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When we helped Laura move (August 23-24) I was actually surprised that I wasn't particularly sore from all the lifting, even two or three days later. But a week later it was a different story-- I had horribly knotted-up muscles in my left shoulder, and just a hint of soreness in my left upper arm. It seemed so obviously muscular that I went to a massage therapist, and she did a marvelous job of undoing the knots.

The upper arm pain got worse, though, so I saw a doctor early in September. He diagnosed strained muscles in the upper arm, suggested all the usual stuff (rest, gentle movement and stretching, heat/cold) plus a muscle relaxant, stronger anti-inflammatory, and pain meds. Insurance balked about the anti-inflammatory so I started on the muscle relaxant, and was a zombie within days, despite taking only one dose per night. So I quit that, and started the anti-inflammatory when insurance gave in. It took me 10 days to figure out that it was also giving me nasty side effects, so I quit it and went back to high-dose ibuprofen.

When we moved I was very careful not to lift anything, and in fact once I told one of the movers about my strained muscle he spread the word and they hardly let me touch anything. I've left the heavy lifting to the hubby, and unpacked boxes where they sit, mostly right handed-- and my arm/shoulder still hurt, maybe even worse. So, doctor again yesterday; this time my own GP rather than first available appointment.

Her thoughts: probably a torn rotator cuff, maybe a pinched nerve as well, or something else. Next steps: MRI and an orthopedist. I'm trying not to think about possible surgery (before Advent/Christmas???); first treatment would likely be cortisone shots and maybe PT. Really frustrating thing is still being in significant pain, and knowing it likely won't get any better for a while.
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wild aster

The fields are full of wild aster now. It's actually a tiny flower, nickel-sized; decided to play with my macro function.

three more )


Oct. 5th, 2015 08:40 pm
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Great rules

So today I took my first Monday off in months. There was one particular goal on my mind for this fall: to get to an orchard not too far away during prime apple season. So I picked my route, as little interstate as possible (had to cross the Hudson, which limited my no-interstate options). Once on the east side of the river, I got off on a very quiet state route that hugged the east bank. I found two lovely parks that are on my 'must go back' list, though it'll likely be next spring. I love the approach to the rules on this sign-- if it's not on the sign, it's allowed!

One more-- apples! )


Oct. 4th, 2015 08:44 pm
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old railroad ties

I walked another section of the rail trail today. These old railroad ties, with a bit of early fall color, caught my eye.




Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:27 pm
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The fire station just around the corner had an open house today. These two men have each been volunteers for more than 60 years!

Just one more )


Oct. 2nd, 2015 09:41 pm
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flour sifter

A fun surprise in our new kitchen-- a flour sifter installed in a cabinet! It slides out, you remove a cap on the bottom and then turn the little crank...


That spins the wire ball inside, stirring the flour and letting it fall through the screen-- hopefully into a bowl below. (Wasn't cleaned after last use, ew! I'm removing it, but hey, cool!)


Oct. 1st, 2015 10:44 pm
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The old school in my new neighborhood. The first children who lived in our house would have gone here.

Four more )
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Just a couple of houses down the street. Makes our 1924 house look like a youngster!

Read more )
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In the week since closing, I've made one or two trips per day to the house with carloads of stuff that's just not worth boxing-- art, first, then oddly shaped things, medium sized kitchen appliances, etc. This morning the first load was both cats and all the stuff to go with them! I got them installed in a spare bedroom, and then went back to the apartment. I spent an hour loading my car one more time, with bedding and still more small stuff; boxed the very last things; and did what cleaning I could. Meanwhile hubby met the movers at our storage unit.

When they left the unit to head for the apartment, I headed for the house. When it became clear that they'd reach the house in time for a late lunch, I went to the nearest grocery for subs, chips, drinks, cookies and fruit. They were very pleased, and gobbled down most of the food quickly. Then they got to work, and got stuff into the house so fast it was hard to keep up and tell where things should go! It was the boss and 5 young men, and all very hard workers. They left at 4:00, making the total move 8 hours-- not bad since we hired them hourly!

A neighbor brought over soup and bread this morning. We managed to find a few dishes and set up the microwave, and had a lovely supper out in the sunroom. This evening a church friend texted to ask if she can bring us chili tomorrow. I'm feeling loved!


Sep. 15th, 2015 08:26 pm
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The morning was frantic. Closing was scheduled for 12:30, and at 9:00 the meters hadn't been read, I didn't have the amount for the bank check we needed to take, and the bank discovered that they had never actually verified David's employment. Luckily David's employer is small enough that he could go straight to the relevant person, and listen while the phone call was made. One meter reading was so late that we adjusted for it at the closing table.

To top it all off, the actual owner is critically ill; but her daughters held power of attorney, and one of them pre-signed. So at abut 1:30 we walked out with the keys!

I had my little car loaded up with most of our art, wrapped carefully in my antique quilts; and one lawn chair, so I've had my first relaxing rest break in the sunroom.

There are still moments when I think we've gone crazy; but mostly I am really really happy. We have felt so unsettled, not just during this year of renting, but also the two years before that, as we became increasingly sure we would have to leave Vermont. It is good to have another chance to put down roots.
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Yes, we are living in a sea of boxes. We close on the house Tuesday, and had movers lined up for the next Sunday or Monday... until they backed out Thursday. After a day of frantic phone calls, we have a different mover lined up for the 20th-- and he's less expensive.

Meanwhile, apparently I injured my shoulder while helping Laura move-- a minor strain that I hardly noticed at the time, but it has been getting worse and worse ever since. I've had two professional massages, and they definitely helped, but I can't find a good way to sleep, and keep re-irritating it. So yesterday I was off to the doctor, and now I have a muscle relaxant and something for pain. I still woke up painfully stiff, but I did sleep quite deeply for two 4-hour periods (with a break for a second pain pill).

This morning I went down to our soon-to-be neighborhood for a "History Walk." It was fascinating, though I had to drop out early when heat started to get to me. Turns out our 1924 house is in the 'new' part of town-- houses on the main street two blocks away date as early as 1840. There are some lovely houses (pics SOON!), part of the old train station, the general store (now a pizza and deli place), a house where a movie was shot, and the home of the only local celebrity (director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra).
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Wow, almost two weeks between posts this time. I've been back to Vermont twice since then; once to attempt self-install of Laura's cable tv, and help her set up bank account and library card; second time to wait for cable guy. Still don't have TV set up as we wish, and I utterly detest ComCast at this point- their website doesn't give clear information about certain devices.

Meanwhile I've had shoulder muscles tightening up to a crippling degree; probably strained something during the move, though I did very little heavy lifting. It got so bad that I had a professional massage Monday (certified massage therapist); Jen did deep tissue massage to release the knots, but that left me suffering from the massage, and muscles still trying to knot up again. Today I finally feel somewhat better. I have a follow-up massage tomorrow, which we have already agreed will focus mostly on soothing all the irritation.

Now of course we are focused on our own move. We circulated the last necessary documents this week, and are awaiting final review on both sides before closing. Original proposed date was next Thursday but because of the holiday weekend I suspect we'll end up into the following week. I can live with that as long as we can move well before the end of the month.

Hubby and I went in to measure and plan this week. Still in love. Realtor was late, so I walked around outside and found a perfect spot for some lilacs, which to my delight are on most "deer don't like them" lists. I have sometimes wondered if it's too big for us-- 9 rooms! But they are small rooms. We will have 1/3 less finished space than in Vermont, though quite a lot more unfinished. Space for big messy projects, whee! We agreed the basement would be more cheerful if we paint it, and hubby surprised me by asking if we could do big stripes or blocks of bright colors-- heck yeah!
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Since I posted, that is. Last Monday I was visiting Vergennes with Laura; now she lives there! It went pretty smoothly: loaded the truck Friday, unloaded Saturday, helped her begin to get settled on Sunday and then came home. To our delight, the curtains she bought for her New York apartment look like they were destined for their new locations in Vermont. She has lots more windows, but they all have shades; only two urgently needed curtains.

Today I went back to the NY apartment and finished cleaning; she had done her best but of course the carpets were a mess after cleaning. I also practiced today-- not normally something I do on Mondays but I didn't play yesterday. I'll likely run up to Vermont Thursday to help with assorted paperwork and hopefully her cable installation, so best to get ahead a bit.

It seemed very odd to go in and out of the NY apartment without worrying about the cat getting out!

Hoping for a quiet week this week; then things will start to accelerate towards our own move. (Loan has been approved, appraisal is good, everything is 'go' so far.)


Aug. 17th, 2015 12:59 pm
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So, I'm in Vergennes for two days. Laura is working a special event at her past and future job, and got permission to slip a truckload of stuff into her new apartment. I spent the morning cruising around some of my favorite spots here, including breakfast on Button Point. Being here causes less of a pang now; time has passed, plus now I know I'll be a frequent visitor.

I'm working my way through things like setting up Laura's internet service, and collecting bank information-- ugh. To think we'll have to go through all this again for ourselves in less than a month!

Amazingly, I was able to get a substitute at short notice for next Sunday, so will be able to actually move Laura without a time crunch next weekend.
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So, my music convention continued well after a rocky start. One clinician was outstanding, several more very good, all worthwhile. Fantastic to get to sing through about 150 church anthems. The experience of recording 6 pieces was amazing and educational. The schedule was relentless, though, and despite skipping a couple of sessions for rest, I arrived home ill, and the next three days were just miserable. In fact I ended up in urgent care Saturday night, after waking up shivering uncontrollably. Tested negative for strep or pneumonia, so they sent me home on max doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen alternating, which knocked the fever right out. I still tired easily but feel much better.

I've never gotten con crud of this kind of severity before. The nurse suggested, for future events, thorough use of antibacterial stuff plus zinc throat spray.

Now I am gently reentering normal life, for certain values of that-- little about my life will be normal for the next six weeks! Laura is in Vermont, doing some fill-in work at her cafeteria and looking at apartments-- may have found a winner yesterday. She'll move as quickly as possible. Then we close on our house around Sept. 10, and plan to move around the 20th-- allowing some slack in case the closing gets moved back, and also to maybe do some quick work on the house first.

A very good omen today-- the current owner and one of our future neighbors reached out to invite us to a block party there this weekend. They made an extra effort to do so personally rather than go through the realtors. (In some circumstances this would be inappropriate, but after all I found out about the house because of the church connection, and my email is on the church website.) Having lived in places where our neighbors weren't at all social or even friendly, this sign of welcome makes me happy.
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Yesterday I left home with 8 hours to make a 4 hour drive, hoping to explore the Heldserbergs and Poconos a bit. Instead I spent three hours in a garage getting the car's thermostat replaced. I did make two brief stops, and look forward to more exploring going home. But in the end, arrived at my hotel much later than planned, with no time for food before Vespers. So I decided to go to Vespers and then skip the rehearsal afterwards to eat. Turns out I would have left anyway, as Vespers just went all wrong for me in my tired state. It was mostly rambly preaching, and I didn't have music for the one participatory song and no one shared with me, and someone sang a song I detest. There was also much welcoming of folks who have been coming to the conference for many years, and not one single word of welcome for first-timers like me. Back to the hotel where the hot tub wasn't hot and the pool was infested with lots of very loud children. I was exhausted and miserable; emailed the conference director about the lack of welcome and went to bed.

This morning opened with a very clear and warm welcome to newcomers-- maybe my email nudged, though I didn't get a response. Then began the fun of singing. I estimate we sang through 75 anthems today, including working on several extensively. There are about 200 of us, all pretty experienced choral singers, so the sound is pretty incredible even though we're sight singing. Some of the clinicians simply guide us through the sight ringing, but two did some extensive teaching. One-- Rollo Dillworth-- was absolutely extraordinary. He not only got 200 white folk singing pretty decent gospel, he also gave us some tools for teaching it to our home groups. That alone was worth coming. I also had some nice friendly encounters and didn't feel so much alone in a crowd.

Tomorrow- five more reading sessions plus some rehearsals, and then two long sessions recording seven anthems, with a true professional recording setup. I look forward to learning how all that goes! Thursday we have two more reading sessions before dismissing at lunchtime; then I'll meander my way home.
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Gypsy has taken her last trip to the vet. She was approximately 12 years old.

She was a rescue. She had been found, profoundly ill, in a dumpster. We think she was barely full grown when we adopted her. When my husband first picked her up, she squirmed up to bury her face in his beard; they have been deeply attached ever since.

Two weeks ago she sprained her hip, and reacted very badly to the pain. We sedated her for 3 days, and she seemed to perk up some, but then went into a downward spiral-- probably organs that were stressed when she was small failed under the more recent stress.

More pics


Jul. 21st, 2015 10:27 pm
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Purple coneflowers

One more )

Holy wow!

Jul. 19th, 2015 05:05 pm
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We just made an offer on a house!

No, we haven't been looking, and we didn't plan to do so until next spring. But my church's weekly email included a link to the for-sale home of a past member, and wow... dream house. Easy bike ride to the church; decent commute for the hubby. Utterly charming older house, with (so far) none of the red flags one expects with an older house. It's on a short dead end street, and there's access to a 9 mile long rail trail at the end. Picturing ourselves living there is absolutely easy.

I figure our chances of getting it are slim, but we had to try. Will likely have an answer or counter offer tomorrow.


Jul. 9th, 2015 09:52 pm
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Doe, a deer...

I saw a doe walking through a field, and waited for the moment to take this pic... do click through to see what happened next.

Four more )


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October 2015

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