Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day

 As you enjoy this three-day weekend...

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thankful for Thursday


Image courtesy of IMGBIN.

I like the weekdays just fine, to be honest. I get stuff done. As the regular readers know, I like routine. There's a day for everything and a task for every day. Oh, man--that's an awful bastardization of the maxim. :0) But it's true.

On the other hand, I do enjoy my weekends, and who doesn't love a long weekend? One extra day to sleep in or to just get other, random stuff done. I personally think there should be a long weekend every month. Who says no?

Now this long weekend, this Saturday, my besties are coming over for a day of writing, brainstorming, and general visiting. I haven't seen them in person since April, and sometimes we all miss just being together. During that first stretch of COVID lock downs, we met every week via Zoom to connect and uplift one another.

from l-r: Gina, Regina, Susie, Clover, Chrissy, me

We've been a group since the early 2010s; and what a motley group we are in a variety of ways. But these women have loved me and supported me and offered their friendship and experience and knowledge over the years. Each one of them is a treasured gift from God.

The picture above doesn't include our dear friend Michelle who passed in February. She was part of our original group, but due to her medical issues wasn't able to travel much as the years marched on.

I'm so thankful for each one of them.


Monday, May 22, 2023

Miscellaneous Monday


Hello again...

Two games into the Western Conference Final and the Stars are down two games. :0( The series comes to Dallas and the next two games are here: Tuesday and Thursday. I can't image the Stars losing two games at home, but the losses in Vegas were the first back to back losses they've had so far this playoffs. It's a whole new ball game. We're playing a team that is more our match than our first two opponents. It's going to a long series, even if it's a short one. *sigh*


On a completely different train of thought...don't you just love it when the universe converges on you in a good way? I've been reading some books and working on some things. I'm not sure which came first, but they're intermingled and completely related.

And this fascinating phenomena is happening; the more I work on a thing or think about a thing, the more the universe feeds me more information on that thing. And most of the non-fiction books that I've read this say that this very thing could / would happen.

And it's amazing.

And the books that I've read (or plan to) have been recommended by different people in different tracks of my life.

And speaking of books... so this latest recommendation... I clicked the link that took me to Amazon. The Kindle version is $12.99--way more than I'm inclined to pay for an ebook--but the hardback version is only $6.49 or thereabouts. And so I was considering this, although I'm not keen on physical books that much anymore.

But then--lightning strikes. I have the online library remember--with not one, but two library systems now at my disposal. (hee hee) So I open up that library app and search for this book, and--lo and behold--it's available for virtual checkout! Not right away, mind, there's a four week wait, but I put a hold on it. And that's fine because I'm in the middle of another book I want to finish first. So it all worked out.

But man--there's the universe looking out for me again.

I finally finished one of the other non-fiction books I'd picked out and that was a slog, but more on that book later.


I thought I had more to share today, but I guess I don't, so I'll sign off for now.

Have a great week.


Thursday, May 18, 2023

World Bee Day ~ May 20


Image courtesy

Celebrate the bees on World Bee Day, coming Saturday May 20th.

According to The Bee Conservancy, there are 4000 + species of bees native to North America; 1 in 4 species is in danger of extinction; and 1 of every three bites of food is a direct result of a pollinator...

So we need to save the bees somehow.

Here are five easy ways to help do so: (courtesy of Heifer International; for more details, click the link)

1. Let Your Lawn Get Back To Its Roots
2. Just Say No to Pesticides and Herbicides
3. Keep a Bee Garden
4. Shop Responsibly
5. Bee Informed

Have a great weekend and skip the lawn mower this weekend, eh? Let the bees have a smorgasbord.


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Western Conference Final -- Here We Come!



Image courtesy Wikipedia & the NHL.

My Dallas Stars took the second round against the Seattle Kraken with a game seven win last night. It was nail biter for Stars fans even though the many of the hockey writers / pod casters I read / listen to seem to think the series was boring...

The Stars now move on to the third round, also known as the Conference Final--Western--in our case and will play the Vegas Golden Knights who punched their ticket Sunday night.

Vegas has depth, but not as good of a goalie as the Stars do.

Our goalie, Jake Oettinger, is said to be the best tendy of the four teams left playing. We also have what's been touted as the best top forward line for two regular seasons running. And not just by me. :0)

We're looking at the Carolina Hurricanes or the Florida Panthers coming out of the Eastern Conference to play in the Stanley Cup Final.

Carolina has the more suspect goal tending and a few more injuries, although that hasn't slowed them down much... So I think I'd rather the Stars play Carolina. The Panthers' goalie has gotten hot at just the right time, so I think facing him would be a tougher challenge for our team.

Have a great week.


Monday, May 15, 2023

Happy Mother's Day :0)


If you're a mom, I hope yesterday was as good a day as you could have had. I know it can be a challenging day for some for various reasons, so I don't expect that it was a happy, delightful day for everyone.

But I had the day I wanted, which was basically doing whatever I wanted. That included working on hockey book five, napping, and having cereal for every meal. Yes, indeed I did.

This past Thursday, May 11th, was National Eat What You Want Day, so I combined the two and opted to eat whatever I wanted on Mother's Day and everyone else followed the menu.

My challenge was choosing between cereal and pumpkin cake, but I opted for cereal because there's no prep other than buying the cereal and the milk and because I haven't had any cereal other than Cheerios since last year.

And let me say, my Frosted Mini Wheat with chocolate milk was DEEEEE-licious!

I also received a wonderful, much-appreciated gift from the brown-eyed girl and her soulmate: a puzzle easel and a puzzle.

From DD, I got a cross stitch frame (to hold projects while you work on them) and a set of three wooden patriotic gnomes. And of course, she's my hockey partner in crime.

Sonshine gifted me with a phone call.

DH left me to my own devices.

Rascal and Waldo gave me their usual love and affection.

The weather was wet and on the dreary side, but that meant that no yard work was calling my name and allowed me to stay housebound guilt free. Not that I would have felt guilty anyway. :0)

Here's to a great week... Catch you on Thursday.


Thursday, May 11, 2023

Carb Cycling / Workout Intensity Cycling Update


Image courtesy of Vecteezy.

We're coming up to the end of week three on the carb cycling / workout-intensity cycling program we've been on...

For the most part, it's been good. I've lost a few pounds, although I've seemed to reach a minor plateau.

We altered the schedule slightly after the first week to accommodate DH standing networking lunch so he can enjoy a few more things on the menu at the restaurant the group meets at.

And although I wasn't looking forward to the prospect at the outset of this plan, I am enjoying cooking again. This whole thing has had the added benefit of helping me keep up with #3 (exercise 3x per week) and achieve #10 (cook/eat healthy) on the fresh start goals list.

There have been a couple of (very) minor challenges.

One is to balance the types of protein we're ingesting. So when I'm menu planning--because, yes, I have to do that now--I have make sure it's not all red meat/beef. It's too easy to do that. Also DH likes his tacos two to three times a week, so that means just about everything else has to be pork, chicken, or fish.

Another is to balance the menu so we're not having the same protein for lunch and dinner...

A third--not so much a challenge as a streamlining process--is to plan meals that I can use up in later meals or freeze for later weeks. Chili, for example. A batch of chili is very high carb and contains red meat. Way more of both than we can consume in a week. Luckily it freezes well so I can freeze leftovers for later in the month.

And lastly, for me specifically, has been finding high intensity workouts with all low impacts on the body. My hips and knees are not quite ready for that yet. And I'm not convinced I need high impact at all either. I've been gathering various specific exercises from different videos and creating my own conglomeration of exercises. Then I can mix and match for my two high intensity days and also work up from five minutes to ten to, maybe, fifteen, down the road.

This plan has definitely kept my body on its toes, though. I've had bouts of extreme exhaustion just come upon me at certain times of day when I shouldn't feel like that. On all days too, not just the high intensity workout day. I might not be getting enough calories or I might need to shift my fasting window so I begin consuming calories sooner. It'll require some monitoring and note taking to pinpoint what's causing that.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, May 8, 2023

The Story of A Dog


Let's talk about Rascal...

It was a year in mid-March that I met Rascal (and Rudy)(and Waldo) in person and it'll be year in mid-May that Rascal (and Rudy)(and Waldo) arrived to live in our home.

When I arrived in Oregon, the dogs had the run of the house and, due to her deteriorating health status, Mom was barely caring for them. They were not being let out on a regular basis, and I'll let you infer the status of the carpet from that...

But in I step--making sure all the critters were fed on a regular schedule and forcing the dogs outside despite the cold and wet to do their business. They liked the regular feedings; the going outside--not so much. But we finally wrangled a detente into place where they did their business outside during the day, but potty pads were left in strategic places at night.

Fast forward to Texas...

The dogs were taken outside multiple times a day and kept out until they did their business. At night they were crated. And slowly, slowly, slowly they learned. They still made incorrect choices, but as long as we got them outside within fifteen or twenty minutes of eating, we were usually fine.

Eventually, we left them uncrated with Mom overnight along with a potty pad and they mostly did well.

But there came a time when they were more irritation to Mom than comfort and so the little doggos were crated at night once more...

Fast forward yet again to August and Mom's passing. I really had no intention of keeping either dog. As you know, Rayna wasn't keen on other dogs and I had to keep a vigilant eye on things and we lived in a "gated community." Not fun.

Rudy, thank goodness, quickly found a home. He was very high maintenance.

But there were no takers for Rascal (or Waldo) and here we are nine months later, having accepted the fact that Rascal (and Waldo) will remain ours until they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. Sadly, between major weather disasters, the economy, and the post-covid pet dilemma, there's a glut of pets in the world.

And now, after all that, I can finally get to my point. Which is that Rascal has become a much better version of himself than the one I first met.

Mom was a perfectly fine pet owner. She cared for them properly and took care of vaccinations as needed, but it seems she wasn't one of those "extra" kind of owners. Not as extra as I am. And I'm not as extra as others.

Rascal has flourished under the love and attention he gets. He's also a very good watch dog. He likes to let us know whenever there are people in front of our house: the neighbors, the Amazon delivery driver, the mail carrier... You get the idea.

And Mom would just yell at him to shut the "F" up, which rarely seemed to work. So we started thanking him. After all, he's just trying to his "job," right? And that seems to work for everyone but DH and DD. I guess since they come all the way up to the door and then they come inside...

He doesn't bark at me at all, of course. I'm his person now, the hand that feeds him. But we need to figure out some way to get him to cease and desist or not bark at all once he identifies the two of them.

DH suggested that he and DD offer him a special treat when they arrive home. So I dutifully found some biscuits that only the two of them get to offer him. These treats are nothing like the ones I use to reward him for entering his crate each night for bed. Nor has he received one from my hand.

I'm not sure how it's working at this point. It's been a week and he still barks until they're in the house and handing him the treat. The issue is, I think, he's on the lookout for me and not for them. So when either of them arrive home, it's just someone trying to get into the house. On the other hand, he has seen DD pull up and walk up to the house and to the door, barking his fool head off the whole time. So I really don't know. We might need to keep working on this one. :0)

And that's the story of my dog Rascal.

Also it's Teacher Appreciation Week--so appreciate a teacher!

Have a super week.


Thursday, May 4, 2023

Physical Therapy


Image courtesy IMGBIN.

After receiving my diagnosis of bursitis back in February, I was prescribed physical of the adductor muscles on my left side was super tight. In addition to that, I needed exercises to increase flexibility and strength in my lower back & hips.

A lot of what I had to do was similar in nature to yoga, so it wasn't anything I didn't know or couldn't handle. I contemplated canceling my final appointment, but stuck with it just in case there was some final bump I could take advantage of. There wasn't.

The lesson there: trust my body and my instincts.

I also took advantage of a virtual physical therapy program called Hinge Health paid for by my health insurance company. And might possibly be covered by yours. Check it out if you have aches and pains and see if it could be of use to you.

Anywho-- I received a free kit containing a stand for my tablet, a couple of sensors, and some resistance bands. In addition to that, you're paired up with an actual coach who'll interact with you and answer questions. I was skeptical about that coach at first, but I never received canned auto responses and came to realize it was an actual person on the other end.

As for the PT, all you have to do is download the app onto your phone or tablet and do your prescribed routine two to three times per week. I actually use my Hinge Health exercises as warmup for my other regular workouts, so I'm doing them six to seven times a week.

Image courtesy of Hinge Health.

And it turns out that HH offers therapy programs for many different body parts/joints as well as another therapy track of interest...women's care for pelvic floor issues. Pelvic disorders are more prevalent during various times in women's lives, including menopause--in which I'm firmly in the middle of. Something to keep in my back pocket should issues arise. :0)

I recently attended the follow-up appointment with the orthopedic doc who was pleased by my progress and thinks we can get me to a state of no pain. On the other hand, all he did was prescribe another couple of rounds of Celebrex and increase the reps of a certain exercise and ask me to schedule yet another follow up in two months.

I'm strongly considering canceling that appointment because A) according to the front desk lady, I need to get my referral re-issued--which I had to do in the first place because it was issued for the wrong body part, so I'm not sure why I have to do it again... And B) why do I need to pay another $80 co-pay for the same appointment results? I'll make a determination the closer I get.

The lesson here: trust my body and my instincts.

I've been told by both the physical therapist and the HH coach that I seem very in tune with my body, so gonna stick with trusting myself.

But it was a useful exercise and my adductor muscle is definitely looser / better than it was in the beginning, so as long as I continue with the Hinge Health in the morning and the physical therapy in the evenings--and yes, I do take days off (Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings)--I should be back to normal-ish in another month or two or three.

Then I can move onto solving the next issue. :0)

Have a great weekend.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Miscellaneous Monday


Let's Catch Up, Shall We...?


Mason Marchment hugs goalie Jake Oettinger.

Well, how 'bout dem Stars? Yup, our boys in Victory Green won the first round against the Minnesota Wild. In a shocking turn of events, the Seattle Kraken eliminated reigning champs the Colorado Avalanche, and so we'll play the Kraken in the second round. Round Two starts Tuesday at the American Airlines Center

DD and I had hoped to attend at least one game in each series, but tickets for series two are already over $100 each and I really can't justify that. Not with everything else I'm trying to do. Maybe when they reach the Stanley Cup Final... But in the mean time, it's gonna be watch parties.

* * * * *

The author event at the library a couple of weeks ago went well. I had two titles at two different price points available and sold one of each. Woo hoo! I also donated one of the historicals to the library.

Shout out to Alison Long at the Haltom City Public Library, who is made of awesomesauce. The event was lovely as it always is. And... While I was there, I got a library card so that I now have a second library system's e-book collection to check books out of!

* * * * *

We're no longer trying to re-home Waldo and Rascal. I'm officially their new mom. I've been working on a post about Rascal so that'll be coming along in a bit.

* * * * *

I have finally taken the plunge back into writing. Well, revisions mostly. As I've mentioned more than once, I put writing aside last year when Mom happened. I was right in the middle of a book at the time, so it's been sitting there and those boys have been waiting patiently for me to finish telling their tale.

In June, I'm going to my annual writers retreat, and I wanted to work on this particular book. I know it isn't ready for me to make any kind of writing progress on it and that I'd need to read it through to figure out what's what.

Well, I dove in and let me tell you--that manuscript is a hot mess on fire in a dumpster. So many inconsistencies not only in the timeline, but in the story path I wanted to take. So that's what I've been doing. Asking and answering questions, making decisions, and untangling the knots I created for myself.

It's challenging and frustrating, but it also feels really good. :0)

* * * * *

On a writing side-note, I got the cover for book six in hopes that it would motivate me to finish book five. I want to complete the series sooner rather than later, and I can't move on to Six before I finish Five.

I'm pleased with it.

Have a super week. Catch you Thursday. Also: