Saturday, October 09, 2010
Grr. We came back from vacation to having tons of fruit flies in the apartment. I don't know where they came from or what attracted them, as we didn't have any food in the house, but it's making it hard to keep fresh fruit and tomatoes in the house. Even cooking is a pain. I've set my homemade fruitly traps and they've helped, but we still have them everywhere. The kitchen is the worst but there are a lot in other rooms, especially the bathrooms.
We often have fruit flies in the fall for some reason, though never as bad as this year--perhaps because we are able to respond to them before they get this bad when we're home? The only things I know that helps is to run bleach in your drains, avoid having standing water (so no pots soaking or anything if you can help it) and to put out fruit fly traps. Mine are simple. I take a container--I prefer bottles because they are disposable and have a narrow mouth--and fill them with a sweet fluid. Cider seems to work the best, but any aromic juice will do. Then you cover the top with seran wrap, secure it with a rubber band if needed, and poke a few holes in the top. That way the fruit flies smell the cider and enter the bottle, but they can't find their way back out and die. Simple, eco-friendly (especially if you reuse or recycle the container) and it works.
But so far all we've managed to do is thin the fruitflies a bit--and there are plenty left. Grrr.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
First of all, I beg everyone to understand and forgive me. I gave up last night of trying to catch up on everyone's blogs--I realized that I have over 75 blogs on sparks that I am subscribed to, and while not all of those are still active, it was still far too many for me to catch up after not following them for essentially months. I would get caught up on a few, and then go to catch up on someone else and the first few would post some more..... it was like trying to dig a hole in sand. It kept filling in as fast as I could read them.
So I went and resubscribed to everyone and am starting fresh, with new posts. This is not because I don't care what happened over the summer--I just don't have time.
Also, a few of my friends have apparently changed their names? Anyway, sparks cant' find them any more. So if you've changed your name over the summer, could you let me know?
My knee is doing a lot better--in fact it was starting to feel significantly better I swear the morning after I wrote my last blog. I did manage to pull a muscle in my thigh, however--doing nothing more than shifting in my seat on the couch, of all things. I didn't pull it badly, but I keep aggravating it doing things like getting out of the car or kneeling to deal with laundry, so it's still pretty sore.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I have a question....
Background. Last Thursday, I did something to my left knee-- I have no idea what. I was sitting with my leg propped up and when I stood up it hurt like crazy--I could barely stand, let alone move. Eventually it got better though it was kind of achy.
Friday it was feeling better. I went to the gym for light exercise (walked on treadmill) and then got invited to play soccer, so I did. I warmed up, played hard, was feeling fine. I figured I would be a bit sore the next day from the exercise, but no big deal.
Except my knee was REALLY sore Saturday. As in barely able to move sore. The rest of my muscles were sore--especially my thighs--but in a more normal manner. So I took it easy.
But my knee is still pretty sore. It's not as bad, but it stiffens up if I sit down for any length of time and even when it warms up it hurts and sometimes it's not very stable--not sure how else to describe it, but sometimes it doesn't want to support my weight. It hurts a bit in the knee cap, but mostly it hurts around and behind the knee, and into my upper calf.
Could I have strained a muscle that supports the knee or something? Should I do something more than naproxen, rest, and ice?
I was just getting back into a regular exercise routine and this has really poked holes in it--unless it's much better tomorrow, I probably will break a 14 week streak (130 minutes a week) and as it is I won't be able to make my monthly goals for September. But I would rather restart my streaks and worry about next months goals than really mess my knee up.
*edit* I remember after I wrote this blog that I did wrench my knee a bit while playing soccer--I remember turning and feeling it and thinking that I'd hurt it, but it didn't hurt and I forgot about it. But adrenaline can do that. So I probably have a mild sprain, which can take some time to heal.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
In the post-vacation crash, I'm finding it a bit of a struggle to feel positive about my body. My hip hurt a fair amount while on vacation (all that walking, I imagine--but, to be fair, I WALKED. I danced. I even climbed a pyramid. 4 years ago, I wouldn't have been able to do any of that. So that's a definite good sign). My clothes are all feeling really tight this week and while it may be bloating, it's hard not to blame myself for what I ate on the cruise, and for the fact that I didn't work out like I had planned.
(And the chicken pot pie I'm eating for lunch is not helping... I had read that they were bad for you, but I hadn't realized HOW bad until I bought this one.... over 1000 calories and almost 2000 mg of salt! But my teeth are still sore--hopefully that's normal--after my dental work this week and I'm getting tired of soup and the chicken pot pie is soft. And I haven't had one in years. And now that I know how terrible they are, I probably won't have another one for years).
But... thinking positive here...
*As I said, I may not have been as active as I had planned but I did walk--I took stairs, I danced, I even climbed pyramids. Sure, I didn't make a single yoga class or anything like that, but even being able to do what I did is a sign of progress.
*I played soccer Friday night. I didn't play all that great--but it's been 13 years since the last time I played (!) and I kept up. I even had a couple of half way decent plays, once I started knocking the rust off the old soccer skills. And I will probably get to play again at least a couple of more times this month--I can't afford to play in a regular season (too much money and I don't have the time) but they are down a girl with a pulled hamstring so I'm subbing in.
*Exercise was really hit and miss the last 2 months--I just haven't had time to hit the gym regularly and while I made up some of that with exercise dvds, it wasn't all that consistent. And when I first came back from the cruise I got hit hard by PMS and curled up in a ball on the couch for several days feeling terrible (more so than normal). But once the PMS backed off, I found myself right back at the gym on the treadmill. Yeah, it wasn't an uber-intense work out (after all, I hadn't been exercising regularly for months) but I still worked up a pretty good sweat and was pretty tired by the end. In the past, I would probably have let it slide.... or even stopped exercising all together. Even now, there's a part of me that is tempted--after all, it's not like I don't have other things to do with my time! Important things, even. But... there's also that part of me that is saying "we need to get the luggage out of our livingroom so I have room to use my exercise dvds." That's new. And kind of cool.
*Even on the cruise, though I can't claim to have eaten all that healthy of choices (I did after all have desert at least once a day--something I rarely do at home--and I did have some mixed drinks and I didn't always pick the healthiest options for entrees) I did always eat fresh fruit and/or vegetables with my meals. And I drank water. I had a lot harder time tracking how much water I had, so I'm guessing at how much I drank, but I drank water. Since I still don't much like water and still prefer just about any other beverage (other than milk and coffee, neither of which I'll drink) to water, that's an improvement.
*Oh, and speaking of water, apparently this week is water week! So I'm challenging myself to:
drink 8 glasses of water every day (which I should be doing anyway)
Water my plants at least once
And take a relaxing bath
Friday, September 24, 2010
Last week my husband and I went on our first ever cruise, with friends who had also never been on a cruise before. I hadn't been sure what it would be like, especially since none of us are really resort kind of people. But we had a terrific time. We did so much that it's hard to know where to start.
We took the train to New Orleans and back, which may not be the most time-effective way to travel but it's a lot more relaxing. We traveled by sleeper car and it was lovely--and I had lots of time to just sit and read or knit or whatever without anything I needed to do or worry about or whatever.
I'd never been to New Orleans, and we didn't have a lot of time there--a little more than a day, really--but it's a lovely city. I wish I could have seen it before Katrina but I've heard it's come back a lot and really is beautiful. The food is terrific--even if you don't eat spicy foods!--and we walked the city and saw the sites and went to the aquarium which was a last minute idea that I'm so glad that we made. And not just because the aquarium is air conditioned and it was hot while we were there *grin* We saw schooling fish, and a big turtle, and jellies, and I got to feed sting rays, which was really cool!
I had visions on the cruise ship of swimming and reading on the top deck, but found the pools too small to swim in and the deck much too loud and crowded. But we found other parts of the ship where it was much quieter and hung out there when we wanted to relax--we played cards in the library and read on one of the lower decks, where we could see the Caribbean from our lounge chairs.
I read 5 books while we were gone, whoo hoo! Though I told that to a friend of mine--another reader, too, so she surprised me--who said "What, didn't you enjoy your cruise?" Yes, I did, and it was lovely. We had tons to do, so it's not like we were bored, but being able to read on a vacation is part of what makes it a good vacation. It means that I had time to sit and unwind and relax and enjoy some quiet time, as well as do stuff. And believe me, we did lots of stuff.
I got to see a wild pod of dolphins jumping one day when I was reading! That was awesome.
We had an interesting tour of Belize City in Belize and then I got to visit the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha with my friends--we got to climb a pyramid together, and it was beautiful, and informative. I'm not real keen on large group tours, but for a large tour it was well done.
Isla Roatan (an island that is part of Honduras) we hired a tour guide through a private company (Bodden's) and it was lovely. Ironically this was the stop we were the most unsure about (not being beach kind of people) but we ended up having the best time. It was just us, so no big group, we got to go wherever we wanted--to see monkeys, and butterflies, and a cameo shop, and watched a local parade for Honduras's independence day, etc. It was very laid back, and we made it back to the ship in plenty of time and even got to see someone running to their boat (the other cruise ship, not ours) which was entertaining, though it would have been less so if they hadn't caught their ship.
Some day I will go snorkeling. We did not go snorkeling on this trip, but someday.
We managed to miss all the tropical storms/hurricanes in the area. I know that the crew was tracking the storms, so that we would have been able to avoid them in any case, but I was glad that they missed our route anyway. We did side track at one point to miss a smaller storm, and we had a couple of days of moderately choppy water because of hurricanes and other storms in the distance, but we actually had really good weather for most of our trip.
We almost didn't make our stop at Cozumel because we had engine problems. It's kind of eery when you are on a ship and it's dead in the water because they turned the engines off to work on them--not scary, because I knew we would be alright, but strange. Unfortunately, Mexico was the stop (Cozumel is an island off the cost of the Yucatan) that we were the most looking forward to, particularly because we were going to go see the Mayan ruins of Tulum there. Fortunately, the engineers got the engines fixed in record time and we did make it Cozumel, if late, and they postponed our departure by 2 hours to give us some time in port. Unfortunately, it still didn't give us enough time to go to Tulum or any of the other mainland excursions. *sniff* However, we opted for the tour of Cozumel, which was fun. I had been to Cozumel before, but I saw little of it other than my hotel as I had arrived at night and left on a very foggy morning. So it was neat seeing the island. The weather was mixed--it was raining hard when we arrived, and the sprinkled on and off, so I guess it was a good thing we weren't trying to visit ruins! Instead, we went to a charming folk art museum, and then saw replicas of various places in Mexico (both historical ruins and modern). We visited a tequila place, and saw some beautiful rocky beaches (maybe not great for sunbathing and swimming, but beautiful) and sea turtle nests (they were releasing the turtles from one as we passed, which was cool) and a small Mayan ruin and a very pretty chapel, and both the older settlement on the island and the newer one.
The shows on the ship were great. We saw a magician, and dancers, and singers, and several stand up comedians. There was something to do every night. In fact, the real challenge on the ship was doing everything we wanted to do without feeling stressed out/rushed (or not getting enough sleep) trying to do everything we wanted to do. We had a great time. We also went dancing a little, and walked along the upper deck at night (thankfully, at night the deck is quiet, and the evenings were lovely).
Food from a taste perspective was lovely. Divine even. Even my husband, with his long list of food allergies (we had a lovely lady named Nicolletta who came to our table every night to talk about the next day's menu with him, so that he could eat) had a lot of wonderful food to eat. I can't say I behaved in the health department. Perhaps I should have felt guilty about that, and I did a bit at first, but I never liked the "low calorie" options on the menu (usually fish, which I don't like) and I was on vacation. So I ate and it was lovely and it's a good thing I can't eat like that every day! I also had some alcoholic beverages--both wine and mixed drinks--though none of us are heavy drinkers and we didn't drink a lot. But I did drink and enjoyed every drink. I'm not even going to try to count the calories.
Fitness wise, I wasn't as active as I thought I would be. I had planned to visit the gym, at least on sea days, but on sea days I tended to sleep in (we tended to stay up later going to shows when we knew we'd have a sea day the following day). I also thought I would swim, which wasn't really an option--the pools were much too small to really swim in. Still, we walked the ship a lot, and while I didn't always take the stairs instead of the elevators, I did some. And we danced, and walked on our shore excursions. So while I can't say I got a ton of exercise in, I was at least moderately active, and I will have to be content with that.
Besides, I got to relax, truly 100% relax, for the first time in... in a year, I think. Or more. And that was a lovely thing, and I really needed it for my mental health. I learned that I'm not very good at relaxing. I think it took 2 days for me to just wind down and truly relax. If only I could translate that skill to home, but here there are too many things I need to do, and I certainly don't have ninja waiters and housekeeping to make my bed for me and whisk my dishes away.
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