Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Over Achiever, Perfectionist or Nut Job? You Tell me!

*ding ding ding*** Revelation time people!

 I was chatting with my coworker about life and people we’ve worked with and her kids and my kids and you know how it is, you start with one conversation and it goes off into all these tangents.

 I believe we started with Palm Sunday and whether either of us went to church or not and that led to why we should or shouldn’t have gone and then belief in God and it snowballed and before you knew it we were talking about how this new generation of kids have such a huge sense of entitlement and how it may or may not be our fault as parents.

I love conversations like this! You learn so much about each other! I was mentioning to her that I have always been an overachiever. I remembered in grade school I always wanted it to be my name that was said out loud as the person who:
1. Read the most books
2. Colored inside the lines the best
3. Earned the highest grade
4. Spelled the most words correct
5. Finished her homework first

 You know, all those things that kids get praised and rewarded for in school. It wasn’t even about the reward or a certificate, I liked hearing my name being first. This led me to work really hard. I would like to think that I wanted to excel for the sake of my parents or teachers, but nah..I just wanted to hear my name be first.

 Fast forward to present time.

 We have monthly company meetings between our three offices. In our corporate office there are probably 22 employees including the bosses. My office has 2 in it and the 3rd office has 3 employees. One part of the meeting is where a member of management reads the names of the Account Manager(s) that have retained all their accounts during the month. Everyone claps and that's the extent of the reward for our hard work!

 I work really hard at retaining my accounts but sometimes things are totally out of my control. For instance an account may not renew because they go out of business. This could be because of retirement or death or financial hardship. Hardly my fault, but if I lose that account, even for a reason totally out of my control…it counts as a loss on my part and my name is not read. That kills me! That should not count against me!

 Once after a meeting I was complaining about that very point to my coworker and she said, “Why do you care so much? You know it was not your fault and that you couldn’t retain the account, why does it bother you so much?” I didn't have an answer, I didn't know why it bothered me so much. But it did!

During our conversation was when I had my *ding, ding, ding* “AH HA!” moment! I want my name to be read, I want my hard work to be acknowledged, and I’ve wanted that ever since I was a little girl. I haven’t changed in that respect! That is why I worked so hard in grade school and in junior high and then in high school. In high school I was the Salutatorian of our graduating class and I didn’t even mind that it meant that I was #2, only that it meant that my name would be called and I would get to give a speech.

 Is that Narcissism? Is that something you are just born with? Is it something my parents instilled in me? My brothers and sister are not like that. What creates that force in a person and is it a good thing?

 When I went back to school as an adult to get my Bachelors degree I was in a group that had to do projects together so we had to get together a couple of times per week to complete the projects and present them to the class. In this group there was not one person that wasn’t exactly like me! It wasn’t enough to accomplish the project and pass the class, we had to be first! We had to be the #1 group!

 Once, when we were not the #1 group, we got together and did a presentation to the professor as to why we should be first and why we should get the acknowledgement and he just laughed at us and told us it didn’t matter, the point was to pass the class. It didn’t sit well with us, let me tell you. The joy of just passing the class was not enough, we had to make do…but it wasn’t enough.

Regardless of whether I'm an Over Achiever...a Perfectionist...or a Nut Job, it's something I've been since a child and it's worked for me, so I guess there's no point in changing there?


Monday, March 21, 2016

You Will Not Win Sciatica! I Will Survive!

I’ve had a hard time with this getting old business.

More so than most of my friends, family and class mates that are the same age as I. I hear them calling themselves “old man” and “old lady” and it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me because I think, “How can you say that? You’re my age and I’m not old!” I see their kids post pictures of them and thank God that they still have their mom and dad and I think to myself again, “Well of course you still have them, they’re young! They’re my age! They’re nowhere near the age where you need to be thanking God that you are happy to still have these feeble, old people in your life because they’re still young! Geez Louise!” Then I realize I used the term “Geez Louise”…and realize why those kids probably think of someone my age as old!

But yeah, that really irks me because I am having a hard time with thinking of myself as old. Actually my mind is having a hard time, my body has thrown in the towel!

My dread old enemy Sciatica has reared its ugly-ass head again! Oh how I hate Sciatica! There is nothing I hate more! There is nothing that can turn me into a quivering ball of painful nerves more quickly than Sciatica. My last episode was in January of 2013.

I’d been doing so well, I thought it was behind me! I’ve lost weight, almost 30 pounds. I am eating healthier, I am exercising daily. A few weeks ago I spent two days doing massive amounts of yard work. Pulling weeds, bending over and wrestling them out of the ground, lifting big loads of them into the trashcan, mowing the yard, trimming the hedges, edging the grass and other than a few muscles aches I was great, I thought Sciatica was behind me, never to be seen again! But that is not the case.

Friday, March 11 while doing my morning exercise (15 minute, 1 mile Leslie Sansone walking video) at work during a break, I felt a small twinge in my back on the left side which bothered me the rest of the day. But I powered through and did another mile at lunchtime and another at my afternoon break. By Saturday morning I was still feeling discomfort, but only when I would get up out of a chair and when I would sit back down. I would make those noises that old people make, involuntarily! But still I powered through. I was like this for the rest of the weekend and the week that followed so I gave myself the week to get better since I could feel the discomfort radiating from my back to my left buttock and then down my leg to my knee and I knew it was Sciatica, but a very mild case of Sciatica.

By the next Friday, March 18th I was finally feeling better, not making those noises, well at least I was able to hold them back. Saturday morning I was feeling “right as rain”…uh oh, dating myself again with that comment. Hey! Can I help it that I as the Quote Queen? Quotes are kinda my thing! Anyway, feeling right as rain, mom and I went out shopping Saturday morning but dark clouds soon gathered as mom got sick. I believe she has allergies, she swears it’s the flu, but regardless, she was miserable! So we cut our day short and headed home. I then made plans to drop mom off at the house and run to the store to gather supplies to make Ceviche! I’d been craving it since a friend posted a picture on Facebook.

Got mom inside and settled and decided to make a bathroom stop. I should just have kept on going with a full bladder because when I arose from the throne of the Quote Queen…I felt a twinge again and by the time I walked back to my bedroom I was hunched over in pain! As simple as that people! Sciatica is a Bitch! A conniving, scheming, back-stabbing BITCH! It comes without warning. You can’t protect yourself from it, you can’t take it easy, I mean how much easier can I take it than arising from the throne? I’ve been sitting down and getting back up for years with no problem and then “Boom!” excruciating pain! So here I can’t move and mom is sick too! From one second I went from being a self sufficient, strong, independent woman to being a puddle of pain and agony, unable to even get out of bed!

And it continued, all Saturday afternoon and night. I finally took a Vicodin pill, much as I hate taking any pills, especially pain pills! I felt well enough to make some dinner and shower and then went to bed. Soon however the Vicodin upset my tummy and I spent the rest of the night in major pain from Sciatica, nothing was comfortable, not standing, not sitting, not laying down and on top of that the pain and the pills made me keep throwing up and I couldn’t even manage the walk to the bathroom! Thank goodness for the trashcan in my room! I’ll spare you any further details on that except to say that I spent the worse night of my life that night and I just wanted to die already! Seriously! I spent that whole night in a cold sweat, vomiting and crying and writhing in pain!

A while back, I was in a Sciatica group on Facebook that scared the heck out of me. The people in the group would post about how the pain was so bad that they wanted to die and some would post about how they had to crawl on the floor to get to the bathroom and I thought, “That will never be me!” And it wasn’t me, but only cause I couldn’t even manage crawling to the bathroom! Needless to say I got out of that group right away!

Sciatica is a horrible, horrible illness and I hate it and fear it and I can’t protect myself from it because as I said, it’s an evil, conniving bitch that comes without warning!

Sunday morning I was unable to get out of bed. Luckily I remembered my TENS Unit. Tens stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It works by sending stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the strands of the nerves. I applied the electrodes and let it run for 30 minutes and tried getting out of bed and was able too. So I sat in a chair and did another 30 minutes. I continued to use it on and off throughout the day and it definitely helped. The one drawback is that it numbs my leg and gives me what I call “spaghetti or noodle leg”. That leg becomes very weak and I have to be careful putting weight on it as it will give way and I will fall! But I was able to make it to work today and we’ll see how the day progresses!

So to make a long story just a bit longer, I feel old today. I feel like my body is giving up on me. But not my mind! My mind is still 22 years of age, even though it knows all these old quotes, my mind is young and strong and refuses to allow my body to be old. I will survive, like the song says! Oh my gosh, there I go quoting a song from 1978! But…I will get better and get healthy and keep exercising and losing weight! Sciatica…you will not beat me! You will not Win!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Is there Negative Energy? El Ojo? Superstition or fact? You decide!

It's scary being a new mother. I remember when I first had my daughter April. You wait and wait all those months for your baby to get here, you read the books, you listen to advice of other mothers, but when it comes right down to it all of a sudden all those things are gone and it's just you and that little baby...for hours and hours and hours without end!!!

Parts of it are great. I remember feeding times when I would just stare into her big black eyes. I could do that for days! And her scent! That beautiful baby smell of her! This feeling of love would come over me and I just wanted to eat her! I've heard that some animals eat their young and I wanted to eat my baby she was just so perfect and wonderful. Weird I know, but I think perfectly normal.

But then there were those days when she would not sleep or nurse and she just cried and cried, for hours! I would try everything; changing her, bathing her, singing to her, taking her for a ride in the car, dancing with her. Anything and everything to get her to just stop crying.

One day was especially bad and I remember calling my mom. I was in tears myself and she could barely understand me, but being a mother, she knew her own baby needed help and she could hear her granddaughter in the background crying and wailing. So she popped on over. She lived 30 minutes away but she dropped everything she was doing and popped on over!

When she got there she tried everything that I had tried and nothing worked for her either. April would not stop crying! So my mom said "le hicieron ojo", translated to mean someone gave April the evil eye or negative energy. And I remembered several times that I would see my mom greeting a friend that had a baby and she would say, "let me touch your baby because she's so beautiful I don't want to give her the evil eye!" A Superstition definitely! But it made sense to me because my April was the most beautiful baby that had ever been born so I'm sure someone had given her the evil eye.

So mom had me gather up a candle and an egg and a bowl. We gave April a good bath and got her nice and cozy on a blanket on my bed and my mom began a ritual that I don't really remember, but she took the egg and while she prayed she brought the egg around to several places on April's body, from the top of her head to the soles of her feet.

Once she was done with that ritual, my mom broke the egg into the bowl that she had placed near April's head and she lit the candle, and placed the flame over the bowl for a while and then turned the candle off in the egg mixture. This was presumably to burn the evilness so it wouldn't remain in the house or go back into the baby.

April had watched all this intently and it seemed to calm her and all of a sudden she started closing her little eyes and she fell asleep and slept for hours and so did I and my mom just stayed with us both until we woke up and then April was just perfectly happy after that and never again did she have an episode like that where she would not stop crying!

Witchcraft? Brujeria? Superstition? I don't know. I just know it worked. Was there a bad energy in my child that someone else had placed in her by coveting her? I still don't know all these years later. Was it the bath that calmed her? Was it my mom's voice while she prayed over her? Was it God? Was it the egg? Heck if I know, but it did work. I saw it with my own eyes.

Have you every experienced anything like this? Have you heard of "ojo"? What superstitions did your own parents have? There is so much on this earth that can not be explained.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Low Carb never tasted so good!

Been a while since I posted anything about my low carb/high fat way of eating. Don't worry...I've still been faithful to it and stuck to the plan.

With that being said today I finally had a chance to cook. It's been a busy few weeks since my last LC/HF post on Super Bowl Sunday. Work has been super busy, we've been preparing for a wedding in the family and I've had lots of chores with yard work since we got quite a bit of rain and the weeds have been growing like...well like weeds!

Started out this morning by making low carb coconut pancakes that I posted about HERE. The recipe is from a wonderful blog called Low Carb Yum...tons of awesome recipes, tips and ideas! What I love about making these is that one batch provides me with enough pancakes to have four each morning at work with my morning bullet proof coffee. Sometimes I top them with fresh strawberries, sometimes some sugar free strawberry jam and sometimes with some sugar free maple syrup. They hit the spot in the morning and I don't feel deprived.

Low Carb Coconut Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries

Then because I knew I was going to be home all day and didn't want to be tempted to eat something I shouldn't (yes...I still get tempted, I live in a home surrounded by carb-o-holics!) I made some deviled eggs.

And my big plan for the day was to try a recipe from All I get their recipe ideas in my email and I set up an account with them where I can save the ones I tried or want to try. Todays inspiration was Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Wraps.

The great thing about wraps is that you don't have to mess with eating carby bread or buns or tortillas, just wrap up all that deliciousness in a lettuce leaf!

You would not believe how easy this recipe is. I bought one 12 ounce bottle of Franks Red Hot Sauce and 1 - 1/2 ounce package of ranch dressing mix and 1 1/2 ounce of Green Onion Dip, mixed that all together in a bowl.

Put 2 lbs (I used four) boneless chicken breast in the bottom of your slow cooker, pour the sauce on top, set the temperature to medium, a set the timer for 6 hours and go on about your life.

I did some yard work, washed my bedding and dusted, played with the dogs outside, checked in with friends on Facebook, read a bit of my book and took a nap all while dinner was cooking!

When the timer went off I took the chicken out of the slow cooker and put it in a big bowl and with two forks I just shredded my little pea-picking heart out! I gotta admit I ate as I went, this was soooo good! Spicy and salty and moist and tender!

I strained the sauce that remained in the slow cooker into a bowl to use as a dipping sauce or a topping sauce, depending on which way you roll sauce-wise! Here's my assembly line all ready to go, chicken, sauce and lettuce! Not pictured cause she was shy was my container of Daisy Sour Cream (actually I forgot to include it in the picture). Do a Dollop of Daisy!

Then sat down to this with my beverage of choice, an ice-cold Michelob Ultra, only 2.6 carbs, the lowest carb count of any beer. It went perfect with this meal! If you don't like salty or you watch your sodium intake religiously, then you might not want to spoon the sauce over it. Maybe just eat it with the little bit of sauce as it came out of the pot because it is very salty. But I love Salty, crave Salty, would kill for Salty!!! Ok, drama queen, maybe kill is a bit strong, but I do love Salty and I loved this. I had two and am contemplating another one.

But then again, being an over achiever...I also baked a low carb pumpkin pie! So I might just have a slice of pie!

Oh yeah! Great way to end a great Sunday and begin a new week with Daylight Savings Time change! Which means tomorrow when I wake up at 5am to get ready for work it will actually be 4am! I'm not a happy camper about this!

But then again...there's always pie. Have a good week everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Any Day Above Ground is a Good Day, right?

I wish I could draw!

I can’t even make stick figures that would mean something to anyone.

There are three things that I would really love to draw.

One is a new blog masthead. I would love to draw what I always pictured in my head, when I was a child, whenever I heard my mom use the term “no dejas titere con bonete”. It would be something like a carnival pitching booth where little puppet heads would pop up and you would have to knock their colorful pointy hats off with a ball. It would be a vibrant drawing with great circus colors!

I would also love to draw a caricature of me to use as a profile picture, only a nerdy version, with the big glasses and a stern expression. It would be black and white and she would have her arms crossed in front of her. She would be based of course on my features with dark hair.

The last thing I would love to draw is a cartoon. I see it in my head so clearly and if only I could somehow put pencil to paper and create figures instead of words that would be so cool! This cartoon would be based on the everyday story of my day/life.

Frame one you would see that same nerdy caricature hopping out of bed with a “we can do it” attitude. Rested, refreshed, ready to take on the world. My little nerd would have messy bed head and a cute little granny nightgown!

Frame two you would see that same little nerd, now a showered, combed, dressed woman with perfect makeup and lipstick, in her little suit ready for the office with her travel coffee mug in hand and her purse walking towards her car. Big smile, still with that “we can do it” attitude. Sun is shining, trees are blooming, little birds are singing in the trees and you can see that because there would be those little musical notes trailing up the sky that say the birds are singing.

Frame three you would see little nerdy insurance agent sitting behind her computer, smiling with her headset on speaking with clients, her desk would reflect her mind at the moment, neat and tidy, organized and ready to face the day.

Frame four and five and possible six you see this same nerdy insurance agent handling problems, putting out fires, frown lines growing on her head and replacing that smile. You see the clock behind her signifying the hours passing. You see her desk getting increasingly piled upon with paper and files, you may see her on the phone again while a client is sitting there across from her desk looking at his watch and a co-worker at the door asking “are you going to be available soon?”

Frame seven you see our poor little nerdy insurance agent with a glazed look on her face. You see the clock behind her saying it’s 5 o’clock, quitting time. You can see the toll the day has had on her face. Her hair is a mess, the lipstick is gone, there was no time to reapply, glasses are crooked, suit is disheveled. Desk is just a chaotic pile of what the day has thrown at her!

Frame eight you see her driving home, you see gridlock on the highway, it’s a darker, drearier picture. You can see people in other cars honking to hurry others up, maybe one or two with their windows open extending their middle fingers at other drivers. Our little nerdy insurance agent just driving along, tired, broken just wanting to get home and go to bed. That “we can do it” attitude gone!

Frame nine you see her arrive at home, it’s night time and she’s walking away from her car towards the door to her house, no birds, no sunshine, no lipstick, dragging her purse behind her.

Frame ten you see Frame one again because our little heroine is ready to do it all over again. She wakes up every day with that “we can do it” attitude no matter what the previous day threw at her! 

See, our little heroine is naturally energetic and enthusiastic about life. She’s a glass half full kinda gal. She wakes up each day to new possibilities and wonders in the world. As she’s getting in her car in the morning and driving to work she notices the little things like birds singing and trees blooming, she enjoys them and values them. She goes off every day like a little worker ant, ready to be busy and productive!

But as the day goes by, life kicks her in the ass! Things have to be taken care of, clients have to be coddled, co-workers have to be helped, phones have to be answered. Every day she makes decisions that affect other peoples’ lives and she always has to have all the right answers, all the knowledge. Her license and the reputation of her employer is on the line. That’s a lot of pressure for this little worker ant.

So after a long day she’s tired and whipped and just drags her little butt home.

But hope springs eternal and I remain positive. I see the best in the day and what it has to offer. Are all days like this? No, of course not. Some days have a Happy Hour waiting at the end!

My point is that I am glad that I have a naturally positive attitude and I hope someday when I’m in a nursing home that the attitude stays with me and that I will sing and laugh, maybe dance with a few old gentlemen, maybe pinch their butt…who knows? Anything is possible. As they say, any day above ground is a good day!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Energy Bank Account in the Red?

In case you're wondering what the heck is up with me posting daily, well it's because I'm posting daily!

Actually I'm trying to complete a 30 day writing lab. Every day there is a new writing prompt to stimulate my brain and help me get back into the swing of posting on a more regular basis.

Today's writing prompt is "If you think of energy like a bank account, how do you spend the vast majority of your daily energy?"

Thinking of my real bank account, the one with actual money it, I probably spend 75% of the money just paying bills. Bills that help me and my loved ones just get through life. You know the drill; house and house insurance payment, car and car insurance payment, life insurance payment, food, gas, clothing, electricity, gas, water, garbage, cell phone, Internet, cable, medications, all those "must-haves" in life. 75%! That's a lot don't you think?

And it's not like the other 25% I just spend willy-nilly on my own entertainment, nope...some of that money goes into savings, some into those little emergencies that come up like needing new tires, new glasses, water heater breaks down. Incidental things that pop up that you have to be prepared for. And there is the occasional "must-have" happy hour and dinner out with the girls!

But...I never stopped to think of my energy bank account and how I use it.

Here's my Energy Bank Account - Hours in a Week are 168 so I have 168 bankable hours to spend.

Right off the bat you can deduct my 40 hour work week, 5 hours for a one hour daily commute, 5 hours for a one hour lunch period, 5 hours for the hour I spend getting ready to come to work each day. I was going to figure out the percentages and do a nice little pie chart for you, but's the thing. I hate math! I hate Excel, I hate spreadsheets, so I'll just post this nice little picture of a slice of a delicious low-carb Pumpkin Pie I made at Thanksgiving!

That's close to 70%. So I spend 70% of my energy and life to have enough money to spend 75% on BILLS!!! Isn't that crazy?? And I don't even want to think how much of that money goes straight to taxes, although I will know soon enough as I have an appointment this afternoon with my accountant to do my taxes! It's just mind-boggling!

That is why we have to do more things with that time we have left than just sit there vegging out on the couch! Get out there and have fun, do things, join friends for adventure, play games with family members, anything! You don't want your headstone to say "SHE WAS A GOOD EMPLOYEE AND PROVIDER"  do you?


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why Does Time Fly As You Get Older...or Does It?

There is a really great blogger that I have followed for years who has also faithfully comments on almost all my blog posts with thoughtful, uplifting messages. She is the great DUTA of Places with Character. Her blog is amazing and I have learned so much about places I will probably never travel too, and people I will probably never meet. I don't know what she does for a living but she should be a tour guide or a teacher, she never ceases to teach and inspire me!

Yesterday DUTA commented on a post In Like a Lion and Out Like A Lamb. You can read that post HERE. DUTA mentioned that she liked the title phrase of my post and she went on to say that she also has accumulated materials with intentions of making them part of some project, but as she advances in age she while she still prepares for projects she quickly loses interest. She's now more realistic about projects she takes on.

I responded that as we get older time seems to go by faster. I used to read more and embroider and crochet and sew and refinish furniture and now it seems that I barely have time to pull together a good healthy meal! So what changed? Is it that I'm older? Where did my energy balance go off kilter? Why are things to tumultuous right now, how can I calm them down?

I wish I had the answers!!! But it did make me stop to think, what has changed?

Photo Credit - Jar Of Quotes
I have come to the conclusion that it's my energy level/balance. I still want to change the world, I still want to become President, I still want to be all that I can be...but most of the time I just want to be still, I want to just take a moment each evening for myself to watch a favorite TV program or read a few pages of a book. I want to be able to do my job without feeling like I am letting everyone down because there are not enough hours in the day and I only have two hands!

I guess as we get older we get to choose what we want to use our energy on. When I don't make time to do the things I love and want to do I feel cheated, I feel stressed, I feel out of control and off balance.

We should be able to choose what we use our energy on, especially since the quote above in the image is pretty spot on, we're all running out of time so choose what you want to spend that time on. For some that may be projects, for some reading, for some's all a matter of choice and it's nice that as we get older we can make choices just based on what we want.

How do you feel about your life? Do you feel like it's out of control and out of balance? And if it's in balance what do you do to keep it that way?


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb

The month of March has always been described this way, In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb. That's because March usually comes roaring in with cold weather, rain, snow and by the end of March, Spring is on it's way and it's starting to get nicer with longer, warmer, sunnier days.

I often describe myself the same way when it comes to home improvement or do it yourself projects. I come roaring in like a lion ready to get the stuff done and then either I lose interest or I realize the project is too big or too hard for me and I give up on it.

So you tend to look at projects that way too?

Just as an example; one day I saw this photo...

Photo Credit - Rust and Sunshine Blog

Isn't that gorgeous? So simple and elegant. I loved it and right away ran out to Michael's Craft Store to purchase tissue paper and little vases. After all, I had the tutorial from Rust & Sunshine to follow and I remember making these for my wedding.

I bought a big pack of tissue paper in every color of the rainbow. It's sat in my drawer for years and every once in a while when I am wrapping a gift in a gift bag I go and take out a couple of sheets and stuff them in the gift bag.

Then another time I was sitting at the kitchen table having coffee with my mom and sister and I was staring at my living room which all of a sudden seemed different shades of blah! So brown and beige and colorless. I decided that what I needed was some ribbons that I could attach to the curtains to add some color, something like this...

Photo Credit - DIY Window Treatments

So I packed mom and my sister into the car and we drove into town and went to a fabric store and I bought yards and yards of ribbons in different colors, widths and lengths. But the time we had lunch and got back home I was too tired to mess with them and set them aside still in the bag for years. Just a few months ago I packed the bag up with some other things I was taking to Goodwill to donate.

Yep, in like a lion and out like a lamb! That's so me! Welcome March!

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Oh...You Did Yard Work? But Did You Die?

A few weeks ago it was a 3-day weekend for me because of President's Day. And while others were taking advantage of the time to take off to the beach or catching up on their sleep, I decided it was time for me to get my yard under control.

 Because of the drought and not watering my backyard the previous summer, most of the good grass had died out and then we had El Nino hit and it made those weeds grow like crazy! Seriously crazy, just look! These weeds were almost as tall as I am!

If only weeds were flowers my backyard would have been gorgeous. I also cleaned out my flower pots and they are all ready for some pretty flowers. Normally my back yard is relatively clean but it was just out of control, again because of El Nino.

And my own El Nino, my son James has been working super long shifts and hasn't had the time to keep up with it, so it was up to me!

Luckily those weeds were all super easy to just pull our, roots and all. But there was a butt-load of them! I worked about four hours on Saturday and on Sunday my wonderful sister Lisa came over to help me for a couple of hours and I did about another four hours that day. That night the soreness finally hit and by Monday morning (President's Day) I could barely move!

I almost died! Serious pain! I couldn't do any yard work that day at all and spent most of it taking my mom to do lab work and that required getting in and out of my car and the pain was excruciating!

I'm not big on taking any kind of pills but I did finally take an Aleve which helped just a small bit.

Tuesday at work I was miserable! I knew that if I was going to make it through the day I was going to have to take a pain pill, so I did.

Tuesday was also the first day back from a three day weekend, it was super busy and my mind was not the clearest, but I got through it...or so I thought!

The next day I received a phone call from one of my clients who said she had been worried about me because I didn't respond to her email the day before. She said she told her son "Something must be wrong with Alicia because she always take care of anything we ask her to do within minutes!"

I apologized and rather than make excuses, I just told her the truth. I told her that I was in such pain from simple yard work that I had taken a pain pill and had been just a bit foggy the day her email came in. She laughed and laughed and then apologized for laughing and then laughed some more.

She said that she had gotten up that morning and it had been such a nice day that she took a bike ride out in the almond orchards and she could already feel that she wasn't going to be able to move the next day! She was glad that I was back to normal and advised me to get a gardener!

But no, I'm going to continue to do my own yard work because it makes me feel so damn good...well after I get through the initial pain and agony of the next day. I feel very accomplished when I do my own yard work! And you know what? Yard work can be hard, but does it kill you? Did I die? Nope!

So this past Sunday I did more yard work and while I was a bit sore on Monday it wasn't bad. Soon I hope to share pictures of pretty spring flowers. I'm even thinking of planting Roses this year. Wish me luck!