26 October, 2016

Laying low

Well it's not so bad.  I'm just a little under the weather is all.  The way I can tell for sure if I'm actually sick or just needing a rest - well, back when I was working anyway - is to answer one question.  Can I knit?  If I don't feel like even picking up the knitting I'm actually sick.  That was yesterday and, I am afraid, today as well.  I slept in very late for me.  I didn't even wake up until 9, which is the latest I've stayed in bed since I retired.  I don't have a full blown cold, thank goodness, but a dripping nose and sore throat and ear ache is bad enough.

Yesterday I had things I needed to take care of and the sun was out so Tink and I were up and out and to the park by 9 where she had a nice walk.  Then I took her to the dog self wash and gave her a much needed bath.  I am going to be much more vigilant about bathing her between grooming sessions so that we can keep her skin condition from returning.  The self wash is easy, just like a car wash with the shampoo already mixed in with the temperature controlled water.  And the tub is raised so it doesn't kill my back.  She hates it though, but she is much nicer smelling.  After that I stopped at the store for some essentials and then went for my manicure and pedicure and then home and that was fine because I was beat.

It is pouring rain today.  I sure hope Tink doesn't start putting up a fuss about going to the park because it is not on the agenda for today.

25 October, 2016

The long road back

Getting back into shape is a long and painful process.  There are no short cuts.  I went to BodyPump Monday morning, yesterday, and made it through the entire routine - a new one this time - with weights!  I was very proud of myself for that.  Pretty soon I'll be able to start adding more weight, but just the face that I was able to use weights for the whole class is huge.  There are lots and lots of different routines, but they all target the same muscle groups, just in different exercises.  This particular one had very difficult ab and triceps routines.  That being said, I have no soreness in either of those areas, but I certainly do in my upper back and shoulders.  So I need to add more weight to my triceps routines and work on better form for the ab work.  I certainly don't want to be as sore as I was at the beginning but I should feel something.

I had been craving collard greens for a few days, so I decided to make a pot of them yesterday for dinner.  I had forgotten what a huge hassle the particular recipe I was using was to prepare, not to mention pricey.  You would think that greens would be cheap but all they had was organic at the Haggen market and I had to go there for the smoked turkey wings, which this recipe uses instead of ham hocks.  Last time I did this I used a ham hock and I wasn't blown away, so I went with the turkey and I am really glad that I did.  The reason this recipe is so difficult is that you not only have to individually wash and tear the leaves, which you would have to do anyway, but then you wilt them in a pot of boiling liquid so they fit into the slow cooker.  I should have taken a picture of the pile of leaves.  That's six bunches, about 5 pounds, of greens torn into bite sized pieces.  It was huge but it eventually got wilted down, with a lot of stirring and cursing from me and my sore muscles, and into the slow cooker.  I must say though it was totally worth it.  They are delicious!  And pricey as this recipe is, I have left overs for two more meals, since they are sides and not mains.  Very yummy.

Here it is the 25th of October and I have not been sick!  Usually by this time in the year I've had at least two bad upper respiratory things.  Fingers crossed though, because I bring this up because I am feeling definitely sniffly this morning and I was awake twice in the night, once to take puffs from the asthma inhaler.  So ... we'll see what the day brings.  I've got to get Tink washed today and I found a self dog washing place I'm going to try.  And I need to get my manicure done today.  That is all I need to do, although I would very much like to get out and rake some leaves if the rain stays away.  We'll see how I feel.

The parade of wild life continues.  Yesterday afternoon I saw a young buck walk through the yard, horns about 8 inches long.  So beautiful.  No sign of the bears thank goodness.

20 October, 2016

Global Entry!

Woohoo!  The day is finally here.  I go for my Global Entry interview today at 1:45.  No more log TSA lines.  Pre-check all the way.  It is pouring rain yet again so the drive out and back is going to be a mess, but I'll just give myself plenty of time.  If I have to cool my heels for 20 minutes I've always got my iPhone.  I just don't want to miss this.

And here it is Thursday already!  I was anxious to go to the gym on Monday and do the BodyPump class again.  I was feeling nearly normal, muscle pain-wise that is.  It was a packed class and I was very happy with myself.  I made it through almost all of the workout with weights and I didn't once feel like I was going to throw up.  Big improvement.  However, now my biceps are SO sore that they wake me up in the night.  Ah well, the price of success.  I went again yesterday and did all but ONE set of exercises with weights.  And today my chest is crazy sore.  Tomorrow?  Well I have a choice.  I can take the half BodyPump have abs class or I can just run on the treadmill.  The housekeeper is coming at nine and I'm going to want to spend as much time as I can there, so perhaps I'll do the 30 minutes and if the advanced abs are too much for me I'll go spend some time on the treadmill.

Yesterday evening I met up with Andy and Kate for a few glasses of wine, some food and some good talk.  As I suspected, this autumn has been a disaster and I am SO glad I am not a part of it.  I don't miss it at all.  Not at all.

I have got to get a knitting project on my needles though.  I finished up the socks last Sunday and I've been waffling around about what I should do next.  I think I'll just buy that cheap yarn and get to work on another blanket  - one that can't be ruined if it gets tossed into the washer again.  On the way home from the airport today I can do that.

We were supposed to have a huge wind storm this last weekend but it never materialized.  People got all crazy buying generators, etc.  And nothing.  Except there are a few more leaves on the ground.  The rain is doing me in though.  Hard rain.  Relentless.  I take Tink to the park anyway.  You can't live in this part of the world and let the weather stop you from doing things.  If that was the case you could spend a lot of time in doors.

14 October, 2016

Or so I thought ......

It ended up that I got to keep my 2 o'clock facial appointment on Tuesday, so I was happy,  Especially because my muscles were so very very sore.  Tink got a nice park walk in the glorious sunshine and I headed up around 11.  First stop the Apple store where I bought a nice new  iPad Air 2 with cellular.  Next up Nordstrom, where I needed to get some cosmetics.  When I walked in there I was saying to myself, "Hmmmm .... wouldn't it be great if that gorgeous little Rebecca Minkoff pink suede fringed bag was marked down?"  Nordstrom rarely has markdowns but lo and behold, there was the bag and it was marked down!  With my Nordstrom notes I was out the door with that bag at half price.  Awesome!!  What luck, eh?  Then I had a quick trip through Tuesday Morning, ho hum, and a soup and salad lunch and then to the spa.  I had a nice long soak and some time relaxing my muscles even more in the hot sand room and then a facial.  Now that's what I call a perfect day.  And Ben was able to come home for dinner and I made a nice mushroom pork chops recipe from Cooking Light.

Wednesday rolled around, another gorgeous sunny, blue sky day, and I was looking forward to doing another BodyPump class at 9:30.  Except I was even MORE sore than I had been on Tuesday!  How could that be?  I could barely go down stairs or raise my arms over my head.  No gym for me.  Tink got some long walks and that was all I could handle.

At 2 in the morning the power went out and it was still out Thursday when I got up.  I was planning on going to the U District to do some banking but no power, so I couldn't get my car out of the garage. I know there is a way to do it, but I have never done it and I am not confident I could budge that double wooden garage door.  I had the truck but it was pouring rain and I did not want to drive it to Seattle, so I went to Starbucks for coffee and that was the end of my driving.  The power didn't come on until after 6 so I am grateful for the gas stove.  I just heated up some chicken  soup I had in the freezer.  

Today I woke up feeling almost normal and I was anxious to go to the class, but they don't have it on Friday mornings, so I did the treadmill instead.  There is a huge storm blowing in, with 70 mph winds expected for tomorrow.  So of course everyone is expecting the power to go out again.  It has been pouring rain for two days now and the ground is saturated.  It won't take much for a few trees to topple.  Just hope the power will stay on until I get dinner cooked.  Today another fancy recipe from Cooking Light - chicken baked with fennel and tomatoes and lemon.  I hope its good.  

The Huskies have a bye this weekend and the Seahawks are back, playing Atlanta.  That should be a good game.  Maybe I can finish those socks this weekend.  Or maybe tonight even.

11 October, 2016

Ouch ouch ouch

Eery time I go to the gym I look into the classrooms and see all sorts of interesting things going on.  I know that just running and doing a few stretches is really not getting me a decent workout so I did a little asking around about the 9:30 class, which is called BodyPump.  And yesterday I did my first body pump class.  All I can say is wow, what a great great full body workout.  I am SO sore today, everywhere.  Back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, quads, lats ... not so much the gluts but that's probably because it's used so much with running.  Even though I am sore I am quite looking forward to going back again on Wednesday.

As unlikely as I found it, I actually won my matchup lady night since my opponent had a ridiculously underperforming player in that game.  But big deal - even though my record is the same as three other guys I am lowest because I haven't been making lots of points, except the first week.  Hopefully they will change this weekend with Russell Wilson healthy.

One thing I have been looking forward to is my appointment at the Olympus Spa today for a facial and, not coincidentally after yesterday, a big old soak in the hot tubs.  But yesterday evening I got  call saying that they had made a mistake with the booking and could I come in at 2:45.  NO!  That is too late.  The girl was supposed to call back, but she didn't so I'll have to give another call this morning to see what is up.  I have also decided that it's time to get a new iPad and I was going to go to the Apple store before the spa.  The one I have is obsolete and can't even take the latest update, and it is so slow.  I'm going to get a new one and wipe the old one clean and give it to Ben.  He won't be putting anything on there App-wise.  He just wants to read sports news on the browser.  Perfect.  I am going to get one with Wi-Fi AND LTE or whatever it's called, so that I can get phone service when I need it, like when I go to Paris in December.

I still haven't finished those socks but I might sit down and do that this evening.  I've got to get started on the new blanket.  This one I will make out of washable yarn in case the housekeeper takes it into her head to wash it again.

06 October, 2016

Thumbs up

Yesterday I tried out NOT showering at the gym.  I did my workout, left my workout clothes on and took off for home, with a quick stop at the post office to mail a package.  Bu the time I got home I was plenty cooled down and had a nice shower and did  a little clean up in the kitchen while my hair air dried.  Perfect.

Except my day got a little messed up.  I had taken Tink to the vet Tuesday to have her neck checked out.  It is a skin infection and she's no stranger to that, since it is most prevalent in Westies.  I got some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal wipes that I have to use on the affected area twice a day, some antibiotics and some anti-itch pills.  I have switched her to a harness to avoid further irritating the skin on her neck and I have tied a cotton bandana around her neck to protect the area.  But at night she scratches at it with her back paws so yesterday I was going to go to Petco to get her some socks to cover those feet at night and a doggie T-shirt to cover up the neck/chest area.  But our friend came over to clean off the roof and the gutters and I couldn't really leave him alone on the roof, so no trip to Petco.  I'm going to do that this morning.

And I'll tell you what - I have created a monster with Tink and the park.  Yesterday while I was drying my hair I had her basking in the sun on the front porch.  But she wanted in.  Next thing I know she's sitting by the door where I'm drying my hair and barking that sharp "I want something" bark.  When I asked her what she wanted she trotted to the closet where I keep the leashes.  This was around 12:30 when she has been getting her park walk so I did a little test, hooked her up and walked towards the front door.  Nope.  She put on the brakes.  And then pulled me toward the back door.  I had to finish drying my hair, which was difficult to convey to the dog, and then she got her park walk.  She is feeling better, I can tell.  She didn't exactly run around the park, but she was more active.  It's got to be annoying having a big sore on the neck.

Last night I had a dream about work.  It was about how I did not want to be there.  It was like I was still having to go in but I had nothing to do.  Not a nice dream at all and I was trying to do the math to figure out if I had enough vacation time to just quit then an there.  What a relief when I woke up and remembered that I had already done that.  Whew

04 October, 2016

Rethinking the gym day routine

My current routine needs some adjustment.  As it is now, on gym days Tink gets a very basic walk in the morning before I put her in the car and take her to wait for me when I work out.  I do my 45 minutes on the treadmill, do a little stretching or some machines, then I head to the showers.  The problem, in a nutshell, is that I need more cool down time.  Even though I take at least 15 minutes to stretch and cool down it is not nearly enough.  Even a cool rinse in the shower and blowing cool air from the hair dryer on my head does not do the trick.  Basically I cannot get my hair dry!  I finally gave up yesterday and just put it in a pony tail and headed out.  I had to pick up a few things at the grocery store and I needed to get a harness for Tink since she's got this mysterious sore on her neck.  Then it was a little after noon, I was h-angry and still we hadn't done the park.  When we got there Tink was not interested in a walk.  SO frustrating.  I have been trying to be efficient but I think I've got to forget getting dressed at the gym.  For Wednesday I'm going to just give her the normal business walk, head to the gym and do my thing and then come back home to get cleaned up.  If I get organized I can do all my running around on non-gym days.  But I know I'll probably have to make extra trips in the car.  But I have to be able to get my hair dry so that's that.

Today we're going to have the vet look at Tink's neck.  She has always worn a collar so I can't imagine it is entirely the fault of a collar that caused the sore on her neck.  We'll soon find out.

Rain has moved in.  Autumn is here.  It's not cold yet though  so that is good.

03 October, 2016

Monday Monday .... not so bad anymore

It's amazing how things change when you don't have to steel yourself to get back to the office on Monday.  It's just a quiet day after the weekend.  And today it's a cloudy and chilly quiet day.  I will be able to go to the gym.  I finally wore a full shoe yesterday and while my toe did hurt a bit, it wasn't debilitating and I will be able to run.

Tink got groomed this weekend and she looks like herself again.  I had noticed a patch of raw skin on her neck and now that she's groomed it is very obvious and we're going to have to go to the vet about it.  I don't know if it is some irritation from her collar and she's aggravated or what, but it's almost two inches long and more than half an inch across.  Not good.  I'm going to buy her a harness to use instead of her collar for the time being until we can figure out what's up with it.

Football weekend started early with a Husky game on Friday evening.  They played Stanford and absolutely crushed them.  They have moved up in the polls to 5!  That is really something. The Seahawks also did well on Sunday and beat the Jets in New York.  I like it when both of the team win.  It would be better still if my fantasy match up had gone well, but even though I have two more scores tonight I have no chance of winning this week.  Again.

The Seahawks socks on size 8 needs are moving right along.  I've already turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches and now I'm on the foot.  I could finish tonight, or get pretty close.  And then what?  I think I should start thinking about making another blanket after the first got ruined.  And maybe this time I'll just a washable yarn in case the house cleaner tosses it in the washer again.