Sunday, August 28, 2011

Too hot to think!

OK well maybe not THAT hot but I have never been a fan of the upper 90s into the 100s temps that we get in our summers, especially late summers. The last week or so I have been coming home from school and crashing out in the heat. Obviously that does not make very exciting blog posts as evidenced by the lack of same.

I think I will go out next weekend and explore Sacramento... not managing to do anything on school days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First week of school!

School started yesterday and it looks like it will be a great year! I am hopeful... I have had my share of less than stellar years lately so it would be nice to turn it around this year! Time will tell but I have more energy (with all better eating after all!) and a good outlook on work this year so I am thinking it will be better all around.

But this heat! OMG... nice I have AC at work and now in my car cause I came home to a rather warm house and yard! But there was a special surprise for me when I got home!

A new visitor in my yard...

white foxglove

Most of the foxgloves I have are pinkish and purple and have already bloomed and died but this white one just sort of came out of nowhere and today is in full bottom bloom. Love the patterns and how the blossoms open gradually up the flower stalk. I am happy to see it since there is very little else in bloom in the yard (aside from those glorious roses which I need to deadhead this weekend).

So Maggie and I checked it out for a short while before the heat drove us back inside...

Maggie 8-2011

I was thinking when it cools down at least to the 80s I might plant a late crop of spinach and then in another month, plant a late batch of lettuce. It is so warm here still through the fall that leafy greens are pretty easy to grow once the heat leaves. And I just love having my dinner growing in my garden! Since I can't keep farm animals in the city at least I can have my veggies! hat was one thing I missed when I spent the whole summer abroad this year. Next year: tomatoes and squash again!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Last lazy days of summer...

I have been going out to my classroom a little in the mornings to get it ready for the new school year (we start next week) but mostly have been spending my last week being lazy in the heat.

Tomorrow I am getting my car AC fixed so I can finally drive without gasping for air if I am out past around noon! I am so not a sun bunny!

And I got signed up for the On-Ramp (beginners) class for Crossfit starting in September. It is 3x a week for 3 weeks even though I will have to miss the last class because our school has Back-to-School Night then. Then I can take any of the regular classes so it is my goal to get there at least 2x a week, 3x if I can during the 3 month membership anyway. They want you to commit to 3 months at first because the body doesn't change overnight and it might take a couple of months to see results. Makes sense. I just hope I can walk after the first class!

So this afternoon when I let Maggie outside I noticed the roses were especially bright so I took a few pictures while she did her doggie business...


Wish we had smell-o-vision for these! They sniff good!!




and I noticed there were still a few apricots hiding so I picked those too...


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Updates and last week of vacation...

A couple of updates are called for:
My Car: even though I didn't really write about it here, I have a 1999 Saturn and last week we took it in to our repair guy because the AC was having problems and I found out I had a 1) busted fan and 2) ruined AC compressor so no wonder it didn't work! I opted to have just the fan fixed because I had been thinking of getting a new car anyway soon and figured I could drive around without AC for while while I figured it all out.

What was I thinking?

Sacramento in the Summer and No AC?

Well the next day I was back on the phone begging them to order and put in a new AC system since we figured I could probably use my car for another year so I could be in no hurry about a new one and get a better deal that way. Also that way I could wait til the 2012 Prius came out and check that out.

So now I just have to wait until Wednesday when they can work on my car. It is still pretty hot driving around without the AC so in the afternoons Andy has graciously said I can use his truck which has lovely AC. I was a little apprehensive about driving it since I never had, but we went out the other day with me driving it around and since he was still willing to let me use it after that test drive I figured I would be OK!

Along with my changing in eating (which BTW, showed up as a whopping 16 pound weight loss @ Kaiser last week from last December) I need to regain some fitness. I have let all my former gym memberships go since I rarely went and I never liked going anyway unless I was getting personal training but that was pretty pricey. So along with learning about Paleo/Primal eating I have found out a lot about CrossFit (a lot of people seem to be into both as a natural progression of their health). I checked out one place near me but it was too small and too new and I didn't feel they could be very supportive of a total beginner. Then today I went over to American River CrossFit off Howe Ave. and took their free Intro class which wiped me out! But they were very nice and very supportive of my inabilities so I think I will do the beginner class with them, which will start in September. In order to work out at any CrossFit gym you need to take an "On-ramp" or beginner set of class to learn the basic movements and how to do everything properly before you get into a normal class. The August one is already half done so I will wait for the next one in Sept.

Meanwhile, if nothing else, today taught me how little I can actually do. For example... I could not run 200m without having to stop and walk part of it. And after 3 sets of basic box jumps (for me, box step-ups), push-ups, sit-ups and squats, I was wasted. The plan was 3-5 reps of each just to sort of test out your own fitness and most of the people did all 5 but me. On the other hand, most of the other people who showed up to the Intro class today were already very athletic in other sports and in great shape and just wanted to learn about CrossFit. And of course most of them were at least 20-30 years younger than me!

But I was not discouraged. I know now where I am starting from (can you say Ground Zero?) and need to go from there.And maybe I can finally learn what to do with the Kettlebell Andy gave me for Christmas last year!

Last week of vacation: School starts on the 15th. Started fixing up my room last week a little. Need to go back out to school a couple of times next week and finish getting ready. I am actually excited about starting a new school year. I am hoping with my new energy I can stay excited longer into the year this time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Giving the gift of blood on my birthday...

Finally! My drop of blood sank!!

it sank

Huh? You ask?

Let me 'splain...

I have tried many times to give blood before and one of the first things they do is test to see if you have enough iron in your blood to be able to do so. So they take a drop of your blood (with the iron bound in the hemoglobin molecule) and drop it into a beaker of copper sulfate (basically the cooper is replaced by the iron which is heavier than the solution so it sinks). If you have enough iron the drop sinks and mine has never sank before -- always a little anemic.

So after many years of dealing with my anemia (long story very short, apparently aspirin was contributing to my lack of RBC growth) and now I eat more meat as well so I had NO trouble with my little bubble. Yay!

So after answering all the myriad questions they are required to ask I was finally able to give blood.


Andy was there taking pix of me throughout probably annoying the hell out of the technicians @ the blood place but they seemed to take it with good enough humor.


And afterwards I got a t-shirt (she said it was cause it was my birthday but I have a feeling they give them to everyone LOL), and of course refreshments (I had some almonds and cheese as well as a cup of coffee and a little OJ). I actually felt GREAT after the process -- I was a little flushed at first but that went away in minutes and now (a couple hours later) I am totally fine.

So the big question -- WHY did I want to give blood on my birthday?

My short answer: Why not?

My slightly longer answer: It felt nice to be able to give back (to whomever, who cares?) something that is mine but could possibly help someone in need. THAT was better than any present of "stuff" I could think of having.

And it was a great feeling to know I have gotten my body back to a healthy place regarding my blood iron to even be able to do this. So in a way it was confirmation to myself that I am taking care of myself.

Maybe this will become a birthday tradition now... like the birthday "surprise" Andy finds for me, I will have another tradition that is my own.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why is it whenever there is an empty box...?

Excuse me but this cat is too big... do you have one in a smaller size?

Cat box

Monday, August 1, 2011

Finally attacked the fridge!

Confession: I hate to clean out our fridge!

It was a real mess when I came home from my trip and since we had decided to clean up our food plan, it really needed an overhaul so we would have more room for more "real food" as opposed to the dozens of bottles and jars of sauces and condiments taking up most of the space.


It is a pretty small fridge but should be large enough for 2 people eating well. After I cleaned it all and organized the veggie bins, I also organized our meats, the larger box for shared meats we have cooked and can use. The other smaller bin is for sausages and some of the things Andy likes that I am not a fan of. It is just easier for me if everything has a place and can stay in it so at a glance we can open the fridge and actually SEE what we have or need.

I find I like it a little on the emptier looking side so things don't get lost when they are pushed to the back and forgotten. I hate wasting food and having to throw so much out each time I clean the fridge just has to stop. I am hoping this reorganization will work for both of us this time.