Sunday, June 16, 2019

N +1 The number of comebacks (or bikes, or running shoes, or insert your N here) a person can have

June 10, 2019 - June 16, 2019

Monday (0.5) -  A spin around the block, it was nice to get outside.  It hurts to breathe so that sort of helps to keep me stationary. Two naps, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Tuesday (1.0) - Follow up with my primary care, another chest x-ray in two weeks and another follow-up and another week of Doxy.  I was sad not to join Dave and Jax on their hike.  Breathing still hurts.  I breathe A LOT. One nap mid-morning and a mid-afternoon rest.

He is so wistful.
Honestly, The Orange Menace is walking by.

Wednesday (1.5 + 1) - I took myself on a walk in the morning and Jax after his dinner.  Breathing doesn't hurt as much. One mid-morning nap after a marathon of telecons didn't seem to need an afternoon nap.  PROGRESS!!!

HA!  This made me laugh!

This going to be a very boring update, isn't it?

I get on the scale every day, not to beat myself up, just as a habit now.  The number goes up and down by a couple pounds, its not a victory or a defeat.  I saw it go up on the prednisone, even though a small dose isn't supposed to do that.  So maybe I had a few more cookies or something, but it stayed and whatever.

I've been kind of wondering what will happen with two weeks with no beer and being sick.  I hear people say "I lost 10 lbs I was so sick."  "I stopped drinking for a week and lost 20 lbs" me?  well, I saw 3 lbs go down over the course of a week.  Was I not really sick?  Ha, I was sick, fing a I was fing sick.  I figure I am pretty good about consuming the calories my body is going to expend and my last beer was June 1st.  Am I a little disappointed I didn't see the 8 lbs from the prednisone (yeah I'm sticking to THAT story) melt away in the last week, sure?  Am I surprised? Not really.

See really boring stuff goes on in my brain.

Thursday (2) - It rained, I had a nap, I took myself to the grocery store.  This was an adventure, it always is.  Where the hell is the horseradish?  Dave puts this on the list when I go to the store and I tear my hair out trying to find it and never do and he sashays off to the grocery and comes home with it and says it's right by the thus and such, and I can't remember which is the thus and what is the such.  As Pooh says "Oh bother."

Keeping an eye on things on Summer Street

It's been fun working from home.  Jax has a pretty regimented schedule.  He stays in his chair until about 10, then ventures to the front window to growl at whatever is outside.  Takes up residence on the couch, because he can see out the front window and waits for the mailman then growls at him, never leaving the couch.  Dave wanders through and gets the mail and they discuss the necessity of the mailman and that no Jax didn't get any mail.  Jax goes to sleep on the couch until Dave comes up for some lunch then he wanders into the kitchen to ask if anything needs to have a boxers assistance.  Dave assures him it is all ok and I think gives him a bite of whatever he is having for lunch.  Jax takes a stroll outside to see if his barking buddies are up for a little barking and sometimes yes and sometimes no.  Then he takes residence in his chair as the mailman threat is over and he has a better view out more windows from his chair. He eventually naps.  This takes him until pretty close to 4:30 when he starts hinting around that it's time to go for a hike and Beth should be home in an hour so we should be ready to go for a hike as soon as she steps foot in the door, who's going to text her about a hike?  You? Me?  Then he contemplates why dogs can't have cell phones and figures it must have something to do with not having opposable thumbs and takes a nap.

Friday (2) - I went to work.  Today was my 20th anniversary at evil pharma. I don't think they are evil but that's the popular opinion... so whatever. 

What do you mean there isn't any for me?

So much has changed since June 14, 1999.  There was so much construction on site, and my first office was in a trailer!  The building I went to for orientation was since razed, although I do have a little piece of it encased in resin on my desk.  And so many people on site, parking was at a premium and contractors had to park off-site and be bussed in!  Not so much on June 14, 2019.  The parking lot is half taken over with snow moving equipment and mulch or some such nonsense.  The building is so very quiet and the trailers are gone, and several buildings too!  I think I'm most happy about not having to wear a suit to work.  Who thinks up that sort of torture? 

Jax and I went on a hike in Burlingame.  My first 'hike' and solo.  He was very well behaved and I didn't cough too much and terrify the wildlife. 

Saturday (2) - Oh what a beautiful day, I longed to go on a bike ride. It hurts to take a deep breath, to yawn or to sneeze so no heavy exertion until that clears up.  I really don't want to drag the infection into my lower right lobe, the middle right is far enough.   

He cracks me up.
Do you think he could get any more comfortable?
The foot hanging over the arm of the chair, seriously Jax.

After a nap, Jax and I camped out on the front porch when it became shady, no sun for 'the sunburn waiting to happen' who is also on doxy, double whammy!   Neighbor Jeff ran by and stopped for a chat, that was nice to talk to someone although the coughing didn't stay at bay.    He is a pretty positive guy and I always enjoy talking to him. 

I knitted for a while longer, enjoying the use of my yarn bowl to keep the yarn contained! 

Dave, Jax, and I went to Bradford Preserve for the short loop.  Dave's not a fan of  'Soft Serve' which is what the MTB call Hansel and Gretel.  He can be such an old grouch!  Honestly, the two miles in the woods with the pollen was enough for me. 

Sunday (3) - The morning was spent pouring over genealogy records from Germany.  A cousin e-mailed me what her genealogist found.  Very exciting.  I can now go back 7 generations to Germany for that branch of the tree.  Mostly I studied the map of where they were born and died and what those areas were like during the time they lived there.  Fascinating.

1839 - 1869
Andrew Anthony Volk

Jax and I ventured off to Wahaneeta for a hike, since the rain that was supposed to be happening all day never materialized and Dave and I managed to get much-needed lawn work done, it still looks scroungy but at least it's short?  I don't much care, or have the time or desire to care, maybe after retirement I can care, but probably not. 


I finished the short melon socks and started on a new pair of socks.  It was beautiful to sit on the porch and knit, plus it was out of the sun and well I'm a sunburn waiting to happen on a normal day, add doxy and I really don't want to know.  My new knitting bowl came in hand to keep the ball of yarn contained, plus made a handy place to stash my glasses and sock if I had to get up. 


I've made stellar progress on destashing and have been thinking about future projects with a lot less trepidation.


The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare
by: Sean M. Kelley

Status:  Finished

Rhode Island was a bit part of the slave trade, this surprised me, this particular ship sailed out of Newport to Sierra Leone, and is a recap of its encounters, the crew, and the cargo, both human and goods.

Old Lady on the Trail: Triple Crown at 76
by:  Mary Davidson

Status:  In Progress

Mary started hiking at age 60, she section hiked the PCT and the AT as she was able to while she was working.  After retirement, she set a goal to finish section hiking each trail at about 400 miles per year.  Mary finished the PCT and the AT and at age 70 has started her section hike of the CDT.  Wow!  She complains a lot about being old and then follows it up with how glad she is still able to hike.  This book is so very different than reading Julie Urbansk's books about her hikes on each of the trails.  I much prefer Mary's happiness over getting to hike than Julie's lamenting not hitting 30 miles a day or having to hike.  There is also a 40 year age difference so that may account for some of Julie's whinging versus Mary being thrilled to not be dead.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by: Greg McKeown

Status:  In Progress

This not my choice to read, I'm also listening to it.  This seems to be the new management thing.  It boils down to do what is important and stop being so busy with nonsense.  I guess I have always pick and choose what projects to work on, some for the pure benefit of networking, others because I could actually see the grander purpose to what I would be doing.  Personally, I think so much of the work a day life is filled with utter nonsense and TPS reports not getting the company anywhere.  The important things, what drives the business and keeps us in compliance with laws and regulations (hmmm aren't those the same thing), seem to be what most people shun and what I've spent a great deal of my work-a-day-life on and really seem to enjoy.  Maybe that's the German coming out in me, documentation documentation documentation, oh wait, you probably needed to be there for that particular Quality Inspection meeting.  Anyhoodles, I'll do my best to be a good doobie and tout the word and embrace essentialism, and hopefully not say "I've been doing this all along and its LIFE work balance, not WORK life balance."  Ok, say it out loud in public or something like that. 

I'll shelve this with Seth Godin's Linchpin, another one of those, well duh books.  However I do take to heart the NYT article on why we procrastinate, and that is TOTALLY why I procrastinate: This article helped me get off dead center on a few projects, and actually prompted a great conversation on something I'm slow rolling to completion. 


Every day I felt improvement in my health, that was wonderful.  After spending so many years not seeing any marked improvement and rarely stability, mostly a backward slide, it was nice to see that something wrong with me was actually fixable!  Gives me a little squeal of glee!

I'm looking forward to running and biking this week.  I know I won't be stellar at it but at least these are things I GET to do and CAN do. 

Beth, a sunburn waiting to happen

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Well that certainly explains why I've been feeling more tired than my normal tired

June 3, 2019 - June 9, 2019

Monday (4 + 2) - Met up with Ro at the uncivilized hour of 07:15 a.m.  Once upon a time I was a morning person, up at 5:30 running or walking the dogs, that isn't me any more.  We did a loop of Bluff Point, with a catch as catch can run / walk.  My one run for the week.  Sad that is has come to this, but well it is what it is. 

Not sure what is going on down there in North Camp.

Dave and I took Jax to Burlingame, neither of the Peeps were much into a long hike we cobbled together a few miles of entertainment for Jax, who seemed content to break snappy sticks and check out the new structure (a dock perhaps) being built at the old camp.

Mystery Solved!
I received this yarn bowl and note and thanked both of the Jess's I knew.
They now think I am crazy.
Lone Star e-mailed, "Hey did you get this?"
I replied "Yes!  It's from you!  Thank you. Mystery Solved."
Lone Star replied, "I take it my note wasn't in there?"
I'm just glad it wasn't some sort of stalker thing and feel really horrible that I didn't even think it would be Lone Star....  

Tuesday (3) -  Jax and I had a nice hike in Grills when I got home from work.  We didn't venture up to the Yellow (River Trail) but did venture up the Big Hill!  He was as unimpressed as usual, but enjoyed bombing down the steep part.  I was glad he didn't decide to see if he could scale down the ledge. 

He's getting used to being stalked with the iPhone

Wednesday (15 + 2) - Ro wanted to bike instead of our hill loop ok by me, biking works.  We did three laps of a nearly 5 mile loops and circles course.  Nearly took out most of the group of 9 runners at the turn on to Jupiter Point.  That would have been a mess.

Dave and I took Jax out to Arcadia for a short hilly loop, its humid and Jax was in full batan death march mode.  Oh sweetie, it is only going to get worse from here.

Thursday (0) - I can't exactly remember what happened other than I felt really tired, way more than normal, and it seemed like the pleurisy was back so best to just take it easy.

Gizmo was a dog who knew how to sit in a chair. 
Lord Giz of the Mo.

Friday (0) -  Off to urgent care, diagnosis middle right lobe pneumonia.  Doxycycline, Mucinex, and an inhaler with a spacer.   We continued with the plan to go to VT as I wasn't going to be doing anything but sleeping, I can sleep in crummy humid RI or beautiful cool dry VT.   Dave only asked I make sure I pack my own essentials and he got everything else.  That nights sleep was painful, to the point I was sure I wasn't waking up Saturday morning.  

Lots of Lady Slippers this year.

At the AZ Marathon I remembered a friend telling me "don't think about the part that hurts think about the part that doesn't hurt.".  I focused on how good my knees felt while I slowly tried to breathe through the intense pain in my chest.  I imagined the blue doxy pills warring with the evil green pneumonia bacteria.

Saturday (0.5) - I did wake up.  Not that I slept much, any movement caused the above scenario to be repeated.  After breakfast Dave and the guys went off biking and I had a lovely 2 hour nap. At some point I got up the courage to take Jax for a little walk about and he was very good, and didn't pull on the leash or anything.  I put up the hammock and started reading a book.  Jax kept an eye out for any possible danger between his naps.  This was definitely not the adventure he was used to but he seemed to understand this was what it was going to be.  We took another stroll around the campgrounds and celebrated that with a nap.

Keeping me company for one nap or another and keeping an eye on the neighbor dogs.

Sunday (0.5) - The guys were all a little hungover and I was actually feeling like I could make myself coffee so I did.  Fed Jax, took him on a short stroll, realized that I really did need the inhaler right when I got out of bed and maybe it was already time for a nap.

My view from the hammock

As the day progressed I did feel better, nothing significant.  Jax napped and stared at the dogs at the next campsite over and I read more of my book in the hammock and slowly packed up the campsite. 

It has been a long time since we stopped at DQ.
When I've walked the dogs and found money I set it aside for a DQ trip once in a while.
I think we've found at least $50 in bills and coins over the years.
Giz and I and then Gus and I took a lot of our walks to DQ.  Jax is too kooky for that.
One of my favorite trips was as I am feeding Gizzy his own DQ as I'm eating mine a co-worker popped up in front of us.  He still laughs about what he was seeing, he thought it rather silly.  Gizmo disagreed.  


An Anonymous Girl
by: Greer Hendricks

Status:  Complete

I recommend this one for a mystery thriller.  While it ended a little flat for me, it was still filled with twists and turns.

The Voyage of the Slave Ship Hare
by: Sean M. Kelley

Status:  In progress

Rhode Island was a bit part of the slave trade, this surprised me, this particular ship sailed out of Newport to Sierra Leone, and is a recap of its encounters.

Old Lady on the Trail: Triple Crown at 76
by:  Mary Davidson

Mary started hiking at age 60, she section hiked the PCT and the AT as she was able to while she was working.  After retirement she set a goal to finish section hiking each trail at about 400 miles per year.  I'm not to the part where she hikes the CDT, I'm about 30% through, and the notion is just popping up in her head. 

She may not be fast however she is courageous and will admit at times didn't put as much thought into something as she should have.


Pneumonia is not for sissies.  I am feeling better in very small increments.  Much smaller increments than I expected.  As Dave reminds me, "This isn't a cold, people die from this." and that sort of puts it in perspective.  Maybe I'll be able to walk a mile by Friday.  #GOALS

Beth, once again thankful for modern medicine and urgent care.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

You just gotta do what works for you!

May 27, 2019 - June 2, 2019

Monday (4) - On a picture perfect Vermont morning, Jax and I hiked Swoops and Newbie.  He was pretty wiped out Monday morning and as I'm typing this (Monday night) he has had his dinner and is completely crashed out in his chair, camping coma.

Waiting for me to say "GO" so he can thunder down the hill.

Tuesday (0) - I was sooooo out of it when I got up, and adding to that having to go take the Field Visual test AGAIN.  Gabby set the test up wrong.  OMG.  I could barely keep my eyes open and my brain didn't want to register all the flashes.  Fortunately I passed and passed the right test.  So we are done with that for another year.  This all has to do with one of the medications I am on for Lupus and what it does to my eyes.  In the event you were curious.

More Vermont Goodness

Rolling into work after 10 and then heading to the gym is bad form.  It probably would have been good for me to at least take a 30 minute walk. 

This is Hobo, my cousin's dog, may he rest in peace.
I love this picture of him.
Hobo The story of a Brewster County Alpha Male

Fun dinner out with a friend moving to MA in the next week.  I won't see her as much, but as luck will have it she'll be at Ascutney the same time we will!

Wednesday (5 +1) -  Hills with Ro back on the agenda.  I was still dragging and a little concerned I wasn't going to be able to keep up.  I totally dogged the steep hill and warned Ro, she was happy to take a break.  It was fun to catch up and I barely caught my breath for the whole hill workout.

Ohhhhh this was good!

A slow meander turned into a quick hike with Jax when we got caught in the rain.  He's still recovering from camping.

Thursday (2 + 8) - I got on the elliptical to talk to Mikey.  I know that thing is not good for my hip, but I like talking to Mikey.  I went slow and we talked each others ears off, guess it's been a while and we had some catching up to do?  He gets what I'm going through and that helps a lot.  Some butt and gut and arms and I was done.

Looking for that cat.
He had just come racing by.
Of course not attached to me Jax didn't move.
I don't get it.

Met up with Charlotte to bike Haley Farm and Bluff Point.  I was glad to not go to Bradford Preserve and Woody Hill.  I forgot how much I like the trails there and while the trails at Bluff criss cross over each other to an annoying degree you CANNOT see one trail from the other so it makes it fun to meander here and there.  I was so zonked I couldn't even ride 0.12 miles to get to 9.  Two hours on the bike is pretty much my max point right now, especially after working all day. 

I'm getting less timid and navigating rock gardens on the bike instead of walking the bike.  A couple painful falls and a few more scratches on Barney (oh yeah and me too!), that all makes it fun, in a weird way, being able to be just a bit less timid from one ride to the next.  Plus the forest is so beautiful now with everything coming to life.

Met some women with SECT NEMBA, they have a FB group and post ladies rides and do skills clinics locally, so I'll be joining those when I can.  We camp a lot in the summer so they may be few and far between.  But one clinic is better than no clinic, and I know my bike is capable of handling what scares me, it is simply learning how to navigate it over rocks, rock walls, and logs.

The new breaks Dave put on Barney were fantastic.  No more dragging, I could keep up a lot better not being slowed down by sticky breaks!

Friday (3 + 2) - Ro and I walked the Beach Loop and I ran in the last 1/10th of a mile with Mikey and the guys, I had a head start of 2/10 of a mile but they still beat me to the gate!  HA! 

Lady Slippers don't smell all that great.
Twigs smell better, just ask Jax.

I stopped at Mystic Cycle to get a new clamp for Barney's seat post, the quick release is well slipping and I have to pull up the seat 1/2 way through the ride.  The guy says, 'Um did ya try tightening the hell out of the bolt?"  God I am such a doofus sometimes.  Well that worked but since I ordered a new collar I'll pay for it and probably put it on.  I want the seat to stay in place.

Jax and I went to Grills to get eaten alive by mosquitoes and hike.  We were both bumply lumply from all the bites and I was mad at him and he was mad at me.  I now have bug spray in the car.  We have also resolved our issue from the beginning of the hike.

Saturday (3 + 2) - The morning of the Ladies MTB Skills Clinic my friend Jess was putting on at Longo Open Space in Glastonbury CT.  It was a solid hour away but I wanted to go so I did.  The clinic consisted of positioning on the bike, the down hill attack position and the uphill attack position, then cornering, and then cornering and going through a small space, then weaving up down hill and up hill through cones.

I'm not too bad about positioning on the bike.  I do really suck at getting my ass off the seat, mostly because that wrecks havoc on my knees, which sound like they are eating potato chips when I go up and downstairs, but somethings are easier to do and have more control out of the saddle.  Anyhoodles, cornering is something I do suck at and Jess explained the dynamics and demonstrated and wow I turn left far better than I turn right.  The going through narrow spaces and weaving are things I need more work on, but I get a bit more how to work through my issues with those things.  Part of it is that Barney is a 'mid-fat' mountain bike not as nimble as a traditional mountain bike.  BUT the 29+ tires are comfy to ride on I'll learn to compensate.  Maybe someday I'll go back to a traditional mountain bike, or maybe not.

Sunday (3) - Lazy day, Dave was off to his Nieces graduation and Jax and I hung out and napped and did chores.  We ventured off to Wahaneeta for a hike and then ventured into Woody Hill to extend the hike, it was fun, well all but the bridges.  He does not care for them, preferring to romp through the water and the mud.  Knock yourself out pal, enjoy!

The bridge is to the left and the old stream crossing to the right.
Jax went right, then across, then lost sight of me and came back through the stream.
Saw me on the bridge and walked in the stream next to the bridge.


An Anonymous Girl
by: Greer Hendricks

Status:  Finished

Wow, psychological thriller for sure.  If you like a mystery that twists around, this is a good one.

by: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Status:  In progress

This is about the creation of the Broadway version of Chernow's Hamilton.  Its keeping my attention.  Probably not something I'll ever see.  The process of putting together a musical and the influences on this particular show is interesting.


Finished the melon socks, one is a bit longer than the other.  I need to count rows and not just measure before turning the heel.  I have enough for a pair of short socks so I'll work on that.  I'm really enjoying one sock on one circular, the problem really is with making the socks identical.  I knew that would be an issue.

How is it June already?

Beth, looking forward to more mountain biking in VT!