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April Showers Bring...Achy Joints & Random Musings

Sunday, April 03, 2011

It's been raining here in SE Michigan since yesterday. Intermittent showers yesterday & today, with periods of sleet. My knees / wrists / elbows & shoulders ache like crazy. A dose of Bufferin Arthritis is in the cards before bedtime tonight.

But I got up and went to karate yesterday & got several of my requirements "signed off". And I did my time on the bike & elliptical. I made both karate & yoga pilates classes during the week & did my running & strength training on M/W/F. I'm up to 19 pushups & 40 sit-ups and I ran my 2 miles in 21:26 on Friday, an improvement of 7 seconds from Wednesday. I also did 35 minutes of treadmill walking this morning. So emoticon on meeting my fitness goal plan for the week.

This week I'm thinking about taking the free Zumba classes on M/W instead of running, to give myself a little break.

I wish the weather would make up its mind and get warm already...and dry at the same I can start getting my garden ready. I need to put together several more raised beds and bring in a truck load of mulch. I'm tired of mowing behind the garden fence so I'm just going to put down mulch in the back third of the yard where the garden is and call it good. I really need to get seeds started, I think I'm late.

Continuing to declutter the house, all my little piles are slowly vanishing. I'm making a real effort this time not to "re-pile". It's amazing how much low-level stress I had from the clutter, without even realizing it. Every time a pile disappears I can feel a little more stress vanish too. Purple Heart loves me, I always have donations for them lately.

Next week is my virtual 5k race. I had to quit the run I signed up for originally since that was the combo walk/run and re-sign up for the run all the way race.

I'm getting a little frustrated with the guy who's going to be painting my house inside. He's one of the Dad's from Matt's Boy Scout troop & is a professional painter but has spent more time laid off the past several years than he has worked. He painted my daughter's room last year & does a good job so I'm having him paint the rest of the house. He's also going to skim coat/repair the walls in 2 hallways/the entry way & the stairwell, and take down some wallpaper and fix the hole in my kitchen nook ceiling. I had expected him to start last month but he got sick, then got called in to work some real official painting jobs and he's also a substitute teacher. So I can't really complain since his real jobs pay more than what he is charging me; I don't blame him for making those his priority. But I really, really, really want my walls done. Half of them are just patched drywall right now from taking down all the texture over the last year. I hope he is able to start really soon.

I FINALLY made it into a size 12! I can't believe there was a 30+ pound spread for a size 14 but I've finally broken into a smaller size. My last pair of size 14 slacks is now in the donation pile. Soon I'll be able to bring the rest of my slacks out of storage...size 10, I'm on my way!

I found out Friday morning that the job I really wanted - and which both my immediate boss & the Department Director - were pushing hard for me to get...has been given to someone else. I'm confident it's not because of my abilities but it sucks that office politics wins out again. I'm incredibly frustrated and disappointed, this is something I've been trying to get for the last 2 years. I've been ready for something new and this position is perfect for me. But the company would have had to relocate me and the person they gave the job to is already there you go. I'm proud of myself for not bingeing though, which I would have done in the past. There will be other opportunities, when one door closes another opens up.

This week I also found out my aunt has renal cancer, with a mass at the base of her spine, and is incurable. And then this morning I learned that my former mother-in-law also has cancer, they suspect lung cancer. Now I keep waiting for the "other" shoe to drop, so to speak, bad luck comes in 3s (yes, I AM mildly superstitious!)

Overall I'm really happy with my life. So it feels very wrong for me to be happy when other people are fighting for their lives.

The kids' passports came in the mail last week and we're starting to plan our trip to London. My son's marching band will be in the New Year's Day parade in London, and a few other concerts. I'm going to take another week for vacation and take both son & daughter to Normandy & Paris (and maybe someplace else?) after Matt's band obligations are done. It's not the time of year I would have picked myself for going to Europe but we might as well take the opportunity when it's their. Their Dad also plans on going for a few days, apparently, and plans to take them to a concentration camp on one of the days. Personally I think he needs more than 1 day to get there from London, do the tourist thing, and bring them back to me but that will be his challenge, not my problem anymore.

Matt starts driver training at the end of the month. Oh joy! There goes my car insurance rate. I have an old '92 Plymouth Voyager beater minivan that I use to drive to the garden center or Lowes. It does 0-60 in about 5 minutes. That's what Matt will be driving...he is not thrilled at the prospect.

I'm thinking of treating myself to a massage since I'm now past the halfway point to my goal weight. I've never had one before, I've always been too embarrassed. If I can find a coupon or discount I just might jump out of my comfort zone with both feet and sign up for one.

Now I'm off to do laundry & clip coupons, and maybe make a start on the mending if the Bufferin kicks in soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VYVIENN 4/5/2011 5:04AM

    I'm sorry that you've had to deal with so much bad news this week. emoticon

But your post illuminates my hope that in the end, the good and bad at least cancel each other out, if not that the good wins! I know firsthand how great it feels to declutter (I'm in the midst of getting rid of a LOT of stuff, too), and it's nice to see how ecxited you're getting about planning your trip. Bit of advice from someone who's done it: plan for more time than you think you need to see what you want to see. I know that there's tons of stuff to do and see, and it can all seem equally urgent when you're overseas for the first time, but believe me, it's better to do quality than quantity...

If you like shellfish, though, you'll have to try the Norman mussels steamed in cidre with cream.... divine!

When you say concentration camps, do you mean in Germany?

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DOODIE59 4/3/2011 10:04PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your lost job opportunity, but I agree with you that this just means there will be another door opening somewhere.

Pretty exciting to hear about your trip to Europe. Woo Hoo! There's a goal date, although I'm sure you'll reach goal well before then at the rate you're going:)

My friend gets massages all the time, and swears by them -- go for it! You've earned it with all your exercise. I'm particularly impressed with the push ups. You rock! Show me your guns! (as all the males in my house would say).

Take care
Deirdre emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ATURTLESPACE 4/3/2011 9:00PM

    I've never had a massage either, aside from the kind you get in tandem with physiotherapy - not relaxing, but it does feel good the next day. I understand spa-type massages are much more enjoyable! Go for it! You've earned it, and it might help with the aches and the stress. You are doing so well! emoticon

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FROSTY99 4/3/2011 8:49PM

    Oh sounds like a lot going on and congrats on reaching your halfway point. Treat yourself to that massage, you will love it. My first one was in Hot Springs and it was amazing and have had several since then, even got hubby to do it several times.

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Progress! & April SMART Goals

Friday, April 01, 2011

Although I weigh myself daily I only do measurements once a month - I don't want to get TOO obsessive. So...year-to-date progress:

Weight - 204 to 168, 36 total pounds lost although I'm a bit irked b/c for the last month I've felt like a yoyo...lose 1, gain 2, lose 3, gain, lose, gain, lose. Still a steady downward trend so I'm not frustrated or upset, just annoyed.

Waist - 38 to 32 inches
Hips - 48 to 43 inches
Thigh - 25 to 23 inches
Waist-to-Hip Ratio - 0.79 to 0.74 inches

Push-ups - 15 to 19
Sit-Ups - 25 to 40
2 mile run - 60 to 21:33 minutes and can now run the entire way plus another 2-3 miles more


Seeing it written down makes it much more real.

SMART Goals for April

SMART goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Based. So these are my mini-goals for the month, not to be confused with my goal plan which is HOW I will achieve the goals.

1 - 25 pushups; this is 6 more than I did yesterday, if I can increase by 1 every 5 days I will meet this goal, I just need to get serious now about doing it

2 - 50 situps; I did 40 last night so I am almost there

3 - 2 miles in 20:30, which is cutting a full minute (plus 3 seconds) of my current time from Wednesday. This one will be really tough but I'm going for it

4 - weigh in at 160 pounds, which is 8 lbs less than today, or 2 lbs week average

5 - meet all the requirements for green w/ stripe belt in karate; very tough, this one is mostly jump/hop kicks and I have to be able to do on both feet; still scared half to death about re-injuring my ankle but I have to get past it or I'll never progress

6 - get all the mending done, my sewing basket has been sitting there for years - literally - just waiting for me. Now that I know I'll fit into the clothes again it's past time to get them mended. Plus all the patches that need to be sewn on various uniforms

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATURTLESPACE 4/3/2011 8:49PM

    Congrats! Keep up the awesome work!

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VYVIENN 4/3/2011 2:03PM

    Love your goals list!! And wow to your achievements! emoticon emoticon

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    It looks like you're ready to kick it! emoticon

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VICKLET31 4/1/2011 8:12AM


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So worried...and now so relieved

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I mentioned before I have 5 cats (and I take care of them so I'm not quite the crazy cat lady yet LOL!). They are all house cats, no greater outdoors for them. One of them is Rocky Road, my little pudgy grumbly Alpha female.

Last night I got home late, after 8:30 pm. And while I was Sparking before bed I realized I had not seen her that evening and she is always walking around asserting her superiority to the rest of the household and smacking Munchie Stupid Dog around. I had heard some kitty cries earlier, which I thought was her sister Turtle wanting out of the basement or the water turned on and had not thought anything about it.

But as I searched the house for Rocky & couldn't find her I started to worry she had gotten outside & was stuck in the freezing cold (it was even snowing sporadically last night). I thought then that the kitty cries I heard earlier were hers begging to be let inside; being partly deaf I'm not really good with sound directions and had not been able to tell where the meows were coming from. She had snuck outside back in November when it first started getting cold and had done the same thing - cried to come in & when I didn't realize it was her - outside - ended up spending the night outside alone.

So I put on my slippers & robe, grab the flashlight and spend the next 30 minutes wandering around my yard looking for her. Even calling her name as if she were a dog to come when called. I couldn't find her anywhere.

Back inside, search the house again, opening cupboards & closets in case she got stuck in one. Back outside again, nothing.

I tried to sleep but couldn't because I was so worried she was stuck outside. Churchill came & slept on my bed, something he never does unless he knows for certain Rocky & Turtle aren't able to come in (Turtle was in the basement). I tossed & turned all night.

I finally got out of bed to let Munchie Stupid Dog outside & followed him out, starting my rounds again, calling Rocky's name.......and looked inside the sliding door to see Rocky Road sitting there looking at the crazy lady outside in the 20 degree weather in her bathrobe & slippers.

I think now she was hiding b/c she wasn't feeling good b/c as I walked through the house I have discovered little piles of kitty puke in several rooms. She seems to be OK now, walking past Munchie & giving him a smack.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VYVIENN 4/3/2011 2:02PM

    Phew! Lucky kitty!!! DH's silly cat is the same way. That's the reason we had to cat-proof our yard. Fortunately, we live in an apartment building right now, so if she does get out the door, she can't get too far...

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    Whew! Glad all is well! How did Munchie Stupid Dog get his name??? emoticon

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MCJULIEO 3/31/2011 10:03AM

    What a relief (even with the extra "surprises") !

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DEZZIEJAMES 3/31/2011 9:15AM

    Glad everyone is safe and sound!!!!

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DOODIE59 3/31/2011 8:50AM

    It's hard to go to sleep once the worry sets in -- might as well keep searching until you find 'em:) Yeah, cats usually hide when they're feeling under the weather ... they save the vomiting on your sleeping form for when they're feeling particularly GOOD. In fact, there is poetry written about that ... :)

I see you're still doing really well -- very awesome work!! and thank you for your comments on my activity feed.

Have a great one!

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818VALERIE 3/31/2011 8:26AM

    I've done close to the same thing - I don't have 5 cats but have 2 cats 2 dogs. Usually find a kitty hiding in the basement or some obscure place. Glad things are well!

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TIGGERJEAN 3/31/2011 7:28AM

    LOL I'm so glad she's okay! Typically for her to show up after you'd been outside twice in freezing weather. emoticon

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SARAHJG33 3/31/2011 7:10AM

    Glad everyone is OK. emoticon

I'd take the fact that she's bad to smacking Munchie around as a good sign emoticon

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TODAY is the real start of spring with pictures LOL

Monday, March 28, 2011

Yes, I know the calendar said spring started last week. It lied.

Today is the real start of spring, at least here in Michigan. Today the first official sightings of the Michigan State Flower & Motto have occurred...right during morning rush hour. Yes, it is the official start of Road Destruction season.

Michigan State Flower in Bloom

Michigan State Motto

I feel like a stunt car driver trying to miss all the potholes that could swallow a bus. I might go to Hollywood & start a new career. I suspect Michigan is the training ground for stunt drivers the world over. Our roads are worse than many so-called 3rd world countries. And it is not ALL because of the high weight limits we have for semis - otherwise how to explain why residential streets are just as bad as the freeways? And where else does a DOT block off 10+ miles of road in order to work on just a few hundred feet?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATURTLESPACE 4/3/2011 8:46PM

    Sounds familiar, must be the geography - Ontario isn't any better. We say it has four seasons: Almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction. That's not entirely accurate though, as the construction goes through the winter in some locations...

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GLASSPAK22 3/30/2011 9:48AM

    Left Michigan in 1995 and enjoy visiting once in awhile. Loved to go up north and scuba dive.

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DOGSTARDADDY 3/29/2011 11:23AM

    gotta love those roving construction crews. My 25 minute commute took me an hour today!

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MANTISGIRL 3/28/2011 8:53PM

    My nana's from Michigan, and she always claimed there were two seasons: Potholes, and Repairs...

Have a good one!

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NEWHEARTSTART 3/28/2011 4:53PM

    I would swear that in New York City one time I looked down into a pothole and saw a Volkswagen. I felt pretty bad running over it.

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    Ahhh, how I miss Michigan! Even the pot holes! emoticon

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4ANEWME2DAY 3/28/2011 12:45PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Goal Plan Progress, Week 1

Sunday, March 27, 2011

So now that I have an official goal plan, time to start tracking progress.

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M/W/F - run minimum 5k, work on improving speed & strength train a different set of muscles each days - My 2 mile time has gone from 27:30 on 3/7 when I started going to the gym to 21:49 as of 3/26. OK, on the 7th I was mostly walking but I'm impressed that I can actually run the whole 2 miles now. 3k time has dropped from 41 minutes to 34:44. Did strength training all 3 days.

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T/Th - yoga pilates & karate - made both classes each day this week. Making progress in karate, am screwing up my courage to actually try some small jumps on my formerly broken ankle (it's been 13 months now since it broke). Up to 38 sit-ups and 18 pushups (need 50 of both). My sensei said for testing the 2 mile run will be outside on the track, which is a bummer, I would prefer the treadmill. Better to know now though.

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Sat - karate & 35 minutes each bike & elliptical - I did not set my alarm correctly & overslept so missed karate, which starts at 8 am. But I got in the bike & elliptical. I will give this another week & might end up doing something else instead. I can't wear my shoes on the bike and my left foot goes tingly numb on the elliptical. I actually prefer the running (gasp! never thought I'd ever prefer running to anything except pushups LOL!).

Sun - minimum 10 minutes low impact / low intensity on the Wii or a DVD or whatever I decide to do that day - took my daughter to the track b/c she wants to join the track team at school, ran my entire 2 miles in 22:27, which is about 40 seconds slower than the treadmill, and walked another half mile for 30 minutes total. Of course it is only 25 degrees outside today & I was "loaded up" with a watch, a phone, gloves & a fleece so I'm happy with the time. The last time I was on the track about a month ago my time was approx. 26 minutes & included walking (& was warmer!) so I'm feeling pretty good about it.

So overall for the week a big emoticon

More of the same this week. The week of the 4th I think I'm going to change it up a little, the gym is offering a free Zumba class on Monday & Wednesday night so I think I'll do that instead of running. And there are a few Thursdays in April I will miss both yoga pilates & karate due to some lectures my son wants to go to at the Cultural Center. I have given myself permission to miss these days - which I have to do b/c I have some OCD tendencies & I'm already getting twitchy at the thought of missing - and will keep reinforcing to myself that it's OK to take a day off now & then for a good reason.

And I still hate pushups.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You can DO it! emoticon

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