Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Up, down, one, two, three, four...

...and so it has been going...for almost two months.

Yes, I made a deal with my doctor, I could not start work every day, until I exercised for at least 20 minutes.  Sure I thought..THAT'S going to work.  I figured I would placate her and said something like "Sure, you call me every morning, and yes, I will exercise."  We both had a good laugh over that. Then, I jokingly said, well at least write me a note that says I have to exercise before I can go to work.  She said,  "Yes, I CAN do that...and, she did."

Okay, I decided would give it a shot, I would give it a try for a couple of weeks.  If it worked, great...if not...well, two weeks (in my opinion) was giving this a 'good college try'.  I printed out her note and taped it to the bottom of my computer monitor.  It reads.

"Zazzle is your reward time each day AFTER you had done your exercise.  Have fun!!

So, I started exercising.  The first day I over did it, I exercised for 20 minutes.  The next day I had pain in muscles I had forgotten I had, and I had not used for years.  So, I cut back to a 10 minute program I still hurt, but the note on my monitor was like a nudge from my shoulder angel and I decided to try ten minutes the next day. too.

To my surprise, my muscles seemed to enjoy the workout, and I increased my time to 15 minutes. The days flew by and before I knew it my two week trial was over.  I considered quitting, after all I had accomplished my "good old college try".

That morning when I went to work, I saw the note from my doctor, I felt proud of myself and I realized her note was exactly the incentive I needed to spend time exercising.  Before I knew it I was exercising 25 then 30 minutes every day.  I began to feel guilty for even thinking about taking a day off.  At the end of the first month I'd missed only two days.

I sent my doctor an e-mail telling her of my progress, and I presented her with a deal, IF I was still exercising at the end of six months, she was going to have to buy something from my Zazzle store. To my delight and surprise, she agreed to the deal.

On November 8th, I will have completed my second month.  As of this morning I've only missed four days of exercise.  Oh, there are days I want to skip, even quit my exercise program.  Then, I think about that note from my doctor taped to my computer monitor.  I know she would be disappointed if I quit.  And, I know my shoulder angel would be very disappointed in me too.  I would be disappointed in me.

So, every morning I get up, feed my furry creatures, turn on the TV and begin...up, down, one, two, three, four....

Thanks, Doc.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Leaf lady

I will leave no leaf un-turned.  Yes, I'm obsessed with autumn leaves.  I can't help myself, and of late I've been driving Frankie crazy.  Every time I got outside, whether to retrieve the mail, or to simply enjoy a few minutes of fresh air I come back inside with a hand full of colorful leaves.  All shapes, all sizes. I don't want to collect the leaves, I am compelled to do so.

Some years I'm worse than others, if, one year the leaves happen to be more magnificent in hues of red, yellow, orange, even a dozen shades of brown my books are soon bulging with leaves pressed within their pages and kept there for years until they disintegrate and turn to dust.  I can't help myself.

This year the leaves have been a bit of  a disappointment.  Most of the trees leaves have not turned color yet, and after the weekend rain and wind storm a lot of the trees are pretty bare without have the opportunity for the leaves to turn at all.

Still, unable to help myself, each time I go out I scour the lawn, driveway and walks for colorful leaves.  I stop, bend over and flip the ones upside down over, and often add it to the collection I already have in my hand. Yesterday was no exception.  I came into the house with yellow and red maples, they were tiny, the largest perhaps three inches in length but perfect in shape and color.

I spread them out on a paper towel on the kitchen counter so they would dry.

Frankie:  "Are you kidding me?  More leaves?  You're nuts, you know that don't you?"
Me:  "...and, your point is?"
Frankie:  "You don't need these, you don't know what you're going to do with them, and eventually they will fall out of a book and you will throw them away."
Me: (Sad and dejected) "I know."

(Insert moment of silence.)

Me:  "Still, just look at them Frankie, look at the colors, even Crayola Crayons can't make these colors, artists can't blend their oils to these exact colors, my computer can't make these colors.  Oh, we can come close, but these colors are perfection.  Absolute perfection."

I gently wiped the rain off each delicate leaf. One was bright yellow with a brown tip, another was bright red, with a tear along on side, I took tape to hold it together. Another was yellow but had three circles in it, they were green with brown around their edges.  How did that happen?  Some kind of genetic abnormality I suspect.  Still it was rare and unique.  I was fascinated.  I wanted Frankie to be fascinated, too.

She, of course appeased me, by pretending to be interested, (at least she didn't walk away).  I left her standing at the kitchen counter and went back outside to stand up a plant stand the wind had knocked over.  While I trekked back to the house I picked up small branches from a maple and willow tree the wind had deposited in my back yard.

Frankie was still standing at the counter, she had the spotted leaf in her hand.  She looked like a kid that had been caught stealing a cookie from a cabinet.  She sputtered and tried to regain composure.

Frankie:  "WHAT?  More leaves...you know what, old woman, you are nuts."
Me: (Sighing.)  "I know, it's an illness."
Frankie:  "What are your plans for the branches?"
Me:  "I'm going to draw them.  What are you plans for the leaf in your hand?"
Frankie:  "Nothing, I'm just looking..."

Yes, there she was, just looking...that's how it starts...this illness...I was just looking, too.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Checking in.

Wrist feeling a bit better today.  Still can't do two handed typing, but working on it.  I have a new respect for those in constant pain whether from illness, accident, or age.  God bless you all.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Tried to type a blog today, just can't re-hurt wrist yesterday...just can't type without serious pain. Maybe tomorrow.  Hang in there.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stir and mix, mix and stir.

This was a cooking weekend.  I started with a vegetable soup, and moved on to another soup called Leathery Britches, this recipe coming from an old country cookbook.

Leathery Britches is a concoction of green beans (pioneer women dried them in the sun, giving them a 'leathery' look) potatoes, onions and salt pork or bacon.  However, I don't have to dry the beans, because my neighbor gave me a handful of fresh ones on Friday.  Is makes a wonderful hardy soup.  I added a handful of barley, just because I happen to like barley in my soups.

After cooking the Leathery Britches, I moved on to a package of cheesy bagels that I sliced in half and smeared spaghetti sauce across their open faces.  Then  I added onion, sliced black olives, and tomatoes making mini pizzas, that I baked in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then I topped these off with some cheddar cheese slices and returned the bagel pizzas to the oven till the cheese melted.

It turned out I had about half a can of spaghetti sauce left and I dumped that into a sauce pan, added a bit of water, threw in some shell pasta and cooked it till the pasta softened, finishing this dish by melting some cheese slices in it.  Don't judge me...this was an unexpected throw together kind of leftover thing....waste not, want not, right?

Finally, I lined up all my individual sized meal containers and started dumping.  Man, I'm not going to have to cook for a week, and have containers to put into the freezer as well.  Come to think of it, writing about all this food is making me hungry, I might have to go eat.

Aside from having a lot of good meals prepared, I have to let you know I did NOT hurt my wrist this time while packaging up the food.  I was very, VERY careful.  I'm still wearing an ace bandage from my last encounter with a heavy pot.  Oh, and speaking of bandages, you know how when you are wrapping them around your hand and wrist the beginning end is hard to keep in place?  I discovered a way to keep it from loosening.  I simply cut a hole in one end of the bandage and put my thumb through the hole...this keeps the bandage in place like you wouldn't believe.  How come I never thought of that before?  Better late than ever I suppose.

That pretty much sums up my cookin' weekend.  And, now I'm going to go eat.  What to eat first, hmmm pizza sounds good.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Remember the day I wrote that I thought it is better to get flowers while we're alive, instead of at a memorial service or funeral?

You remember?

Yesterday I got flowers......

I'm beside myself with glee.

Thanks, Lorraine....Love you.