Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Use it or lose it

More fun than the gym, no doubt!
I've been hitting the exercise thing a lot this week, starting with the longish walk on Saturday. By longish, Google says it's 1.8 miles from here to the fairgrounds. Factor in walking around the show for 45 minutes, and walking to the bus stop for another 15 or so minutes, and it's safe to say I covered more than that.

Monday and today I've upped the resistance level on the rowing machine, followed by my old weights workout. Granted, I'm not doing the complete old weights workout, because rowing really works everything quite well. But I'm following the same protocol, hitting targeted muscle groups on different days, just not quite as much as I'd do normally. Upping the resistance level as much as I can. Went down to 30 mins on the rower, from 45 last week, but that's because I upped the resistance level a notch, making it harder. Then yesterday I walked to the library, about 2.5 miles per Google.

Lots of workout for an old lady! I can feel it -- no aches or pains, just a general feeling that the body has been worked and is a little tired. Oddly enough, even with the muscle fatigue, I have more energy overall. And I know that if I keep up the conditioning, keep stressing those muscles, the strength will return. Maybe not as much as 10 years ago, but I'm suspecting it won't be much different. My legs are still really strong, everything else will catch up.

Tomorrow will be something of a rest day, as I have a doc appt in the morning. I'll do a little walking, but nothing much. Friday, back at the gym.

It's another beautiful day here -- although I haven't spent much time out there. Still, I enjoy the sunshine coming through the curtains, and enough warmth that I'm not shivering or wrapped in fleece blankets. I'll take that.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It feels like spring

No, this isn't local -- springtime in the Napa Valley 
Apologies in advance to my friends in the east/southeast, northern climes and anywhere else that's cold and/or snowy today. Here in the Willamette Valley, the weather is glorious! Clear and sunny, and as I write this, around 11:30am, 67.7 degrees of warm sunshine, and climbing.

I remember from past years that we seem to always get a break like this in January or February, and it's always welcome and glorious and forces everyone outside (we tend to be outside people, here). So nice after a cold/wet/foggy winter. The past few days have been mild, but not this mild and not very many sun breaks in the fog. Supposedly, we can expect more warm sunshine for the next couple of days, then mild days once again, with less sunshine. I'm just happy it's not freezing!

Big Home and Garden show at the fairgrounds this weekend, focusing on natural, organic and sustainable products. I always went, when I lived here before. Best part about it is all the local food people who come out and offer samples of their wares. In the past, I've been known to make the rounds enough to call it lunch, but I didn't do that today. I walked all the way there, about 35 minutes worth, then walked around the pavilions for awhile. Didn't feel energetic enough to walk all the way home, so I walked to the street where the bus runs and, since I was early, walked a few blocks before stopping to wait. I walked about an hour and a half in total, and that's great!

The door is open, the place is airing out, and I feel as if I should go back outside and enjoy. But, I've done enough, and I want to watch the US Figure Skating Championships on the telly, starting in just a few minutes.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Change is needed

I've said this before, but life really shouldn't be so difficult at this age. I'm not talking about health issues or physical limitations, because I don't have much of that to contend with other than lack of energy. I'm talking about what to do with these days and weeks and years. My limitations are financial, really. I barely afford shelter and food -- not a lot leftover for 'living' life.

That's not a complaint -- I knew I'd have to contend with this when I retired at 62, instead of waiting a few years. However, I felt I could subsidize with part-time work and there have been times when I've been able to do that. Now is not one of those times. People just don't want to hire people my age. And it doesn't look like the affordable apartment I'm waiting for is going to happen this year, unless I'm really lucky. I've moved up to 30 on the waiting list, which moves slowly.

Aside from financial issues -- I'm flat-out bored. There's probably plenty I could do, but every time I find something, lack of energy sweeps over me so I don't pursue anything. Boredom, lack of purpose, are the most difficult aspects of old age for me, thus far, and this is certainly not the first time I've written about that here. Clearly, it's time for a change of some kind. But what?

By change, I don't mean another move, certainly. I'm happy with this town. I just need to find a way to have the energy to take advantage of it. I've had an application to volunteer at the library in my desk drawer for months now, and think I'll turn it in. I want something that doesn't require sitting -- shelving books, etc. would work well for me, and of course I love books and the library, and the work is something of a solitary kind, which is good.

On the positive side, I've finally begun to enjoy my workouts at the gym again. For the first month or so I had to force every effort, but this past week that's changed. I'm enjoying it more, working harder and longer. I think that may be because I've found something to enjoy: rowing. I've been reading a book about and Olympic rowing team in 1936, which reminded me how useful rowing is to the body. It's effectively a whole-body exercise, plus aerobics, and I like that. I've moved up from 15 minutes to 25 minutes, am working harder (more strokes per minute), and will keep that momentum going. I had a rowing machine when I first moved to Atlanta back in 1986, used it for several years. It was simpler, didn't have the fun readouts the pro machine at the gym has, but it did the job. Friday I spent a total of 45 minutes at the gym, including exercises other than rowing. It feels good again, so I'll keep it up, keep extending.

I eat well, but my sleep is irregular and not truly restful. I'm overweight -- but nothing seems to change that other than constant activity, such as at the hermitage or vihara in California where I'm working, walking hills or stairs. I suspect that at least some of the energy lack comes from the latter two, and it's kind of a vicious circle, really. If I'm not rested, the energy lags, and if the energy is low I have a hard time pushing myself to even walk the sidewalks of this neighborhood to keep busy. And there's not a lot of activity that's possible inside, certainly!

Answers will come. They always do. In the meantime, I'll put my focus on the things I can do.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Non-guilty pleasures

Not the most photogenic food in the world -- browned kale! But, despite its looks they are crisp and a little salty and really yummy.

This is my second batch, and I think I'm quickly becoming addicted. For once in my life, however, the addiction is to a food that is utterly healthy, that I can eat all I want of without guilt.

Nevertheless, I resist the urge to eat it all at once, merely because it's all I have for now.

Easy to make -- takes a little time to wash and dry the greens (would probably take less time if I had a salad spinner), but only a short time to bake into crispy morsels. Still, trips to the market are required, and I don't do that too often.

Dreary day here and I slept very little last night, so I opted against the gym. I don't feel guilty about that, either, as I had a good workout yesterday and giving the old muscles more recoup time is always a good idea.

Time for a nap.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lots of sad faces around here

Not the best day in Eugene, compounded by lack of sleep and a minor hangover. But the above says it all.  It's been a helluva run and there's always next year. Still wearing my Ducks gear with pride. And check out this awesome video!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Duck Fever

I did mention that I've recently become addicted to Twitter, did I not? Or I should say, Twitter where it concerns the Ducks football playoffs. Haven't signed up for it, because I know I'll lose interest once this is past. At least until next fall.

For those of you out there who haven't discovered Twitter (and I know I'm not the only old fogie ), the draw is the immediacy of the messages, the photos and messages from people who are really on the inside -- UO administration, the equipment folks with their two big semi's and what they have to take, how they set up two locker rooms (1 practice, 1 game), media people from everywhere who are really in the middle. Team members, former team members, future team members (recruits). It's like being there without leaving home.

I can't even begin to describe the state of mind in the State of Oregon right now, and frankly, I'm really, really glad that my return here coincided with this, because it's a really exciting and cool time to be here.

The air here simply buzzes, and I'm not even in town or out-and-about very much. But it's clear that there are a lot more folks wearing their team gear now than even a month ago. Green and yellow are everywhere.

And it doesn't stop with Eugene. The whole state is taking this very personally. Media coverage from Portland stations, twitter shout-outs from folks like our esteemed congressman Peter DeFazio, senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Rob Marciano on GMA, and countless people famous and otherwise, around the world.

With all that, I've pulled a few photos from Twitter that seem to illustrate all this. The kitten, of course, got me simply because it's a kitten.

Bit of a takeoff delay yesterday when the United charter taking the team to Dallas taxied out with a water salute from the local fire department.

Not to be outdone, the local police are flying the colors on their cars, while at the same time cautioning students (and others) to not go crazy with their celebrations Monday night.

A woman tweeted this after going here to pick up a sign. Kind of says it all.

Yeah -- we all know we might lose. It's a football game, after all. But we all also really support the team and those of us who aren't just fairweather fans will still respect and appreciate them, no matter what, through bitter disappointment. I've managed to keep the butterflies and excitement factor down all week, until today. It's starting to build again, and Monday can't get here soon enough.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Normal? What's that?

Drove over to the coast yesterday with a friend, fully aware that it was going to be as wet there as it was here, but not caring. Too drizzly to be comfortable outside most of the time, so we stayed in the car other than lunch in Yachats and this single photo, taken north of Florence where there are still some smaller dunes to be seen. Not the most scenic section of the coast, but it looked just fine to me.

I haven't been to this part of the coast in many years, and it's one of my favorites, so I just had to hop out the first time we stopped and take a pic -- even if it's not a particularly inspiring one.  I've spent a lot of time in Yachats in past years and that, too, is one of my favorite places along the coast, so it was great to be back.

Sunnier days to come -- but the escape to different scenery (I love that coast in any weather, and so does my friend!) was terrific. Today, back to figuring out what is normal in my life and how to get back to it after the past few weeks (and there's still one crazy week left to go).