Friday, 30 September 2016

Birthday Wishes

My husband returned home late from Toronto on his birthday yesterday, so we celebrated simply with cupcakes, candles, cards and a gift. Like many men, he is notoriously difficult to buy for. 
I managed to surprise him with a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones from Costco. They are not the latest and greatest model, but still very good and very much appreciated. He thinks they will be perfect for traveling. He assures me they eliminate background noises only; not voices. We'll see about that. I imagine him wandering around the house with his headphones on oblivious to anything I say. 

Happy Birthday to my husband. May all your Birthday Wishes come true. 

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Setbacks and Progress

Two weeks ago, I wrote about being happy with my efforts to add more natural movement to my daily activities. I was feeling good about my progress over the past four months. 

I was feeling good until the unexpected happened. I tried to do a cartwheel while walking the dog with my husband through the park after dark. I had not done a cartwheel in about 20 years, but had been doing handstands for a few months building my strength and confidence. How hard could it be?

Harder than I thought. I tried twice leading with my left leg. It wasn't pretty and didn't feel right. After all these years, I had forgotten how. I tried leading with my right leg. Realizing that wasn't right, I stopped. Unfortunately, my right foot slid forward in the wet grass. I did the splits then collapsed in pain. I had pulled my hamstring. It hurt from my foot to my butt. My husband helped me up asking "What was I thinking?"

I hobbled home discouraged and frustrated all at once. Not only had I failed to complete a cartwheel, now I could barely walk. Biking, squatting and handstands caused pain. This was a serious setback. It happened on Friday night of the long weekend. I rested Saturday and Sunday, then rallied enough to clean our patio cover, window screens and pool on Monday. It felt good to do something useful after two days of rest.

Unfortunately, all that cleaning resulted in another setback. Cleaning irritated my right shoulder. It hurt just to lift my arm. My whole right side was a hurting mess for the rest of the week. I decided to rest some more. I drove instead of biking to work, stopped lifting dumbbells and did not attempt handstands. 

By Friday, I was feeling a bit better and by Saturday, much better. My shoulder felt normal. Squatting continued to hurt, but I could do my dumbbell exercises and handstands. I took this photo using a 10-sec delay with my camera on a stool. It felt good to be making progress again.
Since my mishap, I have watched a few videos explaining how to cartwheel. I want to try again once my hamstring stops hurting. It may seem silly, but I think cartwheeling into old age will help keep me interested in maintaining strength and flexibility. It's these fun sort of challenges I love.

You may be wondering why I haven't mentioned crochet recently. I have been focused more on me and movement; less on crochet since I started sitting on the floor four months ago. It surprises me that after five years of total crochet obsession, I have lost interest. I started a little doll recently. Two arms and two legs are done. I'm not feeling terribly motivated, but will be sure to share photos if I finish.
For a change of pace, I joined a book club this week. The ladies in my Mom's neighbourhood take turns hosting a book club meeting once a month. They get together ostensibly to discuss the book. I went to my first meeting last night. Truthfully, we chatted about all sorts of things while sipping wine and munching snacks. It was fun. 

The London Public Library offers a Book Club in a Bag. You get 10 copies of a book in a bag for a month. They carry a large selection of titles. Our next book "Good to a Fault" by Marina Endicott looks interesting. I will start as soon as I finish the first book. I got my copy of "The Guest Room" by Chris Bohjalian two days ago, so am only half way through. It's a gripping story so far. I can't wait to see what happens next and how it works out in the end.

I am enjoying so many fun things besides crochet these days ... natural movement, reading, blogging and socializing just to name a few. Despite recent setbacks, I have decided to be satisfied with my progress. 

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Puppy in Training

We drove to Guelph yesterday to visit our son and his new Puppy in Training for Autism Dog Services (ADS). He is a 10 week old black lab. His proper name is Ajax, but our son calls him Jax. 

Jax is adorable and so well behaved already. We took him with us to the Wellington Country Marketplace near Guelph where he donned his ADS cape and wandered about posing for photos. As a Puppy in Training for ADS, this cape grants him access to places most dogs are not welcome.
Back at the house, Jax loved his new toy - a bear stuffed with empty water bottles. This gift from my parents keeps him happily occupied.
For dinner, we decided to try a restaurant nearby York Rd Kitchen and Chocolate Bar. We all piled into our son's car. The back seat in his Matrix is surprisingly spacious and comfy. Jax sat in front enjoying the view.
At the restaurant, Jax settled down at our feet before falling asleep. He was tired after a busy afternoon visiting the market and playing with his new toy. Jax slept right through dinner. What a good boy.
Jax has been with our son for almost a week already. I think they make a great team. He loves taking care of Jax. I am impressed with how he is managing his time with two jobs and a puppy. He's busy, but very happy with his Puppy in Training. All is good in Guelph these days.

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Monday, 5 September 2016

Picture This

Today I tackled a job I have been putting off for ages. I finally cleaned our Natural Light patio cover and our second floor window screens. 

A paper wasp nest from last year which had been re-purposed as a bird's nest had fallen in the corner a couple months ago making a terrible mess of both the patio cover and our window screens over time. 

The ladder was not high enough for me to clamber on top of the patio cover. I used it to carry the bucket, hose and squeegee up placing them on the corner ready to use. I figured I could climb out the window.
Picture This - I managed to squeeze through this gap perching on the rough brick window ledge but then I was stuck. My feet didn't reach the patio cover. I'm not good with heights, so I was afraid to jump. I couldn't climb back in because, like I said, it was a tight fit. I didn't want to risk breaking the window. I just needed someone to bring me a stool to put under my feet. Unfortunately, my husband was working on cars in front of the house. To get his attention, I sat on the ledge yelling his name which made our poodle bark. I couldn't help but see the humour in my predicament.
Thank goodness our neighbour Judy heard my cries and came to the rescue relaying a message to my husband. After some discussion my husband brought me this stool which did the trick. I managed to climb down to clean our patio cover. These photos were taken after cleaning. I love how it looks all shiny and new again.
It took a fair amount of scrubbing with the squeegee, mop, hose and microfiber wipes, but it was worth the effort. I'm so glad I finally worked up the nerve to get this job done. 

I hope you're all enjoying a happy and safe holiday weekend too. 

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