Crazy Eights: XII

1. My friends Rajeev and Karen came over for dinner last Monday.  I was talking to Karen about photography (she’s a professional photographer) and I mentioned that my camera keeps taking blurry pictures.  She and Rajeev took a look at it and discovered that it was on manual focus instead of auto focus.  I’m hoping that means I can get back to taking good pictures.

2. The YMCA in my town stopped offering Pilates classes and I’m totally bummed out about it.  If I want to keep doing Pilates, I’m going to have to find classes at the other facilities, and from what I understand from the lady who was teaching the class, those other classes aren’t at times that are very convenient for me.  Boo, hiss.

3. I made noodles last week, and it made me decide that I need to make noodles more often.  It’s not hard, and they are so yummy.  Here’s my method of making noodles, in case you want to try it yourself.

4. For a while, I thought Chef didn’t like my noodles.  But then I cooked some for dinner and he said he did like them.  “Why don’t you ever use them when you make dinner, then?”  I asked.  His response was, “Because then we would run out!”  Silly man.  I assured him I can make more.

5. Plan for the weekend: making these scones.

6. Tonight after work I will begin my Christmas shopping.  I have some things in mind for Chef that I can probably find at the store when I’m doing other shopping.  There is one thing I’ll probably have to get online, but all the rest should be available locally.  Hurray!  I figure I should get all my purchases made before I have surgery on December 10.

7.  Speaking of Christmas, I’m knitting like crazy to try to get all my homemade gifts done in time.

8. Speaking of knitting, I’ll share a hat pattern in the next several days.  I just need to take photos of it (with my camera that now focuses!) and then I’ll post.  And now I’ve come full circle to my first item in this list.  Quite amazing.

Crazy Eights: XI

1. I really miss running.  Especially now that the weather is nice and cool, I get pretty envious when I see people in my town out for a run.  *sigh*

2. I’m fully back into my Pilates classes now, so that’s helping me to be more satisfied with my level of fitness.  It’s not a cardiovascular workout, though.  Last week I rode a stationary bike at the YMCA.  It was nice to do something to get my heart rate up a bit, even though I was kind of sore later.  I’m also considering using the elliptical machine because I think that will put less pressure on my foot than walking does.

3. Christmas is just over two months away.  Have you started shopping?  My knitted gifts are nearing completion; I have two started and one more to start, and then some small finishing up to do on several.  I think I’ll get done in time.  Gifts for Chef are a whole different topic.  I have ideas, but I haven’t begun shopping yet.  I’m starting to feel the pressure.

4. Oh, gosh.  One of my dogs just flatulated.  It is a far more horrible smell than when humans do it.  Dog gas is horrendous.  Chef and I have been known to bury our heads under the covers when it happens at night.  Or pull our shirts up over our noses if it happens while we’re watching television.  The dogs don’t seem to notice, though.  Or when they do, they flatulate next to us, and then leave the room.  RUDE!

5.  I recently bought three pairs of pants.  They are all the same brand, same style, and the same size.  The army green ones fit.  The gray ones fit.  The khaki ones are too big.

6. I’ve been thinking more and more about trying to start a small business of my own.  I am not sure what it would be, though.  I have ideas, but I don’t know if I have the motivation and dedication to make them work.

7.  The other day, I had this random phrase flit through my head: “Walking through the world in a corduroy suit.”  I don’t know why.  Did I hear it somewhere?  Is it in a song?  Did my brain just randomly put those words together?  It has been puzzling me ever since.

8. You know my husband?  Chef?  Well, I like him.

Crazy Eights: X

1. I have total writer’s block.  This does not happen to me often.  In fact, it’s pretty often that I have about six ideas in my head and I just have to get them down.  Not today.  Total blank.

2. Chef was trying to send me an email.  It said, “Unable to send message.  Reason: error sending message.”  Wow, don’t you just love Microsoft?

3. I’ve learned, as I’m getting around on crutches, that there are a lot of places you’d think would be handicap accessible, but aren’t.  The post office for instance.  I went there Thursday morning for work.  There are two sets of doors, and neither of them has a handicap button.  It was a struggle getting in, and even more of a struggle getting out because in the airlock, my crutch got caught on a rug and I nearly wiped out.  And I began to wonder how people who are permanently handicapped manage to get around in these places.  And of all places, shouldn’t a government agency be handicap accessible?

4. When I was a kid, there was some conversation my mom had with someone in which that person said to my mother, “Oh, you’re just a housewife.”  I wonder how that person would feel to know that my ultimate goal in life is to be a full-time homemaker.

5. Due to my crutches, people have taken to calling me “Hopalong.”  Lots of people.  Do you think they realize how unoriginal they are?

6. I am loving this current weather so much that the other day it almost made me cry.  And that’s kind of ridiculous, I realize.  I must be emotional for some other reason, but I was so enjoying the perfect temperatures, the nice breeze, and the beautiful clouds.

7.  This is the first time ever that I’ve looked forward to spring before fall was even officially here.  But I just want to run again.  But little bits at a time.  In three weeks, I can walk again.  In mid-January (six weeks after my second surgery) I should be off crutches for good.

8. The funniest links I’ve seen in forever.  It’s a serious subject, but you won’t be able to help but laugh at the interview and what has been done with it.

1st: Interview

2nd: Song

Crazy Eights: IX

1. My back is all screwy.  My chiropractor is going to have a lot of work to do next time I see him.  With having to have one foot elevated most of the time (I’m just now getting to the point that the swelling isn’t so bad and I can sit pretty much normally for a while each day), it has thrown my lower back all out of alignment.  My upper back isn’t in great shape, either, with having to twist my lower body one way to elevate the foot and my upper body the other way to reach the keyboard on the computer.

2. People don’t know what bunions are.  I’ve been doing a lot of explaining about what causes them and what the surgery is like.  I don’t mind.  But I’ve said and heard the word “bunion” more in the last week and a half than probably ever in my life, all put together.  My 6-year-old niece is now fascinated.  I spent the weekend with her (and the whole family) and she kept asking, “Does Grandma have bunions?  Did Mommy have bunions when she was little?  Does Aunt Amy have bunions?”  Once she said, “I hope I don’t get — what are those on your feet?”  “Bunions,” I replied.  “I hate bunions,” she said.  “I hate bunions, too,” I replied.

3.  My left leg, especially the quadriceps area, is getting really strong.  I think I’m going to end up with one giganto leg and one puny leg.  But we’ll get that all switched around in a few months, and eventually they’ll get all evened out.

4. Crutches can chafe your underarms.

5.  I really, really, really miss running.  And walking.  And — believe it or not — housework.

6. It might sound nice to have people waiting on you every day, but it isn’t.  I miss getting my own breakfast, driving myself to work, and being able to carry a glass of milk to the table by myself.

7. My family and friends and co-workers are really nice, though, and they are helping me as much as they can (and as much as I will let them.)  Sometimes I feel like a three-year-old, though, saying “I can do it myself!”

8. A few people have asked me if the pain of the surgery has scared me off from having the other foot done.  And since there have been times when the post-op pain from the right foot is simultaneous and equal to the bunion pain in the left foot, I can definitely say that no, I’m not scared off.

Crazy Eights: VIII

1. I decided that instead of having surgery on my left foot this year and my right foot next year, I’m going to try to have them both done this year.  I had made the one per year decision because I still wanted to have two full springs, summers, and autumns being able to run.  But then I thought about my $1500 insurance deductible, which I would have to pay twice if I did it that way, and only once if I got them both done this year.  It makes more financial sense to have them both done in the same calendar year if possible.  Plus, I’m really sick of having pain in my feet and being unable to find shoes that fit.  Let’s get this over with.  I have an appointment with the doctor in August (though I might try to move that up if I can) and I’ll see how soon we need to do the left in order to get the right done this year.

2. I’m entering a medical research study about menstrual migraines.  I don’t have them as bad as some people do, but I do get them.  I’ll go to the doctor once a month, take either medication or a placebo the first seven days of each of my cycles, and get paid $30 per doctor visit for a total of six or seven visits over six months.  That’s at least $180 that’s going toward our debt, baby!

3. A garage sale this weekend will also put money toward our debt.  Gosh, garage sales are a lot of work.  I really hope this makes me some money.  Either way, I’m getting a lot of stuff out of my house.  If I don’t sell it, it’s going to a thrift store or something… IMMEDIATELY!

4. Chef and I, plus his family and some of our friends, are going to the Indiana Dunes next week to camp.  I’ve never been there, and I’m excited.  There won’t be any blog posts from me next week.  Buck up.  You’ll be okay.

5.  We go to the Farmers’ Market pretty much weekly.  The one thing that bothers me about it is that there are vendors there who aren’t selling LOCAL produce.  I mean, isn’t the that the whole point of the Farmers’ Market?  We went a couple of weeks ago and saw some nice looking tomatoes.  We asked the vendor, “What kind of tomatoes are these?”  He said, “Red ones.”  He had no idea the variety, and I’ve discovered that the vendors who grow their own tomatoes almost always know the variety.  So I said, “Are they local?”  He said, “Them’s from Mississippi.”  Seriously?  Why would I go to an Indiana Farmers’ Market to buy Mississippi tomatoes?  We passed him by, and will continue to do so every time we’re there.

6. I can’t wait until someone has good, sweet, local corn for sale.  We bought some corn at the Farmers’ Market (not from the Mississippi tomato guy), and it was not good and not sweet.  I think the next corn we buy will be from the farm down the road from us that has a farm stand.  I’ve always heard that they have good corn, every year.

7.  I’m sure Mississippi tomatoes are just fine.  I just think a local Farmers’ Market should have local produce.  Nothing against Mississippi.

8. I dreamed last night that I got a second job that allowed me to work two nights a week and I was excited because it’s a place I’ve wanted for a long time to work (and have been interviewed there twice, but the jobs I want are not full time so I haven’t been able to take them).  But when I think about it in reality, I’m not sure I have the energy to work two nights per week on top of what I already do.  So instead I submit my body to research for $180 and get both my feet operated on in one year to save $1500 and sell all the junk in my closets in hopes of a little cash.

Crazy Eights: VII

Today is Chef’s birthday.  Here are eight reasons why I love him:

1. He cracks himself up.  Even when he tells a joke that I don’t think is funny at all, I often can’t help but laugh because he is doubled over, guffawing at his own humor.

2. He expands my horizons.  Before I met him, I had never gone camping, eaten Thai food, been to Michigan or Colorado or Alaska, owned a dog, run farther than a mile, or caught a fish.

3. He is supportive.  When I have an opportunity to do something that seems kind of exciting but also a little scary, he encourages me and tells me I can do it and will probably love it.

4. He gives fabulous hugs.

5. He’s always looking for little ways to make me happy — taking me to do something new like go-kart racing, or planning something we enjoy together like miniature golf (even though he knows I cheat sometimes), or bringing me a bowl of ice cream after dinner.

6. He thanks me every time I cook for him.  Sure, I thank him, too, when he cooks, but it’s just really nice to be appreciated.  He also thanks me for doing the laundry.

7. He’s funny.  I can’t believe I keep publicly admitting it, though I’m proud of myself for at least holding out until number 7 to say it.  A lot of the time he really does tell bad jokes, but sometimes he does have a doozy that I actually laugh at.

8. He loves me, and he tells me and shows me every day.

Crazy Eights: VI

1. I feel kind of like stalker because I keep checking the Ice Alaska webcam, hoping to catch a glimpse of my husband.  The problem is that since Fairbanks is four hours ahead of Indiana, it’s hard to catch him.  I’m also texting him constantly, stalker-like.  Although since he’s my husband, I’m not sure it would qualify as stalking, which is good because stalking is creepy.

2. I’m really, really, really trying to maintain my positive attitude about winter.  The continual snow is making that effort difficult, but I keep reminding myself that two years ago when Chef was in Alaska, the highs here were in the single digits.  It’s warmer than that this year, so I should really stop complaining.  (Incidentally, when it was in the single digits here in 2008, it was in the 40’s in Fairbanks and the ice was difficult to work with at that temperature.  And that meant that Chef and I were both miserable and wanting to swap weather.)

3. My friends have been really nice about inviting me over and stuff while Stephan’s gone.  I’ve hung out with Lisa and Gina and the Monday Dinner crowd.  And I’ve been reading books and watching the Olympics.  I have not been exercising or knitting as much as I expected to.

4. My parents are coming to visit me this weekend.  I thought about going to visit them, but then I’d have to find someone to watch the dogs and that’s not always easy.  (There’s not really room in the budget to board them right now.)  Plus, my mom is going to help me with some projects around the house — namely, trying to tame the chaos that is in my kitchen cabinets.

5. I was at the grocery on Saturday and saw that they had Clementines (which Chef calls “Oh My Darlin’s”) and I almost bought them because I love Clementines so much.  And then I remembered that I still had a bowl of 10 or 12 grapefruit at home, and I figured I ought to finish those off before purchasing more citrus fruit.

6. Next week, Chef and I are going to have our bi-weekly budget meeting over the phone.  We’ve never done that before, so it will be really interesting to see how it goes.

7. It wasn’t really until Tuesday night that I started to get really sad about Chef being gone.  Come to think of it, though, Tuesday was the first day since he left that I didn’t have something planned for myself to do, so maybe that’s why.  If that’s the case, I should be okay again until at least next Tuesday because my parents will be here Thursday through Sunday, and then Monday is dinner.  Maybe I’ll have to figure out something fun for myself to do next Tuesday.

8. Even so, I’m really eager for both Chef and spring to come.

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