from the movie.  Look, lady, we ALL know the lines, now STFU because we didn't pay $25 to hear YOU.  Just after Summer Nights, the dude began talking loud and I yelled "VOLUME!" because Ruth Fisher was apparently nesting in me and needed to be released.  He basically shut up after that but she continued on, and they got up and moved two seats down.  He wasn't a problem, but she insisted on ruining lines, and the Mr said: "NOT FAR ENOUGH AWAY!"  She piped down for the most part to a more acceptable level that kept her from getting bitch slapped.  People ruin everything.  But it was nice to get to really absorb everything eye level and 40 feet high because we saw lots of stuff we don't see when it's on the small screen.  The same thing happened when we saw Groundhog Day in the theater in February.

Then we got out when Cock Blockers was starting so we checked the kiosk to see how crowded it was and because it was 9pm, it was also only 1/3 full, so we got in there with a lot of time to spare due to a lot of previews.  It was funny and ridiculous, but we needed some stupid humor right now.  If we'd rented it, I probably would've said some of the casting could've been better, but it served its purpose.

It was nice to get out on a "school night," and it was certainly nice to have dinner cooked for me!  :-)  So thanks hon, it was a nice surprise, and we need to do that more often!

What movie from your childhood would you like to see on the big screen again?

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

When Relief Doesn't Come

**This blog post is part of a series on death after a long illness.  This was written while going through the experience.  Just as I shared the journey of losing my Grandma to dementia, I am sharing our journey to healing as well as any tips or lessons learned that helped us cope with the loss.  Your experience may be different.**

I feel like we as a society want to sweep the aftermath of a death under the rug.  It makes us uncomfortable to see how deep grief goes and it's easier if we can pretend that once the funeral is over people just get back to their lives.  If one person is helped by this, it's worth it.

You know when you go through a long illness with someone, and the prayers turn from "do something to save them" to "take them, so they don't suffer anymore?"  It is usually a pretty drastic turn either in quality of life or appearance (or both) that lead to those prayers changing.  Something has changed that tells you hope or the person you knew is gone.  It's gut-wrenching, and you can feel guilty for feeling that way, but it's out of deep love for the person that you don't want them to suffer any further.  We tell ourselves that even though we know it will be hard when they're gone, anything will be better than the hell they are going through here.  We tell ourselves we'll be relieved when it happens.

That's a lie.  (At least it was in our case.  Your mileage may vary.)

Sorry.  I want to try to sugar coat it but I don't sugar coat turds and this, my friends, is a big fat turd of life.  I'm nothing if not eloquent.  The last time I saw Grandma when she was alive was nothing short of devastating and horrifying.  She lost so much weight so fast toward the end, she was almost unrecognizable.  I remember when my mom came out of the guest room with her sisters that she hugged me and told me she almost didn't call me because of how bad she looked because she knew I wouldn't want to see her that way but wanted to give me the option.  Then when she saw how upset I was but that I said my goodbyes, she said "my God, I almost took the option away.  I almost didn't call."  I assured her it was okay and that I wouldn't have been mad.  I'm not going to lie...the selfish part of me 99% regrets seeing her that way.  The Mr asked the next day if I regretted going and I cried and said yes.  The 1% of me that made the decision to go did it for Grandma.  I did it because I knew she needed to feel the love of her family before she left and it was my time to tell her how much I loved her.  It was time to show her by my presence at a time that wasn't a holiday, that it was okay to let go.

When I found out three hours later, I wasn't surprised, and I told myself I was glad I did it because she felt like she could move on with our blessings.  I told myself I will be relieved she wasn't suffering anymore.  I dreaded going in to see her at the funeral home, but I knew by seeing the shell of a woman I saw in that bed, it would bring me some relief that she was no longer fighting that wretched disease.  But when we saw the funeral home had physically restored her to almost look like her old self, that thought of relief went out the window.  It made it so much harder to see her look so good if that makes any sense.  It reminded us we were robbed of almost 8 years with her being herself and now that she was looking like hurt.  I knew it would probably be that way, and I'd need to process her loss in the coming week(s), but maybe then it would change.  Nope.  As you go through the fog that resembles a life after you lose someone you're close to, your brain is almost completely shut down.  I would stand with the fridge open to make breakfast and honestly could not remember how to make a PB&J.  Pouring cereal and milk was too much to compute.  I would look at my screen with work piling up, and I would lose 30 minutes.  This showed you when you last had activity, and I would look down after having apparently stared at the page for 30 minutes in the blink of an eye.

I've spent weeks in a mental fog so deep, it scared me.  I spent times saying I was fine when I wasn't so other people wouldn't have to feel my suffering.  I forced smiles so as not to bring others down.  I spent time wondering if the revelation of what Grandma had asked me would come back to bite me and spent time waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I've spent weeks fighting emotional eating demons which I gave in to for about three days from the day of her funeral on, but the urge to binge on every single thing was strong.  I am still struggling to keep fighting even though I know a bag of Oreos will not bring her back.   I want to not feel so lost and cheated.  Imagine losing the last eight years of your life.  Then imagine the only send off you get being botched hard by the person who was supposed to bring comfort to everyone.  No, I'm still not over that, and you wouldn't be if it were your parent or grandparent either.  I hope no one ever has to experience that, ever.

I thought as I would come out of this stupor that things would get easier.  That as I logically thought about the hell she was experiencing that I would eventually be awash with a spiritual acceptance of this journey I watched from afar.  I would feel some sense of peace and/or relief that would eventually comfort me.  That has not happened.  When you say "it'll be a blessing when they go" because you want them to have peace, you realize it's just something all people tell themselves, and maybe they believe it.  I did.  But then you come to understand that losing someone you love, no matter what vile disease or circumstance, leaves you with this unbelievable void you will never fill.  A part of you dies with them.  A part you that you can never get back.  You can honor them by living your best life or carrying on traits of them in you, but it's never the same.  Even not having any true communication with her for three years, it's knowing she was just down the street that made the difference.  Even with me not being able to have a conversation with her, when they're gone, they're gone, and it guts you.  I'm not telling anyone this to take away hope or to grind in some harsh reality.  I'm just doing as I've always done and sharing my truth, and with this situation telling yourself you'll be relieved is a false expectation.  It makes sense at the time, but it does very little to comfort you as you try to anchor yourself into your new reality.

I just want comfort.  I want that relief I thought I'd feel.

Relief that may never come.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Childhood comfort foods and life just doesn't let up

Yep....I've been staring at this blank page for about an hour.  My editor is in bed so forgive typos.  My brain is so at capacity which I'll get to after a recap.

I had my Grandma foods yesterday.  Raisin Bran for breakfast.  I now remember why I'd get Kellogg's over Post...the bran tasted better and of course more sugar on the raisins.  I'll eat it but I had to laugh that my palette hasn't adjusted to that level.  Grandma was never one for spicy anything.  It always had to be bland.  I spent my whole life hearing how spicy foods were going to eat a hole through my stomach.  If she only knew the research proves spicy foods help you in so many ways.  You could show her 10 studies on that front and she'd say they were wrong.  Maybe I should've had the Mr tell her, then she would've believed it.  ;-)  (He's laughing, I know it)  I had my American cheese and mayo sammich on her Home Pride Wheat bread.  Uh...what happened to the wheat!?!?!  It tasted exactly like white Wonder bread!!  Not a fleck o' wheat to be found.  Eight year old me was ecstatic but 40+ year old me was irritated it was not the bread of my matriarch.  Despite this, it was damn "I felt like a kid again" delicious.  Too bad an hour later I was so hungry I wanted to eat my own hand.

The day was somewhat productive.  I had three things written down that I wanted to get done and even though I pushed them off until the end of the workday, I did them.  It made me feel quite accomplished like maybe a little of the haze was starting to lift a bit.  We did a free weight session for exercise and some good rolling and stretching afterward.  The Mr cleaned up a bit while I finished my stretching but we still have more to do.  I was more than happy to have made "zombie chili" Friday because I knew I probably still had a few days in there where throwing together dinner would be too much to ask of myself and last night was one of them. 

Then as we settled into more Six Feet Under, I got news that there's another potentially life-threatening situation looming.  (It's not either of us.)   I don't know how this is going to end only that my brain literally can't handle it right now.  I started having little tingles at the top of my head which I got when my brain shut down the day after Grandma died.  I've gotta give this one up to God as much as possible and unfortunately, I can't go into it.  So just when I was starting to feel like maybe functioning would be a possibility, along comes another kick in the teeth.   I'm just saying prayers for all involved and I turned on my Marlon Williams to soothe me after the Mr went up so I didn't go into a brain meltdown. 

Today we have another contractor coming in to look at the patio.  I think it was the day Grandma died we got the first estimate...$3300.  Yeah.  So this company is the one who actually installed our patio 18 years ago so it'll be interesting to see where they fall on all of that.  I guess we'd better clean up a little more.  It's not exactly "company ready" though right now I'm not really sure I give a poo.   Pfft.

What were your favorite foods as a kid?

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Happy Monday


Want to see the saddest thing ever?

That is what my Facebook friends list has looked like for six years.  Despite them removing her Facebook page when she was unable to understand how to use it, you can still stay friends with the person.  You can't go to a page that isn't there obviously but it still shows them in your friend count and you can see them even if other people can't.  It also stabs my soul to see the "ghost" profile picture of her because that is what it's felt like going through this disease with her.  This ghost of a person left in the shell of the body that has always loved you.   I will never, ever delete her.  Ever.

Last week was spent pretty much in a fog.  We continued our workouts for five days.  I took Sunday off because after standing for so long Saturday left both of our legs completely fried.  I felt like I was starting to turn a corner with the foot thing and then the showing happened with those awful flats and now I'm back to hobbling.  A lot of work to do in a short period of time.  I fought and am still fighting the urge to completely and utterly stuff my pie hole full of everything I can find to numb myself.  Some days I look at tasks I did with ease on any day and I don't know how to do them.  It's taken me 20 minutes just to write this far.  It amazes me how quickly people expect you to just jump back into your old self.  Kinda like "oh, she's in the ground now?  Well here's what I'M going through/what I need you to help me with."  Uhh...I can barely remember how to brush my teeth some days but no, let me listen to your crap too.  Sigh.  There needs to be a minimum two week bereavement period in which people are not allowed to contact you for any reason especially if you're a sensitive lot like me and if they do, you are allowed to throat punch without repercussions.

It was grocery weekend and I bought Post Raisin Bran and a loaf of Home Pride wheat bread because that's what Grandma always enjoyed.  I remember when I thought Home Pride was gross because the flecks of wheat always weirded me out.  For lunch today, I'm going to make an American cheese and light Miracle Whip sandwich like I used to have at her house.  It's not going to be a regular thing but if I drink enough water I should be able to flush out the sodium.  We've got 4 slices left from Easter so that'll take care of my half.  I guess I just need those occasional comforting things that remind me of her right now and since sometimes dumping a bowl of cereal or making a basic sandwich are all I'm capable of, I'll take it.

We went to the park last night to walk and it was nice to just be outside.  I didn't like we still had one more grocery store we had to hit for major stuff and two others for odds and ends.  Why can't ONE grocery have everything we need and for a low price?  We go to five grocery stores.  FIVE.  They're all in close proximity but still, irritating especially when the last thing you want is to be around people.  I was able to push myself to do some work yesterday that needed to be done.  I have no choice but to do some work today and I've got a lot of it.  I'll need to make sure I get back to sitting at the table because this sitting on the couch crap just makes my legs feel worse and my butt kind of numb.  You didn't need to know that but it was more for myself.  Sorry 'bout dat.

Back to my Six Feet Under marathon.  (Affiliate link)  It is so nuts how with every viewing of that show every few years, we learn something new or have a different perspective on life.  Viewing it going through a funeral and the aftermath of that is a new spin but thankfully nothing too painful.  That'll be for the finale.

Thanks again for the wonderful messages and emails of support.  I always knew I had the best people in the world reading my drivel!  ;-)

How was your weekend?

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