Happy Holidays: Day 11

Today I am grateful that my newer car has the direction I am heading displayed on the rear view mirror. I am also grateful for the map feature. Now I just need to remember to use them. Hi, my name is Tracey and I am directionally challenged.

Let’s just say I may have had a few issues with Christmas hike #5 today and leave it at that. 🙄

Less Horrendous New Year: Day 7

I did my third hike of Christmas today and while I tried not to trip over rocks I mulled over what I was thankful for. I realized my good health and good health insurance were pretty important. Obviously if I wasn’t in good health long hikes would be impossible. And having health insurance brings peace of mind and allows one to hike without worrying so much about getting hurt.

Health and health insurance are two of those things I don’t think about because I have them. But if I didn’t have them how horrible life would be. So today I am grateful for my health and my health insurance.

In keeping with my realistic expectations for 2021 I would like to wish everyone a Less Horrendous New Year!

I hiked to “Seven Falls” which has no water at all so I am changing the name to “Seven Unfalls”.
It was a lovely day for a hike, cool, a bit cloudy. You can see part of the trail in the lower third of the pic.

Merry Christmas: Day 5

Today I am thankful I found out that military retirees, in addition to active duty members, have free access to National Parks. Apparently this started on Veteran’s Day of this year and will continue until further notice.

My second hike was this morning at Saguaro National Park. All this beauty for free!

Clouds and my favorite….shadows on the mountains!
This is called a cacti forest!

Merry Christmas: Day 3

Today I am grateful for keeping a promise to myself. My gift to myself for the 12 days of Christmas is to do six hikes interspersed with more lazy activities the other days. I have been walking quite regularly over at Sabino Canyon and I thought it would be a nice gift to explore some new places. Today I did my first Christmas hike. I knew most places would be rather crowded with it being a holiday weekend and temps in the 70’s so I chose a hike accordingly.

I did Babad Do’ag trail off the Catalina Highway. I tried this hike once a few years ago but didn’t get to the end. A little over four miles, an out and back, with an elevation gain around 1200′. So pretty steep going out, easier coming back downhill. Not too crowded, beautiful scenery, some wispy clouds. A lovely morning.

Step after Step

I have to admit that yoga, meditation and now walking every evening have turned out to be very healing. I am enjoying exploring Sabino Canyon more fully and last week I finished my walks under the very bright moon which I loved more that I thought I would.

My son has returned to in person school four days a week providing me with some badly needed solitude. And a chance to have the kitchen stay cleaned up for more than 5 seconds.

I think I may have fell in love just a little with Ethan Hawke after watching his short TED talk:

Once again my “word” of the year is proving to be quite beneficial:

Life is so much easier when you live in the moment and not worry or plan so much for the future or keep reflecting on the past.

The only thing I am wishing for right now is cooler temps. We are back to the 90’s and I had to turn the a/c back on. 🥵 Despite the heat I am enjoying crock-pot meals, pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes and watching football.

I am not liking all this new WordPress crap. Some of my photos won’t upload “for security reasons”. Does someone think I have some sort of code embedded in my Trader Joe’s haunted house? And now there are blogs that I cannot comment or like anymore. (Sorry L.A.!) I admit to being a little weary of trying to keep up with technology. 🙁

Forest Gumping it

I finally figured out what makes me feel better. Walking. Outside. With no destination and no time limit (except darkness).

I have begun taking an evening sabbatical. I leave the house between 4:00p and 4:30p once the sun has retreated enough to be bearable. I go over to Sabino Canyon and walk. It is not too crowded at that time and I have plenty of solitude. Sometimes I find a quiet spot to sit for awhile. Yesterday I sat near the oh so dry creek bed and listened to the wind in the cottonwood trees. The rustling of the leaves was incredibly soothing.

This has become by far my favorite part of the day. The only negative is it gets dark in a hurry here, full dark at 6:00p right now. I try to be out of the park by 5:45p because I don’t want to get eaten by a mountain lion (even though that would be an unique way to go!) and there are not any street lights anywhere.

Last night I dawdled watching an amazing sunset and found the end of my journey to be in total darkness. I did not encounter any mountain lions but there were two rather fierce looking bunnies in my path. I tried to make myself look big and scary and they scampered off, ha!

Once back in my own ‘hood I had to pause for some javelinas in the wash across the street from me. I think it will be a good idea to carry a flashlight in my pocket tonight, cause I am sure that would keep a mountain lion away 🙄.

The Great Toilet Paper Caper

April 7, 2020

This week has sucked. Not because of COVID-19 but because of the full moon. My hot flashes have been ferocious and the insomnia insane. As usual my first thought is that this will be the last month of suffering. The hot flashes are doing one last push and then my body will succumb gracefully into aging. This is an insane thought and at 1:00a I am googling away re-learning that it is highly likely that I will have to deal with hot flashes for nine to ten years total which means perhaps six more years. I can’t bear the thought.

I find myself wondering why my hot flashes seem worse right now. The weather hasn’t turned abysmally hot yet. And then it hits me, stress. While on the surface I don’t think I am freaking out over our current pandemic there are thready undercurrents flowing beneath.

Mostly I am unhappy because so much is unknown. I can’t visualize the future. The lack of control has me stressed. Problem identified. Now what to do about it?

I come up with two plans. I still have almost 90 days worth of a low-dose anti-depressant shown to help some women with hot flashes. I only took it a few days because it made me very nauseous. I decide to try again, this time eating a few crackers when I take it and going a whole week (at least) to see if my body adapts.

And the second plan? Our stores are pretty well stocked. I have enough allergy meds and such that I am not worried about running out. The only item I am worried about is toilet paper. Back in mid-March I bought our usual 12 pack right before the insanity started. Before I knew anything was really going on, just my normal purchase. And when the toilet paper disappeared from shelves I wasn’t worried. I thought that by the time I needed to buy more the world would be back to normal.

But it is almost a month later and I haven’t seen a roll of toilet paper on the shelves in the last three weeks. Now, I am not the type of person who wants to start going from store to store on a tp hunt. My observation is if you find toilet paper (or paper towels etc) it is pure luck. You just happen to be in the store when they bring out a batch. I find myself wondering if I am willing to chance it and simply wait and hope the stores are re-supplied by the time we are down to our last roll or two.

It seems risky. I mean the shelves are empty all across the country. We have no idea if or when a total lockdown may start. What if my spouse brings the virus home from work and we have to self-quarantine for two weeks? I can picture life without toilet paper and it isn’t pretty. Is there anything I can do about this? Maybe.

I read an article on-line about the toilet paper shortage and they recommend checking restaurant supply stores. Hmmm. Makes sense. Restaurants are probably buying less toilet paper with no inside dining. So I go on-line to a place in Tennessee. It says toilet paper is in-stock. I can buy a case of 96 rolls. I try and visualize 96 rolls of toilet paper and my imagination fails me. Where would we store it all?

Most of me says just buy it before it disappears but a small section of my mind says let’s just think about this for a minute. And I do. And 96 rolls wins out over zero rolls easily. I can share, I can donate, I can store it in the empty suitcases in the garage. (It’s not like we are going anywhere this summer!) I place the order, and then I wait.

I get the confirmation e-mail but 24 hours later I still don’t have a processing or shipping e-mail. Uh-oh. I check the website, standard toilet paper is no longer in-stock. Was I too late?

I tell myself to be patient and give it a few days, they were probably inundated with orders. And so I wait.

April 13, 2020

First the good news. I am able to take the anti-depressant with a few crackers and it seems to be working. My hot flashes are fewer and much, much less intense. But this being the post full moon period of the month the hot flashes are usually on the wane anyway. The real test will be the first week of May right before the full moon. But at least I have hope.

As for the toilet paper? I never did receive another e-mail as to status but I did figure out how to check the order status on-line through their website. The first time I checked it said it was on back order until 5/31. I decide I can live with this. I really want a stash for later in the year when/if a second wave hits. At the end of the week I check the status again and now it says nothing. I contact the company to make sure they didn’t cancel the order. They haven’t but now they are thinking 8 to 10 weeks before they get re-supplied. I am going to remain optimistic on the toilet paper front. What else can I do?

For now I am sticking to my normal routine as much as possible. I do my yoga, shower, meditate. I fast between 4:00p and 10:00a most days, or at least close to that window. I try and keep busy but I also try and cut myself some slack. I have promised myself that if I get to a point where I really don’t want to do anything I can have 24 hours off. The most important thing for me to remember is to just take things one day at a time.

Stay Safe!

And So it Goes

We are at the end of our second full week of being home. If I had to pick one word I would pick miserable. How can staying home make one so unhappy? Part of the problem is the time of the month, or more accurately the phase of the moon. In another week the moon will be on the wane and my coping skills returning. But in the meantime…

Home schooling is a nightmare. Screen time has been a battle for years and now to have to deal with my son being on the computer ALL DAY? Just shoot me now. The first day I set him up at the dining room table. He strategically chose a seat where I couldn’t easily see the screen. He put his headphones on. I assumed he was goofing off some but at the end of the week when I checked google classroom he had done nothing except History. And you know why he did History? Because one day I sat at the table with him to finish our taxes so he knew he needed to do real work. Apparently he spent most of the week researching a new gaming mouse and mousepad and watching youtube videos (and not the one’s from his math teacher).

So for week two I had him sitting in a different chair, banished the headphones and we went over google classroom before and after school each day. I sat at the table with him for at least part of each day and made sure I frequently checked his screen. I hated it. He hated it. I just want him to be responsible, show some integrity and give a shit about his own future. He’s only 12 so I am not sure if I am allowed to just let him fail or do I have to wait until he is older and has a better grasp of the consequences?

I am taking an on-line class on the science of well-being taught at Yale. (Auditing so it is free.) My son and I both took a test showing us our 24 strengths, from greatest to weakest. My number one: honesty. His number twenty-four: honesty. I think I see the problem. What I don’t see is how week three is going to unfold. Moving on…

I watched Collection 6 of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Not my favorite, too many weird challenges and way too much crying. And what was up with all the handshakes? Once Dave and Jon left I found myself wondering why I was still watching.

Frustrated with my lack of Census work. I was supposed to be done mid-April. I am afraid that by the time we resume it will be screaming hot. Please, just go on-line and do the darn thing!

Why am I the only person in the house who can refill the water pitcher?

Every day I get up around the same time, do my yoga, shower and get dressed. I have a small whiteboard where I list my tasks for the day. On Friday (today) I walked down to the ATM to get money and then ducked in the grocery store for some fresh produce. A little over two miles roundtrip. I came home and paid bills and mopped the kitchen floor. At 3:00p I found myself wondering if I could go back to bed. Well of course I could, but should I? It was tempting. But I have decided to try and hold out until dark (say 7:00p). I’ll finish this post, work on a needlepoint project or color. Watch something maybe.

I miss baseball.

Take care and stay safe!

Photo Friday: Desert Blooms

Flowers are just starting to bloom around here. The other day I started seeing spots of color in the beige desert landscape so yesterday I took a walk with camera in hand. I found all these along the side of a busy road (though a little less busy these days).

This post is for all those stuck inside or stuck in winter. I hope you enjoy.

I have no idea of plant names so I will call them by color!

Pink. I think this is my favorite.
Dark purple.
No flowers on the cacti yet but this south facing plant has cool looking buds. I do believe this is a barrel cactus.

Keep your Focus!