Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 15: 4/9/2018 - 4/15/2018

Wow, I really need to do a better job editing my posts.  Last week was like listening to me try and tell a story a few beers into the night, sorry about that!  I'm sure it all made sense while I was typing it and my first three proofs, but later in the week, I'm figuring a few people are scratching their heads on a few parts.  Sorry! 



That quote really spoke to me this week.  

Monday (3.1)  Took myself out for what was a peppy run, surprised me to see that pace on the watch when I stopped it!   The unfortunate thing, my shorts and heavy running shirt were purple, I looked like an eggplant or a bunch of grapes.  Mikey chuckled as he pointed I grabbed one of the purple stretch straps and said I needed to use the purple kettlebell.  Nice to get a laugh out of him, especially as Boston is approaching.




The week started with sun, that was nice!  A short workday on Monday was welcome but didn't end up being short as I had a few things to do for a work project after I got home from an appointment.  Working at home at night isn't a really big deal except for the keyboard on my laptop is dead so I couldn't bring that home, I didn't have a spare external keyboard because the one I use at my desk is locked to the docking station.  I guess I could have borrowed #1 Smart Guy's wireless keyboard?  Anyhoodles, I was able to send the documents I needed to work on to my home computer and finish up what I needed to finish up and get that to the person who needed it for their morning meeting to hopefully get my idea approved to move forward.  But then again after a couple hours working on the proposal I'm not convinced it should go forward. 

Tuesday (0) I wasn't sure I wanted to go to spin class, it really is boring.  So I didn't.  Plus the weather is less than appealing to want to do anything, I think someone said it snowed... Decided to start taxes.  I love that everything can be electronic, not so much the fact I have to have passwords and still a hard copy to get the 1s and 0s from one system to go to another system.  It all came to a screeching halt when I didn't have one document (W-2) or a way to get that not being at work.  Or at least not that I could figure out, plus Dave had made dinner, and I was hungry.  Manana

Well, lazy neighbors leaves may have protected my poor crocus from the frost?

Wednesday (5.7) Hills with Ro.  A little peppier than last week.  I've been so thirsty so I brought water with me, that definitely helped.   I had a work event in NYC for the evening, it was a dinner at the NYC Bar Association put on by the City Bar Justice Center, and I kept calling it the Justice League, ha ha ha.  A magnificent building.  I always feel like I'm walking into either the set of Mad Men or Gotham when I walk in the old marble buildings.  This was more a Gotham feel.  The mostly dead hanging plants from the ceiling gave it that feel plus, well, lawyers, slimy lawyers. 
  

The most difficult question was "So, Beth how many miles did you run last week?"  I stumbled a bit and said I've had some setbacks and my miles are very low.  And I was urged to fess up and was reminded most of the people in the group attending don't run.  A much-needed perspective.  

Thursday (0)  Traveled back from NYC to CT in the morning, so not much physical activity was accomplished while it was such a beautiful day balancing work and activity was filled with merely enjoying the sun from the train window.  I'm feeling less and less worthless when I put in a 0 day.  Guess that's good.  

Might as well do something productive, Bake!

Friday (2.8) Really not feeling like running, so I didn't.  Jax asked Dave to text me and find out if I'd be up for going on a hike with him.  Sure thing buddy!  I let him lead for a bit of the hike, he found a new trail and walked us in a circle.  I'll take it!  Jax isn't as adventurous as Gus was and certainly hates all the briars and thorns, he waits for me to move them so he can walk through the trail!  I should remember some clippers next time we go!  That Jax is a character, for sure.  



Saturday (31 +2.5) First group road ride organized by Sir George.  Betsy, Sue, Kim, Bill, George, and I.  Sue and I were bantering about who got to bring up the caboose.  She held her own for the first 20 miles!  Sore ass got her and she dropped back.  Ugh.  Mine wasn't feeling so hot either but I wanted to be done, done, done, done, done, done!!!  Felt like the first real ride since the fall.  My body was tired and sore and after a good lunch and a beer and sitting on my ice pad for 20 minutes I took a couple acetaminophen (I could feel the fever coming on) and took a nap.  I knew that would set me up well for the rest of the day and to get Jax out for a hike.




Jax and I took Dave with us on our hike!  We did the flat loop and Dave was pretty impressed with how well the Westerly Land Trust keeps up their property.  It is an old granite quarry, which struck up a conversation on what was it called when you mine granite, it's called quarrying! 

Sunday (7)  The 4th race in the track club's Clamshell series!  5M or 5K at the beach, out and back course.  The wind was whipping and the temperatures dropped.  Oh goodie.  Had I not signed up and volunteered to work registration AND Faith was going to run with me I may have bagged the whole thing.  The good parts were that the first 2.5 miles were into the wind (the last 2.5 would be with the wind at our back) and I had Faith to keep me company.  The first half of the race tired me out.  That and the amount of activity yesterday.  It was a big experiment in how would my body handle all of this activity.   We finished up the race as the last people across the finish line, Faith took the honor of DFL (Dead Fucking Last)! 

We don't look too miserable!
Yes, my lips are blue.  Gak.
I felt a little tired and sore after the race, my trusty acetaminophen with lunch got me through no worse for the wear.  I'm happy to report Monday morning was just fine!  Pshew.

Jax got a slow hike in Burlingame and fortunately as the mist was starting.  Fortunately, he was ok running back and check on his Peeps, constantly.

Mileage:

Feet:  21
Saddle:  31

Books:

American Gods
Neil Gaiman

Entertaining!  I get a little lost from time to time but manage to pick the story back up, there appear to be three going on at once, wonder how they will merge.

Knitting:

Still working on Dave's socks, slow knitting week.

Sincerely, 
Beth, thankful for supportive friends and family. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 14: 4/2/2018 - 4/8/2018

I'm this close to calling UNCLE on the weather, I've managed the best I can with everyone around me complaining ad nauseam about how much it sucks, I'm trying desperately not to join the ranks, I'll keep grasping at wet dental floss to keep my yap closed.  UGH!!!



Monday (0) it snowed, it took over an hour to get to work, it should take 20 minutes.  I guess it was slippery because there were quite a few cars in the median or buried in trees, whoops.  Wasn't feeling like dealing with the cold and damp so I didn't run, didn't even go down to the gym and pedal the spin bike for an hour... feeling crappy and unmotivated.

A tennis ball, a beer, sunglasses, wallet, and a thank you note, no wonder my purse is so heavy.


Tuesday (3.1) Still feeling crappy and unmotivated and that really means I need a nap and fresh air; another day of moping wasn't going to make me feel any better.   There was a lovely 11 MPH Southern wind which would make running up the back side of campus rather pleasant.  I could have managed nearly 5 miles going down to the dreaded Jupiter Point and back (the Mikey Loop).  Instead, I went down to Eastern Point Beach and back for a 5K.  I knew I'd be power walking hills with Ro on Wednesday and back to back days aren't so great on my knees.

During the long recovery after  Heidi's spinal surgery.
Two titanium rods put on either side of her spine to straighten it.
I would visit her and we would chat for like 10 minutes, turn on Lord of the Rings, and nap.

Wednesday (5.7) Ro and Mark are back from Colorado, we are back to our usual Wednesday Hills.  I wanted to hear more about CO but she was going on about their trip to hike New Zeeland for a week+ and then a 12-day cruise around Australia Jan/Feb of 2019 for her milestone birthday.   The workout was a bit slower but not as slow as I expected.  I'm not feeling it and was happy to be outside and I have not been keeping up with hill work and felt it in my hips on Thursday.

Knitting with Rory, always a good time.  I think for her third project ever she will knit two socks on two circulars.  It took me a while to build up to this, with what she has accomplished so far and her amazing patience and attention to detail with sewing, I think it will be just fine.  She is making a Channel style jacket, they are beautiful works of art and the process to get to the point of even cutting out the pattern in the final fabric was a month long of a muslin draft and alterations.  Finely tailored clothing really is a lost art.  This was what she wanted to do in retirement.  I'm happy to have two retired friends with time for their working friend and doing retirement how they envisioned it!!

It has been years since he shredded a box. 
He picked this one up and was wandering around the house.
When we spied him he was running around the house.
He never did try and eat it.
Tissue, that he still has the tasties for!
 Thursday (3.1)  The Beer'd Running For Rescues fun run started back April - October, $20 donation to Running for Rescues, a 3.1-mile loop, beer, and chit-chatting with friends, always a good time!  Amy and I have been stalking each other on Strava, so we met up to run.  Good match, she didn't push my pace and I didn't slow her down too much and we gabbed the whole time for an average pace of 11:11.   The brewery opened up their space a lot, it was very nice with more room for more people.  I was pleased with that change, it always felt so cramped and not very relaxed.  

Got a little superstar award for some help I gave to a colleague in a different division!
I am always surprised how unhelpful people can be, what he initially wanted to do couldn't happen,
there was a reasonable alternative.  That alternative gave him far more control than his original proposal too!

Friday (3.1)  Jax took his Peeps on a hike.  Dave says Jax would never say Hooomans like Giz and Gus did, fine...  so we are his Peeps.  We were all not really much into the hike, it was nice to be outside and look around and be quiet.  We all appreciated the hour of fresh air.

Since we are an only dog family we decided to stop by the pet store and pick up some Greenies, I think these are dog crack.  When we had 4 we would have to separate them by rooms and floors to give them Greenies, and once that box was gone that was it!  Jax enjoyed his dog crack after dinner and crashed out and went to sleep once he got a bit of pizza crust (Friday people dinner).

Miss that mug and that little brown tail.

My Facebook memories produced my recap from the Big River 1/2  most days these are filled with dog pictures or dog commentary on their walk...  I really needed to see that and to read the comments.  I know what I had to overcome for that training run and to train for my only ultra, reminding me I can do what I set my mind to and succeed.    Funny I was telling Dave I was in a panic about meeting the step challenge at work to save a few more bucks on our health insurance, despite a drastic reduction in activity, I've met the challenge numbers 350,000 steps in 8 weeks, we are finishing up week 6, and while I put on a few lbs due to inflammation as a result of my latest Lupus flare.  I'm calling it a win all the way around, and won't look in disgust at my moon face; it will go away and I will feel better. 

Saturday (3) I slept until 9 a.m. this fucking weather, I've had it, this fucking feeling of shit, I've had it.  I need some sun.  Eventually, the little yellow bastard came out.  In the meantime, I cleaned out my personal eMail in-box (what a fucking mess that was, and I am dubious that unsubscribe actually works), cleaned out my bookshelves, who keeps the crap I keep?  Lots of stuff for the shred bin at work.  I did find some cute card and drawings from nieces and nephews, that eased my surliness for a few seconds.  

I commented to Dave how clean the stupid dark rug he wanted so badly looked and he said "Yeah I miss Gus too." all that fucking white hair everywhere.  I even had a dream I was cleaning up Gus and Giz hair and it kept multiplying!  HA!!  I'd get it cleaned up and go into another room and it looked like a bale of it exploded everywhere.  That was kind of funny, Dave got a kick out of that dream.  At least it wasn't one where I woke him up swearing like an angry itching for a fight drunk sailor at someone (he hopes wasn't him) or singing off key.  When my husband says I'm fun to sleep with he isn't talking about, well you know...  

It got sunny Dave went off to a mountain bike ride and I took Jax to Riverwood.   

It is a game of where's Waldo taking Jax to the woods....

I love Riverwood, it was where I took Gus a lot.  I'm getting used to seeing Jax where I used to see Gus.  Well, when I CAN see Jax.  Black dogs, UGH so hard to see.  

Sunday (2.5)  I spent the day sitting, driving to Boston, in a conference, and then driving home.  I got home earlier than expected and after yelling for Jax for a few minutes I finally heard his"Whappa doodle doo" as he shook his head after rousted himself from our bed to see what it was I wanted.  Great guard dog, eh?  Wonder if he even moves when we aren't home and someone comes to the door?  Be a fun test for you local people, ring the doorbell and see if Jax starts barking?  Stop on the front porch and see if his little face peers out from the window?

So why was I in Boston?  I decided to attend the Lupus Medical Education and Symposium put on by the Lupus Foundation of New England.  It was the choice of losing what may have been a good day to clean out the leaves from the loud exhaust truck neighbor too lazy to clean the leaves in their yard that blew into our yard and wintered there or possibly learn a little bit more about my diagnosis and disease.    The session was very much directed at nursing students in the nursing program at Simmons College, helping them understand the disease and dealing with the patients.  The symposium consisted of three sections the first, a talk by a Rheumatologist, on what is Lupus and how to diagnose; the second, a clinical researcher on Lupus; the third, a panel of Lupus patients – and that was very well done.  I say about the panel that because what I say next and how my thoughts evolve to where I landed I think deserve some air time.  This is an evolution of my thoughts, watch it play out before reacting, or just skip to the last paragraph of this section.

I still have a lot of anger issues with this diagnosis. I’d imagine that is normal?  What really set me on my back foot was listening to the first speaker, a 40-year-old diagnosed at 23 going on about how she lost her life.  Her life?  Life? She was freaking 23 what exactly did she lose?  In my reactionary mind she wasn’t 50 with 50 years of life behind her and experiences and goals to then all of a sudden have everything ripped right out from under her at the point in life when your own mortality hits you in the face and you want to experience even more life has to offer and live each experience to the fullest.  I took a step back and realized that when she is 50, she will have never had all the experiences I had from 23 to 50.  Next, a woman in her 40’s spoke, she got the raw end of the deal with Lupus for sure, whatever could go wrong, short of death, has.  Next, a College JR got up and talked about her childhood and how no one ever believed she didn’t feel well, how her single mom didn’t have the insurance to get her to the right doctors, spending Christmas in the emergency room when she was 14 led to a lot of doctors saying she was faking and then an emergency room visit on Superbowl Sunday a few years later landed her in the ICU and turned up a compassionate doctor who listened to her and ran some tests and got her the treatment she needed.  Clearly NOT faking it.   Last up, a High School JR diagnosed with Renaulds at 9  (where your extremities turn blue due to lack of oxygen) to a Lupus diagnosis at age 12.  She thought it was cool at 9 to have this cool disease where her fingers and toes and sometimes lips turned blue.  By age 12 and the Lupus diagnosis, it was no longer cool to be different and she did all she could to hide her disease.  

Each and every one of the women talked about being kind to yourself, be kind to others, recognize that invisible illnesses are tough for people who can't see you've broken something or clearly look like you are going through chemotherapy for cancer (bald),  take time for yourself, in most cases this equals a nap, balancing their time, between activity and rest.  Well, I can get behind napping for sure!  A worthwhile investment of my Sunday, the leaves can be removed and I can dig in the dirt another day.

Jax and I hiked the inner loop of Riverwood.  I shorted him by 1/2 mile or so but he seemed ready to go home and have dinner.  We had a good time and at one point I thought I lost him and was going to have to use the recall collar.  He appeared when given his command.  Good Boy!  I'm glad he is enjoying that preserve, Gus and I very much enjoyed it.  More so because it was a short car ride and Gus hated being in the car.

Mileage:

Feet:  19
Saddle: 0

Books:

Magpie Murders
By Anthony Horowitz
Finished

A mystery in a mystery, stick with it, it's worth it in the end.

American Gods
Neil Gaiman
I am glad the author isn't reading this.  He pulls a bit from other books he's written, so far so good.

Knitting:

As of Sunday, I was ready to turn the heel on the latest pair of socks, or wacked bikini top!

Sincerely,
Beth, coming to terms with all life has handed her in the last 6 months. Please, no more for a while, my plate is full.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Week 13 (lucky 13?) 3/26/2018 - 4/1/2018

Week 13 ending on April 1st?  What could be better, surely a harbinger of better things to come?

A few sunny days seem to have perked up the whole household, hopefully, it sticks around?  It's been a SE Michigan or Buffalo sun all winter, varying shades of gray, some bright some dull.  The first few winters in RI it took Dave and I a few winters to figure out why we weren't our usual grouchy and lethargic selves in the winter, sun, glorious SUN shines out here.  While the Nor'easters may suck and the fact the snow does not stick around more than a couple days sucks the sun shines most of the winter, except this one.  :(

Jax is getting used to being an only dog, he has decided it is OK to snuggle under the blankets for 5 minutes in the morning.  He's not a snuggler or a blanket guy, but he enjoys wrestling, and if he does that we wrestle.  Seems fair right?  Dave is so adamant about no second dog.  I said I'd sneak one in the house and he wouldn't know...  ha ha ha.  I don't know that I'm ready for a new to us dog, but it is a fun thing to antagonize my husband with!

Monday (4.3) - a real run!  No intervals walking, 12-minute mile pace overall, not exactly mind-bogglingly speedy (well it is for a turtle or an inchworm) but it is a good start.  I was tired at the end not sore and not hobbling.  It was a bit windy and the sun was out, it was a nice day to be outside, for sure!




Tuesday (1.8) - I bailed on the spin class to get outside and take a walk with Jax.  He would rather hike, I really wanted to wander around the neighborhood.  I won this time.  He was into it for the first mile and got bored until we saw a scary looking dude (black clothes with a hoodie and a beard, not really a scary dude, but he set off Jax's alarm bells) and then Jax was all Mr. Macho keeping an eye peeled for more trouble.



I hid the clean sheets from myself!
Someday it would be fun to wander around in my subconscious, but I think even I would be a bit terrified.
Wednesday (0) - Had my appointment with my primary care Dr. B.  He suggested I stop collecting doctors, I asked if he was jealous?  Ha ha.  I did ask for a referral to a Rheumatologist at Yale New Haven, Dr. B asked if I didn't like Dr. D I explained it wasn't that I don't like him (other than the 'who goes for a bike ride in February')  I want a second opinion and someone with more current knowledge and associated with a research and a teaching hospital.  I pay a shit ton of money for insurance I'm getting what I pay for.  Oh and ANOTHER lunch for #1 Smart Guy.  My only opportunity to run would be after 3 but I had knitting with Rory and well I didn't run or even really get outside for more than a walk to and from the car. Social time is important as exercise, right?  I certainly have felt like being a hermit for a long time and it's nice to actually want the company of other people.


The Bobtailed Squirrel made it through the winter!

Thursday (7.3) -   No spin, it was too nice to wait till 4 for class and stay inside, I went for a run! I decided to go right out the back gate and see how I felt by mile 2 and the dreaded Jupiter Point. I didn't feel too bad plus the breeze was from the south so it makes running out of the point more appetizing. Mile 3 clicks off the entrance to Avery Point, and I knew if I did all three points I'd end up over 6 miles and I'm really not ready to push my joints THAT far... I skipped Avery Point and ran around Easter Point and then back to work 5.3 miles.  Whoop! 

My laziness of Wednesday was taken care of with a walk with Jax after work.  The theme music for in town walks with him should be Mission Impossible.  I had enough time to take him on the short loop at Riverwood Preserve, another day.  He was very well behaved after the first 1/10th of a mile and only one time where I wanted to strangle him.  All in all he sniffed and peed and led the walk, I was kind of surprised he started this already, but maybe he has learned the neighborhood enough to know what is away from home and what is towards home?  Dunno.  I'm pleased we had a good walk, he's not the conversationalist Gizzy and Gus were but we will manage.  

I'm happy to report the bob-tailed squirrel made it through the winter, and Jax seemed to know that was Gus' favorite squirrel and didn't even try and chase him!

I've been digging back into my family history.  It is interesting to know where you come from, the people and their experiences. 

Searching for death notices in Cleveland OH I came across this about my Uncle Tom


Cleveland Plain Dealer January 24, 1959


Not the greatest quality picture.  I remember my father telling us all about the various pets they had growing up.  It was super cool to see this picture and the story!  My father has always had a special relationship with all the pets, except my cat Bells who lived with him for the years he lived in MI and we lived in WI.  She would stand just out of reach and scream for attention.  Cats are assholes.  

Bells is part of the willow tree now.  She has a quiet resting place where few people bother her.

Friday (3.2)
My knees felt the mile from yesterday, not unexpected.  I brought my stuff to exercise but really didn't think I would.  But if I left it at home I'd kick myself.  Anyone know how that goes?

#1 Smart Guy's last day. It was bittersweet.  He's the one retiring and while I did find him a unique bottle of bourbon, unique like him!  He brought me a present!!




There is a story behind this plant.  When my company shut down one of its offices and moved the people out a lot of stuff got left behind.  I was on a lay off wave, working on various projects to continue to extend my exit date hoping to find a permanent job.  One of my projects was to assist with information sweeps of the vacated spaces, ensuring no information was left behind and if it was to then find it's owner and determine what should be done, archive or shred. This plant came from a set of 5 plants in the executive offices, all 5 were nearly dead.  When people left they left behind everything, pens, paper, information, and their plants! OMG!  I brought home as many plants as I could fit in the back of my car and revived all but a few of them.  Fast forward about 5 years, I brought back most the surviving plants to the workspace I'm in now.  #1 Smart Guy had been taking Bonsai classes and was intrigued by the umbrella plant.  I had a couple more at home and brought them in for him.  They don't grow very fast, however, they are amenable to being manipulated and growing without dirt.  Now to remember to soak the moss every other day so it doesn't die.  YIKES!!  While Bonsai is Japanese art I think it will be OK with the Chinese stuff.

The Imaginary Husband and I took Jax on a hike.  I took an hour-long nap before this.  I haven't had a Friday Afternoon Nap in a while.  It was refreshing and definitely recharged me.  The humidity was high and the temps in the 50's this does slow down Mr. Crazy a bit, but he did have a constant level of energy through the whole hike.   He is getting used to being an only dog, in the mid-afternoon, Dave says he wanders around the house looking for some company.  When he came to live with us he was one of four, seven years later he is one of one.  

Saturday (15) - This was going to be a good day for a bike ride.  Shoot!  I only have my boots and I didn't ask Dave to help with putting the new cleats in my new shoes.  Hmmmmm...  an allen wrench, cleats, and shoes.  I can do this!  So I installed them, realizing the micro adjustments on the attachment point are well infinitely adjustable.  The cleat on the left foot was a bit too high up on the ball of my foot, I thought I might stop and adjust it while riding but then I thought of all the things that could go wrong - mostly losing a part... It was a good ride, a little cold to be as close to the shore as I went.  I should have done the farm loop, but I really didn't want to be out much more than an hour.   Got home and Jax and I napped, I've been tired lately so napping is the best cure for that. 


I love SPD mountain bike shoes, I doubt I'll ever get road shoes. 

The afternoon I spent spectating at my first Criterion Race at Ninigret Park with Faith.  Her husband was racing and it was his first race, so this was new to all of us.  I knew the park as it was a place we used to take the dogs when we had 4 it is a big open flat space and easy to keep track of 4 wild and crazy boxers.  The race was cool!  Definitely, a strategy associated with how to race it and people who knew what they were doing and people who didn't.  It was the first of the season.  I was happy there were no crashes.  Joe had a few lessons learned and will be looking forward to future Crits.


Sunday (o) - Easter for those who celebrate Dave was busy cooking stuff to bring to his parents and Jax and I stayed out of his way.  Jax napped and played with his ball and watched me vacuum.   Always makes me remember Sage and the vacuum. it was years of her trying to bite it or attack it until she finally stopped and then Jax came on the scene doing the EXACT same things, except this time Sage was looking at him and then with this look of disgust and "what a dummy" look on her face.  Like she hadn't just stopped doing that exact same thing a year earlier.  Jax mostly looks at it now with a bit of suspicion while perched atop a piece of furniture.

Dinner at the in-laws was good, filled with its usual drama and far too much food. 

A few Bunny Ear pictures from 2016, no one was thrilled with this!


Gus - why does The Girl torture me?

Jax - not amused

Gizmo - When do I get my treat?


Mileage:


Feet: 19  

Saddle:  15 

Books:


"Magpie Murders"

By Anthony Horowitz

This truly is a who done it within a who done it...  I'm confused and now it seems like they've added in a third book... gahhhhhhhh who killed who in which story.  I'm confused!!


Knitting:


Finished the Easter egg socks and started a pair for the Imaginary Husband.  As an aside he is getting accused of having invisible friends by his friends!  HA HA!!


Dave wanted a tighter knit pair of socks so I went down to a 2.5 mm or US#1 sized needle.  As I'm knitting along with this it is tight but I think I may switch over to these for all my socks, I think the fabric is going to be a bit more sturdy...  but my shoulder is giving me hell with all the fine work.  We shall see.


Funky Christmas colors

That is pretty much it for my rambly week. A bit more miles, a bit less whingeing, normal amount of knitting, a few lost loads of laundry, and the return of the bobtailed squirrel.  Oh, and there was beer drinking.  I should do a collage of all the pictures.  I miss seeing Leslie on the beer page!

Sincerely,
Beth not feeling so much like avoiding people she knows.