Thursday, June 04, 2015

pushing the limits

Just two more hostas! Oh, this one is hard to dig out! Mustn't disturb its neighboring coral bells! I got it, I got it! Just one more twist... What's that? Have I twisted my back out of alignment? Damn!

Last spring was the season of back issues. I had fallen hard on an ice rink in January (on a Greek island, of all things) and that was the start of the back muscle spasms that came soon after, when I biked too hard (March), or shoveled too ferociously (April). But, things got better. So much better that I never gave it another thought.

I felt I had overcome!

Yay me!

Stupid me.

In the late morning, I stop by my doc's office (on a whim -- I'm in the neighborhood) and ask for some magic pill that will make me mobile for the rest of the day.
See, I have to babysit my granddaughter and at the present moment, bending down is nearly impossible.
Well now, the best thing for you is rest and warm wet towels on your back...
You don't understand. My granddaughter is too young to put warm wet towels on my back!

In the end, I got my magic pill, just in case I absolutely cannot move. I went on to Snowdrop's home, where I explained to her that she should not be TOO energetic as I am of limited mobility today.

She properly laughed at that!

But let's go back to the beginning of the day -- a warm day, a beautiful day when the remaining peonies finally opened up their globes of loveliness.

And here's another favorite pairing for me -- this duo by the brick path repeats its synchronized show each year and it never fails to enchant me.


Yes, yes, we eat breakfast on the porch.


And I want to give a deep nod of appreciation again to those garden peonies  -- you'll find a sample of each in our breakfast table vase.


And after breakfast -- well, it was the run in with the hostas and the shovel.
Coming, gorgeous...

And there was the clinic visit and then -- an afternoon with Snowdrop. But if I had worried and fretted about caring for her with a back that had worked its way into a magnificent spasm, I should have known better. Something magical happens when you focus your attention on the needs of another -- your own issues grow small and puny. She stands...


she sits...


she moves this way...


and that way...


and before I know it, it's time for our walk around the lake...


and boom! ...the day is gone.

I don't bother with dinner. I go downtown to the quiet, studentless main drag and pick up Chipotle bowls of good fast food and Ed and I enjoy a no muss no fuss dinner while watching the News Hour.

I know from experience that I will either wake up tomorrow and my back will be much better or I'll wake up and it will be much worse. I'm betting on the better! Yes, the better, for sure! Goodnight!


  1. So sorry to hear about your back, Nina! I have a trick back like that too, except that it goes out if I get bumped sideways somehow. I hope that by tomorrow it'll have straightened itself out and you'll be back to normal again!

    Snowdrop looks a bit uncertain standing at the couch, but oh she knows what she's doing in her bouncy walker (whatever they call those things).

    Absolutely LOVE your peonies! They're gorgeous!

    1. You can't see it in the photos, but when she is standing, I'm always holding her hand, in case she takes a tumble. That's actually true for sitting too.

  2. Well, gorgeous, I hope you wake up with pep in your step! I read every evening and always enjoy the photos and stories. I get a kick out the *special* look Snowdrop gives when in her stroller. I know she enjoys it - who wouldn't? But her look is so different during that time. Quacks me up.

    1. Speaking of ducks, why are all the story book ducks yellow? We see lots of ducks on our walks, but I always have to explain to her that they're ducks, even as they are brown or speckled or dark feathered...

  3. I think I've gone over the hill with these late night encounters. I'm starting to make faces back at Snowdrop's stroller face and giggling wildly. I even wiggled fingers at her tonight.

  4. Well, Nina, as I'm writing this it is already "the next morning" for you and I'm hoping you are a little better! I know you're not about to slow down unless you have to. Make a list of all the gentle things you could do. Then you can have the satisfaction of checking them off your list :)

    What is the "magic pill"? In case I ever need one, or my husband, who tends to overdo. He thinks he is 30. no, he works harder than most 30-year-olds.

    When my Dad used to throw out his back, his medicine of choice was a fine bourbon. And he WOULD keep warm and relaxed for a good while.

    AND he missed only two scheduled days of work in his entire working life. Now that is a work ethic to emulate.

    Take care of yourself. I'll check on you when I'm home from our grandbaby weekend.

    1. Cyclobenzaprine. In the alternative, there's always Aleve!
      A glass of something may work too, if you skip the pills! I should have used this opportunity to have my second sip of smokey Scotch from Islay. It'll be shameful to return there later this month and admit that I hardly made a dent in the most special bottle I lugged home last year!
      And -- me too, on the missed work front: the only time I ever took a sick day during my entire professional life was when I had a brain hemorrhage.

  5. Hope you took the day off from gardening! Snowdrop is blooming, so maybe that's enough for a few days :^)

    1. Friday, thank goodness, is too packed for gardening. But tomorrow.... there are all these chips waiting for us...


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