I am not sure if anyone here knows, but there is a tiny mystery book club that meets most months in Wayzata, Minnesota that I am a part of. We meet for dinner at our favorite restaurant, talk books and catch up on our lives since the last time we met. If you are reading this blog, love mysteries and are interested in joining with us please let me know. New friends are so welcome! (Purchasing dinner is not required, but a glass or tea or soda along with a nice tip for the hard-working staff is appreciated).
For January 2023 our book will be “Murder Wears Mittens” by Sally Goldenbaum. This is the 12th book in the Seaside Knitters Society series. The reviews are good and my thought was that a nice cozy mystery was perfect for winter. Plus one of our members loves to knit, so this seemed appropriate!
Here I am, relaxing in Amsterdam. This is definitely a curious city with all the canals and narrow streets. And the traffic! Pedestrians have to fend for themselves, they definitely don’t have the right of way here. So you are constantly on the watch whenever you walk. In fact, if there is a traffic blockage they even skip up onto the sidewalk and don’t like it when you don’t move out of the way. This free for all is the first thing my taxi driver warned me about when he picked me up at the airport even. The previous week he saw a bicyclist hit a pedestrian, pick himself up and ride off! So the driver stopped and gave her a ride to the hospital, where she found out she had a broken ankle. Unfortunately, it meant she had to miss her river cruise, so sad! I don’t want to do the same, so I trying to be careful.
Day one saw some serious exhaustion as I slept very little on the airplane, big surprise. I liken it to being in a hospital as the stewards roam the aisles to see if you would like a drink, or maybe a snack, periodically. Plus, the calls for assistance from fellow passengers, or those trying to find the bathroom. Fun times!
Above are some pictures of my hotel room, really more of a small apartment. Once I unpacked I did some walking around to stay awake. The sun was shining, and I put in quite a few steps around the inner canal rings. I had a nice pasta with chicken for dinner before heading back to my hotel room to try and sleep.
On Monday I slowed down, my legs developed quite a “rash” after all the walking the State Fair last week and the airplane ride and walking yesterday. The “rash” is really a bunch of burst small capillaries according to my dermatologist. I get it almost every year for the last 10 years or so during the fair unfortunately. It can be sore but is usually just tingly and hot feeling. Not comfortable at all, so I slept in and didn’t go out except for lunch and then dinner.
Lunch was at Cafe George, I had the Croque Monsieur. It was very good and I had a nice view of a canal. Dinner was at Red, which is just a few doors down, a great steak with the wonderful Dutch french fries (frites) out along the canal. It was great, until a bee decided to try and fly up my skirt which made me jump and spill half a glass of a wonderful rose on myself. Of course!
I love the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I have had a membership for years, but mostly I would only go for conferences or seminars for work. One of the many things I loved while working was joining committees to plan conferences, workshops and seminars. I was a member of a number of committees for these during my career in water resources. For a while, every fall we would hold a stormwater or shallow lakes summit here at the Arboretum and I would renew my membership at that time. I would intend to come out to visit or explore afterwards, but rarely did. Until COVID that is. During COVID this became my go-to spot for exercise! And I truly fell in love.
This month I have gone for an art class (drawing a stem of lilacs), Art in the Park, membership day and just a nice long walk on a sunny day. This whole experience has left me feeling like even though my job entailed going out and visiting with residents, teaching workshops or reviewing wetland delineations, that I have gotten out of touch with just being outside. I love it (other than the mosquitoes) and hope to visit many parks during my trip to Europe!
Here are some photos to enjoy and maybe entice you to stop by.
Now I am going back to plan my trip to Europe with all the changes I have made!
Home from travelling and trying to recover while planning where next. My mind is not as exhausted and I am more present which is a big help. My goal now is getting into a better schedule for waking and sleeping (and cleaning). Some days I just want to stay up all night and sleep all morning, then get frustrated over how much I am missing out on. Motivation is coming in fits as I try to adjust to being home and not working. Being retired is starting to become more of a reality and I will need to figure out how to find purpose after work while being stuck between adventures and trying to not do a lot of shopping. (Unfortunately for me, shopping has become more of a boredom solver than something I truly enjoy doing, contrary to what everyone thinks.) Next up, finding ways to get out and enjoy!
The fun part, I got to babysit my grand-kitten Freya over last weekend. She is a joy and this time I was more present mentally and able to more fully enjoy my time with her. However, I did forget my cup (shown below with Freya) at my fitness club a couple days ago, not too mentally present as much as I think maybe?
For a restaurant recommendation, I suggest Big Bore BBQ in Hanover, MN. My son-in-law chose this for his birthday party and it was really, really good. I had the ribs and the fries with queso dip (yum!). They also did a great job with the birthday dessert presentation. www.bigborebarbecue.com
This is another list, this one of what I do to help keep me moving and somewhat flexible while traveling. My body is a mess. I have scoliosis in my spine, fibromyalgia, severe tinnitus (with some hearing loss) and “extra deep” hip sockets (the surgeon said good news, no arthritis, bad news, nothing he could do to help). And why I get so paranoid about bonking my head (twice in the last couple weeks)? I had a subdural hematoma three years ago on my left side. Bonking the left side leads to a lot of anxiety and tight muscles in my neck. I try not to talk about it or complain, but I hurt all over all the time and it is a battle to move properly and easily at times. Move too much, wham, move too little, wham. So, spending a lot of time driving, or sitting, can be a challenge. Here are a few things that have helped me during this trip. And don’t get me started with physical therapists who say don’t do it if it hurts, I just want to laugh maniacally and then ask what????
YouTube – Bob and Brad (www.youtube.com/c/BobBrad) Bob & Brad are two physical therapists who were recommended to me by a physical therapist I was seeing many years ago, when we were trying to figure out what was going on with my hips and legs. They are funny and offer a lot of quick videos on how to stretch, move, sleep and even crack your back when there isn’t a chiropractor near by. I love them!
YouTube – Lynn Schuck (www.youtube.com/channel/UCZHry9AZGqHjQa22cK10fDw) Lynn teaches a form of yoga called Eischens Yoga. She calls it yoga “… for the tired, the desk-bound, the stiff, the injured …”. I took some classes from here a few years ago and loved it. Her focus is on balancing the pose with what your body can do, that modifications are natural and you shouldn’t force yourself into what you think is the correct way to do a pose. She also has a variety of short sessions on YouTube to help with specific body parts. And I still hear her in my mind whenever I try to do certain yoga poses.
YouTube – Laura Erdman-Luntz (www.youtube.com/c/LauraErdmanLuntz/videos) Laura is an excellent yoga coach and she loves mixing essential oils with your practice. I haven’t kept up on using essential oils, I do use them occasionally to relax or help with my allergies, but not like I did while I was actively taking yoga classes with her and others. But long story short, she also has some nice short takes on moving with yoga and I recommend trying it out.
My goals is to find things I can do in a small area, in a hotel room, with no equipment. If you have any suggestions for others to try out please let me know! I could use them on my next road trip!
Now I am off to do some gentle movements and physical therapy exercises after sitting and resting all day! Allons-y mon ami!
UPDATE – I finally went in to the Emergency Room to get my head checked out. Good news, no sign of a new subdural hematoma or a stroke. Bad news, well it is still cranky old me. 🙂
I left my dad one of my pictures, I couldn’t help myself. But I love the picture with the flowers most. It is so sad to have him so far away from family. I have to keep telling myself, he isn’t “there”. I loved my dad and I miss him terribly so. Definitely cried a lot on this visit.
Here it is April, what happened to March? I am now starting my fourth week of retirement and I have no idea where the time went. I have been so busy! Bringing home all my stuff from work, trying to fit it all in at home, purging work clothes, planning parties, writing and illustrating thank you cards, cleaning, going to The Marsh to work out again, having lunch with friends, READING, travel planning, financial planning, SLEEPING, and on and on! So far though, I am loving retirement.
My to-do list last week was long, and not all of it was done. I still have some thank you cards to finish. Unfortunately, if you ignored the no-gifts comment, and you haven’t received a thank you card by next week you might not get one anytime soon as this week I will be focusing on closing up the house, getting my house sitter on board, and packing for my trip down the Mississippi River road. I am very excited to visit all the cultural sites and museums along the way, as well as to try out all the new foods! Yummmm… Talk soon!
It’s done. I have retired from the City of Eden Prairie. I am overwhelmed and in a state of denial right now. I am just on a long vacation, right? The switch to Daylight Savings didn’t help much either.
Had two wonderful parties. The one for work was last week Wednesday at Champp’s. Good turnout and fun, but also sad that I will miss them all so much. Tuesday night was my “Water Geeks, Friends and Family” party at Pizza Luce. A mix of everyone! I was a little worried, being a work night, but quite a few people came by and I had a fun time going from group to group to talk and reminisce. I did get a few gifts, after my “no gifts please” invitation. 🙂 I also got lots of wonderful Happy Birthday and Happy Retirement cards, and some beautiful flowers. I would never say no to cards! Sadly, I was so busy chatting with everyone that I forgot to take pictures! For me, that is very strange as I always have my phone out to take pictures.
Yesterday I didn’t do much of anything, other than get an extremely crazy high quote for painting my den. Maybe my next post will be all about my “beautiful” den that I want to paint over. Looks like I will have to buy some paint and start working on it myself, maybe one wall at a time? I also started to purge work clothes that I have no need to hang onto. Keeping enough to have nice clothes for traveling, dinner or events and the rest is all comfy clothes. Next is to box them up to take to Goodwill.
Today, I did something I have never done before. This may sound strange, but I am not one to just go to a bar in the middle of the afternoon on a St. Patrick’s Day. But after lunch I thought I would duck into McCormick’s and have a drink and watch the bagpiper, who was scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Turned out a good friend was there and I ended up staying for al little over 3 hours! Met a lot of really nice people and had a good time all in all. I would have stayed longer, but the bar was very crowded and the noise was really starting to get to me.