Monday, April 25, 2016

The battle begins

In earnest. And it's two battles, really.

The ongoing battle with my weight is one I'm losing right now. I'd rather report that I'm losing weight, but in two months the loss is negligible.

I'm tired of paleo, but I know that carbs are killing me. As I'm now moving more (I averaged 11,000 steps per day last week), I hope the increased activity will help boost my metabolism. I naturally want to eat lighter when the weather warms up, so I'll work on taking advantage of that – fruit salad instead of pie, right? Heh. The goal is the proverbial move more, eat less, and I'm adding to that to eat less often. If I'm not hungry in the morning, why eat breakfast?

I'd like to think I'm winning the battle with the weeds. The asparagus bed is almost cleaned out, and asparagus is on the menu almost daily. I'm going to put some in omelets tonight. The peony bed is looking good – weeds are mostly gone and the old, dead lavender plants have been replaced by creeping sedum, which is a natural mulch that spreads itself every year. That's my kind of mulch.

I put cardboard down between the asparagus plants and brought a couple loads of mulch from a big pile we have on the side of the field we like to call our "back yard." That pile has been decaying for a couple of years now, and is perfect for weed-suppressing duty. Except for two things.

One of the best garden tool investments
I've ever made. This thing really gets a workout!
As I was working on filling up my large rolling bucket, I thought I was running into the blackberry brambles that have grown up there. (Volunteer blackberries is Thing One.)

When I actually looked to see what was sticking my ankles, I saw Thing Two: ants. Crazy, biting, red ants. Thousands of them. The entire mulch pile is teeming with them. (So gross.) I decided, after two loads of mulch, that it probably isn't the best idea to introduce ants into our living space: The asparagus bed is on the south side of our garage, and only a few feet from our house.

I'm still going to use it – it's a yuge pile, and perfect for spreading around the base of several trees, far away from the house. I'll be wearing tall muck boots, instead of sneakers, to fill the bucket however.

For the asparagus and flower beds, however, I'm heading to town later for bagged mulch. And hoping that having a ready supply will encourage me to keep working on the flower beds.

I have to pace myself (stamina still isn't where I'd like it to be), and I also have to believe that even as little as an hour of weeding a day will eventually result in garden beds worth looking at.

Thank you for your recent kind comments … I appreciate them, and you!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Just in time for spring …

The busy-ness of my life is beginning to wind down, finally. The Big Event is over and was a Big Success – well attended and we made a little more money than we'd hoped for. That's always nice.

I've started spending some of the funds on newspaper advertising. My ads are mostly words with an evocative image. I tried boosting one on Facebook and it was, at first, approved, but then was disapproved because it exceeds Facebook's no-more-than-20-percent-type rule.

For Facebook marketers who are selling concepts or ideas, rather than products, the 20-percent rule is quite limiting. I haven't figured out any way to get around it, other than to reduce the size of the type to "insignificant." Which kind of makes a concept ad irrelevant.

At any rate, since these are newspaper ads and newspapers love type, I'll just share them on our Facebook page and ask for people to share them. It will save us money until I can figure out how to make an image look like the concept "Vote for Democrats." Heh.
We will be going to a funeral tomorrow, a sad day for us and for our small town, but a blessing, as well. Our friend had been ill for a long, long time, and was not going to get better.

I continue to walk as much as possible, and to do the physical therapy exercises, although not daily, as I'd planned to. I'm not a disciplined person. Being required to show up for an appointment was great motivation. Having to report to the therapist that I had or had not done the exercises on my non-appointment days also was motivating. Being completely responsible for my own recovery? Not so motivating at all.

And with that … I think I'll go do my exercises. And then take a walk. And then finish weeding the asparagus bed. And then do a load of laundry while I vacuum and mop my floors. That will take me up to late afternoon, I'm sure. And it will be time to get ready for the visitation at the funeral home. Two long days, coming right up.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Back to normal!

It's been 12 weeks today since my hip surgery, and I'm doing just about whatever I want to do. Except running, of course, which is forever prohibited. The physical therapy sessions were very beneficial, and I am again glad my doctor didn't push me into them right away. 

Certain movements are restricted immediately post-surgery – bending, crossing your legs, putting all your weight on the operated limb – and my therapy would have had to respect those limits. Waiting until the restrictions were lifted gave the therapists more leeway to push me a little harder.

At any rate, I'm now able to put my socks on, tie my shoes, enter and exit the car, bend, stretch, stoop, you name it and I can do it without discomfort. Pretty cool, huh? I still tire easily, and that was an issue this weekend.

The other back-to-normal thing is my life. Our county Democratic Executive Committee, of which I am a member, hosted a banquet honoring a retiring state senator this past Saturday, and banquets don't just happen out of thin air, like they do in Disney cartoons. A great deal of planning and preparation went into it. And a great deal of walking and standing ensued. I didn't even eat dinner.

BUT: It was quite the success, both in attendance and in replenishing our treasury so we can do some voter outreach efforts. We learned a lot from the experience – we've never hosted this kind of affair before – and we'll definitely be doing it again.

Just not soon. Heh.

Yesterday my husband and I went to a book reading, which was accompanied by music (lovely, soul-filled music) and followed by a reception at the home of the organizers. The book – Voices from the Appalachian Coalfields – was researched 25 years ago by a man who became ill before he could finish it. His wife eventually completed the project. It's an artistic and educational masterpiece.

And a pretty long day.

Winter returned last week, and I finally had the opportunity to walk on the treadmill instead of outdoors. My fastest outdoor pace – if you want to call it that – is about a 24-minute mile. I can do three miles in an hour on the treadmill, and knock off an episode of House of Cards while I'm at it. I still like outdoor walking better, but I'll gladly hit the machine when the weather doesn't cooperate.

So that's about it from the Middle of Nowhere. Thanks for hanging in there with me for the surgery saga. I probably won't mention it much going forward. We have a primary coming up, and then an important general election. I'll bet you just can't wait to hear what I have to say about that! Heh.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Another post-surgical first

I know you're probably reallyreallyreally bored with all this hip surgery nonsense, and I apologize. I'm writing it here so I have a record of it, and documenting it in case anyone stumbles across it who is facing the same procedure. I didn't think about looking for others' personal experiences until after I'd been released from the hospital. Maybe my ramblings will help someone else.

At any rate – whether you're bored or not – I took a trip this weekend! I haven't seen my younger granddaughter since Halloween. She and her parents were having scheduling troubles finding time to head to our place, so I decided just to go for it and went to North Carolina.

Just keep waiting, just keep waiting.
Quite an impressive cloud bank, yes?
It's about a five-hour trip for me, not counting time parked on the interstate waiting for accidents to clear (one on the way down Friday and two coming home yesterday). I'm not a fast driver. My son has made it to my house in four hours.

The only problem I had was getting out of the car after driving for a couple of hours. I was definitely stiff and felt like I needed a little support before I could walk comfortably. But no pain.

[The big win was not spending a penny while I was in the state of North Carolina (to protest passage of HB2). I'm sure the taxes collected on my customary trip to Trader Joe's won't make an iota of difference in the state budget, but it's the principal of the thing. I rarely need to spend money when I visit family there, but I was a little concerned about whether I'd have to refuel before I hit the Virginia state line on the way home.

There's a gas station at the last exit in Virginia before entering North Carolina, and I filled up Friday on my way down. I had about three gallons in the tank when I got back there Sunday. #winning]

I did my physical therapy exercises Friday before I left and Saturday while I was there, and managed to get 10,000 steps Friday and 9,000 Saturday. Was very tired yesterday when I got home, and skipped the exercises, but took a short walk for a total of about 5,000 steps.

Food was a disaster. Let's not even go there, mkay? Other than it's time for a reset.

I'll end with a "Go 'Nova" for the NCAA championship game, and a "Play ball!" for MLB Opening Day. Because it's time to move on from all-surgery, all-the-time.