Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Time

It's HOT around my neck of the woods this year. My garden is done; I ripped out the tomato plants a few weeks ago. The rainy season started and the tomatoes just don't like all that water. Some is good, a lot makes the tomatoes swell and split, then they are just gross. There are 3 collard plants and a sad little basil plant left and those are all going to get pulled out very shortly. During the down time before the fall season starts up I want to expand the planting bed so that I have a new location for the tomatoes. (They are on a 3 year rotation, which is following guidelines I've read about on-line. Until I expand I only have 2 locations for them.) I also want to install proper raised bed borders instead of the makeshift borders we have now. (DH, this would make a great birthday present, hinthinthint!!!) I'm planning to start my seeds a lot earlier this year, now that I know I can do it. A greater variety of tomatoes and veggies would be good, too. The cherry tomatoes do well in my garden but it would be lovely to have some larger slicing tomatoes as well, maybe some romas if that's all I can get. I had some larger tomatoes growing this year but they went in too late so they produced fruit but it wasn't edible. (The swelling thing again- they would crack and get all yucky before getting ripe.) The collards did well; definitely need more of those. I haven't had any luck with lettuce; it just bolts, so maybe it's a timing thing and I'll give it another go.

Summer is also hot and buggy around here. I've really slacked off on my walking program, even with the greyhounds bugging me for walkies every day, due to the heat and bugs. It's too hot to walk during the day, but if I wait until dusk when it cools off the mosquitoes come out. Those pests really love the dogs too, so they are missing their walks desperately. (The girls take them out on shorter walks a couple of times during the day but they have to come in before the dogs over heat. Greys are incredibly prone to heatstroke since they have such thin skin.) I think I'm going to start biking again; the mosquitoes can't bite me if they can't catch me! I'm also planning a trip to the sporting goods store for some lightweight work out pants. I usually wear shorts (I practically LIVE in shorts over the summer) but long pants will offer more protection from mosquitoes if I can find some I don't smother in. I hate using mosquito repellants and chemicals but sometimes you just have to around here. I also hate using my treadmill, but I think I'm going to have to do that too!

The kids love to go in the pool over the summer so DH spends a lot of time whipping it into shape. It needs some serious maintenance, like resurfacing, but that's really expensive so we're holding off as long as possible. With The Wild Child going to his summer camp we don't need any extra bills. (It's camp, but not camp. He works with his reading specialist for 2 hours a day 4 days a week while he's there and it's costing some serious bucks. If it helps him read, though, it's worth it.)

Regular obligations are set aside over the summer. Girl Scouts and 4H aren't meeting so that's a big chunk of the schedule freed up, although we are planning a couple of Girl Scout get togethers if we can set them up. I'm hoping our weekends will be a little less hectic. Since January I've had a total of 2 weekends where I didn't have obligations of some sort, and one of those was spent packing for the Washington, DC trip. That makes me tired.

I also have goals for the summer. First and foremost, I want to clean out Martha Jr.'s room. She is a pack rat of the highest order and she HATES to let go of ANYTHING. She's not going to have a choice, though. I'm going to empty her room and we're only going to put half back. We did this for The Wild Child's room when he had to have some major ceiling and dry wall repairs and it worked out really well. His room is so much better, and with half the stuff it only gets half as messy, and it's a lot easier for him to clean up. It's a lot less overwhelming for him with less stuff.

I'm also going to start physical therapy for my back next week. Hopefully I can keep up with the exercises and get my back in better shape. It's so limiting at this point. I can't do anything that requires significant time on my feet, and if I don't go and lay down at regular intervals during the day, I'm in pain. I've built my day to day schedule around that but it doesn't work out, say, when we're traveling (like the DC trip) or there's a big holiday meal to cook, or for any other myriad activities. It's frustrating, but the doctor basically said I'm in control of it. If I get my core strength up my back will be a lot better. That means another goal for the summer- improve my core strength.

We also have some summer birthdays to celebrate- The Eldest will turn 19 next week and The Wild Child will be 10 in early July. All of my children will be out of the single digits- wow. My birthday is also in the summer in mid August; I'm hoping for those raised beds. :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Again

Washington DC was a great trip and I loved spending all the time with Martha Jr. and the other girls and moms who went with us. (There were 4 troops in all; most of the girls had parents with them.) I spent a lot of time with the leader who coordinated the trip since I wound up sitting next to her on the bus. (Once the seats were chosen we all stuck with them for the rest of the trip.)

I was worried about holding up with the fibro. I kept up until the last day, but I almost lost it when we were getting to the airport. The wait to check my bags was excruciating, then after check in the suitcases had to be hauled over BY ME to another area for x-ray, then after that another long wait to get through security. I hate that airport!! We had plenty of time but I still felt rushed and shaky, my back had started to hurt, and I was wiped out. Oh, and the suitcase I had to check was broken- a brand new Samsonite, no less. One of the two latches busted and it wouldn't close properly. Luckily my roomie mentioned duct tape, and I actually had some! I had it because of the trip to Europe with The Eldest in 2009. I read a ton of travel blogs prior to that trip and one of them suggested packing duct tape. It went into one of the travel supply bags I pack all the time and never came out until now. It was a small travel size roll, it was super difficult to unroll, and it wasn't enough to go all the way around the suitcase, but it was enough to hold the bag together on the bus ride to the airport. At the check in counter the airline had packing tape they let me use- whew! The suitcase made it back home and everything was inside thanks to the tape, but I returned that suitcase as soon as I could get it back to Costco.

At some point on the last day I noticed my ankles were gone- yep, I had cankles. The last time I had swelling like that I was pregnant. I guess I was as tired as I felt if that was happening. (Cankles- that word tickles me. It should mean something fun and flirty instead of swollen ankles. I walked around all day telling everyone I had cankles just because I like the sound of that silly word.) The swelling was gone after a good night's sleep so no worries. What was bothersome though was my back. I was a mess from half way through the last day and the entire day after we got back, then it felt better the next day so I over did it, and it flared up again today. I couldn't bend over at all; I had to take DH to the grocery with me to get items on the lower shelves. He wound up picking up all sorts of stuff I dropped or bumped off the shelf in the store; I'm such a klutz. He said I was just doing it on purpose but I promise I wasn't!

But back to the end of the trip. I finally calmed down when we got settled at the gate, I ate a snack, (Martha Jr. and I got the last pretzels at the Auntie Anne's) and I took some Tylenol. Then it was a matter of getting all of our stuff on the plane and getting home. I had a center seat which I normally HATE since I get a little claustrophobic on planes, but it was OK. I was in between the troop mom I roomed with and Martha Jr., and we all kept our arm rests up so it was like we were sitting on a couch. Since the troop mom and I are good friends, and I was able to move around a bit since Martha Jr. hardly took up any space at all (she's a little bit of a girl) I was fine. The other mom and I chatted a lot of the way and that kept my mind off things, plus it's not a long flight. Then it was over and DH was picking us up and whisking me off to a good meal (kale and potato soup- one of my favorites) and my bed. I slept like a rock but I was still groggy all the next day, and of course I had the back problems I mentioned earlier. Luckily I have a good heating pad and a tens unit; I think that's why I felt better the second day after getting home. If I had taken it easy instead of trying to return that stupid suitcase and get some other errands done... Well, anyway, it will get better.

All in all, the trip was absolutely grueling but absolutely fun, too. I'm so glad I went and got through everything, and that the fibro didn't flare up and stop me from living my life. Yes, I had a flare up at the end, but I got through all the fun stuff first- take that, fibromyalgia!

I'll blog about the actual trip and post pictures eventually, once DH gets them all on the computer for me. I took a ton of pics- gotta love those digital cameras!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Winging Off to Washington!

Martha Jr. and I are flying to Washington, DC with 51 other Girl Scouts and moms to attend the Rock the Mall sing along celebration. Girl Scouts is 100, doncha know. There will be about 250,000 of us at Rock the Mall; wonder if we'll make the news?

This is quite a challenge to my fibro management program since other people have set the schedule, but hopefully vacation adrenalin will kick in and things will go smoothly. We have a fantastic itinerary if I can keep up!!

And I'd like to point out all the new camp songs links in the family fun and educational links section. You have to scroll down a ways to find it, but if you love camp songs there are lots and lots of them. The Eldest and DH have been rolling their eyes at me as I've tried to learn more songs, which involves singing along to the you tube videos. Loudly. :)

But now I have to go to bed, several hours earlier than usual. I'm trying to get ready to get up early for the trip; we have to be at the airport at 5:30 am on Friday. I'm usually just getting to sleep good by that time. I'm going to have jet lag in my own time zone!

PS: There will be live streaming of the event. Look for my group- we'll be in the kiwi colored T-shirts!