Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday was a somewhat eventful day. When I woke up on Friday morning, just after 8am I was pretty nervous. I was meeting neighbour Anne at 9am to go out to the kennels to see what Sophie can expect if she goes in there for a few days while we are away at Bryony's wedding weekend.
I am battling a few fears here, not the least of which is a travel fear. Yes, I am nervous about how Sophie will fare in kennels, but I am also quite a travel phobe, especially in cars. It is a deep-rooted fear I have never managed to shake, caused initially by being involved in a fatal road crash when I was about six, and exacerbated by a road-rage ex-husband who's fast and aggressive driving nearly drove me to a nervous breakdown. Learning to drive solved the problem for a while, but at the moment I don't have a car. This was a 15 minute drive to the kennels I was panicking about. Can you imagine how much I am dreading the 250 mile drive to Devon for the wedding? *gulp*
In all the time I've known Anne I have never travelled further than the end of the road with her when she has spotted me walking home from the stores and offered me a lift. Fortunately she is a terrific driver! She doesn't speed, and is highly alert to idiots. :-) Even on the A12 I felt ok with her, which says a lot for her driving, truly.
We headed out to the kennels on time, and apart from the photo on google maps being of the wrong property, we found the kennels very easily. The lady who owns the kennels is lovely! She showed us around, knows the dogs names without having to check the door tags, and her face shines as she introduces them to us. She obviously loves her work. :-) She had to retrieve a blanket from one dog that had dragged it out into the run, and rather than just put it back in the basket it was hung on a hook to be replaced, and the dog got a big scrubble before she came back out of the pen. :-)
OK, so the kennels aren't the Hilton, but considering the area is made up basically of concrete and metal mesh, it is clean, smell-free, and full of dogs that were almost without exception cheerful, barking, and licky. It was a busy week, being half-term, so there were a lot of dogs to say hello to as we walked down the long corridors, and we were shown both inside and outdoors. Many of the dogs are regulars, and the kennel rarely advertises because word of mouth keeps them busy enough. A local vet boards her dog there too, which is also good to know. We discussed Sophies needs, her fussy eating, and various other things, and I came away feeling as ok as I'm going to about leaving her in kennels. She will be well cared for there.
We got back by 10am, and had a cuppa at Anne's before heading home an hour later. We came in the house, and the TV was as I'd left it. I always put it on for Sophie when I'm out, so she has a little company. The sound also distracts her from some of what is going on outside so she doesn't bark at everything that moves. :-)
I walked into the kitchen to start making breakfast, and Tara shouted through that the TV had died. I walked back in the sitting room, and it had the page on that tells you they are updating the service so, strange as it is for this to happen when the set top box is already on, we ignored it while I prepared the porage and apple and started cooking. The TV was still off, and Tara went to plug in the modem and switch on the computer, and the modem started flashing. Oh. Losing the internet and the TV at once is a nuisance, and unusual, so I rang Virgin. There were no faults showing up on their system, so the lady I was speaking to booked us in for a technician to visit between noon and 4pm. I thanked her and rang off, relieved that it would be a same-day service.
I popped upstairs and was surprised to see my bedside light on. That only happens if we have had a power cut. It is one of those lights that you tap with your finger to switch on, and it has three brightness settings, and for some reason I have never understood a power cut can cause it to switch on. I came back down and checked the clock on the cooker, because that is usually flasshing at 0000 if we lost electricity, but it was fine.
Wondering if we had had an extremely brief power surge or something that had caused the set top box to switch off, I finished making the porage and we ate up and I started to play a game on the computer. A few minutes in and the computer went poof! The electric went off for the splittest of split seconds, the computer restarted, asking if I wanted to do so in safe mode and so forth, and I let it complete opening up, and then I closed it down. I didn't want to risk frying the poor thing if the lecky as going to continue to play up. I also had to switch the fridge off because it was making the most extraordinary noises! A quick check upstairs showed that my bedside light was on again too! Tara, who'd been facing the TV when the power went said that the set top box had switched off and restarted again too, although the power was off so briefly that the TV hadn't registered the loss and was still switched on. Go figure! *shrugs and pulls a face*
It was just after noon at this point, and -wonder of wonders - the technicians chose this moment to pull up! I have never known any company have techs at your door 30 mins after ringing them! Sophie and Tara went into the kitchen, so that the guys could do their job in peace, and it was just as well. They were here for nearly half an hour all in. They started by pulling my system apart, saying that as my set top box is really old they would replace it with a new one while they were here. They used their diagnostic tools, checking for a signal and so on, and there was nothing doing! Then they checked the big box out in the street and found that other houses weren't getting a signal either! So, they came back in, told me the signals were down, and rang engineering.
Engineering, meanwhile, had found out that a roadworks in the next street being carried out by a gas company had accidentally severed electricity cables and Virgin Media cables during their digging process. They had apparently taken out about 400 Virgin customers' homes, not to mention a number of houses in the immediate vicinity of the works who also lost their electricity completely, not just briefly like us.
Engineering told my techs that if was a big job and that it would take a few hours to sort out the mess these guys had made! So that was that. They couldn't even give me my smart new set top box, because with no signal they couldn't download my info into it! They repacked it and took it away and hooked up my old one again. *sad face* LOL
Resigned to being without TV and Internet for a few hours, and not wanting to put the computer on again in case the electric went out again, I stuck a Charmed DVD into the Playstation and sat and sewed for a few hours. The signal was still not back by 6pm, so I put on some music, cleaned the kitchen and started cooking dinner, hoping that they would at least have us back up and running by 9pm so I could see the new episodes of The Mentalist and Medium.
At 8.30pm we sat down to Chicken Korma with the film Matilda for company, and ended up seeing the whole film because we still didn't have our signal back. So, after that we played more music and chatted and played games on Tara's laptop. Around midnight we gave up on seeing any TV that night - Jools Holland's music show was on by then and we missed that too - and made cuppas and went to bed for a read. :-)
It was while I was sitting in bed that I realised just how badly I had failed in my streaks. I only had 4 helping of fruit and veg, and only 6 glasses of water, and although I wasn't down for a walk, I would still normally get my minimum steps in, and hadn't done that either. I couldn't even do my upper body videos. No internet = no Nicole! It was one huge WHOOPS! of a day Sparkwise.
Shall we call it a rest day? *grin*
So that was Friday.
This morning we woke up late, and Tara ran downstairs to check the internet and TV. She came back up to say that we had internet back but the TV was still not working. She also had a package for me from Moonpig.com! That's a first! I've never had a card from Moonpig. It said on the outside not to peek until my birthday, so I'll be good. I'm very excited though, wondering who it's from and what daft idea they have come up with. LOLOL
I got up, dressed, and was just doing my warm-ups before my walk when the TV came back on. So we are finally back in fully-functioning mode. :-) It only took twenty-four hours to fix! It must have been some hatchet job they did on those cables!!! LOL
Of course it has messed up my login streak because I didn't get on the internet at all yesterday. Oh well, these things happen, but I had been hoping not to break the streak until the wedding. *pout*
I completed a 45 minute walk today and the weather was gorgeous! It was warm and sunny, so much so that it was more like a warm spring day!
My turnaround point. Almost at the top of the woods:
The top field:
I love the sky on a day like this:
After breakfast I did the upper body workout I missed yesterday. It included some wrist exercises. I've been finding that I sometimes get a little pain in them, so I'm hoping that a few strengthening exercises might help.
This has turned into a very lengthy blog, sorry about that folks. It is time to go see what I can do about trimming down my inbox. :-) I should try and fit in some work too. The trouble with getting up so late is that the day races past before you know it. :-)
Oooh, I can watch the Mentalist tonight at 8pm! Good oh! :-) I can also see Medium, if I don't mind waiting till 1 am tomorrow night. Oh Boy! How badly do I want to see it? I'll have to think on that one. LOL BBC iplayer will have Jools on, so I can see that anytime in the next few days.
Tomorrow is Samhain! My favourite Druid/Pagan/Wiccan holiday of the year. I'm really looking forward to it. :-)
I hope you are all having a good weekend. :-)
A couplathree sillies:
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I was really surprised to see how many steps I amassed today. I have at least 2000 more than I expected. It must have been the way we shopped in Waitrose. We were all over the place, not being able to make up our minds on meals, so we went down several of the aisles three or four times. We had odd items we don't normally buy that needed searching for too. I know we caught the eye of some of the staff. We gave them a laugh as we kept passing them again and again. :-) We did decide to indulge in those lamb and mango burgers. We are having them for dinner tomorrow. This evening I made a huge pot of cottage pie. Om nom nommy! :-) I just portioned out the leftovers for freezing.
I forgot to treat myself to a muffin! *Shock! Horror!* We were on our way home before I realised, and much as my mouth was watering at the prospect I kept going and didn't turn back. I had a taste of Tara's fairy cake, and contented myself with that. I'm going to see what I can find recipe-wise to make possibly. I don't know what it will be. I'll see what calls me. :-) How about chocolate and beetroot brownies? Bryony has made them and says they are delicious! And they count towards your five-a-day! Gotta love that! :-)
So, today I did a 20 minute walk, followed by 20 mins core strength training. I did the core video as usual, and then a couple of exercises on the bed. That one where my feet are on the floor and I sit up and lie down using my abs to do so, and a lower back move where you lie on your front with your hands by your ears and lift your front up and lower it again. I couldn't do most of the ones they offered on SP today because I had ticked that I have a resistance band, but mine isn't the right type so I couldn't use it. I've reset it now to leave the resistance band out of the equation. Resistance is Useless! LOL
That's it for today. I am more than ready for my bed. For some reason I am really tired tonight. Might be in the doghouse tomorrow - if Anne can get away. :-)
Night night. Sleep tight.
Don't let the bedbugs bite.
Choc and Beetroot Brownies link:
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I went to sleep with a broomstick leaning against my wardrobe and a witch's hat draped over the bedpost. LOL Having not realised Tara had popped the hat there, you can imagine my surprise to see it when I woke this morning. Incidentally, She got me into the hat and informed me that I looked just like Professor McGonagall. Maggie Smith, eat your heart out! *grin*
I did a slightly wet twenty minute walk this morning, on a sore heel. The dratted thing has cracked quite badly, so I'm having to be careful how I walk, and not walk too fast. Hmmm... I bought some Flexitol heel balm while at the chemist yesterday. It is twice the price of the Scholl stuff, but the Scholl isn't designed for deep cracks (sorry if tmi).
I tell you one thing. Two good applications and my heels already feel heaps smoother and look a lot better. I've had this problem before and worked through it without applying creams, but that was in my sedentary days, when I only did a small amount of walking and was sat four days out of seven. I don't want to have to stop my new walking plan while the heel heals - the heel heals - that's funny! *grin*
The tube offers visible improvement in three days. Try twenty-four hours! I'm rubbing on cream first and last thing each day, and will continue with it once they are better to keep them from cracking again. It will be worth the nearly £6 every so often through the winter if it works. ( I have no idea how long a tube lasts.)
I feel the same way, incidentally, about my Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. The cold plays havoc with my hands, and though I've tried different creams, most smell, and that can be very off-putting when you're eating, having florally-scented hands near your nose while trying to munch your lunch. :-) Neutrogena is expensive in comparison, but it only takes the tiniest amount to smooth your hands and it is smell-free. I've had my current tube for well over a year. Most people who visit end up trying a teeny squeeze for themselves too, so it is lasting well. :-)
I did some Tiggering after my walk to make up my steps. I think it was about 20 minutes or so. I was engrossed in a show called Cowboy Trap at the time, so I forgot to check the clock.
After breakfast, which as usual involved porage and apple - a huge sweet tree-matured cox - *Melts in joy* - I did a ten minute upper body video, followed by two other exercises. The first was modified push-ups, which I modified still further by doing them against the wall. The second was torture. It involved lying face down and laying your arms parallel to your body, palms facing the ceiling. You then raise your arms and lower them. It is a lot harder than it sounds. They are called Lying Triceps Lifts, and I'd be lying if I said I liked doing them. ;-)
I spent the time from then until a late lunch double-checking all my paperwork is in order and accessible, so that tomorrow I can sit down with the tax return form, knowing that I have everything where I can easily lay my hands on it. A good and constructive time. :-) Now I'm having a little Sparking time before getting on with a few other things I need to do.
Pork, Apple, Honey and Rosemary Chipolatas for dinner tonight. Tara loves trying different sausages, and this time even I'm intrigued. They are only tiny, so won't be a huge expense calories-wise, the two I'm having are about the equivalent of one normal-size sausage (think Richmonds), and I have a little mash and a heap of yummy veg to eat with them. They have Lamb and Mango burgers in Waitrose too - 99p each. I am very tempted to get one of those to try later in the week. :-)
Well, enough of my ramblings. I have an appointment with a friend, a beach, and a picnic basket to discuss finding me a man, and I'm running late. LOLOLOL
Oh, and the broomstick is shedding! *grin*
Have a great day!
Monday, October 25, 2010
The dentist went.... well, it went. :-)
Tara is doing well on the whole. She has to change her dental routine slightly, trying a mouthwash and dental floss for the first time, and she has the beginning of decay in one tooth that the dentist is going to fix with a procedure that coats the tooth to protect it. Otherwise her mouth is looking good. :-) He gave her a little instruction on the amount of time she spends brushing her teeth and gums - 2 minutes, not 10 seconds he said. LOL
My lump is an infection caused by some kind of tissue growth under my tongue. The dentist has referred me to the hospital for a consultation. Oh good. I get to go to the hospital again. With another lump.
Oh the irony! LOL
Other than that, considering I've had these same dentures for 25 years, my bite is still good, and he said that all they need is a little work to make them sharper for biting. They are pretty worn in places. LOL He can work on that once the hospital has sorted out my lump.
So, the dreaded visit was painless, and the new dentist surgery gets a thumbs up from both of us. Tara didn't cry even though she wasn't exactly thrilled about things, and is actually fine about going back next Thursday to have the procedure done. Of course, the dentist telling her that it is a pain-free procedure probably helped. :-)
Then we went round the corner to a couple of shops and picked up a witch hat for 99p, and a broomstick for �1.49, so Tara's happy. :-)
A few necessaries at Waitrose on the way back, and we are set. :-) Now I have to finish the tax return paperwork. I have until the end of the week to decipher the actual form, fill it in and send it off. Otherwise I'll have to do it *horrors* ON LINE! *eep!* I can do this! I have all the receipts and stuff sorted out, so I can do this. I can do this. I really can!
But this evening I Spark! So there! :-)
Oooh, in all the excitement I nearly forgot! I did a 25 minute walk this morning, and a 10 minute lower body video, and two other exercises. The first was running lunges, which are great fun and so funny. Anyone watching would be in fits of laughter because you kind of fake-run, arms included, like people used to do in those very early black and white films. Think Harold Llloyd or the Keystone Cops. *grin* For sheer entertainment value and feel good smiles, I think they are my new favourite strength exercise. :-)
I also did those calf raises that you have to do while leaning against a wall with your legs wide apart, and squatting in a sitting position. Not so good. Six of those and my legs were all a-quiver! It wasn't easy, but I did my two sets of 12 reps, even if it was more like 4 sets of 6. I was very pleased with myself. :-)
My right hip was aching on the way back from town, but is holding up well in the circumstances. It's all good. :-) So, off to my inbox to see who has been blogging and who's been waving to me.
Catch you all later.
Food LOLs. Well, it fits with the teeth thing. :-)
Want fries with that? :-)
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