Sunday, August 18, 2013
Last week was a week of small inconveniences – the tiny things that went wrong, but didn’t amount to life-changing: a torn sheet, a missing trash can, ruined screens, and an avalanche of clothing in my closet.
Our trash guys tend to toss the cans as they finish. These sometimes wind up a block away. This week, the can left for a permanent vacation, so I knew that we would be adding a trip to Lowe’s to our Saturday routine.
Some stretch in the middle of the night caused the bottom sheet to tear – we’ve not kept up in some time so a number of the sheets are worn. So this added yet one more stop, but since Target is near Lowe’s in
North Bergen, the most difficult part is taking the
precarious trip up Route 1&9.
Opening my closet to retrieve my house clothing, I found that one of our more precautious cats had climbed up onto the shelf above the hangers and rearranged the pants I usually have folded there – rearranged it so that it all fell out on me when I opened the door. This only strengthened the need for Target or Lowe’s to purchase better closet organizers. And since several cats have made a habit of clawing up window screens, less to escape than to get the leaves outside, we figured to replace some of these during the Lowe’s trip.
Since we go to the bank first thing on Saturdays, then breakfast, and a visit to our old friend Salvation Army, the trip north fit between those and food stopping.
Yesterday, one of the two cash machines did not function and the line of people went out the door, so we varied the routine by going to the Coach House first, where I’ve given up a heavy meal of eggs and potatoes for a great Greek Yogurt combination that includes fruit, granola and honey. This I’ve been doing for about three months after for some reason my system could not longer tolerate eggs. Usually accepting whatever diet
Sharon adopts, I’d lived on mostly fish and
vegetables for more than a year. I added yogurt early this year because I
missed it from my days when I jogged every morning. Since the Greek variety
provides twice the amount of protein and very little increase in calories, I
adopted that once I got the taste for it at the Coach House. It is far less
sweet than commercial yogurt, even Stoneyfields Farms, but with the
combination, it works. I take a container of it with me weekdays along with
tuna sandwich for lunch. This week, I discovered a liquid yogurt – with tons of
cultures – to use on cereal – a modified version of the Coach House dish that
includes oatmeal as a base.
Also recalling a blast from the past, I’ve started back on the regiment of yoga – which I mostly do on weekends. This is beginners stuff, I first started on back in the summer of 1978 when I was working in the warehouse of a wine importer, dumping as many as 5,000 cases of wine on a conveyer belt nightly. My back got so stuff after a few days, I would barely walk. So I started on a system recommended by the Light of Yoga Society. Advanced for most people, the system didn’t go to the extremes, but managed to stretch out nearly every muscle I needed, and with a regiment before and after work, kept my back loose. Later, I used it as a warm up to jog.
When getting back into shape in early 2012, I mostly used weights, boxing and bicycle to lose weight and build muscle, but recently realized the release of yoga is also necessary and so I do it on weekends – which I did yesterday before going off on this crazy round of shopping.
Over breakfast, I read the stories in most of Reporters and well as the daily before going off to Salvation Army. Since I only peruse the shelves and seldom buy anything, I’m out early and head back to the car to read or write – I’ve stuffed the kindle with a number of my favorite books and news stories of the past.
Then, we went back to the bank, and to the shoe store to buy a pair of black sneakers (so they can fend for shoes if I don’t have to change) in a test of whether I can get back to jogging. Last year, I fell in the supermarket parking lot and destroyed two of the four quads in my left leg. I hobble a little these days, and haven’t been able to find a way to strengthen the other two. I haven’t been able to run and I’m wondering if jogging can help.
North Bergen stretches up the west and sometimes eastern side of the
Palisades. For us, the trip to
Lowe’s is just a hop, skip and jump up Route 1&9 – which runs along the
foot of our street – to the stores some 80 blocks away. With this highway so
narrow, hopping, skipping and jumping is perhaps the only way to get anywhere on
a Saturday morning.
These stops proved far less painful than I imagined, but time consuming, and we resumed our usual shopping schedule at Columbia Park near 30th Street hours after we would have normally, skipping stops in the dollar store and Staples in order to shave off time we would need later (I still had to construct the closet organizers, rearrange my clothing, and replace the screens) when we got home.
As I said previously, I’d lived on a diet of vegetables, fish and slow carbs for several years. I rarely get bored with food and feel comfortable with the basic routine that includes oatmeal and yogurt in the morning, tuna sandwiches and celery for lunch, and a meal of fish and salad at night (substitute veggie burgers for fish for half the week). Since I do all the cooking, I try to keep things simple. I like rice based dishes that can include chick peas, cooked vegetable and tuna, or substitute meat with black bean soup and lots of cheddar cheese. I make passable cold pasta salad, and better coleslaw. But for several years, this pretty much defined my dietary needs.
decided she wanted to start up with meat again – chicken and turkey, giving us
a bit more variety with some of the mixed dishes, and quick meals of turnkey
burgers I make patties of after shopping and freeze. But I dislike a lot of
meat and so leave meat leftovers to Sharon
and try to keep the meat menu down.
Anyway, with shopping done and after a short rest I took to the additional chores, and finally got my clothing straight. I lost weight over the last two years, but my waist size varies between 33 inches and 34 – some looser cuts of 33 feel comfortable, while 34s are generally a little loose. But I keep three sets of pants, 33s, 34s, and 36s for when cold or wet weather requires additional layers I need to tuck in.
The closet now looks like a filing cabinet – more organized even than my personal writing which fills five filing cabinets downstairs. More importantly, it is cat-immune, and though I know I will have to replace the screens again next summer, I won’t have to worry about waking to an avalanche of pants in the morning.