Tuesday, January 27, 2015

We Got Off Easy

Norwalk got about eight inches of snow. Not bad, considering the forecasts called for one to two feet.

We were prepared for the worst, with lots of food, including things that we could heat up on the stove if we lost electricity. We got out our candles and flashlights.

We had no problems even when I took Spike out in the morning. The sidewalks were shoveled and the parking lot plowed. The snow was dry and even the winds were friendly to us.There was hardly any snow on our cars. We could easily brush it off. We didn't need to dig out our cars.

Unfortunately, we're stuck with the snow for a while with weeks of cold weather on the horizon.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oh, The Places We Could Go

Jeff and I haven't been on a real vacation for years. It's mostly an issue of money. In our current work situations, if we don't work, we don't get paid. For several years, we had parents living in the south (South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) and they pressured us to spend vacations on family visits.

For the past few years, we've been doing weekend getaways, often at Interlaken. Interlaken is close enough for an overnight stay; there's a lot to do in the area. We love Morgan's Restaurant. And Interlaken is pet friendly--we enjoy traveling with Spike.

A few weeks ago, The New York Times ran this article on places to go in 2015. I doubt we'll make it to Milan or Turkey or Shanghai. But number three on the list is Philadelphia, subtitled the making of an urban outdoor oasis.

Philadelphia is close enough for a weekend trip. Pedestrian friendly spaces with public art and open air beer gardens sound pretty good to me.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Welcome Home

This is the first thing my mother saw as she returned to her apartment today. Her return was a long time coming; she's been in the health center since Halloween.

Her primary injury was a broken hip: a broken vertebrae a complication. My mother had been living independently before her injury, and it took her a long time to return to a semi-independent lifestyle. She's using a walker, some contraption to help put on her socks and stockings (she needs assistance for the left foot only) a device to help her reach/pick up things, and she's still on medication. She'll continue to see an occupational therapist and will have some assistance from an aide. I'll be there to help as well.

Had a bit of a scare today--I thought maybe Mom would be stuck in the health center for a while longer. I had left the patient wing to talk to the social worker, but she wasn't in her office. When I tried to return, the code on the entry keypad had been changed. A security guard told me the center was in quarantine. After a few minutes of confusion and misinformation, a nurse told me that they had decided not to allow visitors because a few patients had some kind of respiratory infection. I was allowed back inside to assist with my mother's discharge.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Morning Walk

Tuesday morning Spike took me for a relatively long walk. This made me happy for several reasons.

Most importantly, taking a long walk shows that Spike is feeling better. He's strong and acting like his old self.

I was happy that the weather was warmer--with temperatures in the mid-thirties. I was happy that I had taken Spike out early enough to accommodate a long walk, even though I had an early morning tutoring appointment.

Because of cold weather and Spike's illness, most of our recent walks were really "walks" in which we barely left our property. The long walk helped me feel more connected with our neighborhood. It gave me a chance to think. That walk may have helped save my life.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What We've Been Watching

We've been checking out some movies the past few weeks: Divergent, Monuments Men, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Grand Budapest Hotel. I enjoyed all of them.

I liked the idea of Divergent more than its execution. I could see how a repressive society would want to pigeonhole its citizens in an effort to control them, and how divergents who couldn't be neatly categorized would threaten that order. I couldn't help but compare the film to The Hunger Games and found Divergent lacking.

I heard a few jokes about Monuments Men on the Golden Globes show, so I guess it wasn't very successful. I liked the twist on the war film with soldiers saving art instead of waging war. One review suggested that the story would have been better as a television series than as a film. I agree that Monuments Men would make a good episodic show.

Star Trek Into Darkness was the best of the recent films we've watched. It was a fun action film that avoided special effects overkill that end up boring me. It took me awhile before I even realized that it was a reboot of The Wrath of Khan. It wasn't as predictable as many reboots are.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the first Wes Anderson film I've seen. It was fun and quirky, but also had a sad undertone. I'll keep my eyes open for Anderson's other films when they appear on TV, though I don't think I'll seek them out.

What's My Normal?

Yesterday I wrote about Spike returning to his normal life and my mother returning to hers. I started thinking about my life and what's normal for me.

First thing, the holidays are over; it's time to get back to work, get down to business, (insert your favorite cliché here.) Many still have holiday decorations up. At least we've taken ours down, though we still need to put them away in the bin.

With Spike's recovery, another aspect of my life's returning to normal. Worrying about Spike disrupted my sleep and my routine. I was so scared that I didn't want to leave him alone. I was haunted by the fear that he would die all alone. But I couldn't continue to live like that--I have responsibilities. Now I feel more secure about leaving him.

As my mother returns to her normal routine, I'll be freed up from some responsibilities to her. I've been visiting her about three times a week. I think that will continue for awhile, but it will be easier once she's back in her own apartment.

Now--the hard part. What exactly is my normal?  And is it the life that I want?

My normal isn't bad, but there are things I'd like to change. I want to exercise more, drink less, eat  better, read more books, see friends more often, write more, blog more, do more creative things.

To make this changes, I need to take action, set goals. A wish list by itself won't cut it. I've got some work ahead of me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things are Looking Up

It's been almost two weeks since my last post; it feels more like two months of headaches and heartaches.

We took Spike to the vet's for a follow up visit on the 3rd, and he was doing well. The next few days, he was up and down, very down by Thursday. He needed another aspiration of his pericardial sac. I was thrown by Spike's swift decline from Saturday to Thursday. I sat in the vet's waiting room and couldn't stop crying. I was scared that it could be time to put Spike to sleep.

But Spike got better--day by day. Now, a week later, he's back to his old self: alert, playful and hungry. I know he'll never be cured, but as long as he's happy and living his normal life--we're happy. He just gave me a big smile.

I'm also optimistic that my mother will be released soon from the health care center. She had minor surgery to ease the pain of her broken vertebra yesterday. I know she'll be happy to get back to her apartment and back to her own normal life.

Sometimes normal is the ultimate goal.

Friday, January 2, 2015

"I Can't Do Everything Today..."

"but I can take one small step."

This is one of the 19 things remarkable people think.

I read several articles via my Linked In Pulse email with links. (I debated putting helpful in quotes.) I skimmed articles about irritating behaviors, tips to help you read more, as well as other tips to improve 2015.

The "small steps" is the thing that spoke most to me. It's definitely something I've heard before, and something that has worked for me before. Sometimes I just have to be reminded.

I need to take small steps on projects and goals.