“Update Weekly”, She Said…

So much for my lovely Saturday posts, about my works in progress…Life doesn’t seem to want to play that way. But at the same time, I don’t really have any excuse why I didn’t post the last two Saturdays. I was not really busy as such, but I got sucked into the world of designing a knitted piece.  I am not anywhere near being able to show anything off for it, because I still have so much to figure out myself, but I have an idea and that is already a big step further than I have come before.

 

Our household for some reason cannot shake the sickness these last few weeks. While we are all better than the week before last, it seems that Liana just picks the most inconvenient moment, to decide that she is in fact still sick. Most of the time, this happens in the middle of the night, preferably just at a time that doesn’t allow me to fall back asleep before getting up at the ungodly hour that my alarms rings at the moment. Then I can only look on with jealousy how Stephen and Liana cuddle back into bed, and I have to go out into the cold morning, with the rest of our town likely only waking up 3 hours later.

Because I work for an international company, as part of a US based team, my work schedule depends on the time in our US office, rather than the local time here. Unfortunately in Spring, the clocks are turned backwards 3 weeks earlier in the US than they are in Ireland. (I am saying “the US” but have to admit I’m not even sure if the entire country switches the same day. Maybe there is parts that don’t change time at all?) That in itself would not be a problem, if it weren’t for the fact, that my normal working hours start at 6am. With the new time difference between the offices, until the end of March, I have to start my shift at 5am, which means I get out of my bed at 4am.

For the 10 years, before Liana was born, I was overwhelmingly more likely to see 4am by staying up, instead of getting out of bed at that time. And I am pretty sure that there have been a lot of times that I stayed awake that late. Through my teenage years, I was definitely a nightowl, sleeping as much of the day as I could and then staying up as long as I could. Even once I started my work life during college, i had a job working nights, where I’d finish around 6-7am.

Somebody needs to invent time travel, just so I could see my own face when I tell my younger self the hours I work now and how much I actually enjoy them. Nothing beats coming home early and having free time to spend playing with Liana or whatever other tasks are accumulating at home. To be quite honest as well, I sometimes feel like I am still half asleep the first few hours at work, and once my brain fully wakes up, a good portion of the day is already over.

 

For good news I can announce that I am finished with the first half of my C25K Challenge. You can always follow up on my current status here. There have been some injury delays, and there were days when I couldn’t face running due to being sick, but I made up those days and I am now all caught up. The next big challenge is going to be Friday, I have to run 20 minutes, without any walking in between. Right now I feel like there is no way I am ever going to be able to do that, but I am getting support from my friend, who trains for her marathon. She will run with me and try her best to motivate me.

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And Life gets in the way (again)

By now, I should be way further through my challenges, than I am. Zero to Hero suffered, because I had a long weekend and did not feel like looking at my laptop, as it reminded me of work. On the upside, this meant I got plenty of knitting done in this time, and will write my first craft related post soon,

My C25K came to a screeching halt on Thursday evening, as I was cycling home after my Power Yoga class. I cycle everywhere in our little town, and thought I had gotten used to the erratic Irish driving by now. Irish drivers in general seem to lack experience with cyclists, so much so that the Road Safety Authority Ireland has placed ads on tv, to inform them of the basic rules of the road and common courtesy when sharing the road with cyclist.

Funnily enough, the very first rule that is mentioned is “On left turns, do not overtake a cyclist as you approach a junction. He might be continuing straight ahead”. To my misfortune, the driver that I encountered on Thursday, must have been skipping through this very basic part of driver’s education. He overtook me (so was clearly aware that I was there) and then cut of my way as he turned left. To avoid crashing into him, I braked heavily (with new brakes just checked in the shop a week before). I lost control of the bike and went over the handlebars. My left hand and knee took the brunt of the impact, but I still have bruises on both my legs, which are by now turning an interesting shade of green/yellow. I’m looking forward to the looks I’ll get when I walk into the pool at Aqua Aerobics tonight!

I was fuming when I got up, because the driver did not even stop to see if I was injured in any way. Completely oblivious to what he had just caused. Thankfully my bike was not damaged, the seat only turned slightly, which forced me to stand in the pedals the rest of the way home.

Overall, I am thankful that I am not more seriously injured, because it could definitely have been worse. Apart from the bruises on my legs and my two palms, I lost a few layers of skin on my left knee, due to which I have not been running again. Today is the first day that I am not limping when I am walking, so I will go to my Aqua Aerobics and see that as a sort of trial run to see how much pressure I can put on it. When I was a teenager, I injured the same knee (fell off a climbing wall and hit a few stones on the way down) and I remember it taking weeks before I was able to do any sort of sport again, and I was on crutches for a good month. I know that this time is by far not as bad, but I think there is a hesitation in my sub conscience, that remembers the pain only all to clearly.

Where have the days gone?

Ok, I have to admit, I got a little behind in my Zero to Hero Challenge. The reason for it is simple, I found the next challenge quite hard. The one I got stuck on, was “Build on your last post“. The post that was meant was this one, about the wood that we gathered as a family.

Now normally, a follow up should be really easy. I could tell you all about the weather that we have been having recently (which has been crazy!). Right now, I can’t even tell you anymore, why I got so terribly stuck with that challenge. I should just write it all down really fast right now, before something else gets in my way.

On Wednesday (12/02/2014) Ireland was hit by a bad storm, which has by now been classified as one of the Top 5 storms to hit Ireland since records began. Apparently it still has the potential to be called “The worst storm”, depending on the final assessment of all damages. It has hit us, as part of I think 9 separate storms, since the start of the year. Pictures of the damages caused by these storms are quite scary, I have never seen anything like it. You can go here to find some pictures.

On that Wednesday, when I finally made it home (2 out of 3 access routes were blocked by fallen trees, and the third was only passable when police waved you past a small wood) I was greeted by small chaos in our backyard. Water was standing on our patio to about 3 inches and the fences on both sides were blown over. One side fell victim to our big trampoline, which decided that staying in our garden was no fun, and instead moved over to our neighbour 3 doors down. Stephen had already managed to get the trampoline back into our garden, and has secured it as best he could, with bags of old ash. He got help for this from neighbours, and it was nice to see the community spirit really working. We were by far not as badly affected as other regions of Ireland, (one town declared a state of emergency, and a mini hurricane was spotted in another) but at the same time it was scary, because this kind of weather is so out of the ordinary for us.

Despite the weather, Zelda was getting anxious for a walk, so we headed out, once the chaos in the garden was cleared and the wind died down a little bit. We went for our usual route, which is close to the river, and quite exposed to the wind in the middle of 2 rows of trees. One part of the route was particularly bad, if I had known, how many trees went down on that stretch, I would not have walked it, but by the time I realised, the way back was as bad as the way forward. You can see below a few pictures I shot on that day. I haven’t walked the bit of the route where the trees are down since, because I can easily see, that there has been no effort made yet, to clear them, so far people are focusing on the trees that are blocking roads and are easily accessible instead of the footpaths off the beaten track. If Stephen and I owned a chainsaw, I know we would go straight down there and start cutting down the trees for firewood. We have even been thinking of renting one for a day or two, but with no experience, a chainsaw would be a dangerous thing to hire. We’ll probably just continue to cut down the smaller branches with our little handsaw, the wood we’ve brought home so far is plenty, and will already require us to build a new wood storage solution in our garden.

 

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Our Best Friends

Today it’s all about our awesome dogs. Two very unique characters and life would be way too boring for my taste without them. Now let me introduce you to them:

Fatpants

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This is Fatpants after one of his summer shaves. What a beautiful dog!

It’s not his actual name (we’re not that cruel), but it is most definitely his nickname. He has had that name for years, longer than I have known him. When I started going out with DF, I also met Fatpants, and I am sure if at any stage in that process he had shown a dislike for me, there is no way I’d be part of the family now. He used to sleep in the bed, in the space that I have now taken over, and means the world to DF. Luckily for me, Fatpants is just about the friendliest dog in the world and we had absolutely no jealousy issues at all. In the entire almost 4 years that I have known him, I have seen him bark/growl at maybe 3 people (one of which was climbing into our backgarden in the middle of the night, but that’s a whole other story) and possibly 4-5 dogs. He has the protector spirit of the Rottweiler, however he seems to have a very relaxed attitude to what actually constitutes a threat. He just gives you that feeling, were you ever in real danger by any person or animal, he’d be your first line of defense.

Speaking of Rottweiler, Fatpants is a mix of Rottie and Golden Retreiver. Imagine a dog with the colours and physical shape of a Rottweiler, but the long fur of a Golden Retreiver and you should get very close to what he looks like. Unfortunately Rottweilers as a breed have a habit to over-eat, and that trait has been passed on to Fatpants (name makes sense now, doesn’t it?)

Zelda

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This is Zelda as a puppy, just a few days after we got her

This time this is the actual name of our dog. DF and me were playing “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” just before we met her as a pup the first time, and decided that the name would fit into our family quite nicely. Zelda is 2 months younger than Liana, so they have never known life without each other. She is also the first puppy I have ever owned, so there is a special kind of bond with her. She is a Husky Cross, we however don’t know what she is crossed with. She looks a lot like her mother, just where she is brown, her mother is white.

With the Husky genes, she has plenty of energy, and loves long walks/runs. When she doesn’t get enough exercise, she starts to chew (another Husky trait). She seems to have a love for my shoes, especially left one of my work shoes. I bought 3 pairs of the same kind of shoe, and am now left with 3 right shoes. Our black leather couch also suffered, but so far it was purely cosmetic damage, so we are still holding off on buying a new one, until Zelda calms down a bit.

Her favorite playmates that we meet every now and then out on walks are two collies and 1 greyhound. She always seems a little bit surprised when we meet the greyhound, because he is so far the only dog that has been consistently faster than her.

This post was inspired by my comment on this post, over on hot pink sprinkles. This is part of Day 12 – From Comment to Blog Post of the Zero To Hero Blog challenge.

I am going to leave you now with a few more photos of our four-legged family members.

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I guess we should have known, she was eating shoes from the start

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The two of them cuddling – doesn’t quite happen as often anymore as it used to

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Out for a stroll

 

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Sticks are their favorite toy