Task Master

9 Sep

Over the course of my speckled career I’ve joined any number of exercise groups. I belonged to Spa Lady until they went out of business, and Curves until the same thing happened. (Do I detect a pattern, here?)  After he retired, The Squire and I joined Gold’s Gym until the loud music and fit-inducing videos drove us out. Seriously, the high-speed films made me feel as if I was about to have an epileptic seizure, and I had to wear “ear goggles” because of the noise.

About four years ago, we joined the local YMCA, and decided it was going to be a “job”, one we took up three days a week.  No point in paying money if we didn’t keep at it, which we did. Both of us benefitted from it, and looked good.   In September, 2014, I had surgery on my hand, which put me out of commission for a couple of months.  And then, a year later, I had surgery on my neck to repair and replace two ruptured discs.  Again, I was unable to work out for several months.

The Squire kept going to the Y, and I kept making excuses.

He keeps pushing me to get up off my duffle bag and come along, so I agreed to start up again when we got home from vacation. And he made me keep my promise.

Stinker.

We went up on Thursday afternoon and again today. My number is no longer in the system and I can’t remember most of what I was doing, but I keep plugging along. I did pick up some info on aerobics and such, and I think I’ll do much better with that, then I would with the machines.

We’ll see what Monday brings.

 

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Out and Back

7 Sep

The Squire and I left last Thursday morning to head off for the wilds of Tennessee and Nawth Caro-lina.  We stopped in Winchester to visit our youngest daughter and her husband, and then set off for Newport.  We stopped on the way down at a little shop and picked up a sub for dinner; not quite sure why a foot long sub costs a dollar less than two six inch sandwiches, but there you are. I grabbed a bag of “Fried Green Tomato” potato chips. They did not bear the slightest resemblance to any FGT I’d ever tasted, and cost considerably more than they were worth, to boot.

We stayed with our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Rector, in Newport. Visiting them is always a real homecoming! Managed to leave The Squire’s trousers hanging on the back of the door, but, bless ’em, they’d mailed the long pants to us, and they were waiting at the post office this morning. We reached Canton, NC mid-afternoon on Friday, and settled in with another of his sisters.

It took me several years to sort out his family, as he not only has siblings, but half-siblings in both directions. AND, his mother was one of eleven children. My mum was an only child, and I had one sister. We can have a family reunion in a phone booth and there’s room for an extra chair. They rent a pavilion in a state park.

Anyway, the Canton High School Class of 1962 fifty-fifth reunion was a grand success. The staff had hired a caterer, since so many of us no longer live in the area, which makes pot-luck tricky,  and had made sure there was something for myself and two other vegetarians to eat.  Portobello mushrooms, stuffed with – crabmeat?  “No, ma’am. That’s grated zucchini and Old Bay.” Niiice.

We had to stop on the way home from the party to find The Squire a pair of slacks so he had something to wear to church, and replaced the ones we left in Newport. Lawsy, but I hate Wal-Mart!

We attended St. Andrew’s-on-the-Hill in Canton – of course, just about everything in Canton is on-the-hill. It is rather reminiscent of Gatlinburg; it’s uphill in every direction. An Escher drawing come to life!  There was a supply priest at St. Andrew’s – “The Rev. Walter Bryan; Have stole, will travel” – who had such a resonant voice it sounded almost as if he was chanting when he was only speaking.  The nice thing about the Episcopal Church is that no matter how far you roam, on Sunday morning, you are always back home.

Monday, we took the widow of The Squire’s best friend high school to lunch, and on Tuesday we went to the public library to do some genealogy research. It is jarring to  Yankee sensibilities to see a sign on the library door saying “No Food, No Drinks, No  Weapons”.  He did find lots of information on his family, so it was a day well spent. We got a suggestion from the librarian for a local restaurant, and had lunch in a converted car dealership, now a craft brewery.  A burger for him, a flatbread pizza for me, and a pint of Slippery Rock Ale to share.

We headed back home yesterday – Wednesday – and got back about 6:30, which was very good time.  We stopped for lunch in Troutville, VA to eat at a delightful restaurant called Angelle’s Diner.  We try to avoid chains as much as possible, so we bypassed the Mickey D’s next door to go where the locals seem to eat.  Great food, onion rings to die for, and nice, nice people.

We hit the driveway here at 6:20. Blazer’s leash was in my car, so I hopped out of one vehicle and into another, and sailed off to rescue the puppy, while The Squire went in search of victuals. Both the cat and dog were glad to see us.  Eddie wouldn’t get more than three feet from us, and then sat outside the bedroom door at 1AM and yelled. I let him in and he jumped on the bed, loved me for a while and then settled down with his back against The Squire and snored most of the night. This is not  common behaviour around here, but letting him sleep with us was easier than arguing about it.

 

 

 

It’s in the Blood

27 Aug

This morning, my feet were so swollen I couldn’t get into any of my shoes, and you could trace the rash’s progress up my legs –  a blister about every two or three inches up to my groin, in more or less a straight line.

The Squire went off to church, and I tried to find something to wear. When he got home, he helped me wrap my feet in gauze, to both protect them and squish them down so I could put something on my feet, other than fuzzy bedroom slippers.  (Yes, I know there are people who go out in public that way, but I’m not one of them.  Anyway, my slippers are in the attic with my winter clothes. ) Properly shod, we trotted off to Patient First.  I took that lovely picture of Lynn and me to show the doctor how badly I can blow up, and explained that when I was eight the doctor had told my mum that the poison was in my blood and they needed to keep a watch on any future cases. I got a rash on my scalp and on my eyelids. It is a mighty wonder I’m not blind.  And when that was over, I got boils.

Anyway, I explained to the doctor that while I realized PI was a “minor” complaint, I didn’t like the way this case was playing out.  She traced my spots up my leg and allowed as how she’d never seen such a thing, and gave me prednisone.

We stopped for lunch at a pizza place called Pie Five. You can select your crust – thin, Italian, yeast raised, or gluten free. Four or five sauces, and as many toppings as you wish. I was able to pile on double mushrooms, Kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes, and a few slices of mild-hot peppers. The Squire indulged his taste for “dead animals” and got pepperoni, sausage and bacon! A salad and breadsticks to share topping it all off. A bit more expensive than we expected, but we can eat again on the leftovers.

Bringing home a frozen pizza and cooking it in you oven may be handy, but honestly, you can’t beat a properly made pizza parlor pie.

Say that three times quickly.

 

 

One of Those Days

26 Aug

About a week ago, the blade belt on the tractor broke just as The Squire finished the front lawn. He called and ordered a replacement, which arrived this morning.  He and I both worked on getting the belt on the machine, which involved a lot of heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and cursing.  Remove the deck, fuss and fiddle with the various pulleys, get bolts through holes, insert pins, etc. Very hard on knuckles and knees.

So – after several hours of this business, we finally got the tractor in working order.  The Squire hopped on and headed out to mow the back yard. He got about twenty feet, and the drive belt broke! We will draw a curtain over the scene that followed.

Many years ago, The Squire had my godson, Steven, help him with this job, and that young man suggested simply turning the mower on its side. Ah, if only that worked!

After dinner, I discovered I’d managed to get poison ivy on my feet. No idea how that happened. I can catch the darned stuff if the wind is in the right quarter, so I am pretty careful.  A year or so back, I got rash on the back of my calf, which I finally figured out came from the cuff of my boots; apparently I had walked through a patch of poison ivy and the oil was still “active” several months later.

ADDENDUM

The above was written last night.  I now have poison ivy all over my legs! I sleep on my back, with one leg or the other hooked under the opposite knee – think flamingos – and I seem to have spread the rash from my left foot to my right leg. Scratching it in my sleep didn’t help a bit!  Lovely. Just lovely.  I made up some aspirin and hand lotion and dabbed it on the spots, which killed the pain.  I wanted to get a pedicure on Monday, but that’s out of the question, now.

 

 

Chow Hound

21 Aug

ChowhoundWhen I woke up at 2 AM for my regular middle-of-the-night ramble, Blazer was sitting outside the bedroom door.

With his dish in his mouth.

I put him outside to make a puddle, while I did pretty much the same thing, and then we both went back to bed. I got up “for real” at 7 AM, and fed him.

After we had both eaten our breakfasts, I went into the den to check my email. Turned around and he was staring at me.

Honestly, you’d think he never got fed.

How’s the Weather?

19 Aug

It started to rain just as I left work last night, and poured stair rods all the way home.

The entire twenty-four mile trip was made in a downpour hard enough to make the wipers practically useless. The streets were so deep in water it was as if I was driving down the center of a river, and the air had that funky smell you get when you clean out the gutters.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a fish to swim past the windshield.  I’ve driven those roads for fifteen years or more, and I still managed to drop off into a ditch coming over Sunshine Avenue. The lightening seemed to be directly overhead, and the thunder was  loud enough to make one jump.

When I got home, The Squire was nervously pacing up and down up and down the patio, keeping an eye on the stream bank, and stray items were picked up and stacked on the picnic table and in the cart.

Of course, I hadn’t been in the house fifteen minutes before the worst of the storm passed, and by the time I went out to feed the local wildlife, the sun was poking through the clouds. The dishes were completely full of water, so it looked as if we’d gotten two inches of rain in about a half an hour.

Today is cooler, but that’s not much help when the humidity is higher than the temperature. To quote on of my favorite authors, it’s as if I’m breathing Jell-O.

 

 

M & Ms and OCD

15 Aug

When I get a bag of multi-coloured candy, whether it be Gummy Bears, Robin Eggs, Skittles, or  M & Ms, I have to sort through and find out how many different colours are in there.

Six? Then I will have one of each colour, and always eaten in the same order, usually in the same order as the colour wheel – red, orange, yellow, green and blue. And the brown one by itself.  When I run out of one colour, then I will have five candies. Not five of one shade and an extra to make six.  Five. Then four. Three. Two.

And then the last odd ones sit in the jar for ever.

I keep my coloured pencils in colour wheel order: black, red, orange, yada, yada, and brown on the far end. A box of 64 Crayolas can send me into a nervous swivet!

And I’m not really OCD. I’m CDO, so the letters are in the correct order!