Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Water Rant

So here's my latest rant, for those of you listening. Now that Nehi is almost back to her regular walking schedule, I am struck every morning and night by multiple pet peeves- all revolving around water.
We're in the middle of one of the worst droughts in over fifty years. And yet, there is only ONE other house in my neighborhood that has a rain barrel. But, every morning Nehi and I have to walk into the middle of the street to avoid the sprinklers. Sprinklers on auto timers, running for over an hour in the morning. Let's just gloss right over the obscene waste of water, and instead talk about the ridiculousness of watering in the morning- where the sun will scorch your plants and that it's not nearly as effective as watering at sundown when it's cooler, and has all night to soak into the soil.
And this leads me to the next major pet peeve- do you know why these sprinklers have to run in the first place? Because rather than plant clover, or native, drought resistant grass, these shmucks have put down sod. At the beach, which for those of you paying attention is a BIG FRAKKING SAND DUNE!
I will be the first to admit that I am perhaps, a little more environmentally conscious than some, due to how my Mom raised me. But this seems like a no brainer. How can these people NOT see the awful waste of this? Clover lawns are prettier and easily sustained because it's a weed! Rain barrels easily provide enough water for potted plants. If you MUST water multiple plants/trees in your landscaping, then that's also an easy fix. Buy a long lengh garden hose, hook it up to your water, then take a nail, amd everywhere you have a plant or tree, push the hose close and then use a nail to poke a hole in the hose. Nice, easy, water conservative watering.
It's so easy to take these steps, and cheaper, and I simply can't fathom why, in this day and age, there are people that are still so blind to the environmental impact of their thoughtless actions.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ballet as an Adult- a lesson in humility

When I was little, I took ballet in Connecticut. I don't remember the instructor's name, but I remember the studio was a huge, warehouse type place, with big windows, metal bars, and was always freezing in winter. She was Russian, and old, and had a cane that she would smack us with if our turnout wasn't great, or we weren't doing what she wanted. I remembered liking the barre work but being horrible at floor work, because I am not an aural learner and I never understood combinations called out quickly.
In college, I took Ballet I and II to fulfill credits for graduation. I always loved the barre part, but as a theatre major, taking class with dance majors is not guaranteed to make you feel great.
Still, I did enjoy it- there's just something about being able to, in any way, say you're a dancer.

So, I've been thinking (and writing) a lot about ways in which I can make myself happier, and things I can focus on, something just for me. So, I started thinking about taking a dance class. I did some hunting around, and chose one. They offered a brief summer session, so I signed up.
First, I'd forgotten how expensive dance is- there is the class, then the shoes, then the leotard, then the hair accessories. Go ahead and laugh- but it adds up pretty quickly. There's also, from a lot of schools, the pressure of the "one more thing" they try to get you to do. Most schools make their money from convincing people they NEED more- more outfits, more shoes, more classes.
So, I paid for my class (was a little upset later when I realized it was only for one week, not two, and therefore suddenly seemed VERY expensive), a leotard, shoes, and tights. The instructor said since it'd been so long, I should start in the baby class. Which by the way, really was the baby class- I think they were five years old.
I was feeling okay until I slipped on the floor and came down like a ton of bricks.
Other than being in a fair amount of pain, bruised, and humiliated, I recovered and finished the class. In my defense, the floor is ridiculously slippery for a dance floor, and therefore, not completely my fault. On the plus side, after the class, the instructor asked me to come back and try the Ballet II class, and see if I could keep up. I did, and did (except for the fact that I'm obviously STILL not an aural learner, and still have a hard time with combinations quickly called out). She even told me that she thought I was strong enough to start on pointe in the fall, and said I should stay after Ballet II for the pointe class. But of course, that's also more money. What little girl doesn't dream of those beautiful pointe shoes- so of course, I ponyed up the money. Yep, I'm a sucker.
However, I didn't have time to get up to Virginia to get pointe shoes until yesterday, so I spent the class, just going through the exercises.
I left early yesterday morning, and drove the hour and forty minutes to Virginia Beach. Small issue- President Obama was in town, they shut down all the 264 interchanges, and my GPS kept telling me to take 264. Finally- two and a half hours later, I reached the dance store. I was in and out in fifteen minutes, and then got stuck in traffic as the motorcade went by (I didn't even get a good view). On the plus side, once the motorcade had passed, all the interchanges had opened back up, and it was smooth driving home. An hour of sewing later, and I had my shoes!
I was very excited about having shoes for the last pointe class of the summer before fall. I was less excited when I realized the floor was still slippery, and I'd been put on the movable bar, which was not going to take my weight if I lost my footing. Also, the pain. I knew pointe shoes were painful, but I guess I had always assumed that was true of dancing on them for a while, not half an hour of class. I would be wrong. After class, I already had two blisters, and the tops of my toes still hurt.
I'm happy I took this week. I'm happier that there's six weeks between now and when fall classes begin. Not to save myself the pain- rather, it's six weeks to stretch, practice, and break in my pointe shoes. Because here's the deal- I'm 36. The kids in my class are 13. They have been dancing since they were five or six. They are bendy dolls. They think nothing of doing splits and easily get into fifth position. I've never been able to get into a split, and my thighs seem to be getting in the way of fifth position. So, I've got some work to do.
I'm looking forward to class in the fall, but really hope that there aren't any of the students I teach in my classes. I can take a little humiliation at my age- but that may be too much, even for me.

Going into week 4 of post ACL

This past Tuesday, Dr. Grossman said Nehi was doing great, and he'd see her in two weeks. He cleared her for going up and down stairs, as well as exercising a little more.
Nehi had a really hard time with the stairs the first time- a little scary, actually, she would just stop on a stair, sort of spread out. As of yesterday though, while slow, she did okay going up, and went well (although too fast for my taste) down the stairs. I've gotten a no-skid bath mat for the bottom of the stairs so she doesn't hurt herself coming down off the stairs too fast.

Another big step- Nehi chowed down on her breakfast today with no wet food!

On other fronts- I still have a few concerns. Nehi still won't get up on the bed, even though it's only a few inches higher than the couch which she gets on all the time. I asked her trainer- because I'm concerned that Nehi is now scared of the bed, since she slipped a couple of weeks ago getting up. Her trainer said that if Nehi had always slept with me, then the only thing that would stop her is if she's still in pain. So, I'm trying to be patient. She said to try and use food to get her up onto the bed. I've tried treats she likes, rawhides, nothing works. She'll stretch a little, get the treat, but won't get on the bed. Her trainer said to give her a couple more weeks to heal, and keep trying with the food. I'll do that, but I'm still a little worried that Nehi isn't getting up because she's scared, and not injured. I guess time will tell. But I miss having my bebe with me at night.
Her energy level is still pretty low. She used to get very excited about walks. I would barely touch the leash and she'd come running. Now, it takes a lot of coaxing to get her to come, if she'll come at all. A lot of times, she won't even get off the couch.
Once I get her walking, she's doing well. We're going a little further every time. I'm concerned that because walking is rehab (and therefore a little painful) she's trying to avoid it. I'm not letting her, but I don't want her to develop an aversion to something she used to love. The other day, I even made her walk in the rain- as it's been raining off and on all week here. I was a little worried when we got back, as the tile I have in most of the house is very slippery when wet. Fortunately (or not?) she was content to just lay on the couch, soaking wet. So my couch smelled like wet dog.
As with the other things, I guess I have to hope that as she feels better, she'll start liking the things she used to. It's been a really hard couple of months, and I know that we've had a near perfect scenario- good recovery time, not having to towel walk her, great doctors. It's just really hard. The stress on me, and on her, because it's been two months since she felt well, and I know that's gotta wear on her. It's hard to know when to push her, and when to let her be.
Time will tell, and I guess I just have to be patient. Cause I'm so good at that!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Week 3 Post ACL Surgery

Today we had our check up two weeks after surgery. The office was very busy, so we sat there for a while, but Nehi never minds hanging out, so it wasn't a problem. The only issue was keeping Nehi from socializing and getting over excited.
Dr. Grossman says she's doing great, and she didn't give them any trouble when they took her into the back to check her range of motion.
I did have a couple of concerns:
  • Nehi is doing her hunger strike crap again, now that she's not getting wet food to hide her pills in. However, it's gone on much longer this time than last time, so I'm a little worried. 
  • She's getting up on the couch okay, but not on the bed (which is only a few inches higher). He said she'd get there, just give her a month and she'd be getting up there.
  • She's seemed a little listless. This, combined with the not eating worries me. The last couple of days are actually the first time she seems more like herself. He said this was normal- two surgeries in a couple of months is a lot. She's recovering, probably still in some pain, and he says not to worry.
So, for the not eating, he said we had a couple of options. We could give her medicine to make her feel better, and maybe this would lead to her feeling like eating. I could change her food, maybe get her interested in her food. I could put her back on some wet food. He said he gives Jessa one can of wet in the morning, and then dry in the evening, so nothing wrong with that. I told him I'd prefer to start out with trying some canned food (we put her on j/d for joint health) and changing her dry food. If next week we were still having a problem, we could try the medicine. I really prefer not to medicate her if I can avoid it.
So, I spent $100 on new wet and dry food (A Bison and Sweet Potato mix). I tried first with just the new dry food. Nehi sniffed it, but wasn't interested. So I added the wet food. She ate the wet food and left the dry food. But at least she ate, so I guess that's something.

I guess I just need to listen to Dr. Grossman, and trust what he's saying. She's doing great, and the rest will come. It's just been a hard couple of months. Fingers crossed that she continues to do well and continues to eat.