Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Which Wednesday?

Not Wordless. Witty? Wonderful? Wild & whimsical?

Early-ish deploy window (i.e. earlier than I wanted to have to get myself into the office; particularly after staying up too late watching Olympic figure skating), so worked from home. Also was not ready to eat anything that early, so just had coffee.

Around 10 am was able to step away from computer for a break. Went down and started a fire in the wood stove; not really that cold out today, but I was feeling chilly. Still not terribly hungry, but should eat something, so finished off leftover Thai Hummus with some sprouted grain toast and another coffee.

Back to the computer for a couple of hours, then go up to take another short break. I find I really need to be conscious of getting up and moving around when I am working at home; for whatever reason, I am more likely be glued to my desk at home, hunched over the computer, and I end up feeling crappy by the end of the day. Better to get up and take some breaks.

Actually did my 20 min walk break on the treadmill (and added some more wood to the fire while down there), then came back up to grab some blackberries & cottage cheese...And didn't take a picture, but really, how exciting is that to look at anyway? Did enjoy eating though, especially the blackberries.

It was actually a nice day - it has been warming up again. Isabelle has it pretty good on my work from home days; she usually gets a few trips outside, instead of one after work on normal work days.

Snow is melting, melting, melting again...

Husband came home from work, I took Isabelle for one more walk about in the yard, and then we were out the door again to meet up with friends for dinner.

Beer & Whisky flight (Husband & I shared; I may have made a bit of a pouty face, but he did have to drive home).

Appetizer special, which I would have (we probably should have shared) but we each had our own. I had Fish Tacos and Macaroni Bites.

And...veggie burger with parmesan fries. I was really hungry when we ordered. I ate most of the burger, and a few fries. Husband helped out with the fries, his dinner was smaller than mine.

Good evening with friends, home to watch some more Olympics. Looking forward to quiet evenings at home for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pancake Two-sday

Making it a quickie...Pancake Tuesday! My always-happy-for-excuse-to-eat-pancakes day!

A whole stack of these delivered to the kitchen at work to start off the day:

I am sure I have not had McDonald's Hotcakes since I was a child. There were sausage patties too, but not my thing.

Lunch, pretty much the same as yesterday:

I did have another clementine too, but somehow that didn't make it into a picture.

Then for dinner I made real homemade pancakes, with blueberries, blackberries and maple syrup. Eggs on the side (1 for me, 2 for Husband).

Husband also brought me home a present which I totally was not expecting!

I was supposed to have my piano lesson, but we were running late, I was rushing around trying to throw dinner together, totally stressed and feeling like I wouldn't even have time to eat, so I ended up cancelling.

Enjoyed my pancake dinner and stayed up too late watching olympic figure skating.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sweets for your Sweetheart

Couple of busy weeks coming up, starting today. Here we go!

- Was sore yesterday, particularly right hip. Expected worse to day, but is better. Still feeling the right hip and my right knee a bit though.
- Was aiming to try and get out of the house a bit earlier this morning, since we want to leave work early today, but Husband was the one slowing things down for a change.
- Our driveway, and the drive down to the road are solid ice. The car actually slid sideways down the hill, but fortunately not all the way to the road. It's garbage day, but we didn't see ourselves walking down the icy hill; put garbage in trunk and got out of the car at the bottom to put the garbage out.
- Lots of new Pokemon to catch on they way to work this morning! Yes, we are easily amused.

Breakfast: Coffee, cottage cheese and a clementine from the kitchen at work.

 Lunch: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Mole, popcorn and the clementine that I never got around to eating with breakfast.

- Being a day I need to leave a bit early, I'm in the midst of trying to resolve a problem when I look at the time are realize it is 4:28.
- Rushed out of the office, forgetting to change into my outdoor boots. Fortunately sidewalks in town are mostly clear.
- Met up with Husband, and we were off for a quick dinner before the main event.

Let the festivities begin!

I honestly walked into the restaurant planning to order a salad. But then we discovered two of the things we loved from the last Chop Chop week were on the menu: Street fries and Thai Hummus. We shared these, and husband also ordered some kind of chicken bites and Thai Brussels Sprouts.

And then off to the "Sweets For Your Sweetheart" whisky and dessert pairing.

- There were two seatings, and we chose the early seating even though it meant leaving work a little early and having a quick dinner; old fogies that we are, we didn't want to be out late on a Monday night.
- When we get home, our driveway is still looking like a skating rink. Husband takes a run up the hill, I brace myself to crash into the house or something; we did a bit of sliding around, but we made it safely into the garage.
- Husband then called our snow plow guy to have some sand dumped on our driveway before it's time to leave for work in the morning.
- Isabelle was a bit desperate to get outside as usual, but it was dark by this time and I wasn't going to risk going out and falling on any icy patches in the dark, so she'll just have to survive until tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Easy Does It Plan

Since getting the all clear on Tuesday morning from my doctor, I have been thinking about the how to get back into the exercise habit, build up my fitness again, and avoid doing any more damage to my knees...

Walking, at a slow pace, seems safe. I'll get bored if that's all I'm doing though.

Should I go back to my usual workouts, but reduce weights and intensity? I'm afraid I'll get impatient with that, and I'm not so sure those workouts are the best for recovery. Maybe I am overthinking, and worrying too much, but I would prefer to be cautious rather than wind up right back where I was last fall.

So, I turned to google for specific ideas and decided to give this a try:

8 Exercises to Help Your Knees from WebMD

Yesterday, did 6 of the 8 exercises here, alternating each one with an upper body or core exercise. It took me an hour to do, so not something that I am likely to squeeze in on a work night. Feeling it today, and probably will be feeling it even more tomorrow. 
Aside from this, what I have been trying to do is:
  1. Get in a a walking break of at least 20 minutes during my work day. The office building I work in is part of a complex of buildings connected by walkways, so I can easily walk indoors without worrying about the weather (or slipping and falling on ice, and possibly banging up my knees even more).
  2. Aim to get in an additional 20 minutes of activity after work. This could be walking, or other exercise.
The workouts might be longer than 20 minutes. Some days there might only be one. Some days I might do a block of 40 all at once. Basically just trying to get movement back into my life without overdoing it. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to track this. So far I have set it up on my side bar to just mark off the blocks of [at least] 20 minutes that I get in each day. I don't want to get into writing down specifics of treadmill walks; I used to always write down speed, distance, incline for my treadmill sessions but this tends to lead to me wanting to outdo my last session, which in turn can lead to me overdoing things, and I really want to keep things slow and easy for now.

I really do feel like I'm being ridiculous and making too big a deal of this...But then I remind myself of what it was like to not even feel confident about walking. I'm already nervous about walking down stairs, and always try to keep my hand on a railing because I don't trust myself. I have a real fear of falling now (something to do with having done that three times in three years).

So this is my loose plan. I will likely have to come up with some shorter strength routines; possibly I will just break up the Web MD one, but I did see some other exercises when I was looking around.

The rest of last week passed in a blur...I'm trying to remember what I did, but obviously nothing exciting! We had more snow on Wednesday, I remember that for sure. Yesterday morning it was snowing again, and it looked very pretty in the morning. Then by afternoon it turned to rain again.

I slept in a bit, then relaxed for the morning with my coffee and a book, plus a bit of time on the computer. Cottage cheese for breakfast because it's easy, I like it, and it gives me protein. Did my workout and then had lunch:

The Indian meal delivery for this week was Pad Thai (which is not so much Indian, but not complaining) . This is the second time for Pad Thai, and last time I found that one serving was enough to give me two meals. There is always a Dal dish offered, so this time we ordered one Pad Thai for me (with Paneer), two for Husband (one shrimp, one chicken) and one order of the Dal.

I split the Dal between us for lunch, and toasted some sprouted grain bread. I very much enjoyed it, Husband said he didn't like the Kale that was in it.

I followed that with a piece of Dark Chocolate Almond Bark that Husband brought home on Friday;

Then I tackled sorting through some old clothes to get rid of. I am such a pack rat, I have a hard time getting rid of anything. Over the years, as older clothes no longer fit, I have packed them away in the hopes that someday they will fit again...No such luck. It's gotten to the point where it is really too much. If I just chucked all of, it would probably be a lot less stress, but I don't know how to do that. So I am making an effort to go through things and at least make a start. Yesterday, I found that I pretty much had an immediate Yes or No reaction to most things, so I didn't allow myself to think about it too hard; anything that was a No immediately went in the toss pile. My aim is to spend a bit of time every weekend on this.

I thought about going downstairs to do some painting, but lately this has been a difficult thing because Isabelle comes down, getting into things and wanting attention. In the fall and early winter she didn't do that so much, I think because the basement seemed like Trixie's domain, but she's getting braver about that. So I ended up just puttering a bit upstairs - I cannot find Isabelle's harness, have not been able to for a week and I keep searching - and then playing a little ESO, and some more reading while I munched on some Pistachios.

Dinner was the rest of our Indian delivery; 1/2 serving of Pad Thai with Paneer for me, Pad Thai with Chicken for Husband.

And there was some more chocolate for dessert. The Husband brought me a rum & coke. Apparently it was a day for treats.

Today has been another damp, gloomy day. We were supposed to go out and do grocery shopping, but our drive way is all ice at the moment; we live on a hill, so we worry about being to get back up the drive way when it's all icy. Forecast is for freezing rain, so tomorrow might be interesting.

I need to get in some piano practice, and a short walk on the treadmill would be good. And the next thing I know, it will be Monday again...

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ready or Not

Yeah, so; didn't take long for me to remember why this daily food blogging thing fell by the wayside. In theory, it doesn't seem like much, I'm snapping pictures on my phone and publishing them on my blog...But honestly, a lot of days even an extra half hour of "to do" seems like too much.

Last night, after I'd already published for the day, Husband and I split this last treat from his Japan Crate:

And just because it entertained me, my view of Isabelle's paws as she was napping on the love seat. My sweater was on the arm of the love seat, so I wouldn't even have known she was there until the paws stretched up.

Food-wise, today was a repeat of yesterday, so I won't bother to repost.

Doctor appointment this morning to finally follow up on that knee X-Ray I had back in...Nov? Early Dec? X-Ray does not show any problems, and given that I am not feeling pain like I was back in the fall, I am clear to start exercising again, but slowly; the doctor actually said "very slowly". I feel like he was just humoring me, but that might be my own bias talking there.

That said, I will take it slow. While it is true that I am no longer experiencing pain like I was in the fall, neither of my knees feel quite right; nor does my ankle; maybe they never will again. But I'd like to keep them in the best shape possible, so "easy does it" will be the plan.

This evening was supposed to be piano lessons, but it's snowing again and the roads were slippery in spots on our way home, so I decided not to go back out. A quiet evening with the Husband and kitties is always nice.



Interesting article of the day:
If You Stop Thinking Of Exercise As A Way To Lose Weight, You May Actually Enjoy It

This is one of those things that I know, yet I need to keep reminding myself.  I know that I feel better when I exercise. It has many health benefits. And I am more likely to do it, and reap those benefits, if I do workouts that are enjoyable to me. And it feels less like a chore if I'm not thinking about it as a way to burn calories. Yet, I still find myself doing just that; did it today, in fact. So good have this reminder.

Also timely:
February 7th is the day we give up.

This showed up on my Facebook feed today and it felt relevant, though maybe not quite in the way it was intended. Honestly, at the beginning of January I was just feeling exhausted and cranky, not at all inspired. Today is when I am starting to feel fired up. I suppose, according to the research, this is due to wear off in 38 days? I'm kinda feeling like I'll just take what I can get for the moment.

Honestly, I had lots on my mind throughout the day to day, and I intended to write more, but I've been trying to type around the cat sleeping on my lap and it is rapidly approaching my bed time, so this is it for now.

Monday, February 5, 2018

And Out Of Fashion

I know it's no longer the thing; daily food blogging is so 2008 and here we are in 2018 already. But reading back over some of my old posts on the weekend was fascinating to me; it's so easy to forget what was I doing then that was the same or different?

I know I won't keep this up. I truly miss the old days  of reading daily posts from other bloggers, but I also remember that it felt like a lot of work sometimes. But revisiting once in a while might be fun, so here we go...

Ten years ago today: Would you like chocolate with that?*  

Well as a matter of fact, I'm having chocolate for lunch today...sort of; read on!

I am forever struggling with what to eat for breakfast. Mostly, I don't like eating first thing in the morning. Late last fall I started bringing a container of cottage cheese to eat for breakfast once I get to work. That's working for me, and lately I've been enjoying some blackberries on the side. With coffee, of course. Last year I also switched to full on 18% coffee cream at home, so when I bring my coffee, that's what is in there. If I get my coffee at work, it's 10%; what they call Cereal Cream around here.

Yesterday, made sweet potato and black bean mole chili. Four ziploc plastic containers went in the freezer, and two ceramic containers in the fridge. There is still one container of Rockin Moroccan Stew in the freezer. Lunches are covered for the next couple of weeks. Oddly enough, 2009 me was also eating Rockin' Moroccan Stew and sweet potato and black bean mole for lunches.

Looks like mud? Tastes like chocolate!

I was looking for a change in routine. I eat a lot of Rockin' Moroccan Stew, and it's good, but it's nice to have something different. I did a Tomato Veg Soup with lima beans and lentils that I also enjoyed. I remembered that I used to to a slow cooker mole, so I went searching for the recipe, thinking to adapt it as a vegetarian lunch and discovered that I already did that, and if I can believe myself, I quite enjoyed it.

I was still not 100% confident, but turns out it's pretty wonderful, if I do say so myself. Apparently I do sometimes know what I'm talking about. A hint of sweetness, warm spice and chocolate. It is rich and comforting.

Almonds were afternoon snack.

Stop for groceries on the way home, then home where the first order of business was to take Isabelle outside. Most of the snow is gone again, and it was warm - relatively speaking anyway, 2C - and Isabelle was a happy kitty.

Then inside to make dinner - another recognizable favorite:

Mapo Tofu over Jasmine rice. Dinner entertainment was Star Trek: Discovery which I am loving, though it has already broken my heart a couple of times.

And, um... 9 Unexpected Things That Happen When You Abandon Your Workout Routine

Time to get back to it.

* Technically, the date is off by one, but I chose to use the nearest Monday, which was Feb 4, 2008. Carry on.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Old School

Friday morning we woke up to above 0C temperatures and rain. By midday, the temperature had dropped back down below freezing and it was snowing. As you can imagine, that made for a bit of a mess. Buses were pulled from the roads, businesses were closing for the day; I was already working at home, but Husband actually came home early.

Back in November, a friend sent me a link to Japan Crate which is one of those monthly subscription box services. They were offering a special Holiday box, so I ordered it for Husband. The shipping was estimated to be 4-6 weeks, and it shipped Dec 4, so I was figuring it would show up some time in January.

Finally arrived on Friday. Yep, February 2. Almost a full 2 months.

But on the up side, it was a nice surprise for Husband, arriving home on a stormy afternoon.

And Isabelle enjoyed the box.

Trixie just really enjoys our wool rug.

Anyway, yesterday was -18C, with a wind chill of -30, so we decided not to go out, and put off shopping until today...Which has turned out to be a messy, rainy, snowy day and we have plenty of food to eat so who wants to leave the house anyway?

Last night we had one of our weekly Indian delivery dinners (a local entrepreneur delivers to workers at an office building in our neighborhood where two of our friends work, we got in on it and now he delivers to our house on Friday morning).

 Butter Paneer (Butter Chicken for Husband) and Rainbow Rice.

Slept in until around 8 am this morning, then stumbled out for coffee.

Was not the slightest bit hungry, so just served myself some blackberries to munch on while I relaxed for the morning.

Around 10:30 I decided it was time to get up and get some things done. I threw together a sweet potato and black bean mole (based on this recipe) and then it was noon and I was finally hungry. By this time, we had decided we could get by without going out for groceries today, since the weather is still not great, so I threw together some pasta for myself.

After lunch, some puttering around doing laundry and trying to de-clutter at bit (one of my biggest challenges).

And then I pretty much goofed off for the rest of the day, and I don't feel bad about it. I've been in the computer-gaming mood lately, so I indulged. It will wear off, and then I go back to other things.

Since we didn't end up going out for groceries, we ended up with sausage, eggs and hash browns for dinner. It was not really all that picturesque, so I didn't bother with a photo. It did the job. Now winding down and kind of looking forward to sleepy time (if not to the Monday morning that will follow...).

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Can We Start Over? Part 2.

Nothing particularly exciting about yesterday; it was Friday and I was glad.
- JavaChick, Nov 21 2009

I went searching for an old recipe from my blog, and wound up whiling away a bunch of time reading posts from November 2009. Wow. I miss Blogger JavaChick, circa 2009.  I often feel like I have so much less energy than I used to; I've been telling myself I'm probably imagining that, but Nov 2009 JavaChick was getting things done. 

I've said this before, but one of the things I appreciate about blogging is the ability to go back and read old entries. I wish that I kept up with it better; recipes I had forgotten about, pictures of my Fabulous Felines - oh, how I miss them! - and remembering that I actually used to enjoy doing intervals on my treadmill. Honestly, I've never been a person who has a huge amount of energy, but compared to now, that girl seems like a go-getter.

The walk down memory lane was entertaining. The aftermath was a little bit of me thinking: "What's wrong with you? Why can't you be like that again?" 

But that is pointless. What was that New Year's Resolution again? Do the best I can, and don't beat up on myself (paraphrasing). I am feeling better than I was a month ago; I've rested up, the days are getting longer, I've started taking some vitamins and they're kicking in? Either way, things are looking better. So, looking forward...

Immediately after publishing my last post, I thought: "Okay, you've done your venting. So, what are you going to do about it?"

The very next day, I decided it was time to make friends with my treadmill again. and marched downstairs after work...To be confronted with the mess that my workout area has become. 

I had an afternoon off coming to me, so that Friday I took the afternoon and did some cleaning up down in the basement. I find I am always more motivated to go down there when things are at least somewhat tidy. Sadly, I ended up packing away the paintings I've had sitting up on the ledge down there. I put them up last fall I think? They were just leaning against the wall, but I have all these paintings, so I figured I might as well have some where I could see them. 

Then every once in a while I'd go down and find one had been knocked down (climbing felines, you know). Anyway, Isabelle knocked one down while I was down there cleaning up and actually knocked the wood framing a bit out of whack, so the painting is no longer flat. So I put them away, and now it looks bare down there; didn't realize how much of a difference it made until I took them down. I will have to see about putting up some picture hanging hooks.

Any-who, first step accomplished: I can actually access the treadmill. 

Of course, I then proceeded to avoid it until Thursday. I let myself have the rest of January, but now I'm giving myself a kick in the butt. 

We've been having a weird winter. It snows; it turns really freaking cold; it warms up and rains; all the snow disappears...and repeat.  Isabelle thinks she still wants to go outside, but on the cold, snowy days she usually doesn't make it far, or last very long outside.

But for now, the routine is still to come home and at least attempt to take Isabelle outside. Now that I have dug out my treadmill, I will attempt to add in some short walks...Partially to start getting in the habit again, and also because I want to see how my knee holds up. 

I've been doing well with bringing lunches to work, and allowing myself one day a week to buy lunch. I've been getting in my piano practice. We've been keeping the freezer well stocked with things we can come home and defrost for dinner.