Friday, October 22, 2010
Today was one of those days where I woke later than usual and the sun was already up and shining brightly. Morning coffee outside before breakfast, but this time sitting on the back step with two dogs at my feet and Rhani curled up on my lap. The sunshine was wonderful, and as usual it made me feel good. Even found myself singing while doing the housework this morning, and when I was putting the clean dishes away I realized I was almost dancing, heheh. Almost... the hips were wiggling anyway.
I'd asked Dad yet again last night if he would like to go out with me for lunch, not expecting him to agree, since he has refused to go out anywhere with me for the past 2 months since he was sick enough to spend a fortnight in bed. For some reason the thought of leaving the nursing home frightened him, but I wasn't going to give up trying to encourage him to get out for a few hours at least. He agreed! Even said he wanted Chinese food for lunch, and wanted to come home to check out how things were at home, and to meet Ned! I was taken aback a little at the sudden enthusiasm, but tried not to show it. I half expected him to have changed his mind by the time I arrived today.
Dad had been awake most of the night walking up and down the corridor holding on to his wheelchair, waiting for me, and was sleeping soundly in his recliner in the lounge when I arrived. Usually if he knows he's going somewhere the following day he spends the night waiting at the front door for me so he won't be late. Next morning he is so exhausted we can't manage to wake him enough to go anywhere. Today though, I walked in, touched his knee and he woke up. He said the usual 'Well, its nice to see you - haven't seen you in months!' We then have the usual conversation about what my job is, where I live, etc. Today I reminded him he and I were going out together for lunch and he remembered all the other details straight away. We left within 10 minutes of my arrival - a new record.
We went to Dad's favourite Chinese restaurant and he told me to order him something he had never eaten before. Peking pork and fried rice where what I ordered him, and he thoroughly enjoyed it - ate every last grain of rice on the plate! He even asked me to buy him a beer, and instead of just a few sips then pushing it aside he drank the lot! I wasn't feeling very hungry thanks to my return to 2 glasses of water before meals, but ordered chicken curry and rice. I ate all the curry, and just over half of the rice. Never before have I left food on my plate - my mother always told me it was rude to do that, that food should never be wasted! That was a large part of why parts of me got to be so large, lol.
I walked Dad in his wheelchair back to the car and he asked could I take him to the drive through at McDonalds so he could have a soft serve cone. I know he shouldn't have had it because of his diabetes, but its the first time he has shown interest and enjoyment in anything since being sick, so I wasn't going to argue. A friend was working there and somehow Dad ended up with a small Flake chocolate bar pushed into the side of his soft serve! I couldn't pull it out and throw it away, so I just pretended I hadn't seen it. Dad never said a thing, but I noticed he was careful to turn it round so the Flake was on the opposite side to me, and he never let me see him chewing the chocolate, hahaha. It was wonderful to see him so alert and so happy.
We came home so Dad could check out the new dog. Ned was on his best behaviour and was everything he should be - came inside, wagged his tail at Dad, sat at my feet and lay watching the stranger in the wheelchair. Dad called him over and Ned went willingly to have his head stroked, gave Dad's hand one small lick, then lay in front of his feet. Dad was definitely taken in by this show, but I kept thinking of the chewed up dog toys I'd spent 20 minutes sweeping away first thing this morning, lol. I wasn't going to spoil Ned's debut acting performance...
I took Dad back at 3pm, and he walked through those doors holding on to his walker, huge smile on his face, telling everyone about the wonderful time he'd had. That is the happiest he's been since his birthday when he became so ill. I just hope his good time today will motivate him to come out and enjoy himself doing other things. Fingers crossed.
I went from the nursing home to McDonalds, still feeling pleased with myself for leaving that rice on my plate, and decided I would just have a large black coffee with a touch of skim milk and some artificial sweetener. No soft serve for me, I was going to be good! To tell the truth, I didn't even miss it, and felt even happier with myself for not just buying one mindlessly.
I think I'm getting back on track. Only thing is, the exercise thing isn't happening still... I am not going to worry about it, I am focusing on the positives rather than the negatives. I guess the exercising will happen, given time, but I won't push it. That way it becomes a burden, an obstacle to be overcome before I can feel good about myself. Tomorrow I will start my day off, hopefully, with some time on Charlie, just 15 minutes. That will be the beginning of my return to enjoying exercise. If it doesn't happen, then it doesn't. It will one day, but it will happen because I want it to, not because I make it happen.
No more pushing myself, no more negative self talk... I am doing well, and even if I don't exercise as much as I was, even if I don't lose weight each week, I do eat well, I do make sure I fulfill all my nutritional requirements, and I do drink plenty of water. I am far healthier, far happier, and completely without pain now, so I know the exercise part will return in due time.
Until it does, I will still be enjoying life, thanks to Spark People and my wonderful Spark friends.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thankfully after yesterday's blog my day improved, and life was good by the time I went to bed - again way after midnight. Have to stop that, just don't know how. I'm already cut way back on the coffee, only two cups yesterday, but still not sleeping. Maybe try some meditation music tonight, see if that helps.
After some very unsuccessful attempts to return my television to a watchable state, I gave up and went to visit Dad. He was having one of his more confused days but I told him about what had happened to the connection to the booster box, that Ned had chewed through it. He just looked at me and said 'Well, join the wires, insulate them and connect it back up...' It was a real light bulb moment, where suddenly I felt so - any other time I'd have done just that without a second thought.
Came home, performed the 2 minute trick of baring the wires, joining them up, wrapping them with some insulating tape, covering the whole thing with some rubber tubing, connected it up, turned the power back on and.... static filled picture and static filled sound. I decided to try tuning it in again, since I'd tried to tune the other booster box in, and hit the auto tune button. Went to make a chai and before the water had boiled I had perfect reception!
I took Ned and Keiodie for Ned's first walk round the lake I always used to walk with Sam, Keiodie and friends with their dog. Ned's first grown up walk on a leash out in the big wide world, and he loved it. He couldn't quite understand the principle of being attached to me, but did like the idea of grabbing hold of Monty's (friend's Jack Russell) leash and walking him around beside him. It was suggested by a dog walker heading in the opposite direction to us that maybe it should be he holding the leash and me wearing the collar, hahah.
We will start walking again each day, just can't take our usual long walk for two reasons - one, Ned is too young to walk 3 kilometers without working up to it gradually, and two, this is a really bad time of year for snakes along the creek and quite a few have been seen recently. For now we will stick to laps of the lake, adding an extra 500 meter lap each few days as Ned's endurance increases. Mine too, been too long without any exercise, but thankfully Ned is a great motivator. I will buy him a choke chain, because he will soon learn how to walk properly without me having to constantly pull him back that way. He will be able to enjoy his time at the lake far more that way.
Right now I am going to take 15 minutes and go renew my close relationship with Charlie. Just 15 minutes this morning, maybe another 15 minutes this evening, but I'm not going to force myself. I will just do what I want to, that way there is no obligation, no feeling of guilt. Enjoyment is is the result!
My TV is on now, still working perfectly. No Ned attention overnight, and I've moved it back into the corner of the room to keep the wiring and cables hidden behind.
My day is looking wonderful, and the sun is shining brightly. Going to be a good day today, and I am going to continue to believe that, no matter what life throws at me. Time to put the self pitying attitude where it belongs - out the door!
Watch out world, I'm back!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Last night I was still awake at 4am, despite being soooo tired I was incapable of logical thought. Did all the usual things, warm milk, soothing background music... nope, no sleep till some time after 4 am.
Jump to 6.30am. My gorgeous next -door neighbours who are two of the most wonderful people in the world, had decided since it was a fine sunny morning that they would demolish their carport to allow the caravan currently stored on their front lawn to be brought round to the back and to get ready for a new large garage to be built where the carport once stood. That carport is made of steel, and it was made to last. Imagine my joy to be woken by the sound of steel posts being cut by some kind of electrical steel post cutting implement of torture.
Out of bed thinking I may as well enjoy the sunshine too, only to discover the dark chocolate induced headache was indeed taking its revenge on my head. Adding to the fun was the sound of the carport posts being cut into manageable lengths...
I decided to make a coffee, since outside was just too loud to bear, and put the tv on to watch the morning news show... switched it on and 'no signal' appeared on my screen... I investigated the back of the tv, thinking maybe the connection was loose. No, that was ok, but the thin wiring running from the signal booster box to the tv was now no longer one wire, it was in fact about six smaller pieces. I happened to look up towards the kitchen door at that moment and noticed a very quiet Ned tiptoeing out of the danger zone, tail and head hung in shame. I didn't have to say anything to him, he knew he'd done wrong. What gets me is if he knows that, why does he do it? Answer - cos he's a pup and that's what pups do when their owners are trying to get their 2 hours' sleep.
Not to be deterred, I went to the local store and bought myself another booster box, assured it was going to fix the problem. Would have, but I wasn't told it would only fix the problem if I bought the accompanying and extremely expensive antenna. My antenna is less than 4 months old, and I do NOT plan on buying another one.
I have a day off today, one where I had planned to spend leaning back on my couch,feet up, knitting and watching daytime tv which I seldom do, and getting over the past few chaotic and rather stressful days. What I will be doing is sweeping up today's trail of destruction inside, which admittedly only consists of Ned's toys and the television program I no longer seem to have any use for anyway, and knowing this puppy stage will not last forever.
I know if I want to ensure everything inside stays the way it should I need to make Ned sleep outside, or shut in the laundry. I won't do that, he is as much a part of the family as Rhani and Keiodie and he is going to be treated the same way as they are. He knows he did wrong, hopefully he will remember cords are not for his amusement in future (well, I can hope anyway, lol).
The others all managed to learn what was acceptable behaviour and what wasn't, and he at least knows when he's done wrong. He is like a little child, acts first, thinks later. I allow him the freedom of the house overnight, I accept the consequences.
To make up for his efforts last night, Ned has just brought me the ultimate gift, which he dropped at my feet - his much prized beefhide bone. How can I not love that dog, sitting waiting for a cuddle for his generosity and attempts to make up for his destruction?
Nothing like a cuddle from a furry family member to make me realize just what is important in life...
Re photo - This is what I discovered while I was putting the dogs' bedding out in the bathroom prior to leaving for college the other day... need to keep drinking that water!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Firstly, I want to say a very big and sincere thank you to all of you who sent messages, goodies etc., for both my birthday and when we said good bye to Sam. I just kinda fell in a heap for a few days there, maybe because of so many sleepless nights, and losing Sam combined. Having a home that looked like a bomb site didn't help either, but I'd spent all available time with Sam and don't regret a minute of it.
Since I last blogged I have done the usual - my way of coping with any form of emotional upset - I've moved the furniture round. When winter was coming close I moved my computer desk into the lounge to get full benefit of the fire. The buffet had to go into the spare room, which was ok. It looked good in there because it was the same style as the single bed in there... till I gave that to a friend who needed an extra bed. Then somehow instead of creating more space I just seemed to fill the area the bed had taken up with boxes and baskets and bags of stuff I didn't know what to do with. Before long, the room looked so bad I started keeping the door closed all day.
I have a thing about closed curtains, closed windows and closed doors. I hate feeling like I'm shutting myself in by having doors or curtains or windows shut. Not claustrophobia, just that I love to have fresh air moving through the house. My mother used to tell me I should live in a wind tunnel, and maybe she was right, cos even on the coldest winter days I have windows open for at least a few hours each day.
Getting sidetracked, sorry.
While I was doing only the bare minimum of Sparking, I managed to sort through those boxes, bags, and baskets and get rid of a lot of it to charity shops. I'd been throwing out the stuff that wasn't good enough to find a new home, so at least it was just a case of going through everything and dividing it up between a few shops. All gone now, and it felt great. Over the next day or two I had emptied out the furniture from the 'whatever-room', cleaned it all thoroughly, and moved my computer desk in, followed by a small but functional bookcase for my files and magazines, etc. Next I put my old kitchen table, plus two matching chairs in beside the desk to use as a sewing/craft table, which I can also use for doing homework. There is a good amount of free space still there, even though my balance ball and Charlie my cardio twister are also in place and ready to be used.
My lounge room looks much better, and thanks to FLYlady I have a beautifully tidy, spacious looking kitchen, with lots of bench space. It's no bigger than it was, just looks that way because the excess stuff is gone from the benches. Life here is now back to normal, although Sam is still very much missed.
The dogs are getting on really well, and I am so lucky to have such easygoing, friendly, happy four footed friends living with me. Rhani has taken to sleeping on the floor in the exact spot Sam used to sleep. I would love to be able to discover what they are thinking about this past week, but guess that's not going to happen any time soon, lol.
I did a bit too much furniture shifting by myself, and yes I should have known better, but I just needed the effort of dragging heavy stuff from room to room to make me feel better. Don't know why that always makes me feel better, but it does. Pity my back didn't feel the same way. I am still taking the exercise part of Sparking very easy, and will give it this week to edge back into it. Neck, lower back and elbows are all feeling the strain of overwork, and I have learned enough not to push myself. No torn muscles this time for me!
I had a few bad food choice days, mostly due to lack of sleep, but I could have done far worse than I did. Today I planned my meals carefully, but ended up eating a small (very small) slice of the richest chocolate cake I have ever tasted. 500 grams of dark chocolate went into that cake, plus lots of other shouldn't-be-eating stuff. It was made by one of my teachers as today was our last day of our I.T. class, and he had made it to share with us all. I was not going to say no, lol.
That's it, I'm getting back into the routine again, but trying to spend a little more time knitting for a change. I hope everyone has had good times while I've been gone, and that life is as we would all wish it to be for you all. Even though I was busy re-organizing, I felt a little like I do when family have been staying with me and leave - I missed my Spark family, lol. You are all part of the reason Spark People is such a success, in changing entire lives, not just weight and body shape.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sorry, time just seems to have flown by since my last blog. I haven't been doing all that much on Spark this week, just the essential things, because I've been needed elsewhere.
My wonderful old dog Sam had become increasingly sick over the past 10 days or so, poor baby, and I knew the end was coming. I was with him as much as possible during the week, and Keiodie and Ned never left his side. Tuesday night was bad, really bad, for him. Keiodie and Sam curled up with him, and even Rhani took her place by his side. Each of them would take turns licking his face when he moaned or tried to make himself more comfortable, and their devotion to their old friend was beautiful to see.
Wednesday morning first thing I called our local vet and after finally managing to separate him from his four footed family we took that last trip to the vet together, Sam and I. Keiodie knew what was going to happen, I'm sure of it, because when he saw me lifting Sam into the back of the car he was throwing his little body against the chainwire fence in an attempt to go with him to wherever I was taking him. He was making enough noise as we drove off that I could hear him even when I'd driven around the corner.
The young vet was wonderful, she has been so good with Sam all along, and he loved seeing her, even wagged his tail when she said hello to him as I lay him on the examining table. She brought in an assistant to make sure Sam was receiving as much attention as possible from someone beside me as the sedatives did their job, and much as it hurt to lose him, his end came as a huge relief to me, and to him too I know.
I brought him home, as I'd promised Dad I would long ago. I had (foolishly) imagined the recent rains would have softened the ground for me to be able to dig the large hole I needed in Sam's favorite spot in the garden. Well, I was partly right, the actual dirt was ok, it was just that 6 inches down the dirt was more broken bricks, broken glass and rocks, and it kept on like that till I managed finally to get to a depth of 3 feet, in an area of 4 feet by 4 feet. Sam was laid to rest, and the hole filled in again. I made sure no one was going to try to dig down to him by covering the area with some boards and a dog kennel. It will, once the ground has settled, become a garden, with a tree and some flowers.
I don't think I have ever put in as much effort as I did in those long hours it took to dig that hole, and I know there were friends and neighbours I could have asked who would have been more than willing to do it for me. I needed to do it, I felt I owed that to Sam in return for all the love and attention he gave his family from the moment he arrived home at Mum and Dad's unit, to living here with me and being such a wonderfully loyal and loving friend to my other 4 footed babies as well as to me. It's two days later and I still have difficulty moving after all that digging. Its a small price to pay though, for everything Sam gave us.
Yesterday was my birthday, and it was lovely to have phone calls and messages and greetings here on Spark People, from two of my girls, from friends... I went to college yesterday and the entire class sang Happy Birthday to me. I had an appointment with the government agency who I visit fortnightly to ensure I'm doing ok with college, that there is nothing I need, no extra help with any problems, etc. I walked through the front door after leaving college, and the wonderful lady I see there came out from the office to sing to me as well. I went out for dinner with friends last night, and not only was I driven by my neighbour who organized the whole thing, she had also taken a huge chocolate mud cake complete with candles as an extra surprise after dinner. It was a wonderful birthday, and I for once didn't care my calories, carbs and probably fat counts were way over limit. Today's a new day, and I'll start over.
I have a huge amount of stuff needing to be done urgently, mainly because I spent so much time with Sam rather than doing the usual household tasks, and I need to move my computer desk back into the spare room, which at present is filled with all the things I need to keep but don't really have a place for. I will have to work through all of that before I can start swapping furniture from room to room. I don't really have any option, because Ned has a fascination for cords and cables, and has already chewed through a lamp cord, a cable for the cordless phone making the base also cordless but unfortunately useless as well, and the cable linking the antenna and the television. These things were done while my attention was on Sam, and I blame myself as much as Ned. Just one of the joys of teething pups, but I am NOT going to take a chance with the computer cables, lol.
Keiodie is lost at the moment, without his big black and tan furry friend. He didn't even look through the house for Sam as he normally would have done when I returned home after taking Sam out without him, because he knew what had happened, I'm sure of it. He just sniffed me once, could obviously smell the vet scents on my shoes, and lay down beside me. He needs some extra attention from me, lots of hugs and to just sit on my lap and have me pet him.
I have to say Ned has been an absolute godsend this week. He spent so much time comforting Sam, but other than that, he provided some company, a diversion and fun for Keiodie while I was at college yesterday, and out again last night. He won't take no for an answer when he wants Keiodie to play, and eventually Keiodie gives in and they have a wonderful time together, both running and taking turns to chase each other till neither can run any further. Then they both fall down side by side, silly doggy grins on their faces.
Its amazing how these things work out. I firmly believe that all things happen for a reason, and even now I wonder why on earth I even said 'yes' when Fiona asked if I'd be interested in giving Ned a home. So many other dogs or puppies or cats or kittens I've said no to, but this time I said yes. I don't know how Keiodie would have coped if not for Ned, and his seemingly endless trail of destruction while my attention has been elsewhere is little to pay to make up for all the love and laughter he has brought with him.
I hope you won't think I'm deserting you all till next week. I'll still be huddling, doing the basics, posting to some threads, etc., but need to concentrate on getting myself, the house and the four footed members of the family back to some form of normality. Right now I feel like I'm living in the middle of a photo shoot for BAD HOUSEKEEPING, if there was such a magazine, lol. I know the inside of my home would be gracing (or is that DISgracing?) the front cover.
Promise I'll be back next week, logging in from my newly established and well organized computer room (aka spare/junk room), after having walked through my chaos free rooms which will be free of all the interesting bits of greenery Ned feels the need to bring inside for me. All I can say is thank heaven Siriradha introduced me to FLYlady, because by Monday I will once again 'Finally Love Myself', not to mention my sparkling clean house.
Big hugs to all of you,
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