Monday, November 18, 2019


Last year I showed you a picture of our son Sam, celebrating the purchase of his first house:
Clayton, NC - July 2018

And now this year I can show you a picture of our daughter Allie, celebrating the purchase of her first house:
Flower Mound, TX - November 2019

We spent a long weekend in Dallas helping Allie get moved into her house - I'll have more pictures to share in a few days but first I need to recover from the move and the 3.5 hour drive up there and back.  Mama tired.

Friday, November 15, 2019

FMM - Why?

Whyyyyy is it so cold already?  Our garage is full of plants thanks to a couple nights with hard freezes, and my succulents are temporarily displaced to get them away from the windows:
I learned the hard way last year that being next to the window is too cold for them when it's freezing outside.
Haha look - the plant rack is actually holding plants!
Dis not look cold...


I made it through my first week of work - by yesterday, when I remembered to have Amanda take a picture of me holding my flowers, I was a hot mess.  Hair flat from the cold rain outside, bags upon bags under my eyes, buttoned up Gryffindor cardigan (which I normally never do) because I'm freezing to death and have not bought any work appropriate cold-weather's a good thing I only had to work three days because who knows what more would have brought:
But hey, the flowers are gorgeous!

Yesterday a patient was getting her raincoat on to leave and remarked how miserable it was outside, with the rain being "so damp" - and I totally understood what she meant.  There's rain, and then there's gross damp rain.  It's probably akin to snow and wet snow.  The only good thing about this weather is that I didn't have to run in it.  I would have been deep into half marathon training right about now, but nope.  So I guess I'll relish this part of not running.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

WWU - I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Yesterday I had my first day of work, then zipped home and changed for my workout with Jared, then zipped to the doctor to see about my face.  It was a long first day and I'm surprised I made it through everything - remember, I haven't been doing anything for ages now.  I took a first day of work selfie:
I am wearing two colors of foundation here because I haven't bought any in ages and I didn't think either of the two that I had were exactly right.  Also I need to put on a little more eye shadow.  But my lipstick matched my cowl so I had that going for me.

Naturally, the first day in forever that I had to go outside happened to be below freezing with a north wind - the wind chill was 19 degrees!  At least I had reason to pop on my favorite handknitted cowl...and I ended up wearing it all day at work because I actually don't really own any cold weather clothes that you'd wear in a work environment.

Work was great and I didn't feel overwhelmed - yes there's a lot to learn but the medical record program Amanda uses has a great set of tutorials so that helped a lot.  She had a beautiful bouquet of flowers waiting to welcome me, and she'd also stocked the mini fridge with my favorite flavor of Spindrift seltzer (grapefruit, in case you're wondering).

Afterward, I changed into workout clothes and had another private session with Jared.  We did a little bit of cardio, which was good - previously we'd only been doing strength training because of my oh-so-delicate back.  I suspect I will be a little sore tomorrow but that's the process with getting back into the swing of things.

Since quite a few of you commented that I might be having skin issues of either eczema or rosacea, and my skin hasn't improved on its own, I went to my doctor yesterday.  She said something seemed amiss but wanted me to see a dermatologist to get a better diagnosis.  I lucked into an appointment this morning, so hey, I'll be late for my second day of work!  Sheesh. 

Finally home for the day for good, I had a package waiting on my front porch from my mom, containing a cozy loungewear outfit.  I couldn't wait to put it on but first I had to get it warmed up because it was so cold from being outside all day.  A little while on the heated mattress pad did the trick:
Love the color!  Also, looking a little less fresh-faced than I was in the morning...oh, the life of a working woman!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Things Are Happening!

Is it too late to say that 2019 is finally beginning to start for me?  Or, at least, restart after the sheer awfulness of April - October.  It has been a long time coming, but I have some happy news for a change.

Here's a couple of hints:
  • I bought pants
  • I'm setting an alarm
I know you must be thinking pants?  Doesn't she own any pants?  Well not really.  Nothing more than old jeans, because when you don't work, you don't need a lot of clothes.  I can safely say that I've spent more money on running/workout clothing than on my regular wardrobe over the last five years.  But I needed pants, and I think the universe was with me because I walked into TJ Maxx recently, pulled a handful of pants to try on, and every single pair fit.  WHAT THE WHAT?  That never happens!  And the bonus is that I chose ankle length for all of them which means that they fit my vertically-challenged body so well that nothing needs hemming.  Usually the short or petite length pants are a little too long on me, so this was a miracle.

And after setting my alarm to wake up and exercise early in the morning for a decade, and then not, I'm back to setting it.  But not for running - it's because I'm going back to work!  Well, a little.  Just 15 hours a week, which is enough to get me back on a schedule, but not so much that I won't get to go to my afternoon group workouts, or go to Dallas for a three-day weekend.

I wasn't looking for a job, but a couple of months ago I began thinking that I needed to get some semblance of order back in my life, and without starting my days with running, I didn't have any sense of urgency to get things done. To be fair to myself, I wasn't exactly feeling good.  Understatement much?  Anyway, as I was winding down my PT appointments before surgery, Amanda asked me if I'd be interested in working for her part-time.  She's had her solo practice for three years now and was ready to hire some help so she can stop doing everything (seriously, I don't know how she's done it, along with having a family life).  We worked together about 15 years ago and always had a good rapport, so when she offered me the job, I happily accepted.  Besides, after going to PT every week for over four months, I was thinking that I'd miss being there, and now I won't, because I'll still be there!

I'll be learning some new-to-me things like medical records and insurance preauthorizations, and I'm sure I will have many days where I feel like Ralph Wiggum:

But hopefully I'll advance to the next stage before too long:

So that's the first bit of my news - pants and a job.  There's more but I'll save that for another post.

Friday, November 8, 2019

If This Is Aging, It's BS

Seriously, what in the everloving hell is happening to my face?  I've had oily skin for so long that even when it stopped being such a grease factory, I almost never had to use moisturizer because my face had enough of its own.

But over the last month my skin has become so dry.  I have patches of really dry areas along with an overall dry feeling.  Could this be a side effect of the Gabapentin?  That seems unlikely considering I've used it since April and I've been tapering off of it over the last five weeks.  And it's not because of having the heater on; I think ours only kicked in for a few hours last weekend when the temps dropped to freezing.

I'd love to know if there is a cause behind this, other than aging.  I have a feeling that if I went to a dermatologist, I'd get the standard "well as you age you skin does too" answer, which to me is akin to going to the doctor for a broken arm when you're overweight and him saying "well if you'd just lose weight this wouldn't have happened" and yes I realize I'm exaggerating but anyone who's been overweight has probably heard something like that from their doctor.

I keep trying different products but so far not much has changed.
When it first started happening, I switched my normal-to-oily skin CeraVe face wash to the little tube of Drunk Elephant, and then when that didn't help I bought the Aveeno Ultra Calming wash.  No help.  Now I'm bringing in the big guns (well, in terms of cost) - Cetaphil PRO for dry skin.  I've only used it twice so I don't know if it will help, but it's the most I've ever spent on face wash in my life - $15 - so I'd like to think throwing money at this will be effective.

Then there's the moisturizers.  These are all tiny sizes because I rarely needed to use anything in the past.
The little bottle of Cetaphil lotion was my go-to if I felt like I needed to use moisturizer.  When my face first started hurting I used the little pot of Cetaphil moisturizing cream.  Then I switched to the Clinique moisture surge, which helps most of my face except for the dry patches.  That's when I slather on the La Rouche-Posay balm, which helps but doesn't fix it, if that makes sense.

Am I delusional in thinking that this is not right?  I know I don't see myself for the age that I am, but geez louise, is this what it's like for a woman in her mid-fifties?  I'm calling bullshit.  Any help/advice out there?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

WWU - Fragile, Weak, Strong

I've had two private workouts since my surgery, and while they have been great and it's so good for my mental health to be moving and pushing myself a bit, I have noticed a couple of things that need improvement.

First, I'm noticeably weak.  Everywhere.  I know my muscles need to be built back up, but this is more like a lack of stamina.  My arms get so tired while I work out, and it's not muscle tiredness, it's just weakness, if that makes sense.  My legs are in a similar boat...weirdly not as weak yet that left leg, which was affected by the irritated nerve, doesn't always connect with my brain when it comes to doing some exercises.  It can do them, but it just doesn't do them at times.

The other thing that I have to work on is keeping my form correct.  I can't let myself get sloppy while I work out, and that means I have to concentrate a lot more than I used to in order to keep my core engaged, my tail tucked, my ribs pulled in - my back can't afford any dumb moves on my part.  I have to protect it and I feel a little fragile when it comes to doing things that I used to do without thinking.

I have been really happy to get back to the gym and I'll be rejoining my group, finally, in December.  That can't come soon enough!

Monday, November 4, 2019

What I Did With My Extra Hour Yesterday

(apparently, actually scheduling this post for publishing wasn't one of the things...)

I don't know why, but when the time changes in the fall and we get back the hour we lost last spring, it always feels like the first day has way more than just one extra hour in it. Maybe it's because I can be floofing around looking at earwarmer patterns on Ravelry, only to check the time to see that it's just 9:15 am! What is usually a guilty pleasure at wasting time scrolling through patterns when I could simply be knitting wasn't - I'd satisfied my search quest and still had the entire day ahead of me.  So, along with some normal things like boring kitchen cleaning and laundry, I also:

Knit on this hat:

Now, cables aren't particularly hard, but you do have to count your rows and then use a cable needle when you get to the cable round, but after so. many. months. of not knitting due to brain malfunction, it was a marvel to see this hat progressing.  Side note:  I've been slowly tapering off the Gabapentin and was on 600mg/day when I began this hat; today I start my last week of Gabapentin with 300mg and then I am DONE.


I can watch this on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer...but can't figure out how to watch on our TV, ironically.

Watched the first three episodes of The Morning Show on Apple+ TV, which I didn't know I had until I got an alert on my phone informing me that a free year was included with my new phone.  That was a neat revelation, and I loved the new show.


Transcribed a conversation that our Nest camera captured on Halloween night.  Backstory:  Our street is very hit-or-miss when it comes to getting trick or treaters, and since Jeff was out of town, I decided to forego handing out candy.  I turned off all of our outside lights and didn't have any lights on where they could be seen through the front door windows.  At one point the doorbell rang and Paco shot off my lap to bark his way to the door.  Later on I watched the camera footage and cracked up at their astute logic regarding Paco's barking: 

(kids run up to door)
Ding Dong it!
(princess rings doorbell)
(Paco barking)
A dog!
(serious faces)
That'll wake them up and then they will give us candy.
(more dog barking)
(girl looks up)
They have a security camera.
(they all run away)


Misinterpreted Paco's tap tap tappy toes for wanting to be let outside numerous times before finally realizing that he was leading me to his empty water dispenser - which, to my defense, is located right next to the back door, and I haven't been the person filling it in months thanks to my back - but poor dog, he was thirsty and I just kept making him go in the backyard.


Livetracked my blogger friend Darlene, who was running the NYC Marathon - her very first - yesterday!   I'm so impressed with what she accomplished; congratulations, Darlene!!


How was your first day of the time change?  Did you feel like you had all the time in the world yesterday?