Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bloomin' Lovely...and other events of the week

These are two of my Amaryllis; 'Red Dragon' and 'Apple Blossom', which bloomed this week.  There is one more yet to bloom.  An avid gardener, this is the closest I get to playing in dirt at this time of year.  If you could see through the window behind these flowers you would see a yard full of snow.  This is the hind leg of winter and the slowest part to pass.  Meanwhile, the week has been full of activities to make time pass more quickly, if that's possible. 

Last Thursday I wrapped up a 20 week At Work meeting which gave me an extra day off this week.  This Thursday turned out to be one of the busiest days I've had in a while and not altogether in a good way. 

It started out by training with Bruce at 7:30 in the morning at our new training space.  When training with Bruce I usually don't bother counting reps, I just keep going until he tells me to stop.  He knows that I will push myself until I can't do anymore and then I still manage to squeeze out a few more.  So, it came as a surprise when lying on the floor doing side arm raises with a dumbbell to see him walking off to the next station with Higgie when I hadn't even finished one side!  Turns out I was supposed to count to 20 and flip over.  I had been waiting for him to tell me.  So my triceps got an extra work out.  They're still sore!  It was actually a very tough work out.  I haven't been back to the gym since then due to a number of reasons but I have run out of excuses today.

After working out I went to see Dr. Wade.  Final diagnosis on my sore bum/hip problem is an inflamed SI (sacro-iliac) joint; again, the treadmill being the culprit.  I'm still getting treatment for it and it's responding slowly.  I am down to one chiropractic visit a week now. 

Later that morning we set off to my Mom's retirement home to take her out for her birthday.  That didn't start out too well.  I had called her when I got back from the chiropractor's office but she wasn't in her room.  I called the management office and asked them to remind her that I was coming to take her out to lunch later and to tell her happy birthday.  This would have been around 9:30 a.m.  We showed up at 11:15 to find her waiting for us in the lobby.  She was very confused and shaken.  She apologised for being late.  We told her she wasn't late and that we were early.  She started babbling something about 'making mistakes'.  She is not very coherent at the best of times these days.  I attempted getting her to come with me up to her room so we could put on her coat and snow boots but while we waited for the elevator to take us there she collapsed into sobs saying over and over "I make so many mistakes".  I did my best to comfort her, telling her she had made me and I was no mistake.  I also reminded her that it was her birthday and there was no crying on birthdays, as she used to say to me when I was little.  As best as I can understand, I think she had been waiting for us in the lobby from the moment I had called, believing our arrival was immanent.  Her watch hasn't been telling the right time either which wouldn't have helped.  When we didn't arrive she must have wondered what was going on.  I think she still has moments of lucidity and when the pieces don't fit she becomes upset.  It was deeply disturbing to see her that way but she soon cheered up once we were in the car and on the way to the restaurant.

We chose to meet at the Boardwalk Pub, a restaurant near the lake.  It has better-than-usual pub fare and very good burgers.  Along with Higgie and I, in attendance was my soon-to-be 90 year old aunt, my brother and his wife and two of his four children.  My niece came with her husband and year-old son, Harry,who, like the Prince and his paternal grandfather namesake has bright red hair!  He is very cute and was the star of the occasion.  Mom was very happy to see him and he was much taken with her.  He sat on her lap for a long time, studying her face intently.  We had a great festive lunch complete with cake and gifts and flowers after which Higgie and I took Mom for a brief walk on the boardwalk.  Walking is her favourite activity.  Unfortunately, there were a couple of inches of newly-fallen wet snow to hamper our progress and the sun refused to come out, but it was still a nice day for her.

After taking Mom home we returned to ours with hopes of napping, but with Eldon, the handyman working away in the bedroom next door it was a bit difficult (his real name is Norm, but like Eldon, the character on 'Murphy Brown' he never finishes so he never leaves.)  Norm has been working on the interior of our house since June of last year.  He renovated the complete lower floor, removing old panelling, putting up new drywall and trim, upgrading lighting and painting throughout.  He took a few months off and now he's back to work on the two upstairs bedrooms replacing baseboards, hanging new closet doors and painting.  We closed the door on the room he's not presently working in and tried to sleep but it was rough.

At 6:30 p.m. we headed out once again for an annual pub night fundraiser at the Steamwhistle Brewery.  It's built in a historic roundhouse building once used by the Canadian National Railway.  The fundraiser is to benefit a charitable trust set up in memory of Higgie's sister, MaryLynn who died of colon cancer in 2002.  It's called the MaryLynn Higgins Youth Fund.   It provides travel scholarships for schoolchildren who otherwise would not be able to accompany their classmates on school trips.  Last year several hundred kids benefited from this fund. 

The evening was a lot of fun.  Most of Higgie's family and friends were there.  There was a great live band made up of 14 professional musicians who donated their time.  They played R&B and funk and dance tunes.  We danced and drank Steamwhistle beer as well as bidding on some items at the silent auction which included Leafs-Bruins tickets which Higgie badly wanted but they ended up going for $500.  I got a 90 minute massage for $90. which is what I'd pay for a regular 50 minute one.  I can't wait to have it.

As full as the day had been and as tired as I was, sleep, once we got home, was not to be had.  As soon as I went to bed my stomach began to ache and cramp.  I had a burning sensation which began at the base of my esophagus and went all the way down.  Soon I was in the bathroom and that's pretty much where I spent the night, off and on, vomiting and all that other nice stuff that goes along with what  I think was a case of food poisoning.  I was worried my Mom might have had it too because we both had burgers for lunch.  If she had been as ill as I was it would have killed her.  As soon as I decently could, I called her retirement home but didn't hear back so I was forced to assume she was okay.

I have an early morning meeting on Fridays which I knew I couldn't cancel.  There would have been no way to contact my manager because she doesn't answer her phone before 8:00 a.m. (who could blame her?) and there wouldn't have been anyone available at such short notice to fill in for me, so once I was sure I wouldn't barf on anyone I got ready to go out.  I can't believe how well the meeting went, despite being so tired and also despite setting off the burglar alarm in the office next to the meeting room where our supplies are stored.  I opened the door to the office suite not knowing there was a burglar alarm and when it went off I had no idea what to do.  I called the building custodian who was furious with me, saying I should have known how to disarm the sensor but no one had shown me.  With shattered nerves I carried on with the meeting and as mentioned, I'm amazed it went as well as it did.  This meeting is a relatively new one I've taken on since Christmas.  The members have been through a constantly changing array of leaders and it has taken them time to warm up to me but I can feel it's beginning to happen.  Once the meeting ended I realised my stomach had stopped hurting, so as much as I hope I helped them, I can definitely attest to the fact that they helped me.

I wish that could have been my only meeting that day but in fact, I had a second one; an At Work meeting downtown at the Hospital for Sick Children which followed right after.  This meeting was the first meeting I was given as a brand new leader and I have a deep affection for it.  It's a pleasure to conduct and it always makes me happy. 

I headed home in a good mood (and fell asleep on the streetcar!) to find 'Eldon' banging away at baseboards.  He offered to knock off for the day since Higgie had told him how sick I had been but I assured him there was no need.  I shut the bedroom door, climbed into bed and don't even remember the moment at which I closed my eyes.  All I know is, three hours later, I woke to find I had read 3/4 of a page of my book before passing out.  I got up, made a light meal of scrambled eggs and went back to bed an hour later.  I slept so soundly I netiher heard Higgie come home from work or come to bed.  Apparently I was snoring to beat the band.

On Saturdays I have two meetings which are both very early.  They went well and I came home planning to go to the gym but that didn't happen, so today it must.  There are five weeks remaining until my first run.  If I can't build endurance by running on the treadmill I can at least build strength. 

Do what you can do.


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