Monday, December 4, 2017

DJ, Grandma and a Rabbit

Over the Thanksgiving weekend our son's dog, DJ, and the foster dog, Christina, were in an argument over a couple of bones.  DJ did not want to share.  Christina showed her who was boss.  Emergency vet trips, lots of $$$ later and we were asked to help supervise the two dogs while Son and DIL were working.  It was decided the easiest thing was for us to bring DJ to our apartment.  DJ, who is a Staffordshire terrier, is usually too confined in our place.  But with the pain meds, she mostly wanted only to sleep and follow close to us.

That was for the first 3 days.  With the swelling being reduced and antibiotics staving off infections, DJ was ready to move more on Thursday.  Of course there had been the necessary pit stops all along but Hubby was the one doing the walking.  The only way I can walk DJ, who is stout as a horse and weighs 60+ lbs, is with a muzzle.  The injuries on her face, head and neck would not allow the walking muzzle to be put on her.  By Thursday evening I decided I would give Hubby a rest from the walk and take DJ for the pit stop.

south courtyard

I almost went to the park but decided to just stay in the fenced courtyards of our apartment complex.  With DJ on her leash and a supply of poop bags, we walked into the north courtyard.  DJ did the usual doggie thing of finding where every other animal has eliminated. Then she must mark it, too.  This had been going on for a few minutes when I saw it.  The bunny that is living around the apartment complex.  I was gathering in the leash and heading back to the apartment when it happened.  DJ got wind of the rabbit.  I was just slightly in control of the dog as it pursued Bugs Bunny.  And then I was not.  I was stumbling being pulled by the excited dog.  The leash ripped from my hands in time to keep me from falling.  Or maybe I just let go.

Either way, the dog was loose and Bugs was running for it's only life.  As I yelled for her to stop I lost sight of DJ when she and Bugs rounded the corner into the south courtyard.  A gentleman up on the parking garage walkway noted the dog was in the south courtyard.  I thanked him and said she was chasing a rabbit.  He wished me luck in catching her as "she is really, really fast."  No kidding.

 BTW, apartments open into the courtyard and there are patios, etc. where a crazed, bunny driven dog could cause havoc.  I knew it would be hopeless to run after her as she was indeed really, really fast.  I settled for the cut her off at the pass and step on her leash tactic.  Got her.  But she was still in catch rabbit mode.  I could only take a step or two toward the hallway entrance before she was attempting to bolt again.  Our apartment was less than 50 steps away by this time.  It was obvious that I would never be able to control DJ.So as any person would do, I called Hubby and told him of the situation.  He said a bad word and added he would be right there.

He was not right there.  I do not remember if I called him or he called me.  He had gone to the park just knowing the dog was loose and would be killed.  No, dear, she is with me in the courtyard.  Ok, will be right there, was the response, again.  If only he would listen to what I say and not what he thinks I will say!  In the meantime I am still dealing with this dog that is standing next to the rabbit trail.  She goes behind the shrubs and is content just smelling the trail.  Then not content smelling but  m u s t run again.  Not this time, little girlie.  Sit and S T A Y.  In the process of dragging the dog out of the bushes and away from the scent trail, a rather large holly branch broke off underneath her collar.

By this time Hubby is coming through the gate.  It took Hubby's strength and command over DJ to get her back to the apartment.  Obviously, DJ was well on the way to recovery.  Hubby missed seeing the holly branch stuck in the dog's collar.  She had looked like the little dog (only not so little but the branch was really big) in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  I had to laugh at the sight and the ridiculous situation we had gotten into because of DJ, Grandma and a Rabbit. 

Related image

Step Count

Without a regular sized house and garden to maintain I was doing way too much sitting.  December, 2014, I was given a fitbit Zip.  Over the last three years I have been working to increase my step count.  It has been met with challenges.  Knee pain in 2015 caused me inconsistent walking.  Not to mention the two falls when I hit my head causing concussions.  Dizziness and walking are not good partners.  In January, 2016, a total knee replacement had me looking forward to increased activity.  During the trip to Eastern Europe in March and April of that year, I was on the road to a 10,000 steps per day.  In February, 2017, a foot injury had me immobile for 6 weeks.  Back on my feet with new orthotics and support socks I was able to get to the goal of consistently 3 to 4 miles a day.

September of this year brought another setback, chronic IT band stress and a torn muscle.  Physical therapy and determination has me back to walking in 1000 to 2000 steps at a time.  Even though yesterday with a major head and chest cold I accomplished a total of 5000 steps for the day.  With minimal pain and stiffness.

Now I must confess that some of the steps were achieved in a slightly different way.  I had walked 3,123 steps.  I removed my clothing to do some laundry.  I managed to get another 1250 +/- 30 steps by doing the laundry.  That's right.  I failed to remove the Zip from the pocket.  So to not be cheating on the steps, I did another walk, counting my steps till I had the number of steps.  Really.  And I only felt a little agitated.

Addictions

I have a new addiction thanks to YAM, a blogger friend over in Scotland.  It is a certified addiction.  If I am not puttering around the apartment, I MUST do this.  Click here.  Since introduced to this site I have worked around 150 of these puzzles.  It is a great distraction from the politics of the day.   Also another fun way to sit and just pass the time.  Middle Grandson has joined into the fun and we have worked a few of the puzzles together.

When Farmville first came to facebook, that was an addiction for several months.  I would set an alarm to get up and harvest.  Really.  I told you it was an addiction.  Of course, food is an addiction for me, too.  Maybe it is just eating that is the addiction. 

Addictions come in so many forms.  Photography can be an addiction as well as writing, blogging and even birding.  So what is your addiction?


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Knock Knock

The posts are becoming less and less interesting for folks to read.  No photos, no great truths just words.  Words as I work through the recovery of a torn muscle in the back of my leg.  Guess I am just being a whiner.  The leg that is having issues is the one that had the knee replacement in 2016.  While the knee has worked great since the replacement the muscles, tendons and ligaments have never really settled down.  Most days there would be just slight discomfort when lifting that leg and moving to the side.  The movement one makes climbing into the passenger side of a car is an example of the movement.

As I continued to push for the 10,000 steps on a daily basis, the discomfort was more frequent.  But I did not stop.  I did pull back to just 3 miles a day walking.  That helped but that sudden shooting pain that left me yelling for Hubby to help me back to the chair was the final blow.  The leg had been warning me that something needed to change.  As usual I had ignored it.  Now seven weeks later I am still fighting through recovery.  I did not go slowly enough with activity over the weekend and now I am back to where I was about 3 weeks ago in discomfort level.  What a pain, literally.  Very limited stairs.  Just enough to watch #3 grandson play football.

BTW, speaking of grandchildren, three of the five are 'sidelined' this fall.  Granddaughter received a head butt during her second soccer game.  This has resulted in a third concussion.  She is still having headaches.   Oldest grandson, #1, has a hernia and is awaiting surgery.  No cross country running nor lacrosse for him.  Next grandson, #2, first had a hairline wrist fracture so no football for 3 weeks.  Then a cracked rib took him out for the season.  That just leaves #3 and #4 grandsons uninjured.  Not a great fall for the FAB family athletes.

Let's look at some positives for a bit.  Hubby's brother, his only sibling, arrives tomorrow for a few days.  Hubby has tickets for a local live music show for us to attend on Thursday.  Wednesday evening will be pizza with the FAB family.  This will be the first time they have met this great uncle.  I have not been informed what Friday and Saturday will bring but I am sure it will be fun.   Maybe watch bats fly out from under a bridge.  Old people are easily entertained.  Whatever happens, I'll be sure to pack my camera to get a few shots for the blog.

In the meantime, y'all take care.  I'll update you with all the activity as I get inspired to write.

Namaste,
Janice

Sunday, October 22, 2017

In The Moment

Still recuperating from torn muscle and chronic IT band syndrome.  Had been doing really well then made a choice that set the recovery back several days.  Going down stairs will not be done again for a few months.  It felt in the moment that it was good and probably one flight would have been fine.  But no, I did 4 flights.  On two separate short walks in one day.  However .... as I was getting in bed and that discomfort in raising my leg to the side grabbed me, I knew in that moment stairs are out for a while.

There are other moments I can enjoy as I sit with the heating pad on my leg.  The beauty of the leaves on the trees as they prepare to die.  Will I give pleasure in my last moments of life when it comes time for me to die?  Mind you the leaves are not the beautiful gold, red, yellow nor orange.  Just a change to a more subtle grey-green.  Just enough difference of color to signal that life is fading.

In contrast to the grey green leaves across the street are the few zinnia blooms on the patio.  An occasional monarch butterfly comes to dine on the zinnia nectar.  Seldom do I glance up from reading that I do not see either white winged doves, cowbirds, shiny crows, bluejays, and multiple varieties of sparrows just outside the door.  These are the moments I enjoy living in these days.  These calm moments instead of the machine gun effect of political moments.

Here is hoping you can find the moments of quite and calm to enjoy during this season of changes. 

Namaste,
Janice

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Working Better

A few days after Harvey visited Texas like a bad visitor we had to move our dresser out of the bedroom.  Used our little glides under the feet and were moving along quite nicely till we hit the fifth leg.  I was pushing to I gave an extra big shove and thought, hmmmm.  We finished getting things our of the way so the carpet padding could be replaced and the carpet cleaned.  Later that day I stood up to go walk.  Two steps later a shooting, stabbing pain in the back of my leg left me calling for Hubby to help me back to my chair.

That was about 6 weeks ago and I have been icing, heating and rolling that leg ever since.  Instead of walking 8,700 average steps per day for the week of Harvey's visit, the average is 1750 for an entire month.   There were about 3 weeks where the average per day count was under 400 steps.  Part of the time I had to use a walker as the leg was not hold me securely. 

Now, I am here, today.  And the last few days.  I am walking as many as 900 steps with little to no discomfort.  I will have to maintain a very slow pace to get back to the 8K average.  Today I believe it will happen eventually.  Of course that means a series of stretches twice daily.  Continued heating of the tendons and rolling to get the 'kinks' out and patience.  Patience to not walk too much too quickly.  Patience with my body and mind.  Patience is not my strong point but then neither was walking two years ago.

One of the best things about not being able to move about much was to sit and watch as a Monarch butterfly sipped on the zinnias I planted last spring.  Zinnias that had to be transplanted when the landscaping was redone in July.  Zinnias that looked withered in the 100 degree days of late July, August and into September.  But they survived and have served their purpose.  Now I must just continue to work at it, too.  Hopefully to serve a purpose for which I was planted.



Friday, October 13, 2017

History

How will the next few months be seen in history?  Will it be a nuclear winter?  The year all the Confederate statues were removed to museums?  The year the neo-nazi's took over the US government?  Or will it be how more hurricanes ravaged the islands in the Caribbean?  How earthquakes and fires ravaged California and Mexico.  Only time will tell.  Of course there seem to be plenty of political fodder to keep us all either busy fighting on Facebook or just plainly closing our minds.

After a day of EOs rescinding more progress made to help the poor and needy of our nation I am just in total shock.  I am worn down by the gun owners having the need for more guns.  I have no funds to donate to the Puerto Rico recovery.  A voice to speak to representatives is drowned out by roar of people chanting archaic slogans.  Why would I want the south to rise again?  Yes, I am worn down and not ready to fight another battle.

I mean how can I continue to fight so many of my friends and relatives?  I do not want a fight.  I would prefer discussions with give and take.  But I am tired of being the one that seems to give.  With this in mind I was thinking about why we wish to use such an old fashioned method for protection.  Surely there is a better way to protect ourselves than old fashioned walls and guns?  Surely there is something positive in having birth control available at affordable prices?  How can those simple things be so difficult?  But they are.

A statement was made to hubby just one week ago by a devout conservative Christian.  "These young girls just dress in a way that tempts men and then they complain".  So how shall we dress? In hijabs?  Evil, selfish men will men will accost and rape not just grown women but children and men.  Why?  Because off the way a person dresses?  Shall we now discuss the rape of elderly women in nursing homes.  Stupid, sexy old woman lying in a gown with an adult diaper just tempting those men.  Poor, defenseless men.

Guess we better let them have all the guns, walls, and pregnant barefoot women they need.  After all we would all still be in Eden were it not for Eve and that delicious apple.