Blerghle blerghle blerghle folks - what is wrong with this week? Turns out, after seeing the ophthalmologist this morning, I have corneal edemas and have been banned from wearing contacts for a month. A whole month! Apparently if I wear contacts during this time for even an hour, I could do irreparable damage to my eyes and go blind. Somehow I find that hard to believe but am I really going to test it?
I've never really worn glasses before (going straight to contacts) and my current pair are approximately a bajillion years old from a prescription from who knows when. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to manage but luckily, my eyes are good enough to do most things, except drive, without glasses. The world is going to be blurry for a little while for me and who knows how many bruises I'll pick up in the process.
Please tell me that September is going to be better?
First off, my giant grey emo monster Ike wanted me to tell you all THANKS for all your kind words and thoughts you've sent his way and asks you to please send Swedish fish, k thanks. He also asked me to give each one of you a big sloppy virtual lick from him, but I think I'll pass on that one. Sometimes he thinks he's a big dog and licks everything <shrug>. He's been enjoying extra apples, ear rubs, showers and all those little things that keep horses happy.
Secondly, I hope you all have been having better luck with work this week than I have. It's as if everyone decided that because next week is a shorter work week and maybe even this week if they're lucky barstools and taking vacation, they're going to try and cram everything they have to do over the next two weeks into the next few days. For those office warriors left behind cleaning up the detritus, I feel your pain. Keep your head up - we'll make it through!
"He's been a bit mopey. He'd really like it if you came to visit."
The message chimed at 8 am on work day, screen glowing and flashing a light blue. Puzzled, I had to read the text twice before I could comprehend the words I was reading. What in the world... he was perfectly fine when I saw him two days ago. What could have happened in two days that changed his mood so drastically? This was so uncharacteristic of him.
I tapped back, "I'll be there tonight to hang out with him."
The rest of the day, I wracked my brain and tried to think of all the different little things that could have gone wrong. Perhaps he still pouting because I had shouted at him on Sunday. I typically don't have to raise my voice at him. But that's the oddest thing because he doesn't hold grudges - not even for five minutes. How could he still be upset because of that?
That evening, we had dinner together. He morosely looked my way, chewed his food staring off into the distance and glanced at me again. We sat for half an hour that way.
"He's been acting weird. Not himself..." I typed back after our dinner date.
Friday rolled around and he was starting to act like himself. Correction - he was exactly like his old self again. My trainer chided him, "What was wrong with you, you big sweaty baby?" Turns out, he was just hot. A horse in Texas was hot in the summer and threw a minor temper tantrum because of it. Who would have thought? We've started bringing him in earlier and he's as happy as a clam. Now don't even get me started on his people-biting, poop-eating neighbor...
At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd - oh what the hell - I spent the weekend completely obliterating books. My poor August reading record was bothering me and I really just needed a quiet weekend in, on the couch, wrapped up in a good graphic novel / Stephen King / book about books (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - thank you Shalini!). Some of you may call it hiding, I call it exploring other worlds in a reclined position. In all seriousness though, it was lovely. And never fear, I will share my recommended reads with you quite shortly as we're coming up against another monthly recent reads entry (can you believe it!?).
For those of you who are starting a new school year tomorrow, best of luck! May the first day be the start of a new adventure.
And for the rest of us, try to close your mouths as you gawp and gawk at the pictures of this Gulf of Mexico beachside vacation home in Galveston. I know it'd be perfect for your Labour Day weekend getaway. Dibs. Okay, maybe at 5,200 square feet, it'd be big enough to share.
I typically don't share a ton of personal details on my blog but family and stubbornness have been on my mind the past few days, so I hope you don't mind my post tonight. I had mentioned previously that recently my parents had gone to visit their respective parents in Los Angeles. My mom's dad has rapidly deteriorating vision in one eye, despite recent surgery, and has completely lost it in his other eye. My dad's mom has been undergoing dialysis for some time now and is now making four trips per week to the dialysis center. Neither of these situations cropped up overnight. Both sets of grandparents are fortunate enough to have hired help as well as family living with them 24/7 to assist, but tempers run hot and stress levels run high as everyone struggles to cope with the "new normal." I think the hardest part for each family member is just that - this may be the new normal.
My grandparents have been dealing with it in their own ways. My once-commanding and statuesque grandfather is slowly sinking into a quiet depression and losing mobility due to inactivity and muscle atrophy. My grandmother ignores the doctor's advice of keeping a bland, liquid diet and eats and drinks whatever she wants, having become incredibly food motivated and angry at her dietary restrictions. As a consequence, in the past month, she's already been hospitalized twice. My dad came back with a very important piece of advice for us all: don't become more stubborn as you age. The inability to accept or adapt to circumstances, in this case health, when they change puts you down a much harder path. I'm not professing to be a doctor but improving the handicap accessibility of your home or watching your diet are some small ways of making their situations a little more tolerable.
My dad, ever the practical one, says that they're teaching the younger generation a lesson and showing us, as they have done our whole lives, how to live to be better people. It's a lesson that I will not forget and hope that they can, in their own time, learn as well.
"I've learned that there's a big difference between stubbornness and perseverance. Stubbornness involves me forcing things to work, while perseverance requires me to work consistently with what's already working."
With a little smidge of guilt, I'll admit to you all that it has been a WHILE since I've cooked anything. For dinner, often times it's hummus, fruit and yogurt for me. It's too flipping hot to cook anything and usually I'm heading straight to horseback riding or working out right after work. But once in a blue moon, I'll get the itch to scramble it up in the kitchen. So this weekend, I made baked chicken nuggets with homemade sweet and sour sauce, Greek yogurt cake and a gluten-free pasta bake. And, yes that pasta is as delicious and as healthy as it looks. It had gluten-free rotini, butternut squash, kale, gruyere cheese and a healthy bechamel-type sauce made of vegetable stock, flour and Greek yogurt. My favourite part about the whole pasta dish, which I would have expected to be the gooey cheese, was the organic kale crisped up in the oven, surprisingly, so maybe I'll have to experiment with some more baked recipes with kale.
A short progress report on my sister's skin, as you all have been so kind to inquire after her. Post-Hawaii, her skin's recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. She has continued her low-sugar, gluten-free diet, which I think is helping, but we also think that the combination of sunshine, sleep and low-stress from vacation contributed heavily to the cure. So there you go, there is no better cure than more sleep, clean eating and de-stressing. With that in mind, I wish you all a peaceful week ahead.
After this weekend, I am one hot mess. Starting Friday evening, I completely wrecked myself horseback riding. Ike slipped on the shallow footing in the arena and I came tumbling off. We're both okay; I'm a bit banged up and sore. **This is why wearing a helmet is REALLY important.** We can add those bruises to the ones that I've been accumulating this summer from being a klutz.
Other than that, my weekend was a wonderful one. My parents came back from their trip to Los Angeles and sister and I met them at the airport. It was quite nice catching up with them and I think they're happy to be home as well. My grandparents out in LA are getting older and less independent, so I think Siri and I are going to make a trek out there this fall to visit them and buoy their spirits.
The rustic little house in Dallas reminds me of a home by the water in Hill Country. Maybe there's still time to get down to float the river before the summer is over? How was your weekend?
If I could (or when I win the lottery), I would take all you bloggers with me on this trip. Cruising around Croatia in a yacht, island hopping, exploring deep caves and ending the journey with a splashy regatta? Sounds pretty fantastically magical to me. Croatia has been on my To Visit list for as long as I can remember and what better way to see the country's beautiful coast but by boat? Excuse me, not boat, yacht. If we get enough people, we could commandeer a fleet of yachts. And then tie them together at night and do a food and cocktail tour of the different decks.
So July may have been a good book month for me. There were some stellar reads for sure: Housekeeping, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Joyland. I've got a quick book review over at Book Adventurers of Tell the Wolves I'm Home, in my opinion one of the best books I've read this year. Joyland was as good as I had expected; Stephen King always shows up. I may have exhausted my book reading mojo though. The month is almost half over but I've only read one book so far in August. Maybe I need to explore a new genre. How has your reading gone this summer?
Yep, we unexpectedly went and jammed to the Bruno Mars / Ellie Goulding concert and my-oh-my what a motherfreaking show. I’m not a HUGE sit-there-in-an-arena concert goer, much preferring music festivals where there’s lots of wandering and way too much sweating, but Bruno Mars and his band put on a serious concert. The crowd had its dancing shoes on for the duration, particularly for the two encores. I’m a sucker for all shows that feature brass bands and Bruno’s was hilarious, charming and talented. Also, talk about a wild light display and pyrotechnics galore. My ears are still ringing this morning.
I feel a teensy weensy bit guilty for all the fun that I’ve been having but can you believe it’s mid-August and we’ve definitely got to send this summer out with a big bang, whoop and holler. Now, who’s ready for football season???
It's as though once I get a taste, I can't get enough. I want to hit the road, live out of a backpack, wash clothes in a sink and hang them out on a line to dry, eat strange foods, meet different people and have yards and yards of stories to tell. I want to fight off mosquitoes, squish mud between my toes, sweat uncomfortably and pull knots out of my hair. I want to forget about the deadlines, forget about the phones, forget about the internet and disappear. I'm ready to wander again and to get lost. I'm ready for adventure!
I may or may not have picked up a new obsession while wandering around the middle of the Pacific Ocean. No, it's not snorkeling or surfing. It's not even worshiping the sun god, which we did every morning and every evening on a different beach. It's spam musubi.
You guys, this stuff is the B-O-M-B. Spam, seaweed and rice. So simple yet SO delicious. It's pretty much all I ate the last few days I was in Maui. Now I'm craving it like mad. Luckily there's an L&L in town and you can bet your bottom that I'll be hitting it up this weekend. I may even get ambitious enough to make it on my own. What about you? Any kooky obsessions lately my friends?
Hello darlings, I'm back! My body is sunburned, bruised and battered. We went directly from surf lessons, covered in salt and sand, straight on to the plane and back home again. But what a wonderful trip and for not planning anything, we sure squeezed in a ton. We hiked, snorkeled, surfed, swam and most importantly, we celebrated my cousin's beautiful nuptials. The wedding was held in an old mill on Maui and looked like it was straight out of a movie set. I'm still adjusting to the jet lag and my voice is still froggish but luckily, it's only two more days until the weekend. I hope that you all have been well and I look forward to checking in on your blogs soon.
Even though I brought my laptop and we have free wifi at the condo in which we're staying, I've thankfully been able to unplug a little bit from the world and soak up the nature that is Hawaii. I have a ton of pictures to share with you guys and those are to come. I am, once again, lobster red from not enough applications of sun screen on my arms, legs, back and face. My hair is starting to take on that crunchy salty property from being in the ocean too often. All of my swimsuits are sand encrusted. Pretty much all key ingredients to a perfect vacation. Only slight hiccup is that I lost my voice two days ago but hey, what more do I need to say?
I leave you to look over pictures of another oh-so-cute cottage in Dallas that looks like it should belong on the sandy shores of a beach. I hope that you all have been having a wonderful weekend with at least a little time away from the computer.
Finger snapping, leg slapping, foot tapping Texan girl who works with numbers. I like blank pages, the written word and horses. This is my attempt to amuse you via books, food, travel and the assorted spice rack of life.