Lookin’ on the Bright Side Always Pays

Here I am, back on the couch. My renewed hip pain has led to my right leg swelling to an uncomfortable size, and I feel like these two little throw pillows elevating my lower leg by four inches are somehow going to help.

You see so many pictures of people relaxing on their over-sized chairs and sofas, with their laptops balanced perfectly on their curled legs. There’s probably a mug of coffee or a glass of red wine somewhere nearby, usually on the floor. They’re always smiling and they look so comfortable. That is a perfectly accurate description of how I’m not sitting.

This is basically how this whole evening goes: I’ll have one leg stretched out to reach the aforementioned throw pillows, the other will be curled up under the laptop, which is never balanced on my body. Of course, I’m covered with an old quilt I got from Etsy a couple years ago. It was a great price until I had to pay almost the same amount for shipping. The quilt is never smoothed nicely over my legs because I shift around a lot. This means the laptop will bounce around as I type, which will eventually annoy me enough that I’ll take two inches from my ballooning leg, and I’ll shove one of the throw pillows under the laptop. It provides a much more stable position, but it also raises it so that I feel like a tyrannosaurus rex trying to type.

Next to the couch is a coffee table. I guess technically it’s in front of the couch, but since I’m sitting the way I just said, it’s next to me. There’s also an end table behind me. The coffee table is too far for me to comfortably reach my slippery mason jar of Steaz grapefruit and honey iced tea. I don’t want to twist around to reach it on the end table either because that would risk hurting my trapeze muscles again. I realize the word is trapezius, but today I’m five years old. So, to help make life easier and the living room messier, I’ve got our cooler stuck between the coffee table that’s too far away and the couch. I can’t just put my glass on the floor like the people who can somehow magically sit comfortably with their laptops, because I will kick it at some point, or a dog (Wicket) will knock it over, or the dog hair that is everywhere-all-the-time-no-matter-how-many-times-we-sweep will float down like that feather in Forrest Gump until it lands squarely in my drink.

So because that’s next to me, if I ever want to get up, I’ll first have to clear the top of the cooler so I’ll have a place to put the laptop. That means I’ll have to reach over to the coffee table anyway, defeating the whole point of having the cooler. Then I’ll move the laptop to the cooler, bend the leg that’s been stuck in the same position for forty-five minutes, and lunge out of the couch, because this couch tries to swallow you. Eventually I’ll have enough of all this discomfort, and I’ll put the laptop away and open YouTube on my phone. Hopefully there are still a few “people falling down” videos I haven’t yet watched.

Title From:
Better Than Today
by Don Williams

You Know I’d Never Talk About the Weather

Right now it’s 58°F and storming, which means I can’t open the windows. I can’t open the windows for multiple reasons. First, I’m terrified of lightning. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I still can’t allow drafts when there’s even a trace of thunder. It started in 1994 when lightning struck our house, which wasn’t uncommon, but this particular time it shot through the electric lines and hit my aunt who had been holding the refrigerator door. She was pregnant and had to be taken to the hospital to be checked. Everyone survived. I also got to experience ball lightning because of that event, which I didn’t realize was what I saw until I looked it up on the internet many years later. The second reason is that I can’t stand being in unnecessary humidity. So I’m sitting in the office with the air conditioner on, freezing. Why do I always talk about the weather?

Moving on. I ordered two new Fitbits in a misguided attempt at motivating myself to get back into a proper workout schedule. Kind of like how you’d possibly buy new shoes if you decided to take up running again. Or is that just me? It could be me. I have way too many reasons for buying new shoes. Anyway, most of the time I use the Fitbit to monitor my sleep, which is often terrible, but the Charge 2, unlike the original Flex, also monitors heart rates, has breathing sessions, and can display the time and text messages. There’s nothing like reading some text messages to get you pumped for the elliptical, amirightyouknowimright. If you happen to be interested in your own, there’s a sale through the 16th, I think. I mean, I was just there, but I can’t remember. Brains.

The storm is picking up. Time to head to the living room and hide under the blanket.

Title From:
Summer In Dixie
by Confederate Railroad

On Wobbly Knees

Well, that was fun.

Not long after my birthday, back in March, I woke up from having fallen asleep on the couch unable to walk properly. It started with a tightness in both my calves which felt as if I had run a marathon on my tip-toes. Then, because I was hobbling around, my knee started to hurt. Then, because I was hobbling even worse with my new injury, my right hip started to hurt. When the pain hit my hip I was no longer able to walk without crutches. It took months for things to improve. Right now I have a renewed hip pain because I’ve been walking slightly off because my calf is hurt again. I don’t know what is going on, but I’ve really had quite enough.

I’ve tried resting, spending way too many hours on the couch watching YouTube videos of people falling down. I’ve tried forcing myself to walk properly, regardless of the pain. Now I’m going to try working out on the elliptical. I won’t be vigorously trying to conquer the mountain program, but I’ve got to do something. I’m bored with sitting around. Reminder: I need to recharge my Fitbit since there’s really no point in exercising if you can’t count your steps.

Because I was unable to stand for any prolonged length of time, we’ve had pretty much nothing but take-out since March. Working out a little will definitely be a benefit, even if it doesn’t necessarily get rid of this traveling pain. Full disclosure, I’m writing this while Brian is out picking up our pizza and beer for this evening. Don’t judge.

In other news, the weather here has been amazing. We’re still occasionally getting rain, the river is flooding, and the grass remains a beautiful green. Temperatures have been perfect. Today was 76°F, I believe. Nights are still cold enough to warrant use of the heater; tonight will drop to 47°F. Although, it doesn’t matter that two Mondays from now is forecast to be 90°F because we bought a new air conditioner, which keeps the whole place chilly even on the hottest days. It’s the first time we’ve had truly comfortable, even a little too cold at times, temperatures in the house during summer here. In fact, I think it’s the first time we’ve had truly comfortable temperatures during any summer since we had central air in our house back in Iowa City, Iowa, in 2011.

Pickwick may be leaving us. He’s been loved by the owner of the ranch behind our property. She’s taken him in for the winters, and now he doesn’t want to go outside much. She’ll be moving soon, and he may go with her. She offered him to us, but Levee would definitely kill him. She calls him Billy Bob.

There is another new cat around though – one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. It has a very Siamese look about its face and body, but its tail is dark and striped like a tabby. However, it runs when I speak to it, and after the years of fussing with Muggabee, I don’t feel like dealing with another skittish animal. Of course, I’ll still put out the food. Someone has to feed the neighborhood.

Title From:
Run For The Roses
by Michael Martin Murphey