Thursday, August 20, 2009

Working From Home

This week I am working from home. The hours are odd but the payoff is that I am home. I work from as early as I can get up - so far 4:30 is the earliest - until sometime in the middle of the day, take long break and work again for a couple of hours in the evening. I am doing online indexing of the documents we had scanned so I can do it from anywhere I have access to the internet. Today I am working two laptops, one from work and my laptop. I have a nice workstation set up surrounding my favorite chair. It is working out nice.

I have physical therapy three days each week so this schedule is works well for that because I have a block of time in the day where I am not working. My back is a bit of a mess, with arthritic things going on, but we are working on it. I am devoted to taking care of it without drugs and surgery. My doctor is optimistic about physical therapy type things. I am doing my exercises and showing up regularly. Right now we are using traction. It is my cervical spine, and it is from the accident over a year ago. I have not settled with the insurance company yet and I am glad of that. This could go on for a while. I am not willing to live life with so much pain. Physical therapy is nice because it is time just for me, for my well being.

Speaking of my well being, I got my blood results and I was a bit disappointed. My cholesterol ratio was 3 something which is good and my good cholesterol was high, but I was still above range in the bad cholesterol. To be honest, I should lose the last ten pounds and get on with a better diet. I still indulge in things not so great to eat. I have been content at my weight range but if I am going for the best health, I should take a look at changing my diet and sticking with it. I am happy that my exercise is good again, but I need an overhaul in the food department. Although I am way better than I used to be, there is much room for improvement.

I started a health binder. I put my blood work results, the suggested food plan information the doctor sent, and my notes on developing my program. It is a start. I will add to it and keep it in the kitchen. One nice thing about being at home is that I can cook better food to have on hand. I cooked a supply of steel cut oats yesterday, and some beans. I am able to track better when I am not on the go so much. I want to do this but I don't want to stress over it either. I have so much change going on with the ups and downs of the final days of the job that I have put off taking on any stringent food plans, but just a plan with some flexibility would make my life lower stress in the long run. So that is where I am with my food issues.

I took another happy bike ride on Sunday but I have not had any exercise excursions so far this week due to my odd work hours. I am going to find a way to fit in my exercise since in the morning when I used to do my workout I am on the computer and I cannot deviate from that time frame. So mid day will be open and also some time in the evening. It just takes commitment.

It's been a weird feeling off and on about all this work flux. My boss insists that this project be finished by my last day on October 2nd. I think that is unrealistic but I am working with her on trying to find a way. I may be supervising another crew soon so I am going to enjoy my time at home. In two weeks I will be supervising and training one person so my home hours will be interrupted but I will be working at that nice off site location by the river and my favorite coffee house.. Nothing is permanent, especially when your boss wants you gone by October 2nd!!

Speaking of coffee, for my health I also think perhaps I should give up caffeine, but right now I just can't do it...

More will be revealed..

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Birthday, Bike Paths, Baby Pools and Back to School...

It's the end of my action packed four day weekend - complete with a birthday on Thursday, a back to school shopping marathon on Friday, bike adventure on Saturday and waterplay on Sunday.

Thursday was my birthday and I love this picture my daughter drew in my card. She put all the things I'd been enjoying on my dog walks into the picture. My sister and my niece took us to the St. Louis City Museum. It is an unusual, very fun place. Broken toe prohibited many activities but I managed to climb a little, play a little, relax a little and have a very great time. Daughter stayed with me while grandson ran off with niece to do the sliding, climbing, running activities. This is a place I'd highly recommend to anyone visiting our city. Google it if you are curious. It has rooftop Ferris Wheel, an old airplane and a school bus hanging off the roof that you can climb inside. It would take more than an entire post to describe it. There is even a small circus performance on one floor.. See below for pictures. In the evening daughter and her friends went with me for a moonlit walk along the riverfront with the dog. We sat on a bench and moon gazed. It was a perfect way to end the day.

Friday I took daughter shopping literally all day long. It was the best shopping day ever. We shopped the hard stuff (bras) the fun stuff (shoes) the challenging stuff (jeans) and rarely had a snit. Broken toe was in a homemade splint but it still gave me trouble and being on my feet was tedious so we took breaks, ate, sat, had coffe, etc. We ran into a friend of hers late in the day so I took myself to coffee and read a book I stumbled upon while they finished up the shopping. I am amazed at how well we did. The best shopping experience was a place called Aerie (American Eagle) for bras. We had the best service, actual salespeople helping her personally, very nice dressing rooms, and a wide selection at a very good price..

But one of my best weekend experiences was my Saturday morning unexpected biking adventure. I finally fit my bike in my car and took it to the local biking trail. I thought it would be flat and somewhat boring on the stretch I was taking but I wanted a workout and broken toe will not permit much else. Plus, I could bike to favorite coffee shop from the trail. Along the way I spotted a path off of the main trail. It was a dirt path into the woods going toward the river. It was intriguing to say the least. It was rugged, woodsy and very challenging. I loved it. Little dips and hills, twists and turns, narrow and winding with trees everywhere. An obstacle course!
I'd never biked anything like that! And the payoff, a quiet bench overlooking the river to take a rest and read my meditations. I thought I may never find my way back at one point (it was a long loop) but I made it, sweaty and proud. I biked back on the easy trail and rode up to Main Street to the coffee shop feeling like I earned my yummy ground and brewed to order cup of the best coffee I have ever had. I felt a sense of accomplishment and belonging. I see other bikers there regularly and one of them noticed I had my bike. It was totally cool. She told me they bike from across the river so today I found the trail they bike that crosses the bridge. I took an evening trek across the bridge in the heat. I loved it. Breaking my toe has taken me to a new level of cycling.

To finish off the weekend I added water. Daughter and I have been dreaming of swimming pools. We don't have access to any currently. One weekend we agreed we'd even take a small baby pool to lie in. This morning I went out to buy trash bags and ran across a small eight foot in diameter pool that only gets a little over two feet deep. It looked enticing - manageable and deep enough to submerge ourselves. It was cute. I brought it home and filled it up. I could not resist. It fit nicely in my little open space and it was very refreshing. We had fun blowing up a couple of baby toys to float in it and it got daughter outside for a change. It was also a refreshing way to end my day after the bridge bike ride.

What a great weekend. With the pool and the bike my broken toe is not keeping me from getting exercise!

See pictures below.

The narrow winding path - it was enchanting

Quiet bench along the path..

Riding the rooftop Ferris Wheel and climbing ..there was a time when I may not have thought I could fit through that hole.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My New Passion

I have taken to photographing dogs when I am out walking on the riverfront. I always ask, and have not been turned down yet. I love the challenge. This tough brute hid from me and peeked out from behind a garbage can. Must be camera shy. I enjoy the interaction with people and animals that this new passion has given me.
I took Monday (tomorrow) off so I could have a long weekend. Wednesday I got my official notice of my last day of work. I was supposed to get it Friday but my boss was taking off for a long weekend so I got it early. I still have the same last day... October 2nd. I had for prepared for getting notice by having a long weekend set up and also a therapist appointment on Wednesday. I thought it might hit me hard. It did, but it was a tidal wave of joy. I can't explain it but I have been elated and excited ever since. It was a huge relief. Something to look forward to. My sabbatical, my paid extended leave, my new life. My next adventure. There are so many good things about it I'd need an entire post to list them all. But for now I will just say that I am very happy.
I kicked off my long weekend by breaking my middle toe. .. I accidentally ran into my ten pound weight with my foot on the way to the closet. Further evidence that my bedroom is indeed the most dangerous place I go. The weight was camouflaged by a pile of clothes. I normally put the weights in a certain place but most likely was in a hurry that morning and set them down after the workout and forgot.
The hurt toe changed some of my plans but not all. I still took a very long dog walk with a friend Saturday morning. I just limped and went slow. I needed to move around, I think it was jammed, too. It popped and crackled a bit. I really have not slowed down until today (Sunday) because I had family in from CA - sister and one of the nieces. We all had dinner Friday night, and then I met up with them on Saturday after long dog walk and we visited brother in his new place. Saturday evening I visited my best friend from high school who recently moved to our old neighborhood. Whew! did I do all that? It was great, every bit of it.
Today I have slowed down. Instead of a long riverfront walk I parked close to the coffee house and went in and read, relaxed and savored my coffee. I took daughter and a friend and dropped them off at the theme park, taking the scenic route home. I did have to grocery shop but that's the most strenuous thing I've done all day. We were going to rock climb at the waterfalls tomorrow but the kids and I agreed that there may be no worse place for a broken toe than the rocky river falls. So we may do a matinee. I just love being off, being home and being in my happy places with the people I love.
I feel so good. I had to ask therapist and good friend who is also a therapist if I was delusional or something. They said no, that I just had a good attitude and a positive healthy outlook. I have been working hard laying a foundation for living. Maybe I am reaping the benefits in this time of need..
I can bike ride with the hurt toe, so this evening I am planning a nice ride around sunset. Right now I want to catch up on all the blogs and see how you guys are doing!!
More will be revealed!