I have been doing CrossFit now for years. This is my sixth year of doing the Open WODs even though I have only actually signed up to do the Open once. They just seem to follow me around. I haven’t done all of the workouts because I have been out of town or even out of the country. But I have done at least part of each year for six years now.

The year I was actually signed up, my scaling for muscle ups was a jumping CTB (chest to bar). For the first part of the WOD, I was to do jumping pull-ups and then I had to increase to jumping CTB. I tried. And tried. And tried some more. I spent close to four or five minutes trying to manage even one. I couldn’t get them.

It wasn’t until months later that I figured out if I did a reverse grip on the bar, I could pull myself into it and meet the bar. I was getting the height, I just wasn’t able to touch the bar.

I am not signed up for the Open this year. I was out of the state, but still in the country, for the first week. I have absolutely no intention of doing thrusters if there are more than 50 of them. I’ve already proved I can do that, I don’t need to prove it again. So, I am not signed up. But I’m still doing the WODs.

Today’s scaled version for 19.4 for older than dirt females was:
3 rounds
10 power snatches at 35#
12 bar facing burpees (regulation height barbell, but may step over)
rest for 3 minutes
3 rounds
10 jumping CTB (bar must be at least 6 inches overhead)
12 bar facing burpees
time cap = 12:00

If you didn’t get finished with the first three rounds before nine minutes, you were done because you HAD to take the three minutes of rest. I wanted desperately to get done before that nine minute mark, but I wasn’t really sure I could. I could do the snatches, but I usually do a plank burpee, taking the push-up part out of it. Otherwise the things just crank my heart rate so high I’m left panting like a lizard on a hot rock. But for the Open, I do the things as written for my old self.

I got finished at 8.27 so I could start back up again at 11.27 which gave me some time to try to get some of those damn CTB things. And I did. I was touching just below my collar bone, but I managed to eke some out. I used the reverse grip and pulled myself into the bar and I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t translate well into a real CTB. But since I can’t even do a real pull-up (yet) [probably ever] that is not really a concern.

I got a score of 74. I was beyond thrilled. I didn’t have to stop at 66 because of either time or incompetence. I simply managed a few more reps. A few more than I could do at all last time this was on the menu. Although a few isn’t monumental, something new and different can be and in this case, is. I’m not able to add many new things to my lists at this age. So anything new and improved is awesome. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

16358397740_53bd84099d_z

Advertisements

I did not sign up for the CrossFit Open. I was out of town for the first week and I have no intention of doing more than 75 thrusters just to amuse anyone. I figure that we should be up to 100 thrusters this year and that’s simply not anything I would choose to do.

I have only signed up for the Open once and yet, I have done most of the workouts over the last six years because they seem to go up on the board on Friday and I go to the gym on Friday So I get stuck doing the Open regardless of whether or not I want to do it. Last week, I was nearly crippled after being off for close to three weeks and then coming back and on the first day (a Wednesday) there were lovely snatches for a skill and then my favorite – thrusters with double unders for the WOD. The next day was a partner WOD with a bunch of lunges and by the afternoon, I could barely walk.

I saw that the WOD for 19.2 was going to be only eight minutes for me and I could manage eight minutes. I’m sure the pain of each squat was cranking my heart rate higher, but I did make it to the second set of squat cleans, so I was happy with how far I managed to get. Sorta.

I still went to the gym on Saturday, and it wasn’t too bad by then. Then I took Sunday off so I could recover and Monday was some deadlifts. I did something wrong and as soon as I noticed how much by back was hurting, I stopped. How very adult of me, right? I’m not always that smart, but I am trying to ease myself back into this nonsense without killing myself in the process. Tuesday was dumbbell snatches and I know I have to keep my ass low, but I didn’t and it exacerbated my bad back. It was so bad by the afternoon, that I was willing to take a pain pill, something that I do maybe twice a year.

But a month ago, I had some abnormal liver function blood work and so on Wednesday, I was scheduled for a repeat blood test to see if the abnormality was a viral infection, or maybe a false high because of the protein shakes I was drinking, or maybe some real and devastating liver disease. I didn’t want to do anything to raise my numbers and all the pain meds I have are detoxed by the liver. So I didn’t take any and I was in near tears every time I got out of my chair.

Wednesday is not a gym day, so I could recover a bit and my blood was drawn without incident. The results came back with my liver function back to its pristine wonderful normal self smack dab in the middle of the what it should be. So, it was either a passing virus or perhaps a false high from the protein stuff that has been sitting in my cupboard waiting to see what happened next. It’s back on the menu now.

Thursday was another partner WOD with rowing for partner A while partner B did unbroken KB swings and then switching and doing that for 20 minutes. I picked a lighter than normal kettlebell for that and it didn’t seem to be bothering my back. Then I had a massage and Jose was pretty impressed with my stupidity and ability to hurt myself. My back truly was a mess. I wasn’t sure if today was going to be the day deadlifts were on the menu and when I asked if doing deadlifts would be just stupid or incredibly stupid, he just said I should not be dong deadlifts right now. At all.

So I was really happy to see the 19.3 WOD go up.

Today’s version of this for me was a 200 foot walking lunge with a ten pound dumbbell racked, 50 box step ups with the dumbbell and to a 16 inch box, then 50 two ten pound dumbbells strict press, and finish with 200 foot bear crawl. I knew I wasn’t getting to the bear crawl. I was fairly certain I wasn’t even going to get to the strict press, but I did make sure I had two ten pound dumbbells available, just in case.

I knew this was going to drive my heart rate sky high, but it went better than I had anticipated. We had to go 20 feet one way, turn and return, and do ten passes. This did mean that getting over that last line was more of a problem and yet, I got 120 feet done before I had to sit on the box and breathe for a few deep breaths, do another 40 feet, sit and breathe again before the last 40 feet, and be done with that. I had to sit for a bit before staring the box step ups and did them in two sets of 25. I had only ten seconds left and grabbed the second dumbbell and got four more reps out.

When I first started CrossFit, I couldn’t lunge without a PVC pipe used as a cane. I just fell over a lot. So going with a dumbbell racked would have been impossible. I couldn’t manage more than a few feet without stopping once I got rid of the cane. So I should be thrilled that I made the 200 foot trek with just two pauses. I should be thrilled that I managed to stop just once in the middle of the step ups. I should. I am. Sorta. I’m also embarrassed by my low score. I mean, if I could have somehow managed to get my heart to cooperate, I could have kept going. My legs didn’t give out. My heart rate was just higher than the cardiologist recommended. Not by a whole lot, but that would have changed if I hadn’t stopped.

So I wish I could do better. I’m happy I did as well as I did. But still. I have no idea what to do with this vacillating seesaw of emotional stupidity. I know I worked as hard as I could and still not die. I just wanted more. It’s been so many years and I’m still fighting the same battle. It seems futile sometimes. I really should be proud of all I have achieved. I am. Sorta.

Crossfit Biceps Strong Women Exercise Arms

Not me – by a long shot.

No matter how much you love something, there are parts of it that you not only don’t love, but actively dislike or even hate. This is why the advice to do what you love and you will never work a day in your life is complete bullshit. Most of my working career was spent in nursing and I loved it. I hated working holidays and I hated call, but I loved my job. I was a teacher for three years. I was not so fond of making lesson plans or filling out report cards. I was a secretary for six years and there were many annoying tiny tasks that irked me and felt completely like work and were unlovable in the extreme. I still liked my job.

I’ve been married for 46 years and still love both him and it. And yet, there are things that just drive me crazy. I wouldn’t cook a real meal every single damn day if there wasn’t a man (or children) in the house to eat it. I don’t care that much. I have been a mother for over 40 years and I can’t say I have ever been fond of sick children or whiny children or sick, whiny children. Overall, I’ve loved it. But there were always moments along the way where I didn’t.

I’ve been writing for years now, even paid for some of it. And yet, I hate to type. I enjoy the process of writing and I enjoy the learning part, but the actually typing part is not on my list of things I love to do.

Today, I am a gym rat, a CrossFitter, a nutcase. I can’t think of one thing that makes me delighted when I walk into the gym. I’m not really good at any of it. I am much better than when I started, to be sure. But there is nothing that I look at and think “this will be easy” and then really have it be easy. Or look and think that it is something I’m really, really good at.

None of it is easy. I’m really too old for this nonsense. I should knit. That’s what the old lady at Sun City told me and she is probably right. But I crochet and enjoy that when I’m not at the gym. I also enjoy the gym when I’m not at the gym. I enjoy having been at the gym. I enjoy being able to do all the things I can do at the gym. I just don’t really enjoy the actual part of doing them. That’s really hard work.

Cherry picking workouts isn’t going to help me or any other gym rat or CrossFitter. When the WOD goes up, I figure out how to scale. I am now extremely good at figuring out how to scale. I know it isn’t just a matter of lowering the weights, but sometimes lowering the reps or even choosing a different movement altogether. I can sub out ring rows for pull-ups or I can use a band for the pull-ups. Or do jumping pull-ups. There are always options.

When there is too much cardio and my heart rate is going to be too much of an issue, I know there are things I must do to mitigate the effects of aging and trying to do this crap that is above my pay grade. I walk half the distance. I lower the meters rowed. I do fewer calories on the assault bike.

No matter what the workout it, I’m going to have to do something so I can actually manage to do it. But I show up anyway, tamp down my ego (which was the most difficult part to learn about CrossFit) and make the best of what is always for me, a bad situation. Nothing is easy. Nothing is even doable as written. I must always and forever make changes to accommodate my feeble self and what I can and cannot do. That’s the way it is.

I know it is hard. I know there are so many other ways to spend each day. I also know that I’m thrilled with myself and my effort when I finish even my scaled or very scaled versions of this stuff. If it was really easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge and it wouldn’t be fun at all. I can’t say I ever have fun during a WOD, but I always have fun after, knowing I did that thing, in some way, shape, or form. That’s pretty awesome for anyone and especially awesome for an old fart like me.

When athletes don’t show up because they don’t like the workout, it is self-defeating rather than self-preserving. How good can you feel about yourself when you show up only for the things that are easy or that you enjoy? Do you really live the rest of your life like that? Do you go to work and then just ignore the icky parts of the job you really love? How soon does it take for you to get fired?

The way to improve is to do the things that are hard. The more you work at something, the better you get at it. And while you may never like call or working holidays or sick and whiny kids, you will know that those are just the things that made saving lives and conquering disease or raising people into successful adults so precious.

You will never love all you do. But if you can love most of it, you win. And if you practice at the parts you don’t love so much now, you will love more of it later. This is true even for something as worthless, useless, and intimidating as double unders. I got 80 of them on Tuesday.

crossfit-1963860_640

Wall balls are not my favorite, but then nothing else is either. 

My laptop was not working right. It would just decide to stop and I would have to force restart it. I knew this was not the best thing for a machine but there really wasn’t anything else to do with it. It happened every once in a while and then it happened more often. Still, it worked well enough. I mentioned to Dick that it might have to be replaced. I didn’t really worry too much about it and then went off on vacation, with the laptop turned off and resting.

I came home to a dead laptop. I got it to start, but then nothing else would happen. I couldn’t navigate anywhere. I couldn’t even start the start menu in order to properly stop the computer. That meant that I could not start it in safe mode either. It simply was a paperweight with a pretty picture on the screen.

I looked at ordering another one. My last trip to Best Buy to simply buy a Bluetooth keyboard was so frustrating that the thought of dealing with that crap to buy a whole new laptop was enough to make me sick. I looked at Amazon and it was too difficult to compare options. I was going to have to go out and shop. That was so distasteful that I instead went back to Amazon and tried again.

I found a 2018 HP laptop that was not very good at playing games. This was not a deal breaker as I do not play games. Well, I do, but the really simple kind that work on a tablet or my phone, not the big resource hogs that wouldn’t play as quickly on this computer. I have slow internet here because in the US we decided that they could all be proprietary and not share infrastructure. This limits our choices and I have one. And it’s slow. So, game playing is not a thing here.

So I ordered the laptop and then had to wait 48 hours. I was good and truly sick of trying to make a tablet be all that a real computer can be. I was tired of the limitations. I was tired of small screen. I was grateful that my new Bluetooth keyboard really worked, but connecting it each time I wanted to type out something longer was a pain in the neck.

Here’s a Thought needed to be updated. I had loaded all of February before I went off to Arizona. But it was turning into March and there was another 31 things waiting to be uploaded. It is simply much easier to do this from the laptop. I waited for it to show up. It did. Amazon itself was the delivery service and it got here around the middle of the afternoon.

Setup was far easier than it used to be and I had a functional computer in very short order. I could link it to my phone and then all my bookmarks from my saved browsers showed up here on the new laptop. I could open office on the laptop because my old disk for my old version of Microsoft Office no longer works.

I messed with stuff for the rest of the day. My old laptop finally let me move the mouse and I tried desperately to get some of the more important pictures off the old one before it decided to die. Dropbox had many of my most important files, including all of the 31 March Here’s a Thought files. So I wasn’t too panicked.

I tried moving some stuff to Dropbox and then it was overfilled. Oh, well. I couldn’t get Open Drive or whatever that is to work on the old laptop, so nothing would upload to that which still had plenty of room because I don’t really use it. I would have to figure something else out and it was late and I was tired.

What I did have in Dropbox was around 500 fonts that I have added to my computer for working with Cricut as well as Here’s a Thought. Each of them had to be installed. That took nearly two hours.

It was really boring. In the middle of the night with the old laptop on and doing nothing, it went blue screen and then finally decided to run Scan Disk and see if it might fix itself. I know this because I was up for over three hours in the middle of the night. It did enough that I could actually get the mouse to not only move around, but function. So using memory sticks, I could get the rest of my files off the old laptop before it really and forever died.

Now I wanted to get rid of the excess Dropbox files. I would delete them. Then it would sync and reload them. I would delete them and then it would sync and reload them. I did this a few times and then deleted the app from my phone and tablet. I could finally delete all the excess files from Dropbox and have them stay gone. I then restarted the phone and the tablet before reinstalling Dropbox. There really has to be a better way for that.

I got Here’s a Thought scheduled for the month and then opted to start working on some new pictures with wise quotes and all that. I’m not used to open office and I have struggled. I’m unsure why their own “help” feature is so unhelpful. If I really need to find out how to do something in open office, I have to ask Google and not them. Rather stupid, but I believe I’m getting the hang of it.

I hope all this works. I’m sick of technology and I still have to try to get the recalcitrant printer to like the new laptop and I haven’t tried using the Cricut yet, so there is more to do. But for now, it functions.

home-office-336373_1920

The last day of vacation is always full of activity. It is so much nicer to return home with clean clothes rather than a suitcase full of laundry. So the first order of business was to get the laundry done. But first we had to get out of the final bits of dirty clothing and we sat around and talked for way too long instead.

We finally got ourselves motivated and got showered and dressed and then could finally manage to get the laundry started. We were on our way to getting the day going and it was already 9.30. So not an early start to the day.

The one thing I learned from our return trip from Vegas was that Phoenix traffic is insufferable and the rush hour starts a lot earlier than one might think. Therefore, we needed a plan for how to get our happy asses to the airport in time for an 8.30 flight after dropping the rental car back at an off-site place. We didn’t really know when the rush hour started, but we figured if it started before three in the afternoon, it had to start earlier in the morning, too.

We queried our hostess and she was unable to give us a definitive answer, so we needed a better query source. Pam sent Jen a text and she would call us after she was done with a business call.

Pam was hosting a Happy Hour/Block Party in the afternoon and we had gone through all my recipes in Dropbox looking for something different to make and share. We settled on Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels and so needed to walk over to Safeway and pick up the few ingredients we needed. We also picked up some other stuff. And I picked up the other two bags of coconut granola cookies that were on the clearance rack. I had looked online and found them available for anywhere from $8 to 12 (shipping not always included). So, the half off $6 for each bag looked good (shipping was included) and then they sold them to me for $5 for both. So I’m set with some low carb tasty snacks for a while.

We had one load of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away and the second load washed. It was time to go out to eat lunch. We decided we would try Chipotle because Dick and I really liked Jen’s meal the day before and it was a chipotle recipe, so we wanted to see what else was there. We picked up Aunt Babe (who was very unsure of the menu) and took off for lunch. We all found food that we could not only like, but really enjoy.

We did not have enough time to actually shop after lunch because there was still much to do with the day. When we arrived back at the house, Pam noticed she had missed a call and so she called Jen back. We determined that we should leave somewhere between 5 and 5.30 in order to not have to be crazy getting to the airport in time. We settled on 5.15 and were then able to plan accordingly.

We got the other load of laundry in the dryer and began filling up suitcases. I packed the wooden bowl and padded around it and filled it with socks and gloves and whatnot and after getting all my clothes and groceries in, the lid was still going to shut.

Pam had looked at the forecast and it was supposed to be sunny with a high of 68 degrees. But then it changed its mind and was only going to get in the low 60s. She asked her neighbors if she could use their driveway for the party so we didn’t have to park ourselves in the wind tunnel street. They said they would share. We looked out the window and they were cleaning up their yard and putting out tables and got the space heater ready to go. Pam’s party was being set up by them. What wonderful neighbors.

We decided it was time to start cooking and got the sandwiches into the oven. Pam filled a basket with paper plates, plastic utensils, and napkins and took that over along with some chairs. When our stuff came out of the oven, we went over with that, too.

There were somewhere between 30 and 35 people there with each household bringing something to share. We had a Canadian hunter there and he and his wife fixed moose for sandwiches. That was delicious. We had a wonderful time and spent about 1.5 hours there laughing and talking and eating lots and lots of different foods.

Dick and I went back home and left Pam to socialize for a while longer. We needed to finish up the packing process and get ourselves settled. Pam came home and we talked for a much shorter time. We were going to have to get up in the middle of the night for our flight home.

We set alarms for 4.30 and managed to pry our sleepy selves out of bed and get ready for a day of flying. I was having coffee at Pam’s and I ate the last hard boiled egg, too. Dick chose not to fuel up there. He walked to Aunt Babe’s in the cold and dark and got the rental car. We hugged Pam goodbye and left at exactly 5.15.

The Garmin wanted us on the 60 and we wanted to be on the 202 and so I had to be the naggigator until we made it there. I managed and after hitting the right highway, the Garmin decided to play along. We were able to keep the car moving at speed the entire way, but by the end of the journey, we were one of the milling thousands filling up all five lanes and heading west. We returned the car, waited patiently for the shuttle bus, were attacked by rolling suitcases on the ride to the airport, and then were finally at Sky Harbor.

We dropped off the huge luggage and I kept my purse and Dick kept his backpack. We were hands free for the airport, which was really nice. We found our gate and then found some breakfast. We were ridiculously early, but that was better than frantically late. We were Pre-check and so TSA was a breeze and it all went well. We had bacon and eggs while being unrushed and then could board the plane without issue.

We bought Basic flights which means we did not pay for a particular seat and let them put us wherever they wanted. We were not sitting together, which was not as traumatic as one might think. I was sandwiched between a guy going to Florida to meet friends and golf and an annoying asshat. The asshat kept getting calls and talking on the phone while in midair, a place that is supposed to be free of that shit. And then … he started to listen to music without headphones. I looked at him. Not a Mean Mother look, but just a unhappy glance over. He turned off the music. Or got out earbuds or somehow made the noise stop.

I played some games on the tablet until they brought coffee and a snack and then did that and then, since I was really tired, I napped or maybe just dozed or did something with my head nodding me awake every so often until asshat had to go to the bathroom and we had to let him out. After that I was wide awake.

We got to Atlanta, I found the same little vegetable tray for lunch. Dick got a sandwich and then we went to Dunkin Donuts for coffees. Dick wanted a donut and I said I would have a single donut hole, since I figured with just the veggie tray, that wasn’t too many carbs. They only sell them in sets of five. I declined. I said I was diabetic and couldn’t do that because I’m being treated like I am in fact already diagnosed.

The other lady stepped in and handed me a single donut hole. I asked how much I needed to pay her and she just gave it to me and said I really shouldn’t be eating any. I showed her my veggie tray. And I savored each of the three bites I got out of that little donut hole.

We got to the gate and made it to the very back of the plane. This time we were sitting together. The flight attendants were bitching about the horrid Basic people who demanded some service after not paying extra for a seat choice and only paying a few hundred dollars or something. How dare they! We sat in the very loud noisy stuff and got home without problem.

Bob graciously offered to pick us up and was there with our drive home. He had already been to the airport once that day, taking Gerry for his flight TO Arizona. Apparently, this is what we do in this neighborhood.

We got home and I got unpacked and ran to the grocery store because there was nothing here to eat. I filled the refrigerator with all manner of food and we are ready to get back to our regularly scheduled lives. I baked eggs so we have breakfast ready. I’m going to the gym and Dick is playing golf and Gned is back on his shelf. We are home. Safely. We had a wonderful time and my sister, as always, was a fabulous hostess.

The day started dark. At least for me. I was awake and out of bed by 4.15. I have no idea why I woke up so early, but I was wide awake and there was little to no hope of me falling back to sleep. So, I got up. Since the other people in the house have more sense than that, they were all still asleep like normal folks.

I wrote up my blog and got the pictures ready and posted it and then started to play some games. I had only been asleep for four hours and my tablet (which conveniently tells me it isn’t charging quickly, no matter what I use to charge it) was not completely topped off. So, after playing games for too long, it was at 25% of it’s battery life. Great.

I was so bored, I did the dishes. The one thing on the tablet that doesn’t take much battery is reading a book, so I went to doing that and finally, after a few hours of already being awake and two cups of coffee, Dick came out to the living room. Shortly after, Pam also appeared. I was about ready for a nap by this time but we had a busy day ahead.

At St. George, the last Sunday of the month is Baptism day. Emery was being baptized and so we had to go to a particular Mass. We picked up Aunt Babe and went to church. Dick and I got Aunt Babe settled while Pam parked the car and then went to save two pews for the baptism family/friends. I blocked one person from sitting there and only obliquely caught the next one coming towards me. I stuck my foot out to tell that person to go away and found that I had nearly tripped Hannah. Whoops.

The family piled into that pew, filling it. I moved back a pew to where Dick was saving more space. Pam joined us there. Mark had come with everyone else, but some guy in a motorized cart picked Mark out of all the people in the church and asked him if he knew anything about cellphones. Mark and the guy went off and Mark fixed this stranger’s phone for him and then came back to sit with us. We still have no idea why he picked Mark out as the tech guy, but Mark is the tech guy.

The Children’s Choir sang and kids did the readings and there was some special hoopla there in the middle for kids to I guess disappear during the sermon or something. I have no idea what was going on with that stuff. After Mass was over, the baptism families were told to wait and Deacon Some Guy would come and do the Baptism. So, that is what we did.

There were five or six kids being baptized and only one of them was a baby. There was also a couple toddler types and then three kids about Emery’s age. Emery was first in the line up which is where we wanted her, but have no idea how it just happened. She is not particularly good at new and strange things and getting water poured over your head in the middle of church while you are all dressed up is particularly strange, so we were hoping she could go first, just in case there was drama from other kids. There wasn’t, so it all worked out nice.

Jen asked Ryan if he would video the Baptism. He claimed he needed a hot spot for this because the church’s Wi-Fi was so severely blocking him, it was nearly useless. All the adults looked at him in wonder. We all work with and around technology, even us old farts, and know that video has nothing to do with internet. Ryan really just wanted to watch some new football league stuff that was streaming. Hannah would video. Maybe.

Next, we went to Jen’s house for a party to celebrate this milestone event. The Godparents and their children were there and we had so much fun all afternoon. There was a feast set out to share and most of the stuff was perfect for my diet restrictions because Jen and Ronnie do a modified keto diet and cooked accordingly. They also had non-keto food for regular people and then there were desserts.

Mostly, we told stories and laughed and shared more stories. And then, for reasons unknown, Ronnie decided to shave off his beard. First he left just a mustache and then that was gone, too. He hadn’t shaved since Emery was born and was not really adept at it. Or maybe Edward Scissorhands was back there helping him. His clotting factors would probably have worked quickly, but he kept wiping and touching and dabbing and wiping again at the nicks. And so he kept bleeding. I don’t think he needs a transfusion – yet.

Ronnie is a bit of a baby faced darling and without the beard, he looks even younger. Everyone (except Aunt Babe) got some flippant comments in. Emery wouldn’t even look at Daddy for over an hour.

Jen, Ronnie, and Albert had all worked at Pinnacle together many years ago and that is how they met. Ronnie and Albert are both ex-Marines, so Dick had some Marine stuff in common with that. All in all, there were lots of stories and over and over again, Ronnie’s clean-shaven face topic would pop up.

It was time to get back home and so we piled into the van and dropped off Aunt Babe. Pam pulled into the driveway from a different angle and it was just a horrid thing. She was too close to the house and Aunt Babe almost couldn’t get out of the car. Then Pam had to back up. We were just mere inches from the house. Pam pulled forward, but not too much because she didn’t want to squish Penelope. Then she backed up again and it looked like we were on a collision course with the house. Tried again. The back was looking good, but the front was going to hit the house. We tried again. And again. And after a very long and stressful time, she got out of the driveway. I’m guessing she is not ever going to pull in from that angle again.

We got home and took up our normal positions in the living room. I have no crochet project to work on since my blanket is finished and I don’t want to start anything new and drag that around the country. So I played games on my tablet, trying to stay awake. I also made a half sandwich on my low carb bread and had a little snack. It was still delicious. It was only 9.30 when I had to finally give up and head off to bed. It took me about 6.37 nanoseconds to fall asleep. I hope my husband and my sister had a lovely evening living like normal people.

It was so nice to not have to spend hours of the day in the car. It was nice to not have to spend any time in rush hour traffic. It was just a nice day.

On the first day I was here, Pam and I went to the flea market near her house. I didn’t buy much but what I did buy was a very small container of Sen Cha dragon fruit mints. They have a green tea base and were nice little mints and they were sugar free (although how much sugar could be in each one is minimal). I offered one to Dick and he liked them. So he kept asking for more. I didn’t have the container anymore and although I could remember what it looked like, I wasn’t going to be able to replace it anywhere else.

As we were driving along on Friday, but before we got into rush hour traffic, I had told him I wanted to get back to the flea market to get some more of the damn things. So the plan was to go to the flea market again and Sunday was busy, so it was now or never. Pam was looking for another of her cute little apron towel things because we couldn’t find the booth where they were sold last time we were there.

Dick thought it would be just Pam and me who were shopping but I dragged him along. He was amazed. It is really an astounding place. There is everything there from the ridiculous to the sublime. There were places full of the most eclectic array of junk to refurbished golf carts and we only did two of the rows.

I found the booth with the mints and bought all they had there. I did come home later and with the can in hand, could search the interwebs and find that they are for sale on Amazon as well as some other places. Now I know I don’t have to run out of them, so that’s also a plus.

Pam noticed that stall over there with “Low Carb” on their bread. The bread was tasty and there are only 7 carbs per thick cut slice. I bought a loaf of that and dreamed all day of a turkey sandwich. More on that later.

There was an aisle display of beautifully worked wood items. There were baskets of wood and tables and bowls of various sizes. We had seen them on our first trip and didn’t notice there was a booth of the stuff, too. This time, we walked into the booth and I fell in love with one of the mid-sized bowls. The thing is about twelve to fourteen inches across and about six inches deep. I bought it and now have to get it home. I’m sure it will fit in my suitcase and I will wrap it safely in my clothes. I hope the airline is kind to my luggage.

We opted to stop shopping after just two rows because 1) it was cold and 2) we had to get back for the next adventure. Also, I had what I had come for. The woodworking group puts on a yearly brat luncheon with a raffle available to win some of their handmade items. We had tickets to the lunch and so needed to get back here to dine with the millions.

I don’t like brats and ordered a hotdog instead. I asked Dick to get me a pickle, but he didn’t hear me and so I didn’t get an extra pickle. I also don’t like sauerkraut and so I didn’t get any. We were getting a to go box for Aunt Babe who opted not to come out in the cold and I could have gotten extra sauerkraut to put in her box (if I had known this in advance) because she loves the stuff. So, we all got what we wanted from the dinner, but none of us got the extras we didn’t eat to share with others because we did not plan well.

Pam took Aunt Babe’s meal to her when we were done eating and Dick and I walked around the rest of the common area. I showed him two of the swimming pools, the many buildings full of activity centers, the tennis courts, the baseball field, croquet field, and the pickle ball area. We watched them playing pickle ball, talked with a couple women who could explain it to us, and decided this was something we could probably learn to play.

The day was warming up and when we met up with Pam again, we decided to go for a walk and see the newer parts of the park where they have built the RV stations. Most of them are drive through and the pads are poured. They still have work to do with the amenities and whatnot and it is hoped it will be open next year for the season. We then stopped at Safeway on the way back home and picked up some extra treats (Dick got some key lime pie and I found some low carb coconut/granola things).

Then we visited the third pool area where the new park model houses have been going up. We decided we wanted to tour some of the model homes, so we dropped off the groceries and came back to tour the open models. Pam got some questions answered about the rest of the current built and we noted on our way home, we really liked Pam’s house better than any of the models open to view.

As I searched for the mints and the cookies (which are way more expensive when not on the clearance rack and not worth as much as the makers believe them to be), Dick was looking up local pickle ball courts. There aren’t any. There are only a few of the things in the whole state of South Carolina and none of them are within reasonable driving distance of our house. The closest is a Del Webb place (so not open to us anyway) and is about 25 to 45 minutes away depending on traffic. So that doesn’t seem like a thing we can do right now.

I have shared the misery of the horrid, hateful baby blanket that took more and more yarn and did not turn out as I had hoped or expected. I have not shared the delight of the baby blanket that went according to plan. However, I finished it. It was a granny square stitch done corner to corner and I had so much extra yarn that I could put a nice border on it and still have leftover yarn to leave for Pam’s future scrap blanket. This one turned out nicer than I had hoped or expected, so I guess it is all even. The unlovely blanket is only unlovely to me. It is soft and some baby will enjoy it, it just didn’t turn out the way I pictured it. Pam’s stack to donate is growing and I don’t have to deliver these two bankies myself.

It was finally time for that turkey sandwich. I had been dreaming of this all day. The low carb, low everything else highly expensive bread was waiting. I bravely made a leftover turkey sandwich and took the first bite with a bit of apprehension. Some of the low carb stuff I’ve tried has been unsuccessful ranging from not very good to totally inedible (I’m looking at your Miracle Noodle Zero Carb, Shirataki Pasta). But this stuff was good. I savored each and every bite of my sandwich.

Pam invited Marsha over to play cards and we got the kitchen cleaned up and ready for the next event. I had one perfect hand, which was really fun to play. I was sitting next to Marsha, who later in the game had her own perfect hand and kept feeding me more and more cards. This hand was not as enjoyable to play. Marsha lost the game when I had the perfect hand. I lost the game when she did. Sometimes you are just stuck with bad cards. Sometimes you get wonderful ones. I had some of both last night.

After we put all the card stuff away, we sat and talked. And talked. And talked some more. We talked about all the times we forgot how to drive and had the wonderful intervention of the police. Little Joey crying “Don’t take my daddy to jail” had saved Dick long ago, and Pam also had a couple crying kids in the back seat saving her, although that was not quite as long ago.

We had lots of stories to tell and stayed up far into the night telling them. Finally, we had to admit defeat and toddle off to bed.

Superstition Mountains, covered in snow, as seen from Monte Vista

Pam is looking for a companion apron for this cute thing