June 2015

I am either a real badass or a total fraud and I don’t know which. I looked at the WOD last night and the first thought was a resounding NO and then I remembered it is all scalable and I could do it – somehow. I don’t do them as written, but I do them. Masters version or maybe even legend version. But I get out there and I know I’m better now than when I began, but I want to be 30 again, something even my children are too old for.

Frankie’s birthday celebration is being continued at Disney World. There have been lots of pictures and she seems to be having a wonderful, glorious time. I know people love going to Disney World or any other Disney park. I am not one of them and I’m terribly glad she is having so much fun and I don’t have to. I’ve been there once decades ago and It’s a Small Small World is still trapped in my head.

For some reason, the electricity went out last night. I awoke overheated which might sound fun, but wasn’t. Everything was dark. I peeked out the windows and it was all dark out there, too. I assume the construction people who so far have taken out the internet, the water, and a gas line are responsible for the outage.

I have looked to find the setting for my Kindle, but I cannot find it. This is what I know: When a Kindle is plugged in to charge and the electricity comes back on, it becomes a beacon of joy and lights the room with effervescence, gleeful in its power. This is delightful, of course, but not quite as jolly at 4.12 AM.

I did eventually fall back to sleep and awoke to a bunch of clocks flashing at me since they do not all have battery backups. The stove, microwave, and coffeepot were all reset. The new toaster oven doesn’t have a clock. My alarm clock gained 6 minutes for no good reason and has been reset. It was now time to get ready to have a lovely morning at the sweltering CrossFit Summerville box. I remember, fondly, having to wear gloves because the bars were too cold to the touch.

Brent was there today so at least it wasn’t just me. But it was me and a fit, young man so that’s a bit of a difference in our workout styles.

We warmed up and them began the day’s work.

Today’s WOD as written:
5X1 min plank
with warm up. 15 sec rest between
Front squat
Light weight or 40-50% of 1RM
Work on quick ascend out of squat and hip flexion, posterior chain involvement.
100 DU (RX, RX attempts, power jumps are choices)
5 ring dips
10 Wall balls (20/14) Women aim for the same target as men-the red line
5 ring dips
15 Wall balls
5 ring dips
20 wall balls
5 ring dips
25 wall balls
5 ring dips
30 wall balls

First thing. There is no way on God’s green earth I am capable of holding a minute plank even once, let alone five times in six minutes. I told Kim I would hold, rest, and hold some more until the time was up and just hope for the best. The longest I held was 30 seconds and then it went all downhill from there. Since my lower back was really hurting, Kim watched me to see why and I was dropping my hips. Once I kept my core tighter and hips straight, that stopped. But I still sucked.

With the front squats, Kim said we could use the same weight each time or change and do 40, 45, and then 50%. I did that and used 32, 37, and 42 pounds for the front squats. I managed all of them without a problem, but on the last set, they weren’t as quick as on the first set and I had to pause between reps by the end.

Then the WOD. I added this shit up and was just astounded. And petrified. And just a big resounding NO. But it is all scalable and how did I want to scale. Kim asked if I was doing the whole thing and I almost couldn’t stop laughing. She asked my plan. I told her 70 jumps to the bar, the ring dips and wall balls as written through 25, and then 70 jumps. That gave me 20 ring dips and 70 wall balls along with the jumping around.

I then said if Brent was all done before I even started the 25 round, I wasn’t doing it.

I have no idea why the workout was supposed to be harder for women but not for men. The nine foot, rather than ten foot mark is pretty standard. But for these mere 100 wall balls, women should work harder than normal while frail, weenie men should just do their regular wall balls. I, of course, did my masters version with 10 pounds to an 8’ line and then hell with that nonsense.

Brent and I finished the 10 wall balls at the same time and then it was all downhill for me. I had managed all 70 jumps, rested to get my heart rate down and then done the 5 ring dips using a blue 1.5 inch band, and then gotten my heart rate down and did all 10 wall balls. But then Brent went zooming past.

I needed to rest and then do the 5 ring dips, then I had to rest and on the 15 set, I did them 8 and 7, then on the 20 set, I did them 10 and 10. I was hoping against hope that Brent was over there finishing up his 30 wall balls but instead as he finished, he went back to the rings. Damn. I was going to have to do the 25 set. I did that by breaking the wall balls into 10, 8, and 7 and then I had to do the jumps. Brent was just finishing so I wasn’t too far behind in my masters version. I broke the jumps into 35 and 35 and finished in 16.16.

The warm-up had 14 squats in it, but at least those were without any extra weight. The WOD was supposed to have 130 squats, but I cleverly got rid of 30 of those so I “only” did 114 squats today. I’m betting my ass and legs are really going to be hurting tomorrow.

Even babies are better at a plank hold

Even babies are better at a plank hold


It has been a week since my last workout and it was noticeable. I had good intentions but lacked the will to do more while my sisters were here. It was too much fun to spend time with them. I can work out the other 50 weeks of the year. I can only be with my sisters for a short time. So I chose that. I believe it was the correct choice.

I did get to speak with both sisters via phone calls yesterday. Each with a different issue and each so far away after being so close. We really need that transporter thing from Star Trek so we can just buzz back and forth at will. It would make life so much better.

Be that as it may, I was back at the gym today and the first thing I had to do today was run 200 meters and while that is usually possible first thing, I noticed everything wasn’t really happy about this. Not my legs, not my feet, not my knees, not my heart – nothing particularly liked it. But I managed. It was only me there today, so I didn’t have to try to keep up with anyone and Kim was aware that I had been MIA. So the warm-up was scaled for me.

I asked about Kat’s absence since I didn’t see her scores on the board from earlier this week. There had been no one at the 8 AM class on Monday and Wednesday and Kim was pretty sure there would be no one today. But I fooled her. I showed up. Pitiful, but there. Everything seemed harder to do today after just one week off.

I was eventually considered warm. Actually, I was downright hot. I looked at the temperature this morning and it was ⁰F 77 and I figured less than 80 was good. I did put in a head band thing because I learned a couple weeks ago that while it looks horrendous, it is great to not have so much liquid awesome (sometimes referred to as “sweat”) dripping in my eyes. I had to fetch it before I started the real work of the day.

Today’s WOD as written:

8 min EMOM (moderately heavy)
2 cleans and 1 jerk
Partner WOD!!
6 RFT:

400m run
6 cleans (155/105)
1 Rope climb

I have no idea what my one rep max is for a clean and jerk but I have been trying to use 53# and managing. But I was afraid of that today. I managed to use the 42# bar I’m used to and said that if my heart rate was too much of a problem, I would just do one clean and one jerk. Instead, I managed to do all the reps as written. My heart rate was 162 at its highest and the time in between rounds let me get it back down so I could work again. I concentrated on using a hook grip and it still doesn’t feel natural, but it is easier to remember to use it.

Since I was the only one there, it was going to be tough to have a partner WOD. Kim had two different versions written for earlier in the day. One of the options was:
200m run
3 cleans
1 rope climb
:30 rest between rounds

Because only one person was working, there was some rest built in and I was to do 4 RFT using that scheme. However, I don’t run in a WOD because then I have no heart rate left at all to do anything else.

I had a heart rate of 120 before I began and by the time I returned from my walk it was up to 164. Also, it was bright sunshine out there and the gym was dark. We did not open the big garage door because while it does let in the light, it also lets in the heat and there was no breeze at all so that it was more of a negative. But when I came back inside from the bright sunlight, I was blind for a bit. All I could see was the shiny chalk bucket.

I rested and got my eyes adjusted and heart rate down. Then I did the 3 cleans (42#) and the 5 HSPU from a box. Kim said she wished she could get other people to be as vertical as I am on these modified things. I was pretty happy to know that I was doing something right. I still often feel like a fraud or failure.

By the end of the HSPUs I had a heart rate of 170 and needed to get it down before starting the next thing. But it didn’t need to get down as far, because there was less to do. So I went to the rope and my sub was to be three knees to elbows and then lower myself to the floor. I was actually hitting my knees on my elbows. Not just getting close, not just being higher than my waist, but hitting my elbows. I was astounded. After this triumph, I sprawled on the floor for thirty seconds and then began the next round.

Each round was similar – the walk and a rest, the cleans and HSPUs and then rest for a shorter time, the rope climb. I finished in 19.58 which was a good scaling because it kept me in close proximity to the times from the people who had already done this mess.

We really need to find a way to preserve that cold that was hanging around in January and bring it out in the summer. It would have been refreshing. It was so hot. That’s all I kept thinking. And then I was thinking about the athletes participating in the I CAN Games this past weekend and them being outside in the heat and the sun.

CrossFit is hard. That is what makes it fun. It was good to be back today.

Or it will kill me.

Or it will kill me.

Friday afternoon saw the whole household in the car and heading south. We left for Hilton Head about 1.30 PM so we could get to Conviction Training Facility with enough time to have some leeway. Our job for the afternoon was to pick up Frankie from school where she is enrolled in a summer program.

We made it in plenty of time. Cheri and I helped Craig and his crew load up the U-Haul with all the weights and equipment needed for the I CAN Games. Well, the pull-up rig was already at the field and Baby and the atlas stones were somewhere else already. We still had lots of stuff to get on the truck. Pam did not wish to carry heavy, dirty stuff around. Both of my sisters were able to see Craig’s new gym.

We brought Frankie back to the house and Dayna and baked ziti ready to go into the oven. Since we were the first ones back to the house, we took care of heating up dinner. Eventually, everyone else made it back to the house. Each year, Dayna and I put together the bags for all the team participants and all the prize packages for the winners during the weekend. It went much, much faster with the three sisters putting things together. There was also a lot more laughing.

We got things done and all toddled off to various sleeping places. The deal for Saturday was that Cheri and I would leave for the field and Pam and Dick would stay back with Frankie until she woke up. We did not need a cranky Frankie at the field. In the morning, I made a starter pot of coffee, but it was not enough for Cheri and certainly not enough for me. We also don’t miss meals.

We stopped at a McDonald’s for breakfast. I’m not sure if there is really any food from McDonald’s and I’m pretty sure there is no need to even worry about healthy food. But we did think it would be fast food. We were wrong. I don’t know how many people called in on Saturday, but it took us more than a half hour to collect our “fast” food and get out of there.

They were already down at the beach before we showed up. I did get things set up so we could begin with our score keeping task. A while later, Pam and Dick arrived with Frankie in tow. They were smarter and stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and didn’t have to wait nearly as long for their coffee. We learned from this experience.

My son, Craig, doing an awesome job running this event

My son, Craig, doing an awesome job running this event

The day was hot and muggy. It only got hotter and muggier and then the breeze stopped and it was sweltering. I have no idea how the athletes continued to move let alone do such amazing things. But they did. By lunch time, Frankie was done with the whole thing. The plan was for Dick to take Frankie away and pack her off with her other family. It ended up that Frank came and met them off the island for the switch.

Working hard in the heat

Working hard in the heat




Dick was back before the last scheduled WOD of the day. After the four WODs were finished, the top eight people in each category (male and female RX and male and female scaled) participated in unknown and unknowable WOD. We were able to have the medals passed out around 3 PM. While the last WOD was held, most of the equipment was packed away and we were able to get into a cooler spot before too long.

We opted for pizza and sat around the house trying to cool off for the rest of the evening. Frankie spent the night with her other grandparents so when we got up in the morning, we all went to the field together. However, Dayna left her car for us to drive just in case someone wanted to sleep in. We didn’t. We were stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast, but not the one they stopped at yesterday.

We passed it and turned in at the next space but there was a fence and we couldn’t get to the donuts. Then we got back out on the divided highway and went back and turned to find the donuts. I was just following Dick who turned around, but didn’t turn into the shopping center strip since he thought he could turn in later. As we made another loop, Cheri noted that we were making donuts to go get donuts. We did finally get inside and get donuts and coffee.

We made it to the field in plenty of time. Pam had been down to the beach the day before letting her be in both oceans within a few weeks time. Cheri, Dick, and I went down to the beach to watch the first team WOD which included a swim in the ocean. It also included 40 burpees, partner carry for 400 meters, and another 40 burpees.


The day before, the longest chipper WOD was the last WOD before the playoff. It was just so damn hot by that time that Craig changed the order of the WODs for the teams. Instead of having the chipper WOD last, he made it second while there was still some shade and it was only in the low 90s with a light breeze.


Cheri was mesmerized by the people on the field and what they could do. Monica thought they should look into doing this type of thing together. Cheri took a picture of the chipper WOD and sent it to Monica so she would understand that her mother was not ever going to be caught doing this stuff. The thing ended with 90 wall balls. I don’t remember all of the things at 20-80 reps but there were pull-ups, burpees to a target, toes to bar and moving iron.

The next WOD was a quick AMRAP with the Atlas stones and Baby. Each time Baby was flipped, there was a “whoomp” as it hit the ground.


The last WOD was an 11 minute AMRAP with iron. I think it was ground to overhead and then shoulder to overhead and then back squats. It was so hot by this time, I’m unsure how anyone managed to move at all. But they did.

We didn’t have any playoff stuff for teams and so we were ready for the award ceremonies. Most of the field was already cleared, the bars had been torn down and returned already, so we were pretty much able to leave with a clear conscience and head back to Summerville.

Monday’s plan was to return to the teahouse. We tried. They are closed on Monday but we found another place to go out to eat and they had some of the best desserts. We shopped quaint downtown Summerville for a while and then headed back. We had to pass the restaurant and so I stopped in and got Dick some lemon cake.


The other thing on our agenda was to get all the laundry done so that everyone could bring clean clothes home. We managed that, too.

We were in the middle of a horrible jigsaw puzzle and I kept telling anyone and everyone that it better be finished before they went home or I was throwing it away. We finished it and then sat around and laughed.

This was much more difficult than it might seem

This was much more difficult than it might seem

On Tuesday morning, the sisters packed up everything and we timed our day to get everyone to the airport in the right order and at the right time. Cheri was first to be dropped off. Pam and I went to Panera’s for lunch and while there we got a text from Cheri. Her flight had been changed and she was now flying to Cincinnati via Chicago instead of Washington, D.C. This crap again. While we were finishing up our lunch, Pam got a text that her flight was cancelled. She could go online and see what was available. But she couldn’t and we were only a few minutes from the airport.

I dropped her off with her luggage, just in case there was a flight later in the day that would work. Then I went to the waiting area and she texted me not too long later that she would be spending another night at my house. She wasn’t quite ready for me to pick her up yet. But a few minutes later, she was. I went back to get her. While parked with the trunk up, some idiot in a Camero was having difficulty pulling his car into the parking space and so he hit Dick’s new car instead. His girlfriend told me not to be upset about having my new car hit because look at his car. And I should calm down. There seemed to be no damage to Dick’s car. I didn’t care if there was any damage to his.

Cheri finally got home at 11.30 last night instead of at 6.30. She missed the last puzzle together. She could have chosen to spend another night but didn’t want to make me drive some more. She chose poorly.

Pam and I came home and played games, did another puzzle – this time only 750 pieces – and had a lovely evening together. We went back to the airport. There were no storms today raising havoc with flight schedules. No one hit my car. Her plane took off on time and she is on her way home. Sistercation is over for another year.

Bonus puzzle with Gnute and Gned relaxing

Bonus puzzle with Gnute and Gned relaxing

Yesterday, the sisters went out for a long walk while I slept and lounged and mostly did nothing. I love doing nothing. It is my favorite.

All day long, my butt hurt. I didn’t know if it was from weighted lunges or box step-ups. Probably both.

After everyone was cleaned up and fed, we went – wait for it – shopping. We started out at JoAnn Fabrics. Miraculously, Pam bought nothing. Cheri bought knitting needles and a case to carry darning needles. I was the big spender with a skein of sock yarn and knitting needles for a total (after coupons) under $5.

We then went across the street and stopped in several different stores with very few purchases. Then we stopped for lunch. Cheri got a sandwich. Pam got a half sandwich and a half salad. I got a salad. We all loved our meals. We shopped our way back to the car and I nearly burned my legs on the seats. We made our way back home.

Most of the rest of the day was spent going between crafting and gaming. We did a lot of laughing and had a wonderful day breathing the same air.

This morning, Pam and Cheri left for their walk before I left for the gym. It was hot and muggy and nasty out there. It wasn’t much better in the gym.

The day’s workout was long but the beginning was warming up as well. So we started out with a run and did just a few other things before the day’s written work began.

Today’s WOD as written:

Skill Transfer practice
Work on each movement with light to moderate weight spending at least 2 min practicing each position.
1. Snatch grip push press
2. OHS
3. Heaving snatch balance
4. Snatch balance with no dip
5. Snatch balance with dip
Then either HPS or HS (depending on coach’s input and skill level):
Add weight for 2X4, then 2X6. It is up to you if you want to add weight between the two rep schemes. DO NOT compromise form to do so.
Part A:

3 Rds:
2 Wall walks
4 Turkish get ups, heavy dumbbell
6 Full Cleans (135/95)
8 SDLHP with kettlebell (53/35)
10 push ups
Part B:

Alternate between ab mat sit ups and walking planks.

We began the snatch stuff which was all done with the bar behind our head, like for a back squat but with a wide grip. We warmed up with all the moves using a PVC pipe and then did them with an empty bar. My bar was just 22#, of course. It was just Kat and me and she was having trouble with even the 22# bar and Kim said they really need a lighter bar. My eyes did not roll out of my head. She also said she didn’t know if they made them and I was right there with information that Craig’s gym had 15# bars.

After we did the stuff with an empty bar, we were able to go to regular snatches. I cannot do a full snatch and keep my balance in the squat. I can manage an overhead squat, but with the move of the snatch included, I fall over in some direction.

I managed the entire number of snatches getting lower in some power snatches than others, but managed to complete the sets without stopping.

When I looked at the rounds thing, I decided I was only doing two. It was so humid, we had to chalk our hands for the wall walks and yet, I still felt too slippery to manage. On the first round, I could walk my hands in some, not on the second. On the first round, I used an 8# dumbbell for the Turkish get ups, but I used a 5# dumbbell on the second round. I used a 42# bar for my cleans since they were full cleans. I did them 3-3 on the first round but could only do 2-2-2 on the second. I used a 25# kettlebell for the sumo pulls and managed all of them together both times. I just did from the floor not perfect push-ups and I did them slowly. I finished in 15.50 and was ready to puke.

We didn’t have enough time to do the Tabata. We could have stayed over, but I was already exhausted and so was Kat.

I was so hot and miserable I just wanted to cry, but that’s not very CrossFit. On Wednesday, by the time I got home, my sisters were all fed and cooled down and I was going to show up looking like death warmed over and they were going to be refreshed and delighted with their walk.

Instead, when I got home, Cheri was leaning against the kitchen counter and panting like a lizard on a hot rock. They had just gotten home. They walked up to Harris Teeter and went through the entire store to cool down. They bought bagels there. Then they walked over to Starbucks and got some iced coffee and sat there to drink it – and cool off. Then they walked home and arrived just before me.

I still needed breakfast and then we all cleaned up. We made one last shopping trip so Cheri could finally get the clip on sunglasses she has been trying to buy for a week. Now we are getting ready to head to Hilton Head and I CAN Games. There will be stories from that, I’m sure.


On Tuesday, we did nothing. Well, not really nothing, but we didn’t get in the car and go anywhere. We finished the puzzle we had been working on. We crafted. Pam taught me how to knit the scarf pattern she got here. Cheri claimed she was not getting out her pajamas all day, but she did get dressed around noon. We just had a fun time sitting around doing nothing.

Pam is still in charge of answering work related emails, but her Chromebook has some shortcomings. She has a program loaded on it which is necessary for work, so she can’t just use my computer, but she can’t just use hers, either. So she uses both in conjunction and makes it work. Not really easy, but workable.

Cheri was given permission to travel with her midsized work computer since it is a better size than her big home laptop. However, it is also not liking being out in the world. So it worked, then it spent 24+ hours telling her it couldn’t connect to my home network because it wasn’t private. She finally hit something that made it work again. So far.

Pam’s Nook, Cheri’s iPad, and my Kindle are all working properly. Our phones are all working properly. I don’t remember how we did all this stuff without having technology. Wait, that’s ridiculous. Of course I do. We each had a book. We had crossword puzzle magazines. We had the same thing, only in dead trees instead of electrons. And we had our crafts just like today.

We had a roast in the slow cooker all day and the house smelled great. Dinner tasted great. We needed a rest day. Pam and I each took a small few minute catnap. Cheri slept for 1.5 hours. We needed some extra rest.

On Wednesday morning, Pam and Cheri left the house to walk around 7.30 AM and I left for the box shortly thereafter. I gave them a route that would have more shade for their walk and we all went out to do the stuff we like to do for activity.

It was just me and Brent at the box with Kim coaching. It was already really hot. Something like ⁰F 85 – and the two big fans were nice, but not enough. Perhaps if there had been a meat locker to workout in, that would have been nice.

The WOD as written:

Front rack lunges
After appropriate warm up with the bar, add weight until you get to a moderately heavy lunge. Form is key!
5 X 3 each leg front rack lunge
5 DL (185/125), 15 BJ
10 DL, 15 BJ
15 DL, 15 BJ
10 DL, 15, BJ
5 DL, 15 BJ
Cool down: supermans, downward facing dog, and child’s pose

First thing about this is the front rack lunges. This scared the ever living shit out of me. I tried these way too early in my CrossFit career and ended up at the chiropractors and took over a month to get better. I have evaded weighted lunges ever since. Lunges in a WOD are enough to make my heart rate go sky high all by themselves. Dropping off the weight has not been an issue.

But I tried this. I knew part of my problem was my left knee falling in so I concentrated on my left knee staying out. I managed to do the 22# bar three times for the six total steps and then I risked added 5# and managed okay. So I did the last round at 32# which was more than I thought I would get. I don’t seem to have injured myself. Nothing is hurting and I’m walking okay.

I looked at the WOD and couldn’t come up with BJ because my mind was in the gutter. Cheri suggested I look for it on the internet and I knew what sort of stuff I would get back from a search like that. So I puzzled over the WOD some more. If there had been a (24”/20”) thing by it, I would have immediately figured it out. But there wasn’t and I was tired and it took me minutes to figure out what I was supposed to be doing here.

The weight was to be sorta light on the deadlift, so I worked with 72# and I did the old fart’s master step up and down from the side sort of step-ups, but I did use the 20” box.

I managed the first part of 5/15 without stopping but my heart rate was over 170. I rested, did the deadlifts, rested and did the step-ups, but by the 6th one, my heart rate was already where the cardiologist said I should stop. I decided I would do ten reps of these for the rest of the time. I would rest after the box jumps, and rest after the deadlifts, and spent lots of time trying to get my heart rate down. I finished in 10.56.

When I got home, both sisters had already returned and had eaten breakfast. I was absolutely melting and it took me quite a while to stop sighing. We all eventually were fed and cleaned up. We decided to go to the mall on Rivers Ave. because it was inside and air conditioned. It was to get up to ⁰F 100 again and that many days out in the heat was getting to be bothersome.

Cheri found another pair of the Sketchers shoes she likes so much and they were only $30. She bought them. The most amazing thing about that is they are bright pink. Our baby sister who lives in non-descript has now purchased two (count them, one and two) pairs of bright shoes.

We ate a big lunch out. The gnomes enjoyed it. The waiter asked us about our little guys. Apparently there is another group of women who travel with small people, although theirs are not gnomes.

We got home and did more crafting and game playing and had an enjoyable evening.

There has been no more news on Jason’s big injury however, the family did get a dog yesterday. Pam’s injuries are all slowly healing up. Her eye looks really bad but her finger is healing and some of the stiffness is less stiff. And yet, new and unnoticed areas are twinging with certain movements as yet unseen.

The best part of Sistercation is just being together and so far, that is working out perfectly.

The gnomes had a great lunch.

The gnomes had a great lunch. Gnate, Gned, Gnute

Pam woke up hobbling and having a difficult time navigating. However, she starts her day with a quiet walk and prayer. She decided to try it, but stay within a short distance of my house. We were on standby to go and pick her up if she needed it. Her most trouble boo-boo was the stubbed toe she didn’t even notice when she first arrived back at the house the night before.

Cheri and I stayed at the house and laughed and played games and checked our Facebook and email and generally wasted time. Pam arrived back home safely and in much better spirits. The walk seemed to help her foot, not hurt it. We discussed options for the day. Pam thought she could walk a bit.

We decided to go to the outlet mall by the airport. Pam was looking for a gauzy shirt to wear as a sun protector as she walked this summer. She had an idea of what she wanted, but it wasn’t exact. It was something along the lines of … and we were going to meander in all the stores until we found it or ran out of stores. So we did have a goal.

Pam found one shirt that was acceptable, but more than she wanted to pay. It was still an option but we kept looking. A few store farther along she found one that was acceptable and the right price. Mission accomplished.

Pam wears Clark shoes since they work for her. There was a whole Clark store there and she found a really cute pair of slip on shoes in the clearance section and so she was doubly lucky.

Monica has told her mother that her shoes are unacceptable. Cheri is going to be participating in a half-marathon and the shoes were too old and broken down to offer any support. She needed new shoes. She liked the New Balance shoes she already owned. She also liked one other brand but I can’t remember the name of it. There was a whole New Balance store.

We went in to look around. The guy selling shoes was really trying to sell shoes. Really trying. He was helpful at first. Then he was, at least in my opinion, pushy. Cheri finally figured out why some shoes hurt and some don’t. The cut at the ankle has to be low enough to not rub and most of them are cut too high. Once she figured out what the difference was, she was better able to choose what type to even try on.

The pushy sales guy really wanted her to buy a pair of $90 shoes which isn’t terribly bad. However, these were clearly marked on the box as SECOND. Cheri decided she would keep looking for something that wasn’t a second with hidden, unknown flaws.

We found a store with many different shoes and one of them miraculously had the right cut and fit and felt good and were wonderful and Cheri bought them. They also had a deal with buy one, get one half off. She looked and looked for another pair to buy half off. She likes a type of Sketchers that fit and feel good. We looked for a pair of those in black (with black soles) and couldn’t find them in her size. We found other types, other colors. She ended up trying on about 50 pairs of shoes which was far over her real tolerance level. But she stayed pleasant and was happy with her single purchase.

It was once again a hot day here in South Carolina. The temperature was somewhere around 100 but we were in and out of air conditioned stores and walking in shade when outside, so it didn’t feel as stifling as the day before. We were able to continue with our day without undue stress.

We wandered in and out of many more stores but we had been there a long time and decided to get back home. It was way past lunch time and we were starving. We ate a late lunch and then started working on the next jigsaw puzzle. This one has all interlocking pieces that are shaped normally and it has a real frame.

Cheri disappeared and we eventually found her napping. I dozed off for a short nap; Pam later dozed off for a short nap. We all felt a bit better afterward.

Dick made us shrimp on the barbie and we had a wonderful dinner. We went back to working on the puzzle. Then we played computer games. Then we did some Face Time with Pam’s family back in Arizona.

Throughout the day, Pam’s eye kept getting more bruised looking. Her finger needed a dressing change a few times, but it is healing up nicely. Her scraped knee isn’t looking too bad. All in all, she is improving.

While we were busy shopping, Cheri’s son-in-law was at the hospital. He dropped a food processor blade onto his foot and luckily missed cutting the tendon. He bled all over the place and Monica managed to get him to the hospital for some stitches. He got six stitches; Monica passed out. They scooped her up off the floor and she is the one who needed to be wheeled out of the ER.

We had a nice quiet day here until you get to the medical side of family life. But at least we were all breathing the same air.


We had big plans for Sunday. We looked into a hot air balloon ride, and it was suggested I go to Groupon for that. They didn’t have an balloon rides, but I found something called Brookgreen Gardens. I remembered Julie talking about the fabulous place and so we decided we would go.

First hurdle: I get lost backing out of the driveway and this was a couple hours from the house. It was not a complicated journey, but as a second hurdle – I’m not a very good driver, especially of this much larger car than my normal little go-kart car. But I would be a big girl.

Third hurdle: getting the address into the navigation system we don’t really know how to work yet. It probably took us five minutes, but I was finally able to have a route mapped out and we ventured forth. The trip was advertised as taking 2 hours and 2 minutes and that was pretty dang close to how long it took. We arrived and were immediately awed.

We were given a map of the grounds. It is a 9,000 acre establishment so we obviously did not cover all of it. The formal gardens, filled with sculpture were mapped out with myriad paths and we are sure we didn’t even cover all of that. We were amazed by both natural and manmade beauty. The only problem with the whole day was that the temperature climbed ever higher. We would duck into every cool place we could find.

Statues were displayed amidst beautiful gardens of flowering plants in full bloom. Everywhere we looked was something beautiful, something amazing, something eye-catching. This was gorgeous but did you see that over there and then this was even more striking. It was just a stunning stroll through wonderland.

Some of the statues were nearly life-sized, some were life-sized, and some were larger than life. Some were bronze, some were marble, some were castings, some were granite. One man worked in balsa with or without added bronze. Everything was simply amazing. There are not enough spectacular adjectives to describe our day.

The galleries were located in a variety of places which gave us some respite from the heat. One was filled with the most beautiful drawings, one was filled with smaller sculptures, one was filled with the works of two artists who generously donated sculptures and drawings to the museum. We spent hours walking the grounds and being mesmerized. And hot. It was very hot.

We ate a late lunch – pretty much just before the place closed. It was wonderful and we enjoyed our meal with the gnomes on display. Several people came by to see our gnomes and commented on how cute the boys were. We were tempted by the desserts on offer. We succumbed. It was delicious.

We made our way back home. I was able to carefully navigate and got myself out of the way of a fast approaching police car so he could pull over the car in front of us. This was nearly as exciting as the tour helicopter taking off and being barely twenty feet up over the highway.

The plan was to have a quiet evening at home since we were pretty drained from walking around in ⁰F 100 all afternoon. We were playing games and crafting and then …

Pam and Cheri use FitBit to track their steps/miles/etc. Pam didn’t have enough steps and since we were strolling through the grounds, she was two minutes short on active minutes. Cheri was short on her step count by a long shot. I was too tired after stressful driving as well as touring the gardens so I let them go off on their own.

I took a shower while they were out. I got dressed in my jammies. I waited for them to return. I played some Sudoku. I waited some more. My neighborhood is full of twisting roads and they were out there in the now dark. I figured they got turned into a wrong place and couldn’t find their way out. I got a text and got up to get my phone which was charging in the next room. I was trying to read the text when the phone rang. My excited baby sister told me to read my text and hung up.

My text told me to get three ice bags ready. This was not enough information for me. I went out into the dark night in my jammies because why the hell not. Here came my sisters up the street. They seemed okay from a distance and I couldn’t see any problem.

Pam caught her toe on a slightly raised manhole cover that was strategically placed in the middle of the sidewalk. Cheri said she was very graceful as she slowly went down to the ground. She mostly caught herself, but did manage to knock her forehead on the ground. She had a lump on her head. She had a scraped/gouged little finger. She had a scraped knee. Eventually she noticed her hands had knocked into her sternum and that was painful. Her watch had dug into her wrist and that was scraped up and sore. The palms of both hands were scraped. Her toe which was already not 100% since she had surgery years ago had been stubbed in the fracas and she could barely walk. This morning she awoke to a bit of eyeshadow effect over one eye.

Luckily her sense of humor was not injured and we were able to share laughs as well as pain as I posted pictures of her to the internet. We made sure to call her daughter to let her know that all was going to be okay although it looked bad right now. After we assured Jen that her mother would survive, I posted the pictures.

I have opted to not go to CrossFit today because of many things. Mostly I wanted to spend more time with my sisters and if I was at one of their houses, I wouldn’t be going at all.

On a more positive note, we all used sunscreen for our day in the sun and have all avoided sunburn.


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