Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Can you believe that this is all from one yard???
On the way to that yard, I bike down a road that somehow has retained it's agricultural roots...but just one side of the road. There's a tree farm, 2 cattle ranches, a u-pick berry farm and lots of little barns. So it's actually quite a pleasant ride with little traffic. Unfortunatley, the road dead ends at that yard so the pleasant ride doesn't last long.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This is looking toward the kitchen when we first moved in.
Same view now that the fireplace is gone. It has really opened up the house!
The new laundry room door. It has a door now!! Not too long ago, that wall was all white with dry wall mud. It's painted now. Just waiting for the trim to be put up around the fridge alcove edges.
So her son helped me get it home. We left it in the driveway. When Adam got home, the first thing he asked me was, did you smell it? She has 4 dogs and 5 kids but that really wasn't what he was talking about. One time Adam picked up a free couch, it was quite pretty and his favorite color, yellow. It wasn't until he got it home that he realized that it stunk to high heaven of cat spray. We left it outside to air out but no amount of airing out would ever make a difference with that kind of smell. He started to cut it up to throw it away but it was taking too long so he decided (unknown to me) to make a bonfire under the pine tree, next to the deck, with the couch. Well, if you've watched CSI or any show like that, you know that couches flame up hot and high and that's what this one did. The pine tree was scorched pretty bad and it freaked Adam out. He thought the house was going to burn down. In the end, it was only the pine tree that got it at all and it survived and I don't think any scorch marks are left these 5 years later. Anyway, I had smelled it and aside from some heavy febreeze useage, it's not bad. We have to steam clean it just to get the chemical smells out of it.
When Jasmine was diagnosed with arthritis, I started to keep an eye out for a free couch on freecycle and craigslist. I wanted something for Jasmine to lay on instead of the hard floor. She doesn't like the reclining sofa or chair because they rock when she jumps up onto them. The other dogs don't care but she won't get on them. I thought that if it gets bad enough that she can't climb the stairs to get to her kennel, she should be able to have something softer to sleep on. It took a couple of days but Adam caught her sleeping on it last night, on her back, with her legs up in the air...that's how she often sleeps on couches. She has missed having a couch to sleep on!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
It was a lot more challenging being in class 2 this week than it was being in class 1 last week. Ok, I am in class 2, lower than I thought I would be but I'm ok with that because there are a lot of challenging things to learn at that level as well and things all build off of the basic moves so I have to become good at those too. During class we did backward crossovers in both directions. Then we did this leg extension from a crossover. Not the easiest thing to do. I can do it on my right leg going backward, setting up for a spin but not forward in either direction, at least not well. I can pretty much pull all the things off that I'm learning but it's not pretty or smooth. Then we worked on pivots for the rest of class. I got those down pretty well. You just stand in place with a toe pick i the ice, then you shift your weight onto the other foot and go in a circle. Harder than it sounds at first. Everything looks so easy when the coach shows me...but it rarely is.
Marcy, the coach, had a private lesson with a little girl after us so she was occupied with her for a while (about an hour). John, an adult skater returning to the ice after 1 1/2 years, Kate a level 4 and me were still out there practicing and she came over to us. I told her I had the entry to the toe loop down but that I couldn't do the revolution in the air. She wanted to see it so I showed her. Turns out that it's not a toe loop, it's a flip jump. She liked the air I got on it, even though I didn't spin. It was pointed out that the flip jump is harder than a toe loop. She gave me some pointers on how to get the revolution. So many things to do with your body at once! I couldn't handle everything at once so I just concentrated on a couple things to see what I could do. I tried it and it worked! Well, I landed on two foot, but I did it. Marcy looked pleased but I could tell she was seeing all the things I did wrong too...which is good...I need to know what I did wrong or I won't get better. John had a look of amazement on his face. "I can't believe you just did that! That's crazy that you can do that!" Then this girl skated up and asked if I could do it again. I said, "I have no idea!" but I tried again and managed to land it again. John clapped and said, that's what happens when you doing something amazing, people want to see it again." Then the little girl chimed in, "Can you do it again?" I just laughed and did it again. It was so much fun!
So since what I thought was a toe loop wasn't, I wanted to know what a toe loop was so I could try that...it was supposed to be easier after all. It might be easier for some, but I didn't think so. After several tries, I managed to land it one footed. Again, not pretty, but I got it! Sadly, that was at the end of the practice session so I had to get off the ice.
I had so much fun!!! I love learning all these big things that sometimes I have trouble wanting to learn the little things. They're just not as fun. However, they are challenging and I don't like not being able to do something so I will continue to practice the little things as well....with the bigger stuff mixed in to keep it fun.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sometimes it's handy not having a finished basement. The last couple of nights, I spent too much time tying up all the flowers into bunches so I could hang them to dry. I was going to put tacks in that header board but when I was having trouble getting the tack in the wood, I found a much easier alternative. I tied them up to the dark water pipe just under the floor joists. They're up out of the way. Kind of reminds me of an old kitchen with the herbs drying over the stove...but the boxes aren't as good looking or as quaint as an old wood stove.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This one you defnitely have to click on to see full size. That's me standing in the left side of the picture. It's fun to remember the trip. :o)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Jasmine had a vet visit on Friday. The week of my cold, I didn't walk the dogs once and was weak the next week so I just did bike rides with the Jasmimne & Tucker together, Bear on his own ride and a short walk with Jack. For a week, that's what I did. Toward the end of the week, after we would get back and Jasmine had a chance to relax, she'd get up with a slight limp and then after a minute, it would go away. But the last day I took them running together, Jasmine really started limping after we got home.
So, she's been resting it since then and the limp has gotten smaller but is still there. Adam wanted me to go get her xrayed for bone tumors and tested for arthritis. Well, after an exam, the vet said that she feels just a touch of arthritis and didn't feel it was necessary to do the xrays. She was put on a high dose of glucosamine and chondrotin pills (Dasuqin), which will go to a lower dose after a month. This particular dog specific pill has made a huge difference with dogs of all levels of arthritis so I'm hoping it will help Jasmine. The vet said that I should start seeing a big difference in a week or two. And there are other medicines that can be used to help control arthritis if it starts to progress later.
I took Jasmine for a 20 minute walk after the visit. No running, just walking. She was ok before but afterward she was limping again and I felt bad for doing that to her. Saturday was her first full dose. She went for a short walk wih Jack and she was limping just a little by the time it was bedtime.
Today, I took Jasmine for an hour long walk with the rest of the dogs. This was strictly a walk, not a run. It was quite hard to convince the dogs of it. And we had to turn around before our usual spot bcause we were so much slower than usual. The dogs were unhappy about it but it had to be done. Jasmine never limps during the walks because she's so excited so the real test is after the walk is over and she's been relaxing a while. That's when things get stiff and sore. Nothing...she's limp free!!!!
I can't tell you how happy I am that she's not limping tonight. When her limp wasn't going away, I knew it was more than the over use injury I originally thought it was. I was worried that she would be in pain for the rest of her life...and she's still got some years left on her. Not only would she be in pain, but she wouldn't bet to run like she lives for. That was the worst part, for sure. I hate to deny her, or any of my dogs but Jasmine especially, the things they love. I know she would be willing to deal with the pain just to run...she really does love it more than anything else. I was really quite sad for her. But now that she has this supplement that really is already helping her, I am so thrilled to see her running without a limp, getting to walk with the other dogs, being able to jump around and play tug-o-war with Tucker and Jack again...I really hate to see her in pain.
Her exercise guidelines are pretty simple. No more running with the bike when Tucker's along...just her and me. The vet as pleased with th exercise she's been getting and says that she should continue with it. If Jasmine starts limping after a walk, give her a K-9 asprin and scale back the walk the next day since it was too much for her. That's all I have to look for. I guage what she can do by how her body reacts to the walk. That's simple and it makes me feel good that I can still excersize her. If she goes on any more bike rides with me (which she will since she's the best biking dog) she has to ride more in the trailer and run less. I can manage that! Yay for modern medicine!!!
This is a little alcove right next to the door to the room. Under this alcove is the fridge alcove. Things like bulk packages of paper towels & toilet paper willbe stored up there, out of the way. The front trim (where the little white strip is, will have a piece of trim on it soon. You can see the true color pretty good in this pic. I was thinking it would get painted a soft yellow but when I looked, I couldn't find anything in the shades I liked...I didn't want anything like sunshine yellow. We made that mistake once! So when Adam suggested lavender, I did some looking. At first, I didn't like any shades but then I found this one so I went with it.
You can see the metal grid for the drop in ceiling. The tiles aren't in yet but that's the easy part. Painted walls, trim, electrical outlets covered, flooring....it's almot done!
Here's a close up of the floor. It's the bamboo flooring. As Adam and Jared commented, it looks like a racquetball court floor but I think it looks nice...can't wait to get wood flooring for the main part of the house!
I'm not sure what all has to happen before the washer and dryer are installed but I do know that the hole for the dryer vent has to be made. They're trying to figure out how to get the vent line to go out to the side so the dryer won't have to be out too far away from the wall.
So anyway, we're getting close to doing laundry in our own house for the first time since leaving Boise. :o)
After the lesson was a public session that we got to stay and practice at. I was skating around and one of the ladies from the class came up to me and asked me why I was in their class because there was another lady that couldn't do a three turn, and I could, and she was a level 2. I told her they already moved me up.
But the fun part came when the two teachers from my new class level stayed at the session and started working with us. At first, I kept my distance. I didn't want to bother them on their own time but as they continued, I joined in. Marcy and Rob are the teachers' names. Marcy was showing us how to do a spiral. I was having a lot of trouble with it at first but got it to be ok by the time we moved on. One of the girls had the wrong position on it so we went over to the wall so Marcy could show her the right position. Her response was, "Oh, that burns!" I just laughed. Yes, it does burn! You're bending your back in the wrong direction.
You're supposed to get it up to hip level for it to count, like she has. I can get it up there when I can hang onto the wall for balance support but when I am actually moving, and dealing with trying to keep my balance, it doesn't get very high. All the elite skaters can almost do the splits like this...and then they can grab their skate up over their head...crazy stuff!
Then Marcy left and I was just messing around when Rob came over to us and asked who wanted to learn something...me, me, me! So he got his book and started seeing what we could and couldn't do. He took us through a number of different things which I was catching onto pretty quickly. The last thing he worked on with us was a lunge. It looks like a lunge you would do during a workout except that you're moving when you do it. You have to get the inside of your back boot to scrape along the ice or else you start spinning out to the side. Try it on the ground for about 10 minutes. That burns too! But when he told me it was the boot that had to touch the ice, it made a bunch of difference. Weird how such small things makes such a big difference in control.
My lunges didn't look so good, of course.
After the session ended, we were all sitting near each other getting back into shoes and he told me that at the rate I am learning things, I'll probably be skipping a class or two. :o) I guess I shouldn't be in a hurry to skip classes though since there are only 4 basic adult classes and then 4 freeskate classes. Freeskate is where you learn jumps and one foot spins. After that, your option is to stay in freeskate 4 or get a private coach which sounds expensive to me.
Anyway, I had a great time and got to start to learn lots of different things which I can continue to practice at my practice sessions (which are included with my lessons). :o)
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Adam went out to do his Road Ranger thing that night. He was only planning on a couple of hours but by 1 AM, I hadn't heard hide nor hair from him and I couldn't get a hold of him. Finally, he called me and said he was ok but that he was busy. So I went to bed. The roads iced up and cars were stuck on the interstate so they slept in their cars. GDOT was out trying to get things done but it turns out their trucks weren't ready for such work and they got stuck too. So Adam spent the evening and all night into the morning transporting police officers and GDOT people...and even helping out some people at the same time. In the morning, afer GDOT got the road deiced, Adam drove down the interstate honking his horn waking people from their peaceful slumber so they could get moving. He got home at noon. He had a great time!
In the mean time, the snow was melting. :o( Good for drivers but I wanted to get out and see it. I only got to see what was directly near my house since it was too dangerous to drive.
Monday, March 1, 2010
The other goal I've made for myself is to become more flexible. Maybe you don't know this about me but I am VERY unflexible and have been more stiff than anyone else I've known. I guess that's what happens when you bike and skate all those years and almost never do a single stretch. Besides that, if I do the stretching right before I get into bed, it helps relax me. The stretches are a bit painful but as soon as I release my legs from them, it feels good and loose. So to make a measurable goal, I have chosen splits as my goal. There are three types of splits:, left, right and center. The center is the hardest to do. Left and right are technically on the same level but I've found that my right leg is more flexible than my left. As of right now (I didn't think to measure before I started but I haven't made a ton of progress just yet anyway) my left and right splits are both 15" off the floor. I haven't figured that out since my right leg is more flexible... but that's the way it is. I want to reach 8" off the floor by the end of the year. My center splits is 21" off the floor. I am aiming for 15".