Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Second Quarterly Check-in, July 6, 2016

Well, here I am beginning my 70th year and I'm not in good shape at all!  I fell a couple of weeks ago and broke a bone in my foot - how dumb!  I rolled up the rug to clean the kitchen floor, then got distracted and tripped over the rug...  alarming on several levels...  short term memory going fast, and bones ready to break at the slightest stress  : (  There's an important lesson here, about how just a moment of inattention and carelessness can really change your life.  I'm fortunate mine is only changed for a month or so this time, but I can hear my mom saying "Pamela, you must keep your wits about you!"

We've been quite busy these past three months.  Here are some of our activities:

Stan's timeshare has a resort in central Oregon called Eagle Crest, where he used to enjoy spring break with his kids years ago.  He's been suggesting we go down there sometime, and Tyler mentioned that Bend, OR made a short list of smaller towns he and Alethea and Mira might want to relocate to, so we took a road trip to check it out.

This is a place where I could retire!!  I was surprised that I liked it so much!  There are homes, condos and apartments for sale and for rent, and all kinds of activities like hiking, golf, rental bikes and bike trail, horses, swimming, you name it!  There's even a community for over-50 folks with it's own activities.  I don't really expect we'll leave this house and Washington any time soon, but it sure made me think about what I want in my retirement years.  (Number 1 is having the kids close by, so no move as yet...)

 We stopped for dinner with Melanie and Ben in Portland on the way down, and I was invited to return and keep Wilbur company while he healed from a pretty serious surgery to remove a growth from his paw (and also one toe).  So, I headed back to Portland, and Wilbur and I bonded while lounging around in the beautiful weather while Melanie and Ben were at work.  I'm happy to report Wilbur is quite recovered now and ready to play again!

Rooftop dinner with Melanie and Ben

Wilbur's favorite spot (mine, too)
Ben grilled dinner after a long day of work - yum!

(I guess you can see my new wine-free lifestyle didn't carry over far into the 2nd quarter...  I backslipped for a month or two, but now I'm back on track.  Good thing, as now I'm sleeping pretty well in spite of the broken foot!)

I was barely home from Portland when it was time to pack and fly to Chantilly, Virginia for BINC - the Better Investing National Convention.  Since I'm a director of our chapter, they paid my way, and Stan went with me.  It was a great four days of classes and talks, and comparing investing notes with fellow investors around the country.  It motivated us to continue learning and experimenting with our investing.  As Stan said, "We can do better".

On Memorial Day I met my new grandcritter, Evie!!  What a sweetheart!  Mira has wanted a dog for a long time, and her parents found a way to make that happen with a puppy of the breed Lagotto Romagnolo, which doesn't bother Alethea's allergies.  Evie's still a baby, but we can already tell she's going to be cuddly and smart.  I enjoyed watching her gather a couple of toys and take them to her favorite corner - very purposeful!

The first week in June, my friend and co-grandma Charla and I walked eleven miles round trip to the Dungeness Spit lighthouse.   We did great!  Charla was a bit worried about a bad knee, but she got in her groove and walked strong and fast all the way back.  On the other hand, I had no trouble on the way out, but coming back my knee suddenly started hurting and had a fluid-filled lump pop up.  Charla lent me one of her walking sticks and I was fine, though pretty slow.  Anyway, we did it!

Then came the day of the foot!  Ouch!!  (I'm so sorry for people who have broken their hips!  Just a small foot bone hurt quite a bit!)  I didn't know it was broken, so just kept it up with ice for the afternoon, and headed off to Mira's orchestra concert that evening.

So glad I could go!  It was amazing!  I'd love to post a photo of Mira graciously fulfulling the role of concert mistress for her beginning orchestra (first violin!) but her director asked us not to post any photos on public media, and I will obey.  Mira's middle school is known for its music program, and I was surprised to see hundreds of kids in 5 orchestras, as well as several really great soloists.  ("Really great" doesn't even begin to describe how good they are.)  The whole family urged me to get my foot checked out the next day, so I did - good thing.

So, how to entertain myself sitting down for the next 6 weeks??  Reading, of course.  I put some books on hold at the library, so Stan could just zip in and pick them up.  (One was Host by Robin Cook - exciting medical thriller.  I'll get more of his.)  I also finished knitting my first pair of socks, that I had started when I visited the yarn shop in Cannon Beach last winter.  I already have more yarn on the way.

I also signed up for a class on   A terrific website!  There are many classes in all sorts of categories - Life Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Languages, Business and Data Science.  I chose to start with Business Analytics - for example, how Amazon knows which books to show me and how to customize for me  "people who bought this, also bought that".  Also, how Google decides which ads to show at the top of my search, and how much to charge for them.  Lots of math!  Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but I'm finding it very interesting.  You can audit for free, or pay if you want to take tests and get a certificate.

Finally, my birthday was last weekend and both kids and their families came to help me celebrate.  We had a great time!  It was the first time the two doggie cousins met each other and they played nicely, with Wilbur teaching Evie a few manners.  I'm lucky to have such a nice family.

Photo by son-in-law Ben - I need to master the timer so all can be in pic!

So, with all those activities, did I stay on my eating plan?  Uh, no.  I have gained 4 pounds (make that 5 at press time), with probably more to come, as I won't be exercising for at least another 4 weeks.  I'm already vowing to get out there and walk more, and I'm off the wine and the Starbucks frappuccinos.  Stan and I watched a documentary called Fat and Sick and Nearly Dead, by an Aussie guy who went on a vegetable juice fast while driving around the US telling people about it.  He wound up helping a much fatter, sicker man who then went on to help others.

All that caused me to reconsider juicing.  I had bought a really nice (expensive) juicer a few years ago, shortly before reading that juicing was bad and that we should make smoothies in a high-speed (even more expensive) blender so as to eat the whole fruit.  I never did get the blender, and the juicer went up on the top shelf in the pantry.  Anyway, I'm considering getting it out again.  When I first had it, I had gotten fairly good at making a nice juice mixture that was as nutritious as I could actually tolerate drinking.  One of my books from the library is Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Juice and it has detailed instructions for a 3-day cleanse (not a juice fast, there's some food, too), and I may give it a try.  Will write about it if I do.

I also can't wait to get walking and hiking again, not to mention golf.  I'm so sorry I spoiled golf for Stan, too, as we had just started our once-a-week round at the community 9-hole course.  When I get back to my activities, I'll be so appreciative of my pain-free mobility!

Look who we ran into on our favorite trail.  Have a great summer!

1 comment:

  1. Pam, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blogs. I jotted down the name of the book for Juicing and will look for it at my library. Also will try your suggestion of the book "Host"
    Hope your foot is all healed by now and you are getting back to your old routine. Miss you.