Thursday, December 11, 2014

I'm suppopse to be working on writing my unfinished NaNoWriMo


but instead I decided to write a little blog post first.  I'll think of it as a warm up.  I've just consumed my dinner which is a whole wheat bagel and cream cheese followed by a vanilla late'.  My day has been crazy and this is as healthy as I can get at the coffee shop.  I really wanted wings and a big beer from the Vine tonight or even the chocolate cheesecake calling my name in the glass case at the coffee shop, neighbor of the whole wheat bagel. 

However, I'm going to be good and go whole wheat!  I know all you real healthy nuts are saying- "you know how many calories/carbs are in a whole wheat bagel", but I'm saying instead "way to go didn't pick the cheesecake". 

Today has been so chaotic and I laugh, because it is all brought on by me being me.  Here is a recap, you can feel free to laugh, and say you are a busy bee or you are an idiot or just pass up the timeline and go to the end. 

0700-wrapped some presents, cleaned up kitchen, drank my breakfast shake
0800- PT for 50 minutes (today's workout was hard from the start), my knee and legs-both- were feeling tired from the get go.
0900-Starbucks stop for coffee and turkey bacon breakfast sandwich (you really didn't think I was just going to last on a breakfast shake until lunch did you :)).Stopped by UPS store to pick up Wine (gift from our awesome parents- Matt's for our recent anniversary)
0920- Michael's to return a purchase and of course get sucked in to purchase more xmas decor and crafts
1015- Bible study at church- big group today- read Psalm 31 and discussed
1130- off to library to return books and pick up as many Christmas movies as I could- kids and I are going to have a Christmas movie marathon while hubby is playing cards Sunday night.
1230- home to start cleaning the house for company and make the Lutheran Campus Ministry meal
1400- It took me an hour and a half to peal potatoes, cut potatoes, boil water and cook potatoes, then get the gravy done and in a crock pot along with putting the potatoes in the bigger crock pot and finishing off the spuds with cream cheese, butter and Greek yogurt.
1415- kids arrive home from school and I continue to multi-task by cleaning kitchen while helping Kate do art and Mason work on his "Son of Neptune" poster for his upcoming book talk at school.  After kitchen was cleaned up I vacuumed, cleaned hard wood floors (which side note- keeping hard wood floors clean is harder than I thought it would- doesn't help that we picked a dark wood so it shows everything, which hubby reminds me is a good incentive to keep the house clean)
1640- rush out of the house with the LCM meal head to church and drop it off all the while having my youngest change into her hockey gear while the car is moving, because I knew we would be running late to 5:30 hockey.  Wouldn't you know we were late, but it was due to a malfunctioning stop light- the turn light letting cars turn onto the interstate which was the fastest road to get me to mall for hockey never turned green and the cars were backed up until someone go the "balls" to turn on a red light. 
1735- youngest on ice and oldest now working on math homework.  I'm finally sitting still and realizing my knee is sore and swollen
1840- leave hockey to head to a local running store for "ladies night".  Catch up with a friend from church and then head off to writing group
2000- at the coffee shop and trying to find a place to sit, because I've forgotten it is the week before finals and so study space in a college town is prime real estate. 
2036- finishing this post so I can start my real writing for the night

WHEW!  I'm worn out and why am I sharing this long run on list of what I've done today- well I'm sharing it for me as a reminder of how we make choices to be active, busy, living life to its fullest with my cup somewhat running over.  Although my eyes are again surrounded by some lovely wrinkles and bags I feel pretty lucky and thankful for getting to make the above choices in how I'm filling my day.  Some may think crazy, some may think frivolous, some may think selfish or inefficient, but I look at the above list and think this is me, this will likely always be me. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

November Reads

I'm sitting watch my children practice for their Sunday school Christmas program. My eyes are hardly staying open and I feel the bags growing under my eyes minute by minute.

I'm tired for many reasons, but the main ones are: returned to the gym this week so getting up much, much earlier than use to, and then staying up to late working on all those holiday "to do's".

I wish I could say I'm staying up late reading/writing but alas both have not been that prominent in my life this month.

Last month I did a whole bunch of writing for NaNoWriMo and hardly any reading. Here are the books I finished in November and my book club read I finished the day after book club (Dec 5). We normally have book club the last Wed of the month but for the month of Nov we push that Wed to the first Wed in Dec and then have off for the holidays.

Harry Potter the Prisoner of Szkaban by JKRowling. I enjoyed this one even more than the 2nd. Now my oldest is talking me into book 4- saving that one for Christmas break. We enjoyed watching the movie but again the book was better.

Fly Away by Patricia Lachlan
This one I read with my oldest and I think we both didn't particularly get into it. Beautiful writing but just not an interesting story line for us.

Word after word after word by Patricia Lachlan
I enjoyed this one and thought the writing was again beautiful. My oldest thought it was OK but he wasn't overly sad when it was over. It was a story about children learning about writing- poetry mainly,through a super "neat" teacher. We all need to have experienced at least one of these "neat" teachers in our lives.

Lastly, Some Luck by Jane Smiley was our Nov book club pick. I didn't enjoy it but others in book club really did. It is the first book in a trilogy- the first 30 years of a family's life. Each chapter is another year. I struggled with the plot, didn't keep me interested ( other than the part about WWII),didn't really enjoy the characters and the characters I did like weren't main one's, and lastly couldn't get into the flow. I would just be getting into the story line of the chapter and the chapter would end and we'd be into another year and another story line. I've been told this book shouldn't dissuade me from reading A Thousand Acres by Smiley. So that one will stay on my "to read" list.

Reading a great mystery writer's newest book currently and two others lying on my bedside table calling my name. Hoping to get some major reading done over the holidays.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Wrote this yesterday and didn't get it posted, so better late than never :).

I have about 6 1/2 hours left of this year's National Novel Writing Month. I will not be making the 50K words goal.  Here is a screen shot of how fat I got. I plan to finish the writing of this novel by Christmas. I learned a lot in the month if this challenge. For me I do much better when I write daily. I'm much more consistent. I felt like my best days of writing occurred when I'd hand write the words first and then I'd type the words I wrote which gave me the ability to add to the draft I'd write earlier in the day.

I found having a brief outline with basic chapter ideas helped my writing flow. The days I didn't write weren't many but they add up as list work productivity. I rarely fall short with finishing a goal I've started but alas writing 30,000 words and 46 pages still felt like I accomplished something. My goal now is to finish what I've written, revise, and edit. Next work in progress is putting together a history of the nurse practitioner organization I belong too. I need to have this done and edited by mid April in time for our 40th anniversary of the organization. I have all tge material just need to organize the works and words into timeline form.

Due to so much writing this month I really didn't read as much. I wasn't super excited with the books I read and am currently reading so looking to reconnect with some good books the month of December. I really appreciated this forced writing experience and hope to participate again next year.
Novel successfully updated.

chattynatty

Member for about 1 month

chattynatty
  • Novel: Growing Up on the Farm
  • Genre: Mainstream
  • 30308 words so far
Your Average Per Day
1,010 
Words Written Today
1,562 
Target Word Count
50,000
Target Average Words Per Day
1,667
Total Words Written
30,308 
Words Remaining
19,692
Current Day
30 
Days Remaining
1
At This Rate You Will Finish On
December 20, 2014
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
19,692
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yesterday was one of those days...

I decided to have a pity party and be grumpy and crabby and irritated all day. 

Reasons for my "party":
1. My knee was swollen.
2. Walking is a horrific feat at this time.
3.I felt like I wasn't making a difference in the care of patients I saw.
4. My oldest is a crabby morning kido and so not a fun way to start the day- lost it on him when he barked at his happy, smiling, morning sibling "What are you looking at- WHAT!" (Side note- getting on a  crabby morning kid about being disrespectful and non-loving to his morning sibling doesn't help the situation- note to self)
5. My weight has hit an all time high. (secretly hoping 5 lbs of it is the swelling in my right leg :))
6. Nothing seemed to shake me out of my funk- not the cinnamon roll I chose with my coffee purchase for breakfast (this was chosen over the yogurt/granola I had packed and brought from home)- hence why #5 is the way it is.
7. Really frustrated with my lack of ability to do house stuff- help hubby out- be more active mom with kids, etc.
8. Even my go to feel goods, books, haven't done it for me this week.
9. My writing is floundering around like a fish out of water and I feel less dedicated- like I'm just writing to say I've checked at least one activity off my list.
10. Not seeing any improvement in ab/tone with my 30 day Ab challenge- again maybe #5 is the reason.

So I did what I always seemed to do- wallowed, ate crappy food, talked to my sister (who is a great "you need to get your big girl pants" on pep talker), had dinner with my kids- separately due to kid's activities, started reading a new book (which is a double bonus because it is about writing and had great ideas, comments, and life stuff in regard to reading and writing), found an awesome blog called pragmaticmom.com (full of reading book ideas- lists based on age, genre, etc for kids) and then finished the night with Harry Potter- book 3. 

Another side note- don't think I'll ever be a cult Harry Potter fan, but reading these books is another way I can connect with my crabby morning kido.  And the books have improved as the series has gone on. 

So today is another day and I've stayed home from work due to no patients in our clinic and a recovery day of healing from being on feet yesterday- knee feels better and I feel better.  Lesson learned- OK to have a pity party day once in awhile, but oh so nice to wake up with a whole new attitude and ideas on how to attack the things I want to change.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 6 +4 days...

Well great news on Friday when I went to the doctor- I'm free of crutches.  My tibia is healing well and they are super happy with my range of motion.  They being my surgeon and PT. 

So after he said I could walk no brace, no crutches I started.  Wow was that a gut check.  I don't know why I thought I'd just walk normal after major knee surgery and no weight bearing for 6 weeks. I couldn't believe my gait.  My awkward stance and stepping.

I feel like I'm walking like a person who needs knee surgery not had surgery.  My gait is really quite comical.  No offense to my father and father in-law (one has had hip replaced and the other likely needs something on his hip) but I'm walking like them, but much slower.  They'd beat me in a foot race. 

My first day was awkward, but I felt like it was going to get better.  My biggest issue wasn't my knee but the fact that my right foot felt like it was permanently asleep.  Again thanks to no weight bearing for 6 weeks the pressure of my body weight into that right foot was waking up nerve endings that hadn't been activated in a awhile.  So most of Friday I thought I was walking gimpy because of the fact I couldn't find good footing on my half asleep right foot. 

The next day I got up and had more feeling in that right foot, but again felt really gimpy.  I lurched around the house trying to do things I hadn't done in 6 weeks without major help: laundry, picked up bathroom, made breakfast, etc.  By mid afternoon I looked down at my knee and it was really swollen.  Through all of the past 6 weeks I really haven't had extreme swelling, so to look down and see my right knee twice the size as my left was a little concerning.  So up my feet went, on went the ice and took some Tylenol.  The rest of the day was just me again feeling disconnected from the family because mom can't play basketball, football or hand-ball in the basement with the rest of the gang.  Mom is back to being crabby because her knee is swollen and she can't walk. 

I headed to bed hoping a nights sleep would help the swelling go down and my spirits to lift.  It worked for awhile this morning when I awoke.  My knee looked less swollen, but my calves hurt like someone had made me do 100's of toe raises.  Again a reminder that I hadn't used these muscles for 6 weeks.  So I took it easier today, more time with my feet up and even took a nap this afternoon.  Those who know me know that for me to take a nap is a sign I'm exhausted- this case both mentally and physically. 

So of course my mind starts to spin and I wonder "now what".  I'm so inpatient, I'm so tired of this and getting frustrated.  Worried about how the heck I will gimp around work and when I'll be able to get back to normal daily living activities.  When I'll be able to walk with a normal gait.  I'm laughing at the fact I was asking my surgeon about when I'll be able to run again, when I can't hardly take a step without wincing.  This too shall pass.  I know I have so much to be thankful/grateful for, but I'm having a moment of self-pity and then will move on.  I hope to look back one day in the not to far off future and laugh at how quickly I came back to my real life- my running life.   

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Reads

I had a very productive reading month because, well, that was about all I could do lying on the couch and recuperating.  I read some great books and really, truly, believe like friends, these books got me through my 6 weeks non weight bearing.  I also discovered that my book reading logs have been a little off kilter.  When I put a book into my "want to read" pile on the goodreads site that date stays as the "read" book date unless I physically go in and change the "read" date to the date I have read it.  So what does this mean- well I haven't logged all my books appropriately.  So I'll first start out with some stragglers that I just haven't given their due. 

Flora and Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventure by Kate DiCamillo
I found this book to be quite entertaining with some heavy subject matter: divorce, finding yourself, imaginary/magical thinking.  I started reading this book out loud to my kids, but they just couldn't get into it.  So I finished it on my own.  Funny because my niece loved it!  Now that I've written this brief synopsis I feel like I'm having deja'vu.  Sorry if already told you about this one.

Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott
Another book that was just hanging in my "good reads" limbo.  Again feel like I've written about it, but alas here we go again.  I like her writing a lot!  I get her views on religion and being Christian.  I've read most of her nonfiction works, but yet to have read a fiction piece.  The premise behind this book are the three reasons you should pray: to say "help", to say "thanks" and to say "wow".  Love this!

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
Again sorry if this is double, but it was in "limbo" list too.  I really liked this book.  It was the time period of going from typewriters to computers in publishing firms.  This young lady tells her story of working for the publishing firm who had J.D. Salinger (aka Catcher in the Rye author) on their client list.  I really found this book interesting and highly recommend this memoir. 

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
She's another one of my favorites and I have enjoyed both her fiction and nonfiction.  This is a nonfiction book that gives stories and examples about Anna's love of reading and what it has meant to her life.  I'm drawn to these sorts of books- I wonder why :).

OK now to the real October reads:
In no particular order and in all truthfulness one of the best month's worth of reading I've had.  I guess someone knew I needed some great stories to keep my mind off things.

Phantom by Jo Nesbo
Harry Hole inspector series #9.  This was a good one and I was a little surprised by the twists that this book took. The Snowman is still my favorite, but this is a close second.  I'm onto book #10 and Jo is giving Louise Penny a run for her money on keeping me intrigued and waiting patiently for the next book and the next book in the series to come.  I would hate to see Harry Hole disappear as much as I would hate to see Armande Gamache (Penny's inspector).  These people know how to write character and add description to their narratives.

From The Mist by Kiki Thorpe
#4 in the Never Girls Mystery series.  My daughter especially enjoyed this one as the main character Kate was riding a horse throughout the story. 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Son was happy to hear I finished and liked the 2nd book (I didn't really think the first one was all that).  We were able to discuss the story and better yet watch the 2nd movie.  Now I'm on the third.  Son and I are taking turns reading it out loud, but it isn't going as fast as he would like, again I won't watch the movie until I've read the book so I may soon be reading the book on my own.

The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett
I really enjoyed this book.  It was almost a combo love story/mystery/book finder's and book producer's tutorial all rolled into one.  The main character Peter is eccentric and finds comfort in the arms of books.  His story of love for his wife and books combines to make for an interesting plot.  I highly recommend this read for anyone who enjoys mysteries and love stories.

Americana and Other Poems by John Updike
I'm trying, I'm really trying to read poetry.  I found these poems written very well with great description of different items, subjects, and places meaning anything to John Updike.  However, the poems all sort of had this either satirical, sad or angry tone and I just don't need any of that now.

In the Next Galaxy by Ruth Stone
Another poetry book.  I picked this one up because of her being from Roanoke, Virginia.   This is near where my father group up.  She has 13 books of poetry published and has received numerous awards.  I didn't really enjoy her work.  It just didn't do anything for me. 

The Girl you Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Loved this book.  After reading Me Before You for book club I wanted to read more of Jojo's work.  A friend who knows me to well brought this book as a "get well" gift following my surgery and I devoured it.  The story line and characters are very different from Me Before You, but there are still the major players: loss, love, happiness, family, and finding one's self.  It starts during World War I, which I admit I'm lacking in historical knowledge, but also takes place in modern day.  So the flashbacks or jumps between time periods I loved.  I'm looking forward to reading many more books by Jojo.

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman
This was our book club book for October.  It was very interesting story which took place primarily in a small town in Minnesota.  The main character Clara was going through a lot: new person/pastor's wife moving into town, trying to hunt down information about her mother, trying to become or figure out how to be a mother herself, make her marriage work and through it all determine who she was.  The characters in this book seemed very "rich" to me in the sense that I could very easily picture them in my imagination.  It is a mystery/suspense, but also a story of love.  I think you see a trend of books that make me happy in life: mystery with romance/love story intertwined.  Great book and great book discussion.


Whew!  That's it for October.  Reading is good for my soul and well being.  Looking forward to another month of healthy living through books in November- goal is one book/week.  We will see.