Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lots of cooking, catching up

I've been pretty busy lately, catching up on the cleaning, although slowly since I'm not supposed to do general housework yet, and a lot of cooking, which I am allowed to do.  I'm eating vegetarian now and the guys aren't so I'm cooking two meals.  Because of the low sodium restrictions, nearly everything has to be cooked from scratch, including tomato sauces and such.  I'm trying to get a bunch of stuff made up ahead of time so I don't have to cook as much but it involves a lot of cooking in the meantime.  I've been in the kitchen since around 1 today and I still haven't gotten supper done yet.  In fact, just started.  It's chicken and dumplings for the guys and I'm working on a tomato sauce so I can fix some Italian or chili or something.  It's a pain but necessary.  The guys haven't been eating very well lately and Zach needs to lose weight, too, so I've got to make sure their meals are healthy as well. 

I've lost 10 pounds since the angioplasty but only 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks.  I have no idea why but I'm not eating that much.  Only about 1200 calories a day, plus 40 minutes of exercise a day.  I don't know what else I have to do but it's extremely frustrating.

I've gotten some knitting done but not a lot because I've been so busy and because I go to bed around 10 every night.  I don't know why I go to bed so early but I get sleepy then so I shut the lights off and go to sleep.  I've been getting up around 7 although today I slept until 8:30.  But the dog got me up several times last night so he could go sit on the porch for a while.  So frustrating.

Hopefully I'll catch up with the house soon and be able to spend less time cooking and then I'll spend more time knitting.  I'd like to get Zach's sweater done before Fall so I can start one for Stephen.  He's in Montana now and needs warm clothes to wear.  Plus I like knitting sweaters.  I'll knit him up some mittens, too, and maybe a hat.

Well, supper needs my attention now so I'm off to get some more work done.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

As I continue to get better

Had my 10th session of cardiac rehab today and am doing fabulously.  I'll be done the end of September, which is great.  I hope I lose another pound or two by then.  Sheesh.  What will it take.  I gained another 2 ounces yesterday.  On 1100 calories.

Not knitting as much as I should be because I've got a huge stack of books from the library.  Everything comes in at once apparently.  Still, I'm alternating on Zach's sweater and the feather and fan afghan.  They have done away with the yarn I'm using at StuffMart so I hope JoAnn's still has some.  If not, I'll switch to Super Saver.  There will be some difference but as I'm not selling it or anything, it won't be a huge deal.

I should get back to the purple socks I'm knitting for my older sister.  Just not in the mood for little yarn right now.  I will be again...soon, I'm sure. 

Right now I just want a nap.  I've been getting up around 7 a.m. which is fine when I get to bed early but last night I got woke up around 11 (I went to sleep around 9:20) and couldn't get back to sleep for a couple of hours.  Still woke up an hour and a half before the alarm so I'm dragging.

I have a dr appointment on Friday with the cardiologist.  My rehab has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. so I'll grab a bite to eat from Subway, probably, drive back to Waupan and sit around reading until it's time.  No point driving all the way home.  I would just have to turn around and come back by then.  I'm the only one scheduled for that afternoon so it should be pretty quiet then.

Little by little I'm making progress on the house.  The kitchen is staying clean now that I'm not using the dishwasher anymore.  I'm thinking of storing food in there as the "pantry" is overflowing.  It's just two racks in a cubby that the refrigerator used to be in so there's not order to it.  It would be so much easier to grab the stuff out of the dishwasher.  I'd really rather have the cabinet space rather than the dishwasher.  I have to keep the dishes and glasses/cups in the hutch in the dining room.  It's huge and heavy and takes up a lot of room that I need so we aren't so crowded in here.

Well, time to get ready to take some stuff to Goodwill.  It's nice and cool today.  Not even 70 degrees yet so it's a good day to run errands.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cooler weather on the way

It's still hot although cooler weather is on the way.  I heard some drops of rain out there just a few minutes ago but they stopped already.  More should come later and cool off the air enough to shut off the a/c.  I did try this morning because there was a nice breeze out there but by the time I got home from rehab, it was in the 90s and the wind was hot.  So I turned the a/c back on but shut the curtains to the bedroom to try to contain the cool air.  Professor had been in Zach's room because it was too hot for him out here.

I started another afghan last night.  Why on earth did I start an afghan in a heat wave?  No idea but it's a feather and fan afghan in red, black and white.  I will probably need a bit more so I checked out StuffMart but they are in the process of rearranging their yarn so nothing was out.  I think JoAnn's has some so I'm not sweating it.  I can use another brand if I need to.  Super Saver yarn is very similar to what I'm using now.

I love feather and fan so I think I'm going to use up a bunch of the Super Saver yarn I've got around the house.  I've got some pastel colors that would go well together.

But I do need to get back to the socks and the little girl's sweater before I forget where the patterns are.  I've done that many times.  More than I would like to remember.

Next week Zach and I are going to tackle the dining room and set aside some crafting areas for working on various things, like drawing, painting, sculpting and any other crafts I can think of.  He's also going to set up his desk for a crafting place as well.  I'm welcome to use it so I might since he has a/c in there.

I also want to get busy doing more cooking from scratch.  I'm able to eat more foods if I cook them myself so I'd like to eat more food.  This diet isn't any fun especially as I'm not losing any weight at all.  Which I don't get since I'm not cheating and eating less than 1300 calories each day.  And exercising.

This sucks.

I'm fixing supper for the guys right now.  Just grilled cheese and onion rings and a veg.  It's still a bit too hot to cook although the kitchen isn't as bad as it was earlier in the week. 

Off to finish it up and then into my room where it's cool and knit.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hot, hot, hot!

Another heat wave with near-record temperatures.  I hate having to use the a/c because of the cost but with my congestive heart failure, I'm supposed to avoid the heat as much as possible.  Especially until I get some improvement in my health with weight loss and exercise.  I seem to be stuck at this particular weight.  It's been 3 weeks and the scale has moved only briefly and then back to this weight.  I'm still counting every calorie and milligram of sodium, every ounce of fluid that I drink and I exercise every day.  Nothing is happening.  I don't get it.

I haven't done a lot of knitting the past couple of days.  I did do some ripping back on the sweater as I made a mistake several rows back...I un-knit it stitch by stitch because I didn't want to drop any stitches and have to tink back any further.  That took 2 nights to accomplish but I'm finally back where I was before I discovered the mistake.  I may work on socks today because the sweater is now long enough to rest on my legs while knitting and that is much too warm.

I should get back to the socks anyway.  Or the little girl's sweater. 

I've been getting up early because of rehab but on the days I don't have it I just get up anyway so I'm not off on my sleeping...which is getting better and better.  I haven't slept this well since before Zach was born.  I got some laundry done this morning and cleaned up the kitchen so I could get that done before the heat gets bad.  I've got the kitchen shut off with curtains and that helps a lot.  I can't cool off the kitchen as well as the dining room.  At night I close off the dining room as well so I'm only cooling the bedroom.  No reason to cool it off in there when Tom isn't home.

The yard needs mowing badly.  Couldn't do it last weekend because the neighbor partied all night long outside so Zach didn't get any sleep at all.  And I mean all night.  It was 5 a.m. before they quit and as they're 10 feet away from his bedroom window, it wasn't happening.  I didn't go out to ask them to quiet down because Tom was gone all weekend and I've had some suspicious stuff happen after their parties before.  Like someone opening my car door and turning my lights on.  Someone opening my car door and leaving it open.  Stuff like that.  I didn't want anything funny happening with Tom gone.  Even though the car doors were locked I didn't want to find broken taillights or anything else like that.  Tom suspects the guy has connections with the police because they consistently park beside the fire hydrant outside but the police never ticket them.  So calling the police on their party might not have been the wisest thing.

So I told him not to bother with mowing but with this heat wave, he can't mow in that either.  It's already in the high 80s and it's not even 10 a.m. yet.  It was 85 last night when I went to bed so it's not cooling down enough at night for me to use the window fans.

My computer monitor bit the dust yesterday so I'm using Zach's monitor since his computer bit the dust a month ago.  Everything seems to be falling apart.  Even the dishwasher isn't cleaning the dishes very well so I'm washing by hand, which seems to keep the kitchen cleaner.  And the washer is leaking at the hoses somewhere.  Tom will get to that but not until the weekend and I'm way behind on laundry so I have to use it as is.

I won't even mention the house needs painting and we need to do some landscaping.  I have a dead cherry tree and the weeds around my roses are taller than the roses.  Zach is color blind and can't see the difference between flowers and grass so he can't weed for me.  I just haven't been allowed to work outside yet so...

Well, I think I'll go in the bedroom and read a bit.  Then some knitting and maybe puttering around in the dining room to get it clean.  If I take it slow and rest often I can get the house cleaned up.  At least I can bring the laundry up from the basement  now.  Can't carry the wet clothes out to hang on the line but I can carry the dry ones.

And that's a big thing for me.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Exceeding expectations

I'm doing pretty well in cardiac rehab.  They've bumped me up to 40 minutes of exercise there and 30 minutes at home which will be great with my new exercise bike.  The only thing bugging me is I haven't lost an ounce in over 12 days.  I even ate less yesterday...1000 calories...and still didn't lose an ounce.  I don't know what the deal is but it's incredibly frustrating.  I'm not cheating; I record every bite I take in calories and sodium and I'm still not losing weight.

I'm working on the sweater I started for Zach.  I've run into some problems with this skein of yarn having some issues and have had to cut sections of it out because it wasn't spun right and ended up all fluffy in spots.  I've used this yarn before with no problems at all but this particular skein sucks.  Still, I love the pattern and have been progressing well on it.  I need to finish up the young girl's sweater since I'm almost done with the body of the sweater...just the sleeves, collar and button bands to go.

I'm having afghan withdrawal but the weather is heating up so I'll have to wait until fall for that.  I should get back to working on my older sister's socks.  They're on the nightstand waiting for me.  Plus I got some sock yarn last month that needs my attention as well.  I think I'm going to knit my dad a pair and maybe my older sister's husband, too, since he was very helpful in my mother's last days.

I got the dvd of the funeral but I haven't gotten up the courage to watch it yet.  I do want to see it but I'm not sure I'm ready for the emotions that will build up within me.  Not yet, anyway. 

Tom is up north with his family at their land for a Luau weekend.  They have it every year.  I'm not going because finding something to eat that is low-fat, low sugar and low sodium is difficult enough at home.  Pretty impossible up there where I can't cook for myself and can't read labels.  I'm getting caught up on laundry and cleaning up the kitchen today and tomorrow.  I'm way behind.

But I think I'm going to go sit in bed and read for a bit before I do my exercise.  I'm waiting for lunch to settle first.  Not allowed to do any activity for an hour after a mean...no cleaning working out or any kind of exertion.  So...I'm off to read.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The afghan that never ends

I continue to improve and I love cardiac rehab.  It's nice to work out with other people and the nurses are great.  But at home, it's hard to exercise.  I have some dvds but since I'm limited to 15 minutes and have to keep my heart rate no higher than 100, it's hard to figure out what to do.  And walking in place or back and forth in the bedroom are difficult because of my dodgy hip.  I was only 5 minutes in yesterday when I had to start holding onto it...for the last 10 minutes.  So I bit the bullet and bought an exercise bike.  I researched them and got one that is inexpensive and doesn't take up a lot of room.  This one folds up to store so that helps a lot.  I hated to spend more money though, but knowing that Zach has to get in shape, too, unless he wants to end up in cardiac care before he's 30, I went ahead with it.

I'm still working on the afghan.  I would have been long done if I hadn't had to rip back the last section 4 times over the weekend.  I couldn't believe all the mistakes I kept making, including dropping a stitch back at the beginning of the section.  I'm now on the home stretch, working on the border.  Finally.  It's pretty warm working with it but I'm so close to the finish I want it done.  Then I can move onto socks and the baby sweater...which I will have to get very busy on since the shower is in 3 weeks.

It's really muggy today.  I had the a/c on for a bit yesterday, mostly for the dog.  He coughs and honks and breathes so heavily in the heat.  I need to get weight off of him, too.  It will be a miserable experience for both of us since he will wake me up in the night wanting food, but he's not healthy at all.  I need to start walking him, too, but I can't walk on hills yet so I'll have to find a place to take him.  It's not too hilly on the other side of the highway so I can walk him that far to get across the highway.  It's only a block but it's a mild incline so it takes a lot out of me to get that far.  I'll figure it out.

Zach's new mattress and box spring will be here Friday.  It's a lot later than they told us but it will have to do.  His mattress is so bad to sleep on but just a few more days.  I really wish we could stop spending money but stuff just keep falling apart.  Like m.

Well, time to fix something for lunch.  I'm barely losing any weight anymore, which is frustrating since I have about a 100 pounds to go.  I'm only eating 1200 calories and have to watch my fluids and sodium but I've gained a few pounds last week and only started losing again today.  I'm not cheating at all since I have to write down every single thing I eat.  It's going to be a long journey to weight loss if I'm only losing a pound every other week or so.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Cardiac rehab...great!

Today was my first full day of cardiac rehab and they really put me through my paces!  I was on 4 machines while they monitored my heart and bp.  I'm cleared for light housework and 15 minutes of exercise a day at home as long as my heart rate stays around 100 beats per minute. I've already been doing light housework but it's good to know I can do it legitimately now.

My yarn stash is growing smaller.  Or it was until the other day when I bought more yarn.  But just to add to some already stashed yarn so I can knit Zach a sweater for this winter.  I decided to go ahead and buy it while they still had the yarn there.  He hasn't decided on a pattern yet and I have a baby sweater to knit first anyway since the shower is the beginning of next month.  I should get started on it...soon.

I'm nearly done with the afghan I've been working on and have used up all but 2 skeins of the yarn I set aside for it.  I can knit up a scarf and hat out of the rest of it.  I have a little girl's sweater to finish up and the socks for my older sister.  I've been saving up the socks for miserably hot days when I can't knit anything that will make me hotter but so far the days haven't been miserable.  Until today.  It's pretty warm today so I might nit on the socks today.  Or start the baby boy sweater.  That won't be too warm to work on.

I would like to start some more herbs for my kitchen.  It's just a matter of doing it since I have everything I need to get them started.  I'm using picnic cups because we have them in abundance from last year's family picnic.  I've got some stones to put in the bottom to weigh them down.  I just don't want to buy more pots.

We bought Zach a new mattress and box spring set.  Another one of those expenses that just keep piling up but he really has needed them for a couple of years.  We have a piece of plywood between his set right now because the bottom mattress/box spring combo is sagging terribly and his was sleeping so badly on it.  I hope this makes the difference so he can get some good sleep at night.  It will be here around the beginning of the week so he has the weekend to clean up his room.

The medical bills have been coming in and they take my breath away...even just our portion of them.  I'm guessing we've reached the deductible by now but the 20% is murdering our finances.  And the past week Tom wasn't able to get any overtime so that paycheck is going to really hurt us since we can't meet the bills on his regular paycheck.  But when you work in a place that won't allow unions, what do you expect but pay cuts whenever they feel like it.

Still, at least we have the insurance. 

I have a few errands to run today then home for marathon knitting sessions.  I'm dvr-ing The Walking Dead and it will fill up my inventory unless I keep up with it a bit.  I've seen the first season but lost track of it and missed the second season.  Never caught up.  I'm nearly caught up with Doctor Who.  Mostly I just watch that now and then so I can savor it and not be without it for long periods of time.  I do love the Doctor in all his regenerations.

Plus I got a new series from the library this week.  Judge John Deed.  I love Martin Shaw so I hope I like this one.  Love him in Inspector George Gently.  Love Lee Ingleby, too. 

Well, need to get moving so I can crawl into bed and get some knitting done.  I'm going to need to put my hair in a pony tail next cardiac rehab session because it was wet when I got done.  Plus I think shorts will be the better option.  One of my problems today was my pants were getting too big and the heart monitor kept coming unclipped from my waistband.