Kicking it in my boots

There’s no explaining my long vacation from blogging. It’s been so long that I’ve blogged that this may read like the annual holiday letter that I often write in my head and never send.

There’s been some hard times, but there have also been some great happenings.

Let’s start with the great happenings: The Brewmaster and I have made it through a second Christmas together. He has not smoked a cigarette since last March. (That was a deal-breaker for our healthy home.) We really make a good team and he is my truest friend and life saver. My dog is in relatively good health and Ballet Boy is dancing like a true star. My various jobs– playing in two orchestras, teaching private lessons and at a small college,and scoring for Pearson– have kept me insanely busy but are paying the bills.

Around Thanksgiving I was able to negotiate a great deal on a joint membership for the Brewmaster and myself at a local gym that has yoga, spin, weight classes and a small 3 lane pool and hot tub. We cycle and I’ve been yoga-ing on a regular basis.I love my class, It is full of mainly 60+ year-olds that can balance way better than I can and are generally pretty darn flexible. I’ve discovered that I like Yoga-Flow, a combo of pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga. The Brewmaster has used the pool way more than I have. I haven’t used it at all. I also haven’t used the 3 sessions with a personal trainer that I got at a promotional rate of $99…a good deal! I’m holding out on the sessions until I feel ready to do strenuous activity (see below) and I have absolutely no reason why I haven’t used the pool.

This winter I bought the warmest and most comfortable snow boots (Keens) that I’ve ever had. Guess what? We’ve had the warmest and driest Iowa winter I’ve ever recalled. So far. I could be running outside every day in 30+ weather!

My snow boots
My snow boots

Which brings me to the more lame happenings: My left foot is still suffering from plantar fasciitis. In fact, I’d say it’s worse than last summer. There are days when I don the gay apparel of my therapeutic boot because I can’t put weight on it. This in turn makes my right hip hurt as few of my shoes are as high as that boot, so I end up having an uneven gait. So far, no running, and scarcely even a dog walk. I am continuing to stretch and roll out both my foot and calf, and most yoga seems to help it (when I’m not trying to balance on my left foot only).

My  high-fashion therapeutic boot
My high-fashion therapeutic boot

Less running/walking means weight gain or no loss. I tried South Beach phase one, but it coincided with Thanksgiving and I need to start over. Less running means more stress. Recently I’ve had problems choking on bread and dry/chewy foods, so I went to the doctor. The general practitioner looked down his nose at me, declared that I had stress-induced dysphagia and said, “With all of these issues like lactose and gluten intolerance, I would say you fit into a certain category of people who just need to control their stress.” I explained I was doing a lot to control my stress (like yoga and deep breathing) after seeing the wonderful breast nurse who helped me this summer. His response was, “Well, if two doctors have told you to do something about your stress, don’t you think it’s time to take care of it?” He was pushing for anti-anxiety meds. I got out of there in a hurry and tried to push away thoughts of screaming at him, “I’M DOING THE BEST I CAN!”

Because it HAS been a stressful fall. There are just periods like this in life where you have to ride the wave. One morning, driving my son to school, I passed a school bus that was stopped on the other side of the street. Even scarier, I don’t even recall a school bus being there. Iowa laws are rightfully very strict; not only is this a minor misdemeanor now in the name of the law, but your license gets suspended for 30 days, and the next infraction you are sent to jail. The police officer following me informed me of all of this as I burst into tears that morning in October. My son and I happened to be engrossed in a conversation about bike safety as he usually rode his bike; that morning it was very cold so I was driving him. I did review the video from the policeman (the buses also videotape) and I was completely guilty. I’m the type of person who stops behind city buses even though there is no legislation, and I’ve had so few speeding tickets that I think the police officer felt bad after looking up my record. But the video doesn’t lie.

Perhaps it was giving up caffeine this summer that made me groggy, but I also feel very forgetful and spacey much of the time. I know these are symptoms of perimenopause and hormonal imbalance, but can I just say it sucks to get old? The Brewmaster accompanied me to court so I wouldn’t have to stand alone with all the DUI’s and druggies and other distracted moms.

Luckily I have been able to get a temporary restricted license to drive to work, and the Brewmaster actually enjoys driving me around. I was able to postpone my suspension until winter break so it wouldn’t be at such a terrible time.

Merry Christmas, to me. $230 to the Iowa DOT and about $389 in court cases.


I’m just very thankful that I didn’t hit a child, which is why these laws are there.

There have been other stressful events, like my car getting broken into in front of my house and an acquaintance who got irate when I ignored her friend request on Facebook and sent me two weeks of harassing emails. All of these events gave me desert island fantasies. Grant me peace…

But through all of this, my son and the Brewmaster have been steadfast. They are there to boost my self-esteem, to tell me I’m a good person, and to applaud my attempts to de-stress.

When you ride a wave, there’s always an upside and downside. I’m ready to ride the wave again, and see what life brings me in 2015. I’ll keep breathing in and out, maybe I’ll cave and get a cortisone shot so I can run again. I’m looking forward to lots of trips to the gym with the Brewmaster, getting back in the pool (I have no idea why I haven’t been swimming…do you?) and healthy, imaginative meals with both of them. Maybe Muffin Monday will become Meatless Wheatless Monday for this blog..stay steady and ready.Food-Healthy-Wallpaper

In the meantime, I’ll keep kicking it with my guys, hobbling around in my various boots and fighting stress one downward doggie at a time. Wishing all my readers a healthy and wealthy of the heart end to 2014 and fabulous 2015!

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