Just a follow up to my earlier post. See the dairy farm in that one photo? Jim heard that 15 cows were killed when the the roof of one of the barns collapsed. That's the kind of winter it's been- even harder on the animals than on the humans.
Only about a year (or two?) later than expected. I did 3.1 with Patches on mostly dirt roads this morning. I still can't run quite the whole time but I'm getting there. It's a great feeling. Winter running in particular can be a source of joy for me. It's a combination of things- the frozen landscape, the light, being warm at the core despite the outer cold, the silence of the woods. This has been such a winter here in New England- it helps is to embrace it. I've been making a point of spending at least a little time outdoors every day- running or not.
I have the luxury of it being a choice since my semi-ruined arm exempts me from shoveling. I try to focus on the perks that come with this- especially since the recent news that there is absolutely no survival benefit in total lymph node dissection (the procedure that caused said arm wreckage). Whatever...just another item to add to my list of reasons to view doctors and the authority of modern medicine with some healthy skepticism. The arm is what it is, and nowadays I find I can mostly do what I want with it. I think hefting Elliot around for the last year and a half has helped. As he's gotten heavier I've gotten stronger. Funnest weight training ever!
What else...Gus is still alive- definitely in his dotage though- complete with diaper wearing. We buy incontinence pads for human males. Sort of amusing in terms of the potential misunderstandings that might happen re: who around here uses them. The house is still standing as are the out-buildings. This is not something we can take for granted anymore, since the onslaught of ice and snow. There's no shortage of collapsed roofs in these parts. We did almost have a fire due to water getting into the kitchen wall. I kept smelling a nice incensey smell one morning as I was getting ready for work- then finally tracked it down to the outlet near the sink which was hot due to shorted out wiring. We still have the fuse out for that part of the house. Luckily the stove, fridge, etc. are on a different circut.
On to my organizing projects if I can overcome my post-run sleepiness.
I took Wendy for a little walk last evening after dinner. On our way home I noticed a deer walking down the road towards us, stopping now and then to graze. I decided to stand still and see what would happen. Wendy cooperated by lying down next to my feet. The deer kept coming and basically walked right up to us. I don't know what the story is with the tag on its ear. Wendy stayed calm the whole time. I think she may have wondered why it didn't ask to play. Apologies for the poor photo quality. I took the photo with my iphone and it was dusk. It seemed worth sharing nevertheless.
If you've noticed an overall pattern of randomness in this sudden burst of posting I've done, you're on to something. I'm just trying to show up and post every day. Vamos a ver... we'll see what comes of it.
I'm excited about dinner (partly because Jim is cooking it!) so I thought I'd post about that.
Bread that Jim is baking-- I'm pretty lucky! He's asked me to make it clear that it will be a handmade, crusty loaf- not a bread machine loaf.
Frozen broccoli from Trader Joe's that we need to eat before it gets freezer burned.
The tempeh won't actually be smokey because we leave out the 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke that the recipe calls for. I don't like foods that taste smokey--probably for the best.
I discovered Veganomicon in our local library and we have loved every recipe we've tried so far. This "we" includes Anna (daughter) and Ray (son-in-law), neither of whom are vegan--although they do like tempeh. Anna is the one who first introduced me to it.
I've also been enjoying recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance which Anna bought me last week as a present. I'm interested to hear what she thinks of the Tempeh Reuben recipe she's planning to try. Just FYI there are plenty of recipes for things other than tempeh in both cookbooks-- it's just a coincidence that the two recipes I mention here are tempeh based.
Here's Jim cooking as Patches looks on, and yes, that "counter" he is cooking on is a clothes dryer--how annoying it that! We live in an old house that needs lots and lots of work. Eventually we plan for our kitchen to be more kitchen-like.
As you have no doubt noticed I took the month of February off. This would have been okay except that I forgot to announce it, even to myself, and left readers to wonder what might have become of me. I have resolved to take my blogging responsibilities more seriously and apologize for the unplanned interruption in regular posting. For anyone out there who may have feared the worst I can only quote Mark Twain and say that "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
Here's a funny little factoid about me- I have the same birthday as Mark Twain, November 30th- also Winston Churchill and Abbie Hoffman. It pleases me to have these guys as birthday mates. Despite their differences I've always felt that there was some commonality among them, but I'd never been able (or tried) to nail down what it was. Thinking about it now, besides all three being male historical figures, the main commonalities I can identify among them is that all three were powerful agents for change in their particular eras, all three could write (and obviously think), and all three suffered from scathing bouts of depression, although only one of them, Abbie Hoffman, died of it. Although I've succeeded in matching them in the depression department I have some work to do if I am going to live up to the other aspects of full membership in this club. Vamos a ver.
Since it's been a month I suppose it would be nice if I gave some account of what I've been up to versus saying something unenlightening like, "I dunno," or giving no explanation at all. What happened was that we went to Puerto Rico on February 2nd. Leading up to the trip I got overly busy trying to get ready, during the trip I was out of my routine and off balance, and after the trip I was overly busy trying to get back into my routine, but I finally have and now I feel like I have some time again- so here I am.
10 Things I've Done in the Last Month (not necessarily in chronological order or order of importance)
Went to Rincon, Puerto Rico for a week. Jim and I plan to go back again as soon as possible for as long as possible.
Decided (again) to quit coloring my hair (although I'll have some lowlights done in front).
Went snorkeling and saw a big Hawks Bill turtle.
Got the first blue egg laid by our new (last years chicks) hens.
Signed up for another triathlon (happening in the end of July).
Went on a weekend retreat at IMS in Barre, MA, and signed up for two more.
Had four teeth extracted- yup four, all part of a dental treatment plan that will hopefully allow me to go through a course of Zometa (anti-osteoporosis/anti-bone metastisis drug) without having jawbone complications. These are rare but when they happen they're bad. I'm psyched about the Zometa and happy that I am eligible for yet another avenue for preventing cancer recurrence.
Started buying baby clothes for my grandchild who is FINALLY quite a bit bigger than a mouse and who will need something to wear when he or she appears in August.
Went on a trail ride with Pintos R Us in Rincon, PR, during which we were chased by a stray wild stallion and his distraught mother. The wild stallion pulled Jim's horse's tail, causing her to kick him (the stallion, not Jim). Jim had never ridden before but he survived and says he'd do it again.
Decided that if knee surgery is offered as an option at my orthopedics appointment on Friday I'm going to go for it. I'm totally sick of this knee thing and never knowing from one day to the next if I'm going to be able to walk normally or not, let alone go for a bike, run, or horse ride.
By the end of the day yesterday I was feeling pretty good and walking around, for the most part, like a normal person, It hasn't been a good day with the knee today. It seems that even the little bit of walking around the house and going to and from the car between office and house has been too much- now I'm back to hobbling again. I have an orthopedics appointment on Friday morning. This was the earliest they could get me in when I called last week. I can hardly wait. Cortisone injections have worked like magic for me in the past. I am seriously ready for some magic right about now. It's really annoying to hardly be able to walk.
On the plus side of the equation, Rebecca and Michele from across the beaver pond came over with our groceries last evening and visited for a while. At first I thought Rebecca's psychic powers had kicked in. How did she know I was having trouble getting around? Then it dawned on me that I'd posted it right here, and that she'd no doubt read it. Duh! The psychic powers theory was more fun.
This evening Crystal, our immediate next-door neighbor/my training partner stopped by for a quick magazine trade- her "Runners World" for my "Bon Appetit," and was kind enough to get me some whole wheat capellini from down in the basement (our main food storage is down there for lack of space in the kitchen).
I'm guessing that me wanting to read "Runners World" right now might seem a little weird to anyone reading this. This was actually the main reason she came over; I wanted to read it right away after she said there was an article in it on topical anti-inflammatory painkillers.
The Flexor patch, available by prescription, sounds promising. It delivers diclofenac epolamine, a NSAID, to the affected area through the skin. I can't tolerate any kind of oral NSAID, regardless of buffering, enteric versions, etc., so the idea of a patch is pretty appealing. We'll see what the knee doctor thinks.
Tomorrow is a busy day but the rest of the week looks pretty easy and conducive to lying around reading and writing.
I got my hair cut today which was satisfying. I'm growing it out but just getting some of the bulk taken out now and then. I also got my eyebrows shaped. As I was paying I noticed all the hair that she'd cut lying on the floor; a big pile of it. This pleased me. Last year at this time I had just stopped wearing a wig and I had no eyebrows and three eyelashes. The three eyelashes is not made up. That's really how many I had. Why those three held on I don't know. I feel so wealthy now, having so much hair that I can pay someone to cut it off and throw it away.
A couple of months ago when I was walking the dogs we ran into a guy on a long bike ride who asked me where we got our groceries around here. I'm the wrong person to ask because although we have a grocery store about five miles down the road, I hardly ever go to it. Most of our food comes from the farm share or our neighborhood co-op. Rebecca- still healing from her bike crash- dropped off this month's order on her way to physical therapy for her hand.
Here's Gus guarding our pizza crusts, 12 pounds of espresso beans, cheesecloth, 10 pounds of wild rice, oatmilk, lentil dip, and Almond Sunset tea (which I am excited about, having not had it since the last time I went on a Zen retreat...ahh memories...of severe leg pain, not enough sleep, and not being able to eat fast enough...but I digress).
I'm going to post this and then haul our loot down to the basement.
Sorry Gus, no pizza this morning. Maybe Jim will make you one tonight.
It's a beautiful day today, spring-like which I wasn't at all expecting after yesterday. I could ride but I feel the need to take it slow this morning and am just going to take a walk- maybe do some yoga if I start feeling really ambitious.
Tomorrow I am going for a plastic surgery consult to see about getting some new breasts. I've surprised myself with this one. Suddenly I realized I wanted some- little ones- maybe for Christmas. We'll see...