Benches Before Work

July 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm (34 Day Summer Slim Down, Big Benches, Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Getting Old, Heat, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer, Thank You, The Grass, Wasting Time In General, Zoo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Trying to be quick before work today. I have been off for several days now and I am kind of dreading going back. I like staying home. But I like money too so… This is Little Red Riding Hood. It has a back too. All of the benches have backs obviously, but some of them are decorated with something extra. This is one of them.

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This bench has texture and depth and it’s really kind of cool. The next one is kind of plain like the Snow White one, so it gets second tier post status. Aren’t I just Judgey McJudgey over here. My site. My opinions. This is Let Down Your Hair. The Rapunzel story.

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That takes care of 2 more. We are at 6/20. Next up is our intermission pictures. There is/was a Dodge, now Fiat, dealership in the middle of town that always has something we like to take a picture of. So we wasted about 15 minutes there, looking at cars, while my girl complained that this is NOT what we came here to look at! She was right. Plus it was scorchingly hot on all that black asphalt. But I still took too long to take a photo of a Super Bee Charger. 392 Hemi. $46,000. Black as night paint. Called “Pitch Black”. I’ll just put those pics here to save time. The front. And the logo. That’s all anyone cares about anyway.

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That should lead me nicely into Zoo pictures and Beach pictures. And also fishing, flowers, clouds, sky, birds, wildlife, and some landscape pictures that I teased with, but never posted. My goal in the next few days, (weeks?), is to get this “current” photo folder clear before it gets cold again, and before the kids go back to school. I haven’t even mentioned my summer slim down plan or what I am doing to achieve my goals for skinniness and less B/P medicine. Big fat nothing, that’s what. I am eating less. It’s only working a little bit. And very slowly. Cardio is the thing. At least that’s what the doctor said. It’s always cardio. Let me stop here and try and figure out the next post. I have to shower and do another load of laundry before I go. I may or may not post overnight. I have to get up early tomorrow to take my girl on her annual summer trip to my sister’s house for a week before school starts. And I desperately need my hair colored. I look old. Yucky gray roots. I miss my hair that used to grow in all the same color. Not fair. Then me and the boy are going to meet the BF for lunch at his work. Don’t we seem busy? Monday funday. Then I have to work all week. All week. Man. And the boy has his last week of football camp. Ok I think that’s enough of the list of things to do from one small woman in the world. If you are still reading, THANK YOU! I wish I had prizes or something, but it’s just this. Beep beep beep beeeep. Blast. That’s the timer. Measuring out my life in minutes. Load change. Shower up. Sprinkler switch. STOP. TYPING. !! Gotta go. Later.

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Bonus Day!

June 12, 2013 at 11:42 am (Birthday Wishes, Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Exercise, Flowers, Updates, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Still working out the kinks in my camera phone. Not all my “files” are making it through. Maybe it’s a new advanced Samsung feature when you try to send pictures through the system it automatically corrupts the file of the crap shots so you don’t even waste your time.

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That company is so smart. The first picture is a flower from my neighbors house. I have more. Of course I do. Today is an unexpected day off, so I like to call them the bonus days, in life. My plans are suddenly open and fluid. Maybe I will catch up on sleep. Maybe I will post all day. Maybe I will take a shower and remove all this excess hair from my legs. Yuck. Maybe I will sit on my ass playing Tiny Village. Now that it is my only game and play app, I can really focus on it.

*Quick side note: what do we, you, the general public, think about spending actual real world dollars on these games? I am seriously considering paying cash for crystals because I want to do stuff in this fake world faster. Leave me a note/comment when you can. Thoughts, ideas? Is this the lamest way to spend money ever? I can justify it by saying it’s an early birthday present to myself. Maybe? I got paid today and I have time to burn. These are my “for” arguments.

*Extra quick side note: I have updates on my health. Too fat. Too little exercise. Apparently I need to be doing the “cardio” kind. B/P still a skosh too elevated. I have been increased on my starter meds. But I’d like to D/C them altogether. The MD said I could if I wasn’t a rolly-polly when I come back to see him next time. Lupus titer high and positive again. (Lupus panel negative though. I may have a life-long, general, vague, comes-and-goes, inflammatory disorder to deal with for my golden years. If a face rash and some bad numbers on a blood test is all I get from this over the years, I will be a very happy camper. I can exercise and stay out of the sun. No problem.) I will be heading out to the garage to pull some of my “diet” books and revamp the current food plan. But first I need to get that shower/shave thing out of the way. And believe me I have plans for more postings about this. I already have a title for my new quest in mind. “144 by 44”. See, I will be 44 this year. And my follow up appt is after my birthday. 144 lbs might not be exactly do-able in that time frame, three months, but I can try. I hesitate to throw out my actual weight number because I am not sure if it’s fat or not. It’s a good amount under 200. It’s definitely not slim. But I am a heavy person in general. Like, heavy bones. I know that sounds like an excuse, but I’m like a deceptive bag of concrete. I might look compact and weigh what the number says on the sack, but when you go to pick me up, I-Yi-Yi!! I weigh a ton. And now your back hurts! 144 would be the least amount I have ever weighed as an adult with children. Except for the brief month, many years ago, when I weighed 138 because of a literal diet, of coffee and breath mints, when I was going through some shit. I literally could not eat food without throwing up. Not my fault. But also not a story for this bonus day either. Spoils the fun.

Maybe I will get new grass today. Literally. The village I live in tore up my yard as you may remember from ONE YEAR AGO. Almost to the day. Because of broken water mains. Click to read. Catch up here. Well they are back. Sort of. They have been coming to the house every day this week doing something to the front. Flatten it out. Dig up more. Shore up the edges. Fill in with dirt. Smooth that out. I have got to believe that sod is next. Maybe today?! I hope they hurry. I hear storms are approaching. Storms with really cool names. Derecho.

The following is copied word for word from a weather news site:

A derecho, Spanish for straight, is a widespread and long-lasting storm that comes with fast-moving thunderstorms and rain, and also can bring damaging high winds, hail as big as golf balls as well as tornadoes. Weather forecasters have been warning that this rare weather  phenomenon, which last year left a 700-mile trail of damage across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, this time could hit a swath of states from Iowa to Maryland starting Wednesday.

Yay! At least I won’t be at work and then have to drive in it this time. I also need to seriously update some of the pages on this site. I noticed some old info floating around and we could use a freshening. Let me finish this quick. I’m running out of shower time before these kids get home. I will try to link the yard thing and post the new pics of the yard. And some flowers and probably birds. And lottery news. Still working on the scratch-offs, but I can tell you, so far, we are not winners. Still have to work for the money. I have 4 cards/chances left. Wouldn’t this be a great site if I could just write every day about how much money I have and how I don’t have to do anything, ever, again in real life if I don’t want to? I would just post title after title with some picture taken from my couch: Still Rich. Suckers! Oh to dream….Later.

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That would be The Truck.  And The Dig. And The Smooth. Hopefully the next picture will be, “The Grass”. Ugh. My kids have started calling me for rides and I am still hairy. Ugh. Bonus Time Shower Time. Although shower time should really be an All-The-Time. Ugh. Wasting Time. Later.

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Let’s Take It Down A Notch With My Third Pic From The New Phone

June 10, 2013 at 10:24 am (Blood Pressure, Cheap Red Wines, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Getting Old, Giant Food, High School Football, High School Volleyball, Losing the Fat, Movies, Phone Camera, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer Break) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Life is not all that serious. But you know, I get caught up in the typing and before you know it, a five paragraph essay on mortality appears. The above picture illustrates the life-shortening things we did on my last weekend off. First we went and saw Fast 6. It’s a good movie. If you like those kind of movies. And we do.

Spoiler Alert! Seriously. I will be typing info of the spoiler variety right now. If you have seen any of these movies, you know they tease you at the end. Well, guess what? There’s gonna be a Fast 7. I won’t say how they do it, but if you are like me, you might say to yourself, “You know who they should get for these movies? Jason Statham.” And you would tell all the people around you, right away, at the beginning of the movie, because it’s a British, military-type bad guy in this one, and be really annoying about it. But then you’d be totally validated at the end and all self-satisfied ’cause you’re so smart. You could totally be a movie producer person. Whatever.

After the movie we went and got my new phone. Yay! Not gonna lie again. It’s awesome! It’s a beautiful phone. Samsung Galaxy S4, in case you missed that bit of info in my last mush post. It’s all Otter Box’d up so I don’t ruin it at work or in life. Plus it’s not very recognizable in it’s case so bitches can’t steal it! Ha. I also have it functioning now the way I like it, except for a ringtone. I am still trying to figure out if I should go back to my previous one (PriceTag–Jessie J or Peace Of Mind–Boston) or pick a new one altogether. Life is sooo hard right?

Then we went to Sam’s Club for alcohol and hot peppers to bring over to the BF’s mom’s house, because she was making dinner, roast beef sammy’s, because the BF’s brother, was in town from Oregon where he lives now. Whew. Got all that? I could have summed that up better, but I have a little time here to spread my typing wings. So obviously we got wine. Apothic Red–the best mixed red, for the best price, hand’s down, in my opinion, of all the brands that I have tried, right now. I posted about it before. The other wine. Ehh. It was OK. I think we got a bad bottle. Smelled and tasted almost like it was spoiled. Compromised. The cork was really dry and it had that sharp vinegar whiff to it. We drank it though. No ill effects noted. And since we were at the big warehouse center for giant, low-cost items, and we needed more Jack, we bought the economy size bottle. I mean, come on, that’s just smart money. And the peppers. Which were tasty and pretty hot actually and pretty much the smallest jar you can buy there. And a pair of jeans for the boy. He can never find Levi’s in his size, because most stores only get, like, 2 pairs of his, per shipment. But there they were, on the giant table of Levi’s, just waiting for him to come along and riffle through the pile. If you have ever been to Sam’s, you know they check your receipt and your items before you walk out of the door. So we were all carrying something; the wines, the giant Jack, the giant pepper jar; and the lady that checked our stuff said, “Ok, you got, what…wine, bottle, peppers, OK, well yeah, it looks like you got everything you need right there, uh huh.” And off we went. Layed everything so nicely in the trunk and snapped the pic with my new toy. Then we went to the dinner (delicious) and drove the kids out to their dad’s for an overnight.

Sunday was kind of lazy but chore driven. Laundry. (Which honestly, got done, completely–folded and put away–but is now back with a vengeance. I HATE laundry so much.) Breakfast. Where I met the 102 year old lady and her younger sister, a sprightly 95. Then more laundry when we got back home. (This was a before and after session of laundry. There was a lot.) Then we had pizza for dinner and waited for the kids to get home. That was their first and last week of summer vacation. Athletic camps are now in session, starting today, and they will be busy for the duration. I believe school starts for them about August 11 or 19. Yet to be determined. I don’t have a schedule yet anyway. So it’s a mystery. Well, it’s not really a mystery. I could spoil the surprise for them by looking on the school website, but I will let them dream of long, lazy, summer days and nights for a few more weeks.

And that’s it for now. Exciting re-cap of a day-in-the-life, huh? Now do you see why I fear getting old? Boring. Laundry. Breakfast. Alcohol. Oh. Alcohol. That must be the key. Drink and you will forget that you are getting older. As I said yesterday, I really do have a doctor appointment to get to. So I need to end this. My hip still hurts, but I think alcohol could probably fix that little problem too. Hmm. I suppose exercise might achieve that same result. Build up some strength to stave off the decaying process. Maybe I’ll try both. Drinking would probably make the exercise easier and more enjoyable, with less pain. Or send me to the ER with a dislocated hip ASAP. Still, with less pain. Did I mention that I have to get weighed, along with the B/P check and whatnot? That’s what is really going to cause me pain. I will follow up. Expect a new series of exercise-healthy-losing-weight-live-forever-type posting to start appearing in this lazy space. Later.

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It’s Not Just Another Day

February 2, 2012 at 11:25 am (Blood Pressure, Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Employed Posts!, Job Search, Nurse News, Shameless Self Promotion) (, , , , , )

It’s my day OFF!!

Finally! I can say stuff like that again!

In case you’ve missed all my increasingly depressing and dreary postings in the last few months, I have been on a full time job search for a job of any time. And all my hard work has finally paid off. I didn’t want to jinx anything by declaring myself employed until I actually signed papers and got a start date. That would be yesterday. First day, all official like. Signed, payrolled, name-tagged, uniformed, bio-scanned, physicaled, TB’d, and scheduled up. I have today off and then I work all weekend and next week and so on and so on for as long as they let me. I have a full time schedule with full time pay and benefits in a place I consider to be pretty awesome so far. Everything I wanted and a little bit more. I’m sorry, ahead of time, but if you ask where or any other details, I have to say that I can’t answer. It’s policy not to broadcast anything over the internet, and I wouldn’t do it anyway. But know that it’s great and I am happy! When I see you in person, I’ll gush and gush, as you know I can! For now let’s just say I have a job and I can start paying back the cost of my education and then some.

That picture above is the first specific nurse related newspaper/journal/magazine that I have received as a new RN. I was pretty excited to see my name on it and to be included in the nursing community. It’s the small things. And it’s perfect for today! I wish the weather was a bit better but as long as there’s no snow I am happy with it. And, in case you were wondering, my BP issue is still happening but the work doc cleared me, and gave me some tips to help me keep it down. Turns out, I may have been sabotaging myself with all the water I was trying to drink. I will be asking my doctor today about that in addition to the low sodium diet. It’s very confusing and there are no clear answers. It’s good because I will be even more compassionate now for my patients who take BP meds, or anything really, and I will try just a little bit harder to explain how they work so they never have to feel confused or frustrated like I do. And I received a lot of training for these medication things! Just goes to prove that you really do learn something new every day!

Alright, I need to go get some new shoes I can walk in, hit the doctor’s office and then head over to the school to see what place my daughter gets in the science fair this year. Last year was a first place so the bar is high! I have pics of the project and it’s safe to put up now that the competition is over. More later!

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Flush! Flush! Flush!

January 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm (Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Food News, Sodium Stuff) (, , , , , , )

Talk about beating a theme into the ground. This has nothing to do with toilets and everything to do with the fact that I need to flush my entire bloodstream and all the cells in my salty body with as much water as possible in the next few hours. I just had Olive Garden for lunch (thanks Beth!!) and even though I tried to eat as “good” as possible, it’s not good enough. Or possible.

First off, I would just like to say: WTF?? Why is there a twenty minute wait on a Tuesday at lunchtime?? The food is not that great. Every time I have ever gone I have had to wait. Seriously people, there are better places to eat! It’s one of the reasons, actually the main reason, why I never go there anymore.

Second, the menu. Out of curiosity I checked their web site to look for nutrition info. Most places, no matter how bad, pretty much list it somewhere these days, even if you have to search 7 pages and 15 links to find it. And usually the word “nutrition” is in the smallest possible print, at the very bottom of the corporate mission statement page. But no, Olive Garden had it listed right across the top of their site. One click, pick your item and read the chart. I guess they figure you already know what you’re getting into so here’s the ugly truth without a lot of fanfare and hoop jumping. Anyway, I was fine on the calories. I figured it would be medium to large damage to the daily intake. And I am pretty good at guess-timating the calorie counts these days. However, I completely and totally, utterly underestimated the sodium content of every single thing. Now I don’t believe for even one minute that Olive Garden has a team of Tuscan chefs in the kitchen cooking us up authentic Italian cuisine from the old country. But I didn’t realize how much preservative must be in those bags of entree’s to keep them fresh and microwave  ready. Here’s the break down:

Garden salad (one serving) with the dressing: 290 calories. Ok. Not the worst. Sodium: 1530 mg. What??? One thousand, five hundred, thirty mg’s!!?? Seriously?? For lettuce?? That dressing packs a hell of a punch.

One breadstick: 150 calories. Cool, I estimated 200, plus 200 for the sodiums. Ha. Try 400 mg’s. Thank goodness I only ate one. We had marinara dipping sauce too. That was 70 calories and another 400 sodiums. I literally touched the bread to the sauce without scooping so I think I am fairly safe there. I maybe only ate, like, 200 mg’s.

Chicken Scampi, lunch portion (luckily): 740 calories and another whopping 1350 on the sodiums. Must be those peppers bringing the totals down. Thankfully, again, I didn’t eat all of it, but Jimminy Cricket, that’s about enough for today and tomorrow.

I also ate the Andes Mint they give you at check time. Not counting it at all. And at this point today, it doesn’t really matter.I know the internet always talks about dining out and the hidden dangers to your nutritional sound diet, but I never thought it would be relevant to me. Poop. (Ha. Did NOT even plan that.)

Alright that’s enough about that. I bet you didn’t think you’d be reading 500 words of my daily food journal. If you are still reading that is. Again, thanks for sticking to the end. Maybe you learned something. Or maybe you are shaking your head, muttering, “Dumbass. No wonder you have high blood pressure idiot. Why do I waste my time with this site??” Well, shake it off. It’s over now. Lesson learned. The food was still good. The company was even better! Good friends ya know?? I can risk a sodium stroke for one afternoon to hang out with one of my peeps. Next time we’ll try something else. And I’ll be sure to write it all here for you.

I need to go and fill up my water bottle. Got a 600 ml container that I need to drink about 2 more of. Maybe even three. I’m taking my son for some knee pads. He made the volleyball team!! So proud. So happy. And they are working his butt off with the practices. He will be a string bean by summer! A long tall drink of water like he’s always wanted to be. I’ll post pics if he lets me. Then I’m heading to Jewel for that good bread. (Hope I can snag at least one little loaf) Then home. Now this is turning into a laundry list, also something I need to finish. I think my descriptive phrases have been aging me lately. The bee’s knees. The cat’s pajamas. OPP. Click the letters if you want to read that little gem. I sound like an old lady. That reality truck hits too hard. I may post again later, but I may not. Tomorrow is an actual leave-the-house-and-join-the-world day. More good news to come. It’s still 55 degrees but getting grey and ready to rain. Have a great evening! Later.

 

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Well It Sure Feels Like A Brand New Start

January 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm (Blood Pressure, Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Job Search, Losing the Fat, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , , )

I know it’s not February first yet, but according to the air temperature it’s like a whole new season. We need to come up with some kind of phrase to identify this trend in unusual, possibly alarming, weather system changes. I can do 50 degrees all “winter”.  I’ll even take the occasional one day snow storm followed by three days of melt. However my little daffodil buds are getting confused. Here’s a picture of them looking sad and sort of green-yellow in the grey and dirty dirt. The ground is not ready for them to sprout yet, but the heat says, “Come on up! The air is fine!” But it’s not.

I shall monitor their early progress for you. Via words and more pictures. Although be prepared for this site to take another sucky turn. As you know, I pride myself on posting just about every day with brilliant and insightful, meaningful, inspiring words and positive vibes and energy to you and the world abroad. Uh. huh. Well, I post every few days. And it’s almost always positive. That won’t change. The new issue is that I may actually have something else that I will need to be doing, full time, and for a good amount of money. Hint hint. Cough cough. Ahem. If I ain’t being too subtle here. Something worthy enough to give up my day job as resident blobber, blogger, desperately searching for an outside gig. I will let you know by the end of the week if I can finally change my Facebook status to: Works. Period. Anyway, February is always my lucky month for work related stuff. That’s when I got my last job too. It’s weird when stuff happens like that isn’t it?

I’m about to go get some food with the family and have a margarita. Just one. And it will be small. Well, smaller. We have an awesome place very close by. And I checked my med info. Moderate alcohol is ok. One drink every week or two will probably be just fine. And FYI, in case you were wondering, I have my next doc appt. this week to check on those meds, and even though it seems unlikely, I really think I feel better. Like, not sick feeling. Clear headed and without any throbbing or eye and temple pain. Maybe that BP was killing me. Sometimes drinking the kool-aid isn’t always a death sentence. Hard lesson to learn. In just a few days, I have tried to overhaul my sodium intake and step up the exercise regimen. We, me, everything, that you eat for convenience or that comes in a processed package is LOADED with mg’s and mg’s of that sneaky sodium. I spent my last few days buying some snazzy new jeans and t-shirts to transition myself slim again. Thanks to the new spandex and technologically advanced textile manufacturing, my jean size didn’t change! And no one will ever see the tags that say “high stretch fabric” or “extreme tensile strength materials”. Those labels are on a big old garbage truck heading for the dump. And I purposely shopped for colorful fruits and vegetables today.  I think I shall be more boring to hang out with, but, I shall be hanging out a lot longer. Alright, one more picture because I like to take pictures of the skeleton trees. Later.

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Damn Nature! You Scary!

January 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

I missed a few days there. Sometimes the weekends get away from me. And then whole weeks get away from me. I had the interviews. I’ve done all the legwork I am going to do for now. I actually started this posting before the one below it, so if it seems out of order or confusing, it’s because I failed to edit the things that already happened from the things that were about to happen. I will say that I am feeling better about the whole job thing. As usual, I underestimated the time it takes, the scheduling issues and the typical paperwork that goes along with actually getting hired for a job. It’s been well over 20 years since I had to do the whole formal procedure. So I continue to plug along.

And by plug along, I mean that I went to the doctor, and as I expected, he would not clear me for a few weeks. But he gave me drugs. And rescheduled me for next week. I am sure he does not believe that I will follow through with my care, but time will tell. He said the meds should make a difference within the week. I will let you know. I think my BP machine is way off from what their machine says, so when I go pick up my new prescription I am going to try the BP chair that they have in the drugstore. Don’t worry, I still had some pills left from my last attempt at controlling this problem, which I failed miserably at doing, so I am pilled up times 2. Last night and this morning. I guess I feel fine. I have to drive today so we’ll see how that goes. I was also given orders to eat low sodium. Watch that salt. Typical. No junk. The usual. He didn’t really mention the weight thing, but we both know…

The best part was the activity/exercise thing. He said I need to get active and get moving. But not crazy, strenuous, over-the-top, crap like I have been doing. Walk. He said. A light jog. But do not get yourself huffing and puffing, because guess what?? NOT GOOD for the BP yet. It’s too much. I have been given the ok to take it a little easier. It does no good to skyrocket your heart rate and BP when you already have naturally high numbers. I guess I could burst a blood vessel or faint at the very least. Once the BP is better, you can go back to the big stuff. I really do feel kind of stupid, because I should know better. But the cliches are true. I definitely stink at taking my own advice. But let’s move past this, because I hate dwelling on my own idiotic mistakes and I have other things to do today. One of which is returning some women’s blouses that make me look like a flowing pregnant middle aged dump. And unfortunately, I have to break down and buy some new jeans. I very nearly ripped the belt loop off of the one pair that is supposed to be stretchy. Now I have a big hole where the front pocket meets the loop and I am flashing the people with my white, pasty, roll of blubber that is trying to escape from the waist band. Not pretty.

So as you know, we had some snow over here. Came down on Friday and tapered off, leaving the cleanup for Saturday morning. We went to bowling and when we got home, at about noon or so, Stevie and I decided to go walk in the woods. We were just there, and we figured the trail itself wouldn’t be too snowed over because of all the trees. We were excited to be the only car in the parking lot, which was plowed so we thought that was a good sign. And as we started there was a set or two of footsteps, not brand new but visible, so we thought someone obviously already walked the trail and if we just follow their path we will be fine. As an extra precaution we made sure to make a huge mess where we were walking so we could always just turn around and follow our own steps back out. We were even careful not to veer off the set path too much so that we didn’t get confused later. Good thing.

We made it to the pine trees before we started losing the path. Above is the picture of the first bridge and the small boardwalk you have to cross before you get to the creek that Stevie was playing on last week. The creek is totally covered in snow now. Or it was. It didn’t even have any animal tracks yet. The creek is below. One with Stevie, one without. We liked the way the shadows were laying across the fresh snow.

As we continued to walk, the snow was thick in places and I’m sure we weren’t exactly on the path that the nature preserve people laid down, but it was close. When we got to the pine trees the footprints really got dim. But there’s only one way to go through and we knew where we were going forward so we kept at it. I’ll just throw in all the pics, as I type so I can use them and you can kind of see and compare from past photos if you can remember or care to search.

Just past the pine trees is an open area. It looks much bigger as you peer through the trees but when you get up to it, it’s not really open at all. The way the trees have grown and then appear to have died out there, they look like they are reaching for the pine trees. Kind of bending towards them with outstretched arms. The limbs were covered in snow and gave the scene an even more desolate feel.

It was so bright and sunny though, it was almost blinding. It should have seemed clean and happy. The sky was blue behind the trees and the air was warmer in the open areas. But it was really cold and shadowy under those pine trees and it felt heavy and dark. I was hoping we would not have to walk back through there because the way the snow was laying it was hard to see our tracks even though we were right there, practically still standing in them. As I look at the picture above now, I think of hula dancing and I can see, what looks like a face, in the tree that is right in the center. The more I look, the more faces I see. It didn’t look like that standing there in front of them. It looks like there are faces in both waving trees and then another one on the left side, along the edge of the picture, maybe a third of the way up.It kind of looks like someone is hiding behind the tree, peering out.

So we took the pictures, but we didn’t really see any of that as we were walking. We kept going to our favorite picture spot: The Path! The path of tall evergreen trees! This leads to a lake, which then leads to a nature out crop that goes into the marshlands that are really tucked away inside the forest preserve. Luckily we were far too lazy to walk all the way through. Another good thing. I am sure the next time we go, when I can wear gym shoes because the winter boots I have hurt my feet and ankles really bad, we will have pictures for you. Can’t wait huh? Yeah I know. Here’s more trees:

Well that one takes up alot of space. From here, if you go directly to the left, there is a very long boardwalk that takes you through the next part of the woods. And here is where we had our trouble. It seems who ever walked before us decided to stop just at this tree line and go back. At least that’s what we are guessing. No more tracks. But since the boardwalk can only go in one direction, we figured, what the hell. The path will probably be pretty clear as it kind of goes in a big loop. WRONG. Once we got to the end of the planked path, we followed the treeline to a little sitting bench that sits at a turn. We continued on for maybe 100 or 200 feet when we decided we were not on the path anymore. We were walking over branches and stumps and trying to not fall or twist an ankle. There were footprints, in single lines, going here and there, so we picked one set that looked like they were heading for the creek and started to follow them. We were now very careful to make as big a path as we could and to NOT veer off or change directions. At this point we could not see the bench anymore and we could not tell at all where we were in relation to the original trail. We know that there is a huge, brand new bridge structure that was just completed before winter, somewhere in front of us, but even going forward, we could not see any sign of it. And it’s really huge. Like, way bigger than it needs to be. It actually looks too big for what it is going over. And it’s a bright yellow, fresh wood color, that sticks out in all that pure white we were surrounded by. If I was cold before or my feet were hurting in those boots, those feelings were totally gone and being replaced by anxiety and a nervous feeling that we are truly lost in these stupid woods. I knew we had our footprints. And I knew we had hours of daylight left. But still. Standing there, looking around, trying to find anything that looks even slightly familiar, and finding nothing but more trees and no clear path, is a sick feeling. Far off in the distance we could see movement that looked like deer running. And they were. Because they were being chased by those same two dogs we had come across on the path last week. They approached us fast and friendly, sort of, but wary at the same time. Kind of like they thought we were going to try and catch them. They were German Shepard’s, brown and gray, and when we first saw them they really looked like wolves, or at least coyotes. But even though these dogs had tags, they still didn’t look healthy or domestic. They were skittish and briar tangled and looked wild a few days ago. They are either lost or they get to roam. Either way, they stayed away from us on this day.

I was pretty much done with taking pictures and kind of sorry I brought the stupid camera with at all. Now I had to carry it and we needed to make a decision. Keep plowing ahead hoping to somehow run across the creek and one of the bridges, and possibly running the risk of crossing back over tracks that we already made and following them in an endless circle, or just going back the way we came before we got even farther into the trees. Since we really had no idea which direction we were going and we had no map of the trail to generally guide us from the bench point, we decided the best way was to just go back. Even that felt nerve-wracking because it occurred to me that if it started to snow again, or the wind started picking up, our fresh new tracks could be brushed away in a few minutes. So we tried to go fast but in a controlled fastness that did not lead to panic. Here’s another picture of the trees with the nice blue sky that doesn’t look scary at all.

Usually it takes us about an hour to walk all around the 3 mile loop. Even with starts and stops. We were already out there for over an hour when we got past the boardwalk. The snow was pretty deep and it is a workout to walk in. Going back we were trying to hurry but we were getting tired and our feet and calves were aching in the same way they do when you walk on sand for a long time. Our pants were wet above the boots and starting to soak through and it felt colder and breezier. You would think borderline freaking out would keep you warm, but you’d be wrong. You don’t really think about being cold, but it’s not the same thing. Once we got to the boardwalk, we felt better. It was easy to follow the path we had made. Then we just walked, without stopping, all the way back to the creek and the first bridge. Finally. Now we could take a minute to stand there and laugh about how dumb it is, and easy, to get “lost” in the woods. Oh, and here were the people! Now they come. Here’s a man and a woman. Here’s two more guys. Here’s an old man and a woman. And here’s a whole family! Three adults and two little kids. All of them had cameras hanging around their necks like I did. We told all of them how far we went and how if they follow our tracks all the way until the end, they will abruptly stop in the middle of what seems like nowhere, and unless they are braver than we were, they should turn back at the bench. We practically ran out of the woods once we saw the nature building, but stopped long enough to take one more picture, before Stevie swished all the snow off the top:

So that ends my gripping tale of being lost in the woods for 2½ hours after the first major snowfall of our Midwest winter. FYI, in case you don’t live in this area, the next day it rained. And rained. We had about 45 degree temps. Thunder, lightning, the whole shot. All the snow got melted away. Except the really tall snowplowed piles. They just look like gray, dirty mounds of disgusting, scattered all around the neighborhood. Then it snowed lightly, again, to add a fine white powder to the top of the crap piles and dust the grass one more time before it warmed up (yesterday) and misted a fine rainfall over the whole mess, trying to melt it away for good. It’s sunny and bright right this minute and I am going to look outside… right now… and tell you that the snow that remains, is piled on yard corners, next to the driveway entrances, or hiding in the shade.

As usual this took way too long to type and is probably way too long to read all the way through. So, if you stuck with me this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel a story can’t be told in just a few sentences. It needs paragraphs and pages and many many run-on sentences to drive home my pointless points. Be glad that you don’t have to actually listen to me tell the tale. At least here you can just click off the site and be done with it. Good golly! Maybe I should put a quick sum-up at the bottom of the page for the people who skipped the middle and are just looking to see if we made it out alive.

For the scrollers:

STOP HERE!

Long story short version: Big snow. Went to the hiking trail. Followed a set of previous footprints until they disappeared. Took some pictures. Went off path. Then had no path to follow. Got lost. Saw some potentially rabid dogs. Backtracked. Saw more people. Made it out safely.

Does that short version seem too long? I don’t know anymore! I just want this to end! I must get up and get out. Later gators! The End.

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Running is NOT an option

July 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm (Body and Brains!, Broken Toe, Day to Day, Exercise, Heat, P90X, Running Stuff, Summer Break, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I was behind this Jeep on the way home from school one day. Pretty cool I thought. And now I have a place to put it! I’m going to just have to face the fact that I cannot use my foot the way I want to. Since I broke that toe (or two) three weeks ago, the swelling and bruising have gone away but the pain remains. I’ve been walking on it and doing various other dumb things, like trying to bowl, droppingamotorcycleonit, and even trying to run. Fail. I hobbled out one fourth of a mile. Being generous. My son was walking faster than I could run. And the next day, forget it. I couldn’t even put my shoe back on and the top of my whole foot was kind of fat and swelly.

This is the first time in my life that running can not be my main form of exercise. Walking is really pushing it. One more reminder that I will not live forever. Suh-uh-ucks!

So I have to find a way to do cardio type, but stationary, working out. Preferably with no shoes. I have some Yoga X and some Kenpo I can do from the P90X workout system. And I have to say, Jillian Michaels Beginner dvd’s are pretty good. It’s something new I added to my page, What We Have In The House Right Now. (I’m trying to do this fabulous site and update all this old information.)  Anyway, like I said a few days ago, we are trying to accomplish alot this summer. Body and Brains. Now that daily school is over, exercise needs to be the only option along with healthy eating. The weight is creeping up and so is my B/P. We weigh again tomorrow to see if any of our small changes this week have knocked out an ounce or pound  or two. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy big. Remember, if you are doing it too this summer, anything the same or less is good as long as you are moving every day and trying to make the better choices.

Speaking of which. I need to get some water. It’s HOT over here! 96 degrees. I guess the heat is here to stay for awhile. I’m going to take that water and sit out in it for a bit. Sweat some of the gunk out.

Oh wait a second, Two and a Half Men is about to come on the TV. That reminds me of my favorite kind of water made by Skyy. Yes, I have seen them all, but that doesn’t make them any less funny or easier to watch with a big glass of. Of. Ummm. Liquid.

Later.

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One more picture because I knew it was here somewhere

May 13, 2011 at 9:25 am (Day to Day, Exercise, Motorcycle News, School News) (, , , , , , , , )

And I just LOVE to waste time when I should be studying. Seriously. Two stinking tests left! Focus!! But since the picture is here and I am already typing….

After all that talking in the long post I wrote the other day, I actually DID go out and ride this here motorcycle. I was a little worried because it is bigger (and heavier) than the one I “trained” on, but, no fear! It was fine. Felt good. Felt even better because this bike is newer and all the parts and signals and gears work exactly the way they are supposed to! Anyway…that’s all about that for now. I prob won’t talk about it anymore unless I fall off…so let’s hope it NEVER comes up again!

As for my tests…Lab Test was alright. Didn’t get enough points to raise my grade, but didn’t miss any to lower it either. Renal Test was 100%. Grade stays the same. Final is Monday. This is where I can win it or lose it. Again. Unbelievable. I want that A pretty bad, and I am not the only one this time. I think there may be several of us going for it. Pressure!! Big finish!! Then we have an exit exam that has to be passed. Final is important but that only gets you half a chance to graduate. Anyway…enough. Sorry A, I am bringing one of my books this weekend…just some review over birthday cake and vodka!! It’s almost over and the dream gets closer….

Going for my daily dose of B/P control and then to the books! Maybe more later…I have SO many pics and so many things to catch up on! I know everyone can hardly wait! Haha. See ya later!

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I need a vampire over here!

March 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, School News) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I should be studying…but instead I am waiting for my kids to get home so we can drive in the car. We have a few more things to do and it’s a good way to spend some time with them. My girl is leaving for the weekend and the boy has spring break fever. They start and I end, so our time is always off. Speaking of…

It’s Thursday and boy did my spring break just fly by…stinks. I have only studied half of what I need to. No. That’s a lie. I probably only studied one fourth. However, I did manage to drag my lazy carcass to the gym to run on the treadmill. Really don’t have a choice. I am still only up to three miles. But–under required time. And on an incline. I think I will be ok for six miles but it’s outside and I am hope hope hoping that the weather will break by April 3rd. I can’t stand running in the cold. Especially at 7:30 in the morning. And as an added bonus to finish out my nursing program, my body has decided it will give me some blood pressure problems. Doc wants me to take the drugs, but I seem to be having side effects to the most basic dose. I feel that my lack of exercise and poor eating habits and high stress in the last nine weeks have caused this unfortunate circumstance. Especially since I was fine in July before I started again in the Fall. So, exercise I will force myself to do and stick to the recommended diet while still taking the meds although at an adjusted dose. In 12 weeks I should be getting the all clear and hopefully be many pounds thinner! Thank you getting older!! First the crappy near vision and now the B/P…what a crock!

Anyway that’s why I need the vampire. I need to stop the aging process. Sure I’ll be one of the undead but considering the options, I think that would be alright. Death is not really going to work for me and I don’t want to be a werewolf. That change seems painful and I am trying to avoid extra pain. I’m not really a fan of the whole “not going out in the day” thing because my classes are in the day and that would mess up all my plans. Crap. Looks like diet and exercise again. I will tell you a giant medical secret right now. For every modern medical miracle and medications and treatments to cure or alleviate all that ails you, the single best way to feel better and prevent lots and lots of problems is…you guessed it…healthy diet and daily exercise. The nine pound book I lug around every day is full of things that have no preventive measures and you definitely need everything there is to offer in the medical world, but if you are able to prevent even one extra problem, I say do it. Hell, do it anyway. Even if it makes no difference at all. It feels good. (After) I am always a reformed believer when I am walking out of the gym. But it’s so darn hard to get in there! Ok I think that’s enough with the sermon for today. Can I get an Amen??

On an entirely different topic…I was goofing on the internet but it was acting flaky so I thought I would update here on all the other boring things I do or say I will do. Here’s what I have accomplished thus far:

Laundry! Oh yes. So sad. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that ONE day of clothes wearing, by four family members, generates TWO loads of laundry?? It’s true. It has the potential for three if the clothing happens to be white or needs extra cleaning techniques. Not that I would ever do that. I’m more of a throw everything into the pot and see what happens. (Except red stuff, I do try to pick out the red items from any light stuff. Especially after I ruined my first pair of white scrub pants by turning them a lovely shade of pink due to said red items.)

I have also been cleaning…kind of. Starts and stops. I still have tomorrow. That is mostly–well, ONLY–because my sissy is coming to my house next week and she’s very particular about where her dust and cobwebs are. She likes all that stuff outside. Me, I can take quite a bit of nature surrounding me where I watch TV. But for her, I shall clean.

I have also managed to watch quite a few old movies this week, as I like to do when I am home in the daytime. TV mostly sucks. But they play alot of 30’s to 50’s movies on amc and Turner, or TNT or TMC,  I think. That’s where I saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A really excellent movie and a nice place to start if you have never seen a Liz Taylor movie (She passed this week, I know I didn’t mention it, but I have no other connection besides that movie—and I hate to pretend like I was such a fan when I’ve really only had recent and minimal knowledge of her talent and life’s work—she was a  groundbreaker and an advocate for those who could not speak for themselves. Rest in peace.)

I guess I should list some but the only one I can think of right now is called Smarty. It would never go over in this day and age, but it was funny. It always comes down to the writing. These movies have a lot of words. Not too much action or special effects because there just wasn’t technology to do it. There are a few more, but I would seriously have to go on the internet to look them up and get the titles and I am just so lazy right now. Plus the kids are home, eating their sushi snack (yes, they like sushi and they will eat the kind they make at Target so it’s not that expensive and I can buy it ahead) and then we are going outside. It’s cold but it’s sunny and I need my Vitamin D.

Looking back, this whole post seems kind of random and scattery, but I am leaving it as is. I will be staying up late tonight for real. So I will probably post into the night, in between study breaks. I have to devote time to the books and get back into the stream of things for next week…it’s gonna be a good one…until then…later.

 

 

 

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