Errands and decadence

Today started from the get-go with an air that everything would be harder than it needed to be. I’ll spare you my editorializing and stick to my main message.

The other night, the teenager turned to me and asked what happened with our recent cat litter order. Now with four cats in the house I have 30-lbs of cat litter on auto ship from Petco every three weeks. I actually had this order ship early and I upped it to 60 lbs.

Petco Customer Service

Fog

It shipped on July 24. Well yesterday I tracked it, as our five litter boxes are getting low.

The UPS tracking system said “receiver has moved.” Ummm…. I haven’t moved in 17 years and I have been getting this order for more than a year.

I call customer service. I had a very sweet, very friendly representative named “Jean” who didn’t sound American. She informed me she would file the appropriate claim about the missing package.

I quietly said, “and in the mean time, what about my cat litter?”

She placed a new order, free to me, that should arrive in 5 to 7 business days.

Three 30-lb containers of cat litter arrived at noon today. Kudos to Petco.

Errands and paperwork

I finally wrote the letters freezing my Planet Fitness membership. I don’t have a printer, but the teenager does, even though it is running out of ink. I shared the letter with her on Google docs and asked her to print two copies.

Why two copies?

Because even though my home gym is in Easton, some of my paperwork says it is Mount Pocono even though I have never even seen the Mount Pocono Planet Fitness. The letters need to be certified, according to the contract, so I spent $4.10 each to send two. It’s easier than finding out I sent it to the wrong gym.

I had $33 cash and 15 cents in coins when I arrived at the post office. I told him to give me a few stamps and if he could get the total to an even number I would pay cash. At 55 cents each, the math on making that work… well he gave me 14 and it came to $15.90.

He’s probably now thinking the same thing I am— that 2 more stamps would have been the number we wanted, $17.

Ah, well. I’m still not convinced this federal coin shortage isn’t a political move to force Americans into accepting a cashless society. I’m still pissed that we moved our currency away from the gold standard.

Review: McDonald’s Iced Coffee

On the way home from the post office, I stopped at McDonald’s again for a medium iced coffee and to get my free fries Friday medium fries. I had mentioned yesterday that the caramel iced coffee tasted like a milkshake more than coffee.

So today I ordered a medium iced coffee for $1.29 (and my free French fries with a side of spicy buffalo sauce). The standard iced coffee comes with cream and liquid sugar, which confuses me because I think it is also made with whole milk.

Well I ordered mine with no sugar. I don’t like liquid sugar and I don’t put sugar in my coffee.

When I took a sip, it was awful. My Nescafé is better. But once I started eating the French fries and the buffalo sauce, my searing tonsils didn’t have any problem with the coffee any more.

Perhaps I will have to drink all of my iced coffee plain and compare them all. Get one from Dunkin, one from Starbucks and one from McDonald’s.

This is how I think they would rank:

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts
  2. Starbucks
  3. McDonald’s

So, I want McDonald’s to knock Starbucks down a peg as Starbucks coffee is bitter. But McDonald’s struck me as weird. We shall see.

Leap Day 2020

Happy Leap Day!

Welcome to the extra day of the year.

Last night the teenager and I killed it at the gym. Two really good workouts at the gym this week. Go us!

At the gym

The teen packed my gym back so I was dressed in one color gray and had no socks so I had to work out in my nude knee high stockings. How old fashioned am I to wear nude knee high stockings?

I blended in with the Planet Fitness walls! I did about five minutes of physical therapy stretches in the locker room, then about 20 minutes of weight training, five minutes of sit-ups on the decline bench with a ten pound plate, and the five minutes of stair stepper which amounted to 25 flights.

And then this morning I did something funky to my neck feeding the cats.

Speaking of cats, Fog (the wildest and smartest of the feral kittens we trapped) was tricked into sitting on my lap today.

Fog

Nala is doing well. She barely plucking but been having mini temper tantrums. She’s chasing the budgies right now (good thing they can fly). I have to put her back in her cage as I have an 8 a.m. pedicure appointment and it’s 7:25 and I’m not even dressed.

Maybe today I’ll find my ATM card. Damn thing has disappeared. I don’t keep it in my wallet, it never leaves the house unless I am going to the bank. (That’s one of the ways I prevent impulse spending.)

Okay, I hope everyone has a great day. More soon! Especially since Monday I embark on a new adventure to treat my stress-induced high blood pressure.

Monday successes (kitten!) and Dollar Tree finds

So I had my annual physical today. I adore my physician. I’ve struggled to find a doctor that, honestly, gave the impression that he cared whether I lived or died.

I got my flu shot. Better late than never, right?

We interrupt this blog entry to say… I just got a text from my teenager who disappeared while I was on the phone… Misty’s final sibling has been trapped.

Sardines.

But I get ahead of myself.

I went to the doctor this morning and apparently they have a calculation for your risk of heart attack, stroke or other heart disease or something like that in the next ten years. Mine was 0.5%. But my blood pressure was also super high due to stress. I need to keep an eye on that.

And today I went to the gym. Did ten minutes on the treadmill. Did 15 minutes worth of weight training. Really I could do the weights at home and walk around the neighborhood… and if I don’t start working out in earnest I may do that. Cancel the gym and use what I have at home.

In other updates:

I made an Asian-inspired chicken for dinner that was amazing.

I put the candy the teenager bought me in a pretty jar. Ate some yesterday. Have been good today. I don’t think this is what they mean by eat your colors.

And we stopped at the Dollar Tree to get sardines to trap Misty’s siblings and I got groceries. And not processed junk either.

They had lentils, cheddar cheese and riced cauliflower in dollar-sized portions. I forgot to check the sodium on the cauliflower… usually riced cauliflower is plain. The cheese is real cheese. They had a big bag of shredded cheddar cheese, but it turned out that was cheddar cheese food.

We reunited Misty and her sibling, but that will be a story, with video, for tomorrow.

For this week, we now have:

  • 1 dog
  • 1 cockatoo
  • 2 kittens
  • 2 cats
  • 3 budgies

Heaven help me. I have the start to a petting zoo.

It must be January

The gym is really crowded.

The teenager asked to go to the gym and I didn’t want to go but I went. All I did was 10 minutes on the bike. But I came and that is something.

That’s enough for me right now.

As a parent, I told the teenager I would never say no if she wanted to drag me to the gym.

My yellow budgie, Peek-a-Boo (whom we nicknamed Boo-Boo), had an episode of night fright last night and woke me up at 4:30. I had gone to bed shortly after nine, so I had trouble falling back to sleep.

I ended up doing some writing for work. When the house is still and your mind is fresh, it’s amazing how easily ideas flow. Even if it is 5 a.m.

I packed my yogurt, fruit and granola parfait for lunch, substituting some chocolate Fontina brand Christmas cookies for breakfast. Lunch didn’t happen until 1:45 so that didn’t help my fatigue.

NALA

But I got some amusing text messages when my daughter got home from school. I had set Nala up with her new toys, fresh fruit and romaine and Hulu set to hours of Sesame Street.

My daughter went to check on her, which says a lot about how far their bond has come as a week ago my teenager was afraid of Nala and vice versa.

Today I got a text that the teenager planned on offering Nala tea. This photo followed:

And it looks like Nala did not pluck today. Now Nala was also glad to see me when I got home, though we had a disagreement about where Nala was going to sit while I ate dinner.

I think Nala thought my plate was her plate. So I ended up with a pretty pointed beak stab in the middle of my middle finger.

DINNER

The teenager says she’d like to lean toward vegetarianism. So we’ve reduced the amount of meat we buy.

Last night’s dinner was homemade mozzarella that my neighbor received as a Christmas gift, spinach, a Pillsbury flaky buttermilk biscuit, two poached eggs and imitation bacon bits.

Tonight’s dinner was “Greek Night.” I made that up. It’s a mess of stuff from the cupboards. But it doesn’t qualify as vegetarian, only pescatarian.

I made a green salad of chopped romaine lettuce, two kinds of olives, the mozzarella again, and avocado. I added two prepared Greek Salads from Lidl: one a giant white bean salad and the second a tomato-based lentil salad. I also served “calamari fries” from Lidl, which are basically thick chunks of potato somehow mixed with calamari.

The teenager had her salad with light ranch dressing. I had mine with a Whole 30 approved balsamic vinaigrette. I made a salad for lunch tomorrow (but didn’t include the calamari). That’s the featured photo for this entry.

Well, now for the amazing part of this entry.

BEDTIME

Last night I tried to put Nala to bed at 6:30 and sit downstairs so she could sleep. Just like a baby, she screamed for Mommy. I returned to my room, and watched TV on my iPad in the dark just load enough so she knew I was here.

Tonight I put her to bed at 6:30, left my pink night light on, covered her and went to the gym.

When I came back an hour later, she didn’t even rustle. I’m tiptoeing around my room as not to wake her.

Goodnight, Nala.

Welcome 2020

Oh, God. I gained five pounds (and when you’re on the small side like me, five pounds is a lot). It’s cookie and alcohol and greasy food weight. It’s not going to the gym weight. It’s stress weight.

But the actual New Year Celebration was nice. I went to a local pub/pizzeria with someone I hope I can now call a friend. Apparently a large group of them (maybe connected from high school) just know to go to this pub on New Year’s Eve. Really informal but really comfortable and welcoming.

I drank more than I usually do, and was pleasantly surprised that I can still hold my booze. For most of the night I was drinking Fireball and diet. (See above note about being small.)

Yesterday the teen and I played Uno and ate too many of those cookies. I love UNO and I’m pretty good at it.

The teen and I even went to the gym today. We did primarily weights, but we went, I hit hard.

And perhaps one day soon I’ll open up about my adventures with Tinder and now apparently Facebook has a dating arm.

Interesting. I had a conversation with someone about the prospect of dating. I know I’m going to be extremely picky and have a lot of rules. So maybe I should focus on a basic social life and strengthening my emotional fortitude.

I think it’s going to be a wild winter.

Stamina and challenges

My daughter has rediscovered her love of the treadmill.

She has rekindled a dream of running in the spring with her very own dog by her side.

“Hey, Mom,” she calls to me after an afternoon with her grandparents, “I want to go to the gym.”

I don’t. But I’m stubborn and a lazy bodybuilding princess so I go. Because if she wants to go that’s a challenge to me.

I like challenges.

I even do the treadmill with her. I hate the treadmill. I hate the treadmill because with my cerebral palsy, the treadmill requires all my concentration.

But today, as she did walk/run intervals on her treadmill, I had a realization.

I’m not sure I know how to run.

I set my treadmill to intervals, too. My intervals were 3.5 miles per hour and 4 miles per hour. But that difference was enough that I had to run on the higher setting. It was hard to stand upright, run, and not use my arms against the handles to keep my balance as I ran.

That was interesting to learn.

I’ve always wanted to run a 5k, and the last time I tried I did all my training and the actual race with a broken toe.

So who knows.

Health And Wellness: Realistic Update

So the teen and I were going to the gym 3 times a week when I first joined Planet Fitness. Summer came. My husband moved out. I got a promotion. Teen started marching band.

Now we’re lucky if we go 4 times a month.

I was ready to cancel and work out at home.

The teen stopped me.

We both did killer workouts last night.

But will it last?

It’s like when I promise the dentist I will floss daily. Sometimes I make it three whole months of flossing daily and then something happens and I break the habit.

Last night I worked out hard and now my arms are sore but tonight, I had Wawa macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Why can’t I stay more disciplined?

I just met her… but I think Sarah wants me dead

I am currently sitting in the Planet Fitness lounge waiting for my daughter to finish her workout.

Every muscle in my body hurts and I just had a hydro massage so I’m also very relaxed.

How did I get here?

I have been a black card member of Planet Fitness for 4 days. And I have spent a lot of time in the gym since then.

You see, I am on vacation. I am between jobs, my new professional non-profit development and marketing position starts Monday and I worked my last long shift in retail food service last Saturday. I will still keep my Target gig on Saturdays for a while, I’ve got a lot of vacation to use and I do love my “Target family.”

But that is another story.

This is a story about getting my daughter access to the gym she needs, and it turns out maybe the gym I need, too.

We visited and toured Planet Fitness on Tuesday afternoon because their $21.99/month no contract Black Card membership allows my teen to work out with me. Or a friend. Every single time. I joined. Because we have no contract, I really couldn’t lose.

The teen insists all she needs to lose the weight her doctor wants to see her shed is the right gym.

So we played around on Tuesday and signed up for design your own program on Wednesday. Or was it Monday and Tuesday? Sarah, the trainer, customized a program for me, the member, but also one for my daughter, a guest.

We didn’t get through all of it so we returned to finish the next day. The teen seems to be enthusiastic.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been taking two 30 minute classes a day with Sarah, not because I’m a masochistic (though I suppose I am) but because I want to learn as much as I can about this gym while I have the time.

That said, I think Sarah wants me dead. Just kidding. She’s a trainer. She’s supposed to push you hard.

I’ve taken back and triceps, PF 360 strength, core (twice) and the 30-minute circuit. Sadly, she took Thursday off as part of the hiring process for a new job so I wasn’t able to take classes with her Thursday. And she’ll be leaving very soon.

But I’ve noticed as she’s learned what I am capable of, she’s expected more of me. And even though I haven’t done any of her bicep classes, my arms are killing me. And I haven’t done any of her cardio classes, but I sweat until my hair is drenched as soon as she enters the vicinity.

Yup. She will be missed.

A new fitness journey

Five years ago, I broke my right hand in an accident at work.

I had never broken a bone before, so while a cast was interesting (and rather pungent) I learned a lot about muscle atrophy.

After a mere three weeks in a cast, my right hand was damn weak.

Now, I had had some experience with weight training and gyms on and off since college. I always liked weight training. So, i started working out at home.

I had also gained weight, about ten pounds on my small frame. I had never tried to lose weight before and when I decided to lose weight, I lost 30 pounds in less than six weeks. I became a pretty ripped little skeleton.

Circa 2016 (Not my lowest weight)

My daughter teased me that I didn’t need a bra because I didn’t have boobs anymore. 112 is grossly thin for me.

I became the first person on earth to need a Fitbit to make sure I ate enough.

And through healthy eating and weight training I gained back 20 pounds. I have been every size from a zero to a twelve in my lifetime.

Tonight I weigh 133.

My daughter, on the other hand, has struggled with her weight. And finding activities she enjoys is part of the problem.

I belong to the gym where my husband works, but she can’t use the weight room there until she’s 16. She’s 14 and three-quarters.

She went to the pediatrician today to follow-up on an urgent care visit for a sprained ankle. She has grown to almost five-foot-three. That means she has less than an inch to catch me!

But her pediatrician says she should weigh between 100-115 pounds.

That is too thin, in my opinion.

But it needs to be addressed. So we decided to explore Planet Fitness.

Why Planet Fitness?

Because their Black Card membership is $22/month. No money down, no contract. It allows me to bring a guest every time AND that guest can be my teen daughter.

More on that next time….