Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I'm Ready . . .

I will be marching in the Chicago sister march to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, March 21, 2016.

My shirt came last night!!!  That hat is actually for a friend of mine and is headed to Colorado today.  Mine is on the needles still.

Here we go . . .

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Run the Year . . .

Like I said a few days ago, it's all about me this year.

To that end, I've found an app that is similar to a former version of a popular points counting program, and I'm using my old points calculator and my old program materials to get my food going in a way that is sustainable for me over the long-haul.

I'm avoiding added sugar again in a very big way - I'm too young to have constant joint pain.

And I found a program called Run the Year: 2017 in 2017.  You didn't have to run, you could walk!  In theory, it sounded amazing, and I was going to sign right up.  And then I did the math . . . 2017 rolls out to about 5.5 miles DAILY.  For the entire year.  I'm not a runner so I realized pretty quickly that not only is it not realistic for me to think I could do that, it's not reasonable.  And it's probably dangerous.  For sure I would get injured somehow, and that's not in the plan for 2017.  I'm choosing to remain injury-free this year  :-)

5.5 miles daily equates - for me - to approximately 16,000 steps.  DAILY.  Since I've been working on getting 10,000 most weekdays I thought I might be OK because you know they say 10,000 steps is about 5 miles . . . Except not for me.  10,000 steps for me is about 3.5 miles.  Still I was hopeful (if crazed  ;-D) and then, a couple of days before Christmas, I had a 13,000+ step day and it about wiped me out.  I knew right then that 16,000 steps/day was not going to happen - at least not this year.  You could join the Run the Year program as a team of up to four people, but no one I know was particularly interested in participating - and so I let it go.

My trainer is helping me with my strength training - I still meet with him once a week at the club, and he's created a program for me with a list of strength work so I can do another workout during the week, and a core workout at home.  Based on what we do at our normal workout on Thursdays, he chooses what other exercises I need to accomplish before I see him again the next week.  It means one more day in the gym at the club, and also some core and leg work at home.  Every week.  This is great and I'm really excited about it.

I had an extra session with him on December 31st so we could finish going over all the exercises on the sheet and could figure out which ones I could do on my own, which ones I needed his help with, and which wouldn't work at all because of my torn meniscus.  Then, while we were walking on the track, I mentioned the Run the Year 2017 in 2017 program to him and how I thought it would be cool, but that I knew I couldn't do it myself and no one else wanted to do it.  With no hesitation, he looked me right in the eye and said, "I'll do it with you."


We decided to do it on our own rather than signing up for it on the official site.  We are splitting the miles, and since we are customizing it to fit us, we decided that ALL cardio should count - not just running and walking.  So for me, that's walking, biking, and swimming.  He could easily make the 2017 on his own - he's a runner - but we're splitting it.  That means that I'm responsible for 1,008.5 miles on my own this year.  That breaks out to 2.76 miles/a day.  I rounded it up to be safe, and am shooting for 3 miles a day for the rest of the year.

The first week or so has been a bit of a wakeup call.  Yes, I often get in about 3 miles a day in my general walking around and getting to/from work, but I don't get it every day, and on weekends I generally don't get that many steps in on either day.  Plus, I need one rest day a week where I don't do much of anything (remember, I'm staying injury-free this year  :-) ).  I made my goals last week and I used my recumbent bike to get some additional miles in on Friday so I could have Saturday off as my rest day.  Biking is faster than walking, but it still takes me about five minutes to peddle a mile, so it's a minimum of 20 minutes or so to get at least four miles in.  My tailbone doesn't last much longer than that on the bike (at least not right now).

I'm trying to bank some miles in advance for those days where things conspire against me, or I get sick, or any number of other reasons why I might not get my mileage in.  But I'm very cognizant of it because if I miss a day, then all of a sudden it's not 3 miles - it's 6, and that's tough on my mind to catch back up.  3 miles/day seems completely doable in my mind.  6, not so much.

There's a new page on the blog called 2017 Run the Year.  I'm going to chronicle there if you'd like to follow along. I have a mile ticker there (it wouldn't fit in the sidebar and still be legible  :-D).

Updates will be on Thursdays  :-)

Monday, January 9, 2017

This . . .

Meryl Streep demonstrates again just what a truly class act she is.

It's worth the 6 minutes it will take to hear her words.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year, New Look . . .

Here we are, headed into the second week of the new year and I have decided to redecorate - both here on the blog, and also my body  :-)

I don't generally make resolutions -  I've learned over the years that they usually set me up to fail.  I operate more in the world of intentions and goals, which, to me are not the same as resolutions.

As I do most years, I have some things I would like to get accomplished this year, but my main focus is going to be on my health and wellness.  When you take a good, hard look in the mirror and don't care so much for what you see . . . well, let's just say that I am the only person who can make the changes necessary to care for my body in this next decade of my life.

I was greatly affected by the unexpected death of Carrie Fisher, probably because we were contemporaries.  Her death and the serious illnesses of a number of my friends have made me realize just how lucky I actually am. 

And so, since I would like to maintain my active lifestyle for as long as humanly possible, I've got plans in place both for eating better, and for exercise.  I sit in an office all day long . . . Yeah, not great.

I think the other reason I feel like I can finally catch myself up, is that I just now - after 2+ years of weird health shit - have begun to feel whole again.  So I decree that 2017 is all about me.  You might want to make it all about you  :-)  I think it's going to be an awesome ride - I hope you'll come along with me  :-)

In other news . . . a year after his death, David Bowie released another song yesterday.  It's called No Plan, and it has the same heart-breaking quality of Where Are We Now?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year . . .

2017 has arrived!

It's been a productive day for me, that's for sure!

I have three 2' x 2' plant stands.  I moved the one out of my guest room when I had a friend staying with me a few weeks ago, and I decided I only needed two stands.  I've downsized my collection substantially, and everything fits on two now.  The third stand has been "resting" in the kitchen for weeks . . . so this morning, I cannibalized it for two shelf lights, and then moved it down to the basement.  I added those lights to the bottom shelves on the two remaining sunroom stands.

I washed some of plant trays, and all the African violet reservoirs got topped off.  I also watered and cleaned up all of the general sunroom plants. I wrote all my thank you notes. I took a lot of trash and recycling out. I washed and Cloroxed the kitchen and bathroom trash cans, and got most of the bar in the kitchen cleared (most ;-D).

The second load of laundry in. All Christmas is put away. The beautiful strings of star lights that have hung in the giant windows on the north side of my house have gone to their Great Reward (after at least 12 years) because too many strands were out  :-(

I chose scrap yarns for the currently trending Find Your Fade pattern (Ravelry link).

A little more cleanup in the kitchen and then it's time for me to put my feet up and work on my PussyHat for the march on January 21st.

Everything else (and there's more . . . ) can wait until tomorrow.   :-)

Happy New Year!

These rolled across my Facebook feed in the past week and I'm keeping them close at hand:

Seize the new year  :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Stargiving . . .

The author of this poem, Ann Weems, passed away this year.  She was known as the Presbyterian Poet Laureate.  I would never have known about her save for a dear friend in Colorado, D - the wife of my former pastor there.  We were Church Ladies - but it was the 80's so I usually think of us more like Renegade Church Ladies, doing things in new ways with new eyes and open hearts.  There was a group of us, and the core of those of us who are left are still in touch with each other all these years later.  Can't even tell you how happy that makes me.

We've been with each other through some wild times in all of our lives - life-altering life and death kinds of times.  Some happy.  Some devastating.  And always, there we have been - and are - with and for each other with comfort and strength and random acts of kindness and prayer.  I am the only one who is no longer in Colorado, and sometimes that's hard.  Many is the time I have wished for the chance to spend some time in their presence.  They still regularly have lunch with each other, and even though the church we attended together so long ago no longer exists, the bonds we forged with each other back then have never faltered.  I've been present for one or two lunches when I've been able to get to Colorado, and they've promised this year that they will FaceTime with me so I can be there at the next lunch, too.  I can hardly wait.

The older I get, the more I realize that the most important present (Christmas or otherwise) isn't a present you can hold in your hand - it is the presence I share in my friends' and family's lives and theirs in mine.  There is nothing more important than being loved and accepted and encouraged.  That spark of laughter, and the comfort and joy that only those who know us well can provide - these things are to be cherished and never taken lightly. 

And so this poem, from the book Kneeling in Bethlehem, has stayed with me all this time.  And every time I read it or share it, I am taken to a very special time and place in my own history, thanks to D all those years ago.  Thanks, D :-)

Happy Christmas, Everyone.

Stargiving, by Ann Weems

What I'd really like to give you for Christmas
   is a star . . .
Brilliance in a package.
   something you could keep in the pocket of your jeans
   or in the pocket of your being.
Something to take out in times of darkness,
   something that would never snuff out or tarnish,
   something you could hold in your hand,
   something for wonderment,
   something for pondering,
   something that would always remind you of
   God's Advent Light into the darkness of this world.
But stars are only God's for giving,
   and I must be content to give you words and wishes and
      packages without stars.
But I can wish you life
   as radiant as the Star
   that announced the Christ Child's coming,
   and as filled with awe as the shepherds who stood beneath its light.
And I can pass on to you the love
   that has been given to me,
   ignited countless times by others
   who have knelt in Bethlehem's light.
Perhaps, if you ask, God will give you a star.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Greetings . . .

Such a kerfuffle . . . This seems to come up every year and it seems more sharp this year . . .

If I know what you celebrate - I'll wish you that.  But if I don't know, I alternate between Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays:

Alrighty then - Onward  :-)

It seems I've missed most of December.  It's Christmas Eve.

For the last week I've been laid low with a cold - but for the first time in a very long time, it's just a cold.  If you don't have asthma, that's not going to mean too much to you.  But if you do have asthma, you are probably doing this to me:

The rest of you are scratching your heads.  :-D

I spent most of 2015 catching every stupid bug that hit the street - and it was never "just a cold."  It might have started that way, but it inevitably ended up as an infection in either my sinuses or my lungs.  I think I had three or maybe four z-pacs that year.  My asthma med was readjusted in August of that year (the last z-pac of 2015.  I had one in March of this year, but that's it.

Yes, I'm still sniffly, and yes I'm coughing - but the cough is productive.  My body is actually fighting this off on its own.  This is a big deal - a really big deal.  :-)


It's also telling me that things are back on a much more even keel for me.  I'm grateful for this, and it gives me a good base to move into the new year, health-wise.  This is a huge relief - seriously.

I talked about this awhile ago, but I'd like to do it again.  Let's look at the last two years or so . . .

  • August 2014 - my asthma controller med dosage is cut in half because I'd been doing so well.
  • November 2014 - Car accident
  • December 2014 - horrid respiratory infection (which I attributed to stress from the accident) requiring a z-pac.
  • February - May 2015 - construction
  • June 2015 - cataract surgery, both eyes.
  • June 2015 - another infection and another z-pak
  • August 2015 - really bad place with my breathing.  This is when we discovered that my dosage was off.  BP was 145/80 (not normal for me).  Z-pac AND prednisone, and a correction of my controller med.
  • December 2015 - just as I was starting to feel normal again, my right shoulder starting hurting out of nowhere.
  • February 2016 - annual physical, shoulder still terrible.
  • April 2016 - start very painful PT for my shoulder
  • June 2016 - shoulder surgery
  • June-September 2016 - constant PT for my shoulder.
And now it's December, and I seem to have turned the corner.  My shoulder is probably 95% of normal mobility.  I'll take that.  They say things come in threes - I would agree.  Car accident, eye surgery, shoulder surgery.  That's a lot to have happen in a two-year period of time.  Every time I would start to feel better, something else would land.  But since September, I've been OK, until this cold - but it's just a cold :-)

Hot Dog!

I just baked four dozen chewy Mole Asses (that's molasses, to you!  :-D) cookies to take to my cousin's tomorrow, and I will make a lasagna in the morning to take with, too.  I made a mistake in the cookie dough, but it didn't seem to cause any real problem (I added sugar to the flour mixture by mistake).  Here is the first dozen going in to the oven. 

I was crossing my fingers  :-D

They turned out fine.  I ate three of them to be sure.


I wish you and yours the happiest of every holiday that you celebrate  :-)