Sunday, August 2, 2020

#2416 weekend wrap-up

It has been extremely hot and dry here this weekend. I've pretty much just planted myself under the ceiling fan in the TV room and stayed still.The best time of the day was when I was outside with Mac this morning from 6:00 - 7:30. It was nice and cool then.

Really, that's it for the weekend. I stayed inside as much as I could, even though it was hot in the house, too. My air conditioner can't keep the house as cool as it normally does when the temperature outside is over 100 degrees. That's why the ceiling fans are such a blessing.

Hope y'all are staying cool where you are. Happy August.

Friday, July 31, 2020

#2415 July wrap up

First, let's review the COVID-19 stats for the month. The numbers I'm writing here are the change from June 30 to July 31.

Globally, there were nearly 7.2 million new cases and just over 169K deaths.

In the United States, thee were almost 1.2 million new cases reported and over 26,000 deaths. 

In Utah, there were nearly 18,000 new cases and 132 deaths.

In Salt Lake County, there were just over 7800 new cases and 68 deaths.

Overall numbers since the beginning of the pandemic:
There are 17.7 million cases worldwide and there have been nearly 683,000 deaths.
In the U.S. there are 4.7 million cases and over 156,000 deaths.
In Utah, there are over 40,000 cases and over 300 deaths. The state's population is just over three million.
In Salt Lake County, there are over 19,000 cases and 175 deaths.  The County's population is over one million.

In July we continued our split and staggered schedule at work. I like it. There are projects /tasks I plan to do on the days when I am in the office, so that works well. I like the days when I am at home too. The commute is fantastic and I get a lot of work done here. 

July was kind of a mixed bag of good and bad for me:
The fan wasn't working in my car, so I had to take it to the shop. This started in June and I took it in then, but the repair that was made didn't quite take care of the problem, so I had to take it back (and pay more) in July. I wasn't charged for the replacement of the part they put in back in June, but I was charged for the other part of the problem they found. The good news is that the fan, and therefore the AC, works well now. 

Another bad thing was the kidney/back problem. The back pain is mostly gone now, I'm happy to say, but sometimes it does sneak back up on me. 
Mostly everything was good:
I took off all the Fridays in July. I had two freebies because of holidays, so I just had to take three vacations days. I enjoyed having these days off. I didn't go anywhere or do anything noteworthy - except that one morning I took a walk at Red Butte Garden. Another thing I have done this month is step up my physical activity mostly with the FitOn app, but also with walks at the fitness center park with MT and weekly bike rides. I feel good about that. I've been reading a lot. In July I finished eight books, which I believe is a personal record. The first book I finished this month was mostly read in June and finished in July, but that's how I count them, but finish date. I'm up to 40 books for the year, well on my way to my goal of 67! I'll be updated my Reading tab tonight.

In other good news, T got a job. MT is doing well. Mac is growing and growing. MT weighed her the other day and she was over 30 lbs and she's not even four months old yet. She's going to be a big girl. 

What am I looking forward to in August? I'll take Mac to get her last set of puppy shots next week. That's cool because then I will be able to take her out for walks in the park and maybe even to a dog park to play. I also signed us up for puppy training which starts on the 10th. She could definitely stand to learn some manners and I will benefit from learning training techniques. I've never had a dog that frustrates me as much as she does. I've never had a dog this big either. She is so different from Osi. Of course Osi was an energetic pupper who was a mouthy nibbler, but she was a pleaser even as a pup. Mac is my loyal shadow, but not as much of a snuggly pleaser. She wants to be by me, but she doesn't like to be petted when she is resting. 

MT and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary on August 15.  

At work we will continue our split and staggered schedule in August. 

That's pretty much it, I guess. I'll be back on Sunday with more words, probably. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

#2414 WW Wednesday

WW is continuing with the virtual meetings. I usually sit in on a meeting on Tuesday, and sometimes on Saturday or Sunday. We are currently in the middle of a six part series called "What Happens to Your Body When..." and each week builds on the previous weeks' topic. 

I changed things up a little this week with my plan. WW offers three plans: Green, Blue, and Purple. Blue is pretty much the standard plan we were using before the three plan system came along. You get a certain number of SmartPoints and weekly points plus 200 or so zero point foods. Green has fewer zero point foods, but more SmartPoints; Purple has lots of zero point foods and few SmartPoints. I've been on the Purple plan because I liked the idea of lots of zero point foods. The idea is to build your meals around the zero point foods and I kinda got away from that. It has been helpful in maintaining my weight, but I really want to be a loser. I switched over to Green. It's only been a day, but I like it. It more closely mirrors the original WW from when I came back and I was pretty successful. I like the idea of having a points "budget" and figuring out how to stay in that range. I was feeling pretty stale with Purple, so I think the switch will get me back in the groove. 

Another thing I've been doing is adding in some movement daily. I downloaded an app called FitOn. I learned about it from WW. FitOn has some workouts on the WW app. I decided to get the FitOn app because there is more variety. There are so many options! Lots of yoga, dance, weight training, stretching, body weight resistance training (using your body as resistance instead of hand weights). Since going to the gym is not an option for me - although it is open and they are having classes, I just can't bring myself to go in there and breathe other people's moist breath air and be around the sweatiness - FitOn has been a nice alternative. MT and I also get out for walks a couple of times a week and we have a goal to ride our bikes at least once a week. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but at least we are doing something!

Speaking of which, I'm going to do a back stretch workout right now. My back is still feeling tight, and a good stretch sounds pretty great. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

#2413 musical Monday: Graceland

One of my very most favorite albums of all time is Paul Simon's Graceland.  It came out in 1986 and the cassette was pretty much constantly in my Walkman. I went to Spain in the summer of '86 or '87 (I can't remember) and I listened to Graceland over and over. There were a couple of other albums that I listened to a lot during that trip, like Legend by Bob Marley and The Police Synchronicity, among others. I've found myself thinking a lot about Graceland lately. I listened to it in full about a week ago, and I could still sing every word and the music brought me just as much joy and pleasure as it did way back in the '80s. 

I wanted to share a video from the album, but the three I watched that were official were dated and not that good. They didn't satisfy me and I didn't want to share. (I'm looking at you, Boy in the Bubble. I love that song, but the official video is not good.) 

I kept looking though, and came across this clip from the Concert in Hyde Park from 2012. Paul looks kinda old but he sounds good and I love this song. I hope you'll click and enjoy five minutes of good music. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

#2412 three things: expensive backache, hangry dog, and sports

1. I don't think that's what it was. On Monday morning I went to the ER because on Sunday and overnight I had the worst pain in my back. I couldn't get comfortable at all. I was miserable most of the day on Sunday and didn't get a good night's sleep. I thought for sure I had a UTI that had gone into my kidneys. The doctor said I had traces of blood in my urine, but no bacteria, so no UTI. He thought I had a kidney stone, so I had a CT scan so we could see what was going on. My kidneys were clear. No stones. The doctor, who seriously looked just a bit older than my son, said I had probably passed a stone and had leftover pain. Wouldn't I feel it if I passed a kidney stone? He prescribed some heavy-duty pain meds and a muscle relaxer and sent me on my way. 

It's been a few days and my back feels better, but still tender. I can mostly move freely, but there is still a twinge every now and then. I just don't think it was a kidney stone, though. I must have twisted my back at some point on Saturday (that's when I first felt the pain), but I sure don't remember anything in particular. I already know this is the most expensive backache I have ever had.

2. The dog gets HANGRY. Oh my dog. She's super energetic, borderline annoying, and quite entertaining.  I don't have a problem with the energy level. I think it's fun to watch her play and to play with her. What I don't like is the way she behaves when she gets hungry. She gets kinda mean. She barks and leaps and nips more than usual during the hungry times. I think she is going through a growth spurt because I can't seem to get enough food in her little body. It's a fine line, though, because the other night I must have given her too much because it looked like she had an explosion on the rug. She's been good with the house training, so I know she must have been miserable.  I'm learning to read her cues and figuring out how much to feed her to keep her healthy and satisfied. She's growing so fast!

3. I'm watching sports! Today is Opening Day of baseball season. I am watching the Washington Nationals play the New York Yankees. There aren't any people in the stands, but there is crowd noise LOL. At 6:00 I am going to change the channel to the Utah Jazz scrimmage against the Phoenix Suns. The NBA season will start next week. A bit later tonight, I will check out the other Opening Day game, the SF Giants against the LA Dodgers. I have been okay without sports, but I'm excited that they are back. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

#2411 huwhuuuuuut?

keyboard smash

I got nothing. I'll try again on Thursday.

Friday, July 17, 2020

#2410 a walk at Red Butte Garden

The last time I was at Red Butte Garden was March 9th. I was there for a tour of the Water Conservation Garden with the gardeners in charge of that area (I wrote about it in post #2342). Shortly after that, pretty much everything shut down, including the Garden. It re-opened sometime in June. You have to schedule a time to go and you have to wear a mask. The Children's Garden isn't open and the Visitor Center is a one-way only place, and other than that, you can walk through however you want. 

Volunteer action is limited. I haven't done any volunteering there this summer. Today I did take a walk in the Garden though. It was great to be up there. My scheduled time was 10AM, so it was still cool. There weren't a lot of people there, so although I did have a mask with me, when I was alone on the path I took it off and put it on when I was near people. 

Mid-July is not peak blooming season. Mostly what was blooming was lillies, roses, and some wildflowers. I liked being in the shade and just wandering around. It restored me a little. Here are some pics.

Water Conservation Garden

So many different shades of green

Can't go to RBG without looking at the waterfall...
...or the pon and it's reflections

Two pretty dragonflies on a reed by the little waterfall

Another view of the pond and it's reflecting properties

Red Butte Creek with the moose family sculpture

The sky looks really blue in these photos, but it was kinda hazy. It's fire season and something is burning somewhere.

I walked around for about an hour. It was great. I'll go back next month sometime. 

On my way home I stopped at Les Madeleines for a treat.

Mmmm...a kouing amann. So crunchy and sweet on the outside, so tender, moist and flaky on the inside. I blame you for putting the idea to go there in my head!

The rest of the day was for reading and napping. I did watch the Netflix series Never Have I Ever. It was so good! It hit all the feels. 

It is hot as hell here. The AC can't keep the house cool today, so I'm kinda grouchy and uncomfortable.  I'm gonna turn the fan up to medium speed and hopefully get some rest in the air flow.

Happy weekend!