Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weekend Ramblings July 26, 2015

It's hard to believe I haven't blogged since January!  It doesn't seem that long ago. We had a new assistant manager in my area at Walmart and he was scheduling me a minimum of 20 hours a week on top of my 40 hours with my other job, so there never seemed enough time to do anything. I have changed my availability and locked myself into a set schedule now so I work two 4-hour shifts during week and every other Saturday. It's significantly helped to destress. They just moved the assistant managers around so we'll see how this new one is.

I finally went in to get established with a doctor here and my blood pressure was extremely high (no surprise). The doctor was pretty insistent I needed to get it brought down and destress so I've been on a mission to de-stress as much as possible. I found an app called Calm I downloaded from Play Store.  They also have a webpage you can check out. There's a free 7-day mindful meditation series they offer to try it out. I liked it enough I paid to get the pro subscription and I'm working on the 21-day series now. I find I go to sleep faster and sleep better when I do the meditation before bed especially on nights I work late.


We just got back from another trip to northern Minnesota. I really enjoyed the trip this year. We stayed with a high school buddy of Matt's. Two of his buddy's sisters came up from "the cities" (aka Minneapolis /St. Paul area) so it was a lot of fun with so many people. We played couples Trivia Pursuit Saturday night and Matt and I won! My book geekishness (as Matt calls it) paid off. 

Tent Setup and furkid feeding station.  We used the small cooler to elevate Tip's food dish.  I use a milk crate at home and didn't think to bring it.
We took our tent that we bought last year when we went (and didn't use). Of course I glamped it up with nice sheets and fuzzy blankets, a rug on the floor, and folding tables that I can use when we eventually get our camper. We used the battery operated candles and solar lanterns I purchased last year and never used. They really gave the tent a nice ambiance. They weren't super bright, but it was enough.

Oreo hanging out in the shade.
I did several things that made the trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

  • I insisted on the tent so we had some space for ourselves and the dogs. I was extremely glad of this our last night, which I'll explain later. 
  • I brought snacks for us. The couple we stayed with are low-carbers. Matt is definitely adamant he wants nothing to do with low-carbing so I made my Crispix Mix and a batch of orange cookies with orange frosting that he likes to take with. Surprisingly we came home with leftovers of both. 
  • We also took two coolers, one for food and the other for drinks. I brought a case of water and bottles of Mt. Dew along with some alcoholic drinks. In this way I didn't have to hope they had anything I liked to drink. 
  • As I tend to be up several hours before everybody else I took some easy breakfast items with. I premixed my Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate and milk in pint mason jars with plastic lids. I also took a container of cottage cheese and some pineapple tidbits to mix together. 
  • I sliced up some cheese we had in the fridge here at home and a whole beef stick and put them in plastic containers to eat for snack like lunches with Pretzel Thins. Unfortunately everybody decided the cheese and beef stick looked great our first afternoon there and devoured them so we had nothing left to snack on Sunday for lunch. That's an easy enough fix and I'll bring more food next year.

Tip loved to lay in the water by this sandy area.  The wind was blowing so much there were white caps most of the weekend.
The only bad note for the trip was that Tip had another massive seizure early Monday morning (about 3:30 am). It was the second major one in about two months so I took him to the vet the next day and she put him on phenobarbital. Tip had a history of minor seizures when he was younger but we haven't seen any signs of him having one in years so these were totally a surprise, especially the intensity. I honestly thought he'd died he went so still after this last one. It was truly frightening. 

Hopefully the medication will help. We're dealing with a lot of side effects now from the medication, the worse being the loss of control of his hind legs. Unfortunately, the seizures are probably not a good sign and he may not make it to see another trip to Minnesota with us. He definitely enjoyed hanging out in the lake this year. He obviously remembered our trip last year because as soon as he got out of the vehicle when we arrived he headed down the path to the lake and flung himself into the shallow water.

One thing I was really glad I brought with was the rug I'd purchased just before leaving.  It was a cheap $20 rug from Walmart, the kind kids would use in a dorm. Between the rug and the dog beds, Tip was cushioned while he was seizing.  I can't imagine how much worse his body would have felt afterwards if he'd been seizing against the hard ground.

Lacey (left) and Tip (right) hanging out as Matt comes up from the lake.
We stopped in Virginia, MN, on our way home at an Italian Bakery and picked up some tasty snacks for the trip home.  Unfortunately they didn't have the canolli were were hoping for.  We'll definitely be stopping there next year.

I won't list everything I've read and probably couldn't remember everything if I wanted to so here's a brief list of books I've finished lately. 

Understanding the Life and Teachings of Thich Nhat Hangh by Dr. Ruth Carr
There Are No Fat Women in Paris by Amy Freedman
The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain by Kelly Long
Making Space - Creating a Home Meditation Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh

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