Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Check pirate off the possible career path...

Turns out I don't make a great pirate.  Damn.  Being completely unable to see out my right side is very disconcerting.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Surgery was Monday at 1:30.  No food allowed after Sunday at midnight.  Not cool.   So of course I had Monday breakfast at 11:45 Sunday night ;)   Chris took the day off work to take me to the surgery.  I got up, dialed into work for a bit, took Sasha for a walk (something I knew I wouldn't be able to do afterwards) and mostly just killed time.  I didn't feel stressed, but I know myself well enough to know I was nervous.

At the clinic I was given an arm band.  There were no drops in the waiting room this time, just straight to waiting room B.   We were there for a bit, but then into a back room I hadn't been in before.   Chris was able to come with me at that point -- they put a ton of drops in my eyes and had me get dressed in very fancy scrubs. The nurse made a mark on my face over the eye they're supposed to operate on.  Somehow both reassuring and disconcerting at the same time.

Chris was sent back to the waiting room while I was escorted to a chair in the hallway -- it had a half curtain around it.  There another nurse came with more drops and another scribble on my forehead.  Then the anesthetist came and put a needle in my hand -- first try.  First health care professional ever to manage that on the first try.  Sweet.  Said I would be conscious for the surgery but dopey, and that I'd be going in in about 1/2h.

1/2h was more like 5 minutes (and no, I wasn't asleep -- they hadn't actually given me any drugs yet!).  I saw the person leave the operating room before me; they must've done the fastest clean ever and as I was being escorted in thing were still being wiped down.  3 or 4 people in the room.  They sat me down in what closely resembled a torture chair, and I recall them having trouble adjusting it -- pretty sure my head wasn't *supposed* to thud backwards!  But by the time they got it sorted out, the anesthetist was back inserting something into the needle in my hand.

And the next thing I remember, Chris was there and somebody was talking at me about next appointment.  Seriously.  There was no "semi-conscious" about it.  I was out of it.  And apparently out of it all day -- asking the same questions repeatedly.  Much like somebody with a concussion does -- is the only way I can think of comparing it.  All with no idea it'd already been asked and answered. I was also very ill.  Throwing up both in the clinic and on the ride home.  All kinds of unpleasant.  My eye didn't hurt.  It was bandaged and had a shield over it.  I could tell I couldn't open it, but other than that, no pain at all.   Did I ever feel sick though.  And tired.  But not allowed to lie down :(   Fail.
So when I got home I went straight to bed -- propped up a pile of pillows, curled into a ball, and went to sleep.  At some point I woke up and Chris brought me some toast to eat -- yeah, I married a good one :)  I felt a bit better so I got up, but didn't last long before I went back to bed.

All good till I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like somebody was stabbing half a dozen red hot needles in my eye.  And not a steady pain I could eventually tune out, nope this was stab, wait till breathing starts again, stab again.  NOT fun.  I went and found the Tylonal 3s Chris had made appear earlier and downed a couple of those.  Found the one position I could sit in that didn't hurt, and basically stayed that way the rest of the night.  Ugh.

Early morning start to go back to the surgeon.  They took the eye patch off and cleaned me up a bit (I tell ya - it was a great look.  Esp with the iodine all over my face).  When the nurse said I could open  my eye, all I could see was a perfectly round, very thick, black ring (which I could see with it closed, so this was not a surprise) and light.  She asked me to read the letters on the wall.  Yeah right.   What wall?

"Can you see my hand"  Yes!  hahaha she was waving it -- must've been inches in front of my face and I could see the light move.  "How many fingers?"  I have no idea...   Also had to take my contact out of my left eye at this point, so was very blind now.  Promptly failed that eye test too and was sent back out to the waiting room.

Eventually got called in to see the surgeon who said the surgery had gone well, took a quick look and told me my retina was reattached.  Sweet.  I asked about the black ring, "is it on the bottom?" Yes...  "It's a gas bubble, it'll go away."  Sweet.   Told next appointment date and time and off we go.

Get home, feeling all kinds of nauseous again, so lie down for a bit.  Eventually get up to go put in drops -- four types which have to be taken 3x/day at least 10 mins apart from one another.  This is an excessive time commitment.

Now I have never had an issue with putting drops in my eyes -- I've worn contacts daily since I was 12 or 13.  But in this case, I couldn't focus well enough to see the bottle.  And it hurt to physically open my eye.  Was a bit of a challenge.  Regardless, I managed the task.   And then put my left lens back in and took a look...

Oh dear.  I look like I was in a fight and...  well...  I'm not sure I won.  My eye is basically swollen shut, but if I force it open the pupil is entirely dilated -- making it creepily large -- and not entirely circular, has a bit of a zig zag at the bottom which just annoyed my OCD, but I suspect is probably the result of the aforementioned bubble.  The white parts of my eyes are almost entirely red.  Seriously less than attractive.  And to top it off, the eye is almost constantly running so I have lovely crusties all in the eyelids and around my eye and cheek.  Oh, and it hurts.  Did I mention the stabbing needles?  Admittedly way less when I'm up -- it's much worse lying down, so I'm just not doing that anymore.  And I have a wicked headache to go along with it and nausea that comes and goes.  All the kinds of awesome.

Anyways -- when I managed to get the whole round of eye drops in and was feeling moderately human, I put on the oh-so-sexy sun glasses they provided me with and Chris and I headed to Ikea.  So now I can at least claim I was slightly productive today.  However, by the time I got home I was feeling ill and exhausted again so I went back to sleep while Chris went to tackle what's left of our house.

Cause I'm not allowed to help anymore.  In fact, I'm not allowed to do anything.  Felt really useless when C had to ask a random stranger to help him move a box that was not particularly heavy, just too awkward for one person, because I'm not allowed to lift more than 5 lbs.  I'm also not allowed to have my head level or inverted -- which means bending down to pick up anything has to be done with proper "text book on head" posture.  Who remembers this stuff???  I'm on the way back to standing up before I remember -- usually because I get a wicked stabbing feeling in my head.  Any form of exercise and lying flat out are also off the permissible list.  As is being anywhere near the farm (dusty environment).   Suspect it'll be a lovely couple weeks.

Also have to admit I find it really disconcerting not to remember rather huge portions of yesterday or entire conversations I had with people...  Less cool.

Plus sides -- apparently the surgery has gone well and my vision in that eye through the cloud seems to be much better.   So once said cloud is gone, I may not need contacts in that eye anymore.  Woohoo!   The drops make me thirsty, so I'm drinking tons more water than normal.  And I seem to be nauseous a lot so eating less.  All good given the complete lack of exercise ;)

And tomorrow is the first day since November that I've had literally nothing planned.  All day.   Last week was the first weeknight with nothing planned...  Now a full day.  Really not sure what to do with it, since everything I'd like to do with it involves breaking the above rules.  But still probably a good thing.

Happy Canada Day all.

The story continues...

Surgery is booked for Monday.  Doing both Vitrectomy and Cataract surgery.  I'm not even kidding.   I don't have cataracts, but they've told me they'll form as a result of the retina surgery, so they're just going to address it at the same time.  The retina surgery is unlikely to get rid of the shadows -- only stop them from becoming worse.  Fairly disappointed about that -- not looking forward to having that there forever.   On the plus side, if I'm lucky the lens they put in for the cataract surgery will actually correct my distance vision.  Although one could argue if I were lucky, I wouldn't be having this in the first place ;-P   No explanation for why it's happened.

Have to admit though, if it had to happen, I'm really glad it wasn't while I was running the school!  A month at least before I can go to the barn (can't risk dust).  Can't swim, or ride, or teach, or run, or lift anything heavier than 5lbs.  It's not going to be a fun summer :(

Was impressed the gym I so recently joined, refunded my training package under the circumstances.  They definitely didn't have to, but it was appreciated.  And the support from everyone has been amazing.  My parents and Chris rearranging their schedules to help get me to various appointments, work being completely supportive and helpful, enabling me to work from home on appointment days and helping to cover for the unplanned week I'll have to be away with no grief or issue.  Have to say the timing was good though -- if it had to happen, a week with a stat holiday on Wed that the office is going to be reasonably deserted is probably a good time to do so.  What are the odds though -- one of the women I work closely with, who is not much older than I am, is having the exact same surgery on Tuesday.  So random.   Was good to compare with her though -- she's going to a different doctor, but the information she's been given is very similar to mine.

And of course I've been forced to completely abandon my students and my horse as I won't be allowed anywhere near the farm :(   It is the best time of year to be a rider, XC season!  And now we're all SOL because of it.  But they also have all been very supportive -- everybody gets if I had a choice, I'd much rather be at the barn :)

So things are neither as good nor as bad as they could be.  I'll settle for the happy medium at the moment.  And fingers crossed surgery goes well...

When you're going through Hell, keep going...

Another long day of renovations today.  Worse, a day of renovations that I couldn't actually be any part of.  The carpets were put in -- yeah, new house smell!   And some of the granite countertops were installed.  And Chris put in the rangehood for the stove.  In all this, I mowed the lawn and occasionally went to find something for somebody *sigh*   Both the people helping today were interesting -- the carpet guy from Turkey with his son, and the granite guy who had all the cool toys to make his job easier.
We have carpet!
Welcome to my life.   At least the end is in sight :)   And as far as sight goes -- mine is exactly as it was yesterday: the same black shadow with the same grey cloud.  Awesome.  But at least it hasn't changed.

Was rereading some flash I wrote ages ago -- long enough ago that I only vaguely remember writing them (although was sort of appalled to discover I've yet to write one this year!  Fail.)   Very pleased to discover that now that I don't remember writing them, I'm enjoying reading them -- hahaha but I guess that makes sense since I generally write things that amuse me.

Maybe next reno day there's nothing useful for me to do, I'll scrounge something to write on and see what I can come up with.  I think today's supervisor could use his own story ;)   I had to take the picture super fast as I was trying to stay out of the way of too many people in a small space.  Chris could *not* understand what I was taking a picture of; his eyes rolled so far I was afraid he'd need surgery too ;-P hahaha ah well -- the way I see the world rarely fails to amuse me, so I'll continue to share it with those inclined to read.  Just remember, I'm telling you stories.  Trust me.

Our supervisor looked slightly concerned...

Mutter mutter mutter

So get up this morning to discover my eye still has the dark shadow its had for a while now, but also has a new cloud filling all the rest of the space.  The fun never ends.

Started to go to work but by the time I was getting on the train I still wasn't able to clear the cloud and I kept hearing "if anything changes go to emergency".  Frig.  Okay.  So I called the clinic and they said to go to emergency.  Alright.

Get to the hospital feeling absolutely ridiculous for being there, but the triage nurse took it very seriously and reaffirmed it was a good idea to come in.   When I was registering and doing paperwork I was amused to discover the doctor they had on record for me was my pediatrician.  Tells you how often I go to the hospital ;)

So the emerg doctor -- who was amazing -- did a few tests (one which was sort of cool made it very clear I can't see the lower half of my vision.  Even though the shadow I'm seeing is on top.  I know logically that we see in flipped images, but somehow that still seemed odd to me...)   Anyways -- he called the on-call doctor, who told him we'd need the charts from the clinic.  So he called the clinic and got nowhere *sigh*   So he gave me his phone and I tried a few times but also no luck.  Argh.

His suggestion then was to actually go back to the clinic.  He wrote me a prescription basically saying they should look at it again, and told me that if they couldn't see me today I should get them to give me my files and come back and he'd get the on-call specialist to come in.

Off I go back to the clinic from yesterday.  They actually got me in to the same doctor fairly quickly.  He asked me to describe the change, and when I did he told me that one, while annoying, wasn't critical.  He checked out my eyes and said they're the same status as they were and this time listed the actual important things to worry about if they change.  Information I really wish he'd given me yesterday *sigh*   He also told me which hospital to go to if any of said signs occur.

And yet another day is wasted.  And I'm still on a list for surgery which undoubtedly will waste another day or more.  Each time they put those drops in too which seriously distort my vision and make me hyper sensitive to light (as they're supposed to) but also have the side effect I've never heard of of making me exhausted and wicked headaches (although I suspect the headaches are actually from squinting due to the drops).  But each time I've had that one type of drop I've gone home and slept for about 2h feeling absolutely miserable.  I don't think that's quite the way they're supposed to work.

I managed to sign into work for all of about an hour today *sigh*   They're being super supportive, which is awesome, but it's so frustrating to have so much to do and get held up by this stupid running around.  There's no reason the Wednesday person couldn't have given me all the info from Thurs and Friday.  Frustrating.  Very frustrating.

On the plus side -- the house gets carpet and countertops tomorrow :)  Woohoo!

Should've just gone to work...

So today was essentially a huge waste :(

It was a repeat of yesterday's experience just with a different doctor.  He did, admittedly, do a slightly more intensive exam but the results were the same: detached retina.  Very serious.  Need surgery asap.  Great.  Thanks.  I thought that was why I was here.  But apparently there's no room in surgery for two weeks.  Awesome.  So he's put me on a waiting list and contacted another surgeon to see if he has space.  Otherwise, he'll do a checkup next Tues and if anything changes go to emergency.

Oh, and it's a complete fluke that I'm not blind in that eye.  Lovely.  Apparently the gel in the eye is holding the retina in place.  So I'm not allowed to do any exercise that might jostle it -- no riding, no running, no cardio.  Less than thrilled.

So went and taught Kennedy tonight and she had an amazing ride on Callie.  Then I played with Sasha for a bit and taught her on Lexi.  Was nice to watch my pony go, but I was so disappointed no to get to pilot -- esp as was perfect galloping weather.  Ah well.  Such is life.

A new experience...

Wore glasses today -- this was fine, except for stairs.  My eyes have not acclimatized to glasses yet and stairs cause a wicked shift in perception.  Imagine if when you went to step down, the stair suddenly moved six inches in.  You'd miss pretty hard.  Yeah -- fortunately I knew this going in so I held the railing on the "easy" stairs at home.  For the "hard" stairs at the GO station and at work, I just took my glasses off.  hahaha a cheat, perhaps, but effective.

So once I made it there, this morning was all kinds of productive at work.  Which is good cause this afternoon I had to leave to go see an eye specialist.  Have been having an issue for several months now, and my optometrist couldn't see anything causing it so she booked me in with the specialist.

This was a process...

I show up and the waiting room is packed and *hot*.  Awesome.  And the youngest person there is probably in their 60s.  The man in front of me gave his birthday as 1930.   Several people there my parents' age or older who were with their parents.  Hmmmm "which one of these things is not like the other...?"

Okay fine -- go sign in and fill in paperwork.  A few minutes later someone comes out, asks my birthday, "checks the tension" of my eyes -- which felt like a burst of air in my eye, and put drops in.  They were definitely less pleasant but the sensation went away in a few seconds.

A few minutes later I was called into a room where they asked my birthday and did a few eye tests -- still wearing glasses.  The drops were starting to kick in so my vision was iffy at best, but so be it.

Back to the waiting room.

Another while which was fairly entertaining as the most loud, foul-mouthed, elderly woman I've ever seen was making all kinds of a scene.  The expressions on the faces of people watch was sort of entertaining -- nobody seemed to know quite what to make of this.

Regardless, eventually I got called into another room where they asked my birthday and took pictures of my eyes before sending me back to the waiting room.

At this point there was only one room left I hadn't been in, so I had high hopes I might be almost through the game.

Into another room where they -- you guessed it, asked my birthday.   Okay - I had to ask ;)   Apparently they have such high turnover at this place that they've had incidents of multiple patients with the same name or patients just mishearing and responding to somebody else's name.  Okay - makes sense.  Tells me there's not a lot (read 'any') time being spent on relationship building...  hahhaa throughout the whole thing the process was very well organized and efficient but definitely cold.  I never got the impression questions would be welcome.

The doctor joined me momentarily -- the first person to actually introduce himself.  He shined a nasty bar light into my eye and squished the eyeball all around.  Not actually painful but reasonably unpleasant.  Lots of look "left/right/up/down" commands -- none of which I could actually execute since I actually couldn't see a thing (keep in mind, the drops had already made my eyes light sensitive before shining the light into it), and had very little control over them.  But I tried to follow the rules.

At first he said he could see what was causing the shadow and it was unusual but not tragic and would go away in probably a few weeks.  And then, not so much.   Apparently behind the issue that was causing the shadow was a hole in my retina.  One that was too large to be repaired via laser.  Boooo.  He said he'd call his surgeon partner and get me an appointment for tomorrow.   Ummmm okay.

I managed to get in a quick question -- after this surgery, would I still be a candidate for Lasik?  I'd heard not...   Apparently yes -- will take a couple years to heal fully but after that good to go.  Woohoo!  I'll be asking the same question of the surgeon tomorrow -- hopefully to the same answer :)

So got home and went to call my boss -- only to realize I didn't have her number on my phone.  Signed into work to find her number (now stored on my phone) and left her a vmail.   Did a quick check of my email -- which was fairly challenging since one eye was out of order and the other was only 1/2 working (they put drops in both eyes but the healthy one didn't seem to get as much in).

Regardless, managed to get messages to those who needed to know what was going on, cancel or reschedule all of tomorrow's meetings, and hand off the couple things that needed to happen before tomorrow before I gave up and shut down the machine.  My boss called me back and was all kinds of supportive -- all good since one of the meetings I had to move was my review *sigh*   Classic eh?

So with that organized, talked to some people and did some googling.  All say the surgery is routine and not terribly painful.  But the two weeks-a month of not being able to do *anything* physical is going to be a challenge.  FINALLY back on a roll and starting to feel well again, and now nope.  Frig.  For both me and Lexi.

It did, however, provide one and likely two days of blog fodder ;)   There's a plus everywhere if you're creative enough to find it...

I like that glasses suggest intelligence instead of broken eyes...

Well gym boot camp is off to an inauspicious beginning -- day one was cancelled.  Fail.   I *did* go ride Lex, but after yesterday all we did today was hack.  Although she was feeling pretty good -- I suspect would've been game for a whole lot more ;)

In the randomness of the week -- I am wearing glasses right now.  It's the first time in probably 20 years (omg that makes me feel so old!   Immediately counteracted by using 'omg' in a sentence ;)   I have an eye appointment tomorrow that I can't wear contacts all day, so I was all kinds of good and went and bought glasses in the right prescription.   But man were the first ten minutes ever trippy!  I was seeing double and when I moved my head, it was like the picture would take a few seconds to register.  Has all gone away now -- eyes seemed to adjust.  But kind of dreading having to wear them all day tomorrow.  Should be entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, I got an email at work from a co-worker I quite like working with titled "not just because I know you're really good at this."    Bahaha talk about a strategic way to ask for help :)  Amused me anyways.  In a teaching course I took several years ago, we had to evaluate our peers and one of the things we had to say was something they did we "wanted to steal".  At the time I rolled my eyes and played the game and mostly just dismissed it, but it's actually an idea that's stuck with me -- and that line is probably one of them :)   The other day I watched another woman I admire tell somebody to go to Hell in such a way they were honoured to be offered the trip.  *That* is a skill I'd be happy to steal.

Strides are for sissies...

So I have deemed if I'm going to be in both gym and horse boot camp in the same week, why not add writing?  Cause, you know, that's totally logical ;)    I did learn last wknd that I sleep much better when completely exhausted, so seems reasonable to aim for that >;-P    So the goal is one post a day for one week.  No problem.  Except for every hour from 6am-10pm being already booked.

Anyways -- went out to ride Lexi today.  Didn't have a ton of time to ride and was really hoping to jump.  Fortunately for me that's the one thing I can *almost* always count on her agreeing to ;)   So knowing time is short and I have neither ring crew nor a large selection of jumps, I set a simple grid:  trot approach, 2' vertical, 1 stride, slightly bigger vertical, 1 stride, slightly bigger oxer.  And I do mean slightly -- the biggest fence was maybe 2'9.  And a random 2' other fence in the middle of the ring.  

Go get my horse and am pleased to discover she's *not* covered head to toe in mud.  Woohoo!  Score one ;)   She warmed up nicely -- I admittedly wasn't asking her to work particularly hard, but nor was she giving me any reason to need to either.  We jumped all the various fences on angles all no problem and popped through them as is.  Actually just a canter stride.  Okay hop off and put the fences up.  Rinse and repeat a couple times.

As we're doing this, they're bringing horses in.  Lexi is *very* ADD about that -- so I try to ride her at turnin often so she can learn to deal with the fact that she still has to work when things are going on.  And to her credit, she never missed a jump for all her distraction, although there was one she jumped sideways and a couple we did in slow motion as we went away from whoever was being brought in.  We also had a wicked drift toward the gate which admittedly went away as soon as her rider smartened up ;)

We get to the point that the middle jump is about 2'6" (still a speed bump) and the last about 3'6" -- which she's also just loping over.  Let me tell you, having always ridden sports-car model horses that really power over *everything* (hey Paula - just trot that X...) this is a disconcerting feeling.  I never entirely believe we're going over it because it never feels like we have any power.  But she's yet to miss.

Anyways -- running out of time, so being responsible, I decide not to go the remaining two holes higher (just in case) but instead just do this one once more and call it a day.  One. More. Time.  There's a reason I basically never say that when I teach.  It's a phrase determined to make a liar of me.  Yet somehow I can't cut it out of my inner speak when I ride.  Ugh.

Trotting in, all good...  And then...  I actually have absolutely no idea what happened to be honest.  I wish there'd be somebody with a camera!   She either got distracted or tripped or both 1/2 a trot stride out from the first fence.  I have no idea how we got from one side of that to the other but we ended up facing fence two and she randomly decided to treat it like a jump (picture the cat that falls off the table and then walks away with this look like "I meant to do that.").  Okay good -- except she treated it like a grandprix style liverpool...   Which landed us in the middle of the distance to our oxer.

So of course the only logical response is to bounce out.  Yeah.  I'm going to go ahead and admit I grabbed a good hold of her substantial mane for that one.  But the really scary part?  It still didn't feel like she was even attempting to put any effort into it. Just cantered away as per usual.  Sheesh.

Why wouldn't you bounce this?  It's only a 24' distance.
Had to do it again just to smooth that out a bit.  No drama or excitement.  Went for a trot around the track (killer mosquitoes!), then trotted back in and popped through it "one more time" to finish.  And it really was one more time and it still felt ridiculously easy.   Training courses will seem baby sized by the time I ever get back in the show ring :)  But until then, we'll just have fun at home.

The next installment of Reno Purgatory

Had a lovely evening at Marche on Friday night with Emily :)   Yeah for friends having to come to TO for work (*cough*Jael*cough*)   Time flew the way it does when you’re with someone close you haven’t seen in entirely too long and what seemed like a couple hours was… ummmm… a little longer than that ;)  
That did mean, however, it was significantly later when I eventually made it to Paris where my amazing husband was still working away at getting the hardwood finished in the kitchen so we’d be able to put in the cabinets on Sat.  Woohoo!  So we finished that section up and called it a night.
Ah the kitchen cabinets…  We went and collected them all from where they’ve been stored at his grandfather’s and after only a few truckloads, they were taking up every available piece of floor in our living room.  Slightly awkward and overwhelming, but hopeful.  A jigsaw puzzle with more pieces than necessary ;)   But our designer, who had found us the kitchen in the first place, had mapped out where all of said pieces should go so all good.
So we started with the “uppers” – as Chris innocently referred to them. Hahaha I don’t know why I found that so funny.  I don’t know what I would’ve called them differently.   Even “upper cabinets” probably would’ve made it less entertaining.  But somehow them being just the “uppers” had me envisioning them storing some very happy drugs combined with smiley face yellow stickers…  But maybe that’s just me ;)

Anyways – suffice to say, the cabinets, esp with the vibrant red walls, look *amazing*!!!   Super stoked.

LOVE how these turned out
So go to put the lower cabinets (somehow not the “lowers”?  Idk… ) in place and…  Well…  Nothing’s ever easy with this house.  The cabinets stuck out a little over an inch past the edge of the wall.   Designer fail in a big way.  I was not impressed.  C questioned me on that one, asking why it annoyed me so much when nothing else we’ve “discovered” has – at the time I didn’t know what the difference was, but thinking about it later it came to me: this one was entirely avoidable.  The others, with only one exception which frustrated me to an even greater degree, were all completely unavoidable.  So we dealt with them as we came.  But this issue was only an issue due to human error.  Which would’ve been one thing if it’d been just us – it’s not our day job, we could miss things.  But when you hire somebody specifically for the purpose of laying out the kitchen…  Mutter mutter mutter.

Do not love how this turned out...
Suffice to say that put an abrupt end to the installing of cabinets.  We lost a fair amount of time to spin while we discussed options – other potential cabinet arrangements, leaving a section out, making the wall wider…   And settled on the last.  Oh good.  More drywall *sigh*
So Sunday Chris got to build out the wall.   Absolutely nothing useful for me to do at that point, so a waste of a good piece of the day.  We did at least go out for breakfast ;)   That was actually lovely, esp given the torrential rain outside.  And afternoon we finished off the hardwood in the living room!  Woohoo!  Super stoked about that.  And it’s a fairly stunning colour.   I am actually *really* happy with the colour combinations we ended up with.  Just wish they were located a whole lot closer to Toronto!
Stephy texted me late afternoon that she was back on the injured list.  Fail.  So on the way home I randomly decided to go ride.  Had So. Much. Fun!   Hahaha nothing terribly productive, but trotting in and out of the sandring, up the driveway, around the round  pen and the track, every once in a while going back in the sandring to jump some stuff.  Just a fun ride.  But have decided that if Steph’s off for the week, it’s boot camp for Lex.  Which also means boot camp for me  (doubly so as I start with a new trainer – gym, not horse – on Tuesday).   Hmmmm.  Wish me luck ;-P

Keeping life entertaining

These random red muskoka chairs have appeared all around the Queens Quay area.  These two are on my way into the office.  Makes me smile every time I see them.  Yeah summer!   Even if I don’t actually have time to make use of them ;)

The other day was “Blue Water Day” at work, which is basically an environmental initiative.  Some teams got together way in advance and planned all kinds of good.  And some people had a meeting cancelled at the last second and decided to go participate.  Suffice to say, group 2 here ;)  But, my lunch meeting *was* cancelled, so I went down to the local parking lot where they were collecting volunteers to plant stuff.  Sweet.  Np.  I booked off 1/2h and away I went.  Yeah – actual time, about 2 mins.  I planted a plant in a canoe (I know, so random – that’s why I chose it :)  No idea where said canoe will be sailing, or more likely, beached, but it now has one more plant in it.  And that was it.  Clearly a case of way more volunteers than work at that particular location.  Was somewhat amused they handed me a water bottle – somehow plastic doesn’t suit my image of appropriate ‘thank you’ gift for an environmental contribution.  Hahaha but I needed a new water bottle for the gym, so very convenient.  On the plus side, I also got my picture taken with Leo.  Really, how can you help but smile ;)

And then continuing the fun work outings -- today at lunch was a fundraiser for Camp OOchigeas not far down the street from the office, so the team I’m currently on all bought tickets and went.  In the absolutely perfect weather.  Suffice to say it’s a really good thing I had meetings booked all afternoon, or it would’ve been *really* hard to convince myself to come back to work ;)   Gorgeous weather, decent band playing, all you can eat bbq, silly games.  I collected all kinds of random stuff – although have to admit Donna pulled in double my stash ;)   But seriously, mini alcohol (might’ve given that away), stress ball, t shirt, two wooden coasters, a key chain, sun glasses, even some nail art.  Which would arguably be far more useful if I had nails ;)  But overall a fun afternoon.

I do, in fact, actually *work* at work too -- occasionally ;)   But that doesn't make for nearly as fun a story.

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.

So last weekend our lawn mower died.  Well it didn’t so much die as go on work-to-rule.  As in the self-propulsion declined to function.  Our lawn is large, lovely, and hilly.  I didn’t realize just how hilly till trying to shove a machine that’s supposed to power itself *sigh*   Suffice to say this was less of a fun game. Especially after just starting to exercise again.  You’re not new here.  You know I didn’t start slowly ;)  So Chris and I debated about whether to fix it (it’s somewhat ancient and on at least its second, if not third or fourth, home) or give up and buy a new one.  I could see arguments for either side given that we don’t know where we’ll be living in the (hopefully near) future.   But in the end, we decided that really the house was a much better use of Chris’ time than trying to revive a dying lawn mower, and shopping we went.  The only thing I was pretty insistent on is that if we get a new one, it needed to be one I could start.   The old one I could only start once it was warmed up – less than useful.  Of course that did limit our options somewhat, but there were two choices.   I more affordable green one and a less affordable red one.  We got the expensive one.  Who’s surprised by this?   Chris listed a remarkable number of totally valid reasons we really needed that machine (up to and including availability of parts to repair it in the future), but I still suspect the deciding factor was that it’s red ;-P   It’s fair – the green was fairly ugly *g*

I can't believe I just found this!   Apparently it's a thing ;)
Anyways – this weekend it was time to test out said new red lawn mower.  Step one – it starts!  Woohoo!  With no effort at all.   It also takes very little physical effort to maneuver it and is much easier to hold on to.   Sweet.  But the entertaining part is that the self-propulsion speeds up or slows down depending how much you depress the handle. So theoretically as you walk faster, it mows faster.   All good right?  Except that I, of course, felt the need to test this theory.  Hahaha ended up chasing the lawn mower downhill.  Kinda ridiculous but it kept me amused.  I then deigned that it was not necessary to mow the lawn at a jog, or even a power walk, but rather a relaxed stroll would do the job just fine.  Hahaha took longer than necessary (albeit still noticeably faster than with the other mower) but it was good daydreaming time and there was nothing useful I could’ve been doing at that point in the house so may as well enjoy the weather.

If you look *really* closely, you can see the new toy hiding under the tree :)
I did discover this one doesn’t off-road nearly as well as the other one did ;)   oops.  And it has a significantly sharper blade.  It’s also either lighter or better balanced as I could go sideways across the hills without it falling – something that really frustrated me I couldn’t do with the other one.  Got it all worked out in the end though so mission accomplished.

This afternoon we watched American Pharoah lope away with the Triple Crown.  Start late, book it out to the front, and then just stay there, let the others think they might have a chance at catching up, and then proceed to pull farther and farther from the others.  You know, it’s just that easy.  Hahaha first Triple Crown winner in my lifetime.  Was very impressive to watch.

In case you missed it ;) 

Then it was off for another exciting Saturday evening at Home Depot.   The tone of ‘exciting’ changes depending whether it’s Chris or I speaking ;-P  I’ll be very happy when we get to have a home reno store free weekend.  But alas, this was not that weekend.  And even worse, we got trapped in Home Depot Jail!!!   Hahaha we of course wanted something off the top shelf, but not only can they not just get it down, they have to close off all the lanes around it (and it would be in an intersection, so the sales people had to scrounge the shop for enough fences).    Anyways eventually they got our new laundry-room sink down and we were good to go.  Except Chris and the sink were on one side of the fence and I was on the other.  Yeah – this problem was fairly easy to resolve by moving the fence.  Smiling and nodding the whole time the Home Depot employee was telling me I couldn’t possibly go through there, while continuing to proceed.   Ah well – what’s the worst that can happen, get kicked out of Home Depot?    I’m not sure I see that as a negative ;)

Chris amusing himself in Home Depot Jail
And then, because that wasn’t exciting enough, we had to follow up with a trip to Lowes.  *sigh*  I’m not even kidding.   On the plus side, that should actually be the *last* construction trip we need to make.  Woohoo!!!!   Still have a ton of work to do and it seems to go oh so very slowly…  But we’re almost there. 

A promising start for the downstairs washroom
Sunday we spent making that happen.  Got the vanity in the downstairs washroom (Clarencing at it’s finest – I held it in place while Chris did everything else).  And then the rest of the day was dedicated to tackling the hard wood floors.  This is actually significantly easier than I’d have thought.  At least given the collection of power tools Chris has ;)   I spent most of the day laying pieces out and playing with the saw while he measured and nailed things into place. About the only productive way we could figure to make a one-person job into a two-person job.

It's slowly starting to look like a house!
And a random mom and baby deer came to visit.  Yup, this has no place in my story other than that it made me smile, so it gets included here too J   Somewhat amazed the power tools didn’t scare them off, but maybe that meant we were too busy and too noisy to sneak up on them ;)

Grooming: the process of transferring dirt from the horse to the rider

I debated about riding today.  Wasn’t sure I really felt like it, so offered the ride to Steph.   Realized as soon as I hit send that I actually really *did* want to ride and was pretty happy when it turned out she was busy ;)   Had meetings fairly late so would have to be a short ride, but I figured at least I’d get in a sunset hack.

Yeah – except when I got to the barn, this is what I found:

That’s the clean side.  I’m not even kidding.
*sigh*  There would be no riding for me.  By the time I got her even into an acceptably filthy state, I had less than 20 mins left to tack up, ride, untack, groom, and get out of there.  Yeah, not going to happen.  Fail.

In unrelated news, thanks to a great WagJag deal I now have a gym membership again.   Have been a couple times – it’s small, but clean and definitely convenient.  Starting with a trainer next week – well, if we can sort out our schedules anyways.  Here’s to being barn fit again soon without the barn ;)