Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Trying to Return to Normal

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I know a lot of my good friends were out in Vegas this past weekend, and I was a little sad that I wasn't there to partake and share in the buffoonery, but it couldn't be helped.

On the other hand, for being wired together and running at about 1/3 of normal capacity, I had a rather enjoyable weekend here in Nashville.

On Saturday, I took a nice long walk down one of the easy paved trails at the local park, and it did me a lot of good, although it wore me out.  We walked just over a mile, kind of an out-and-back thing, but it was a good start for me before I tackle longer and hillier walks in the near future.  Amy & Scott went with me, and brought the pugs, so it was an entertaining walk watching them explore everything from the end of the leash.  There was a lot of stopping and starting, running and barking with them, but I kept up my plodding pace while the dogs did their thing.

I have to admit, I got a little cold while we were out there--the temperature dropped down into the fifties that day, and there was a slight breeze, so I was a little chilly for awhile, even though I broke a sweat.  And Amy reminded me that my already-thin desert blood is being chemically altered to be even thinner with all the medication I'm taking, so yeah, I'm probably gonna be a crybaby this winter.

Later that night, as a reward for my good behavior and exercise, Scottie put some nice thick ribeyes on the grill, and we opened a bottle of red wine with dinner.  I felt like I was committing a mortal sin by trimming all the fat from my steak before eating it, but it was still pretty damn good.  And before anyone jumps on me, my nutritionist told me that I can still have steak once in awhile and red wine is just fine in small doses.  Also, I found out that some of the higher-end specialty dark chocolate has fewer grams of sugar and carbs than my doctor-approved fruit bars, so after dinner, I had a couple of squares of that with the rest of my Cabernet (only one glass, of course).

And let me tell you--that night, I slept like a baby, no pain at all, and I woke up feeling absolutely great!  Seriously--a little red wine worked like magic.

We had leftover steak from the night before (no way I could eat the whole thing), so when we got up on Sunday morning, I made a pot of coffee and Scottie ran down to the Loveless Cafe and picked up some of their famous biscuits while Amy slept in.  When he got back, we made steak biscuits for breakfast, and they were damn good, especially when topped with a spoonful of those homemade blackberry preserves!

After that, Scottie went to work on the smoker, and I raided the spice cabinet and made a batch of dry rub.  We had a big pork shoulder and a couple of racks of baby back ribs, and Scottie is in his happy place when he can spend the day smoking meat.  While he did that, Amy and I took off and headed north up to Mamasan's place to hang out with her for a few hours.  We had a nice visit but didn't do too much.  I fell asleep on the couch for awhile while they talked, but we played some cards and Mamasan had made a crockpot full of really good homemade vegetable soup that we had for lunch.

Eventually, we made our way back down to civilization and prepared for a small dinner party.  Some friends came over, and besides all the smoked meat, we had some ridiculously good lobster bisque, baked beans, and corn on the cob.  My dinner was a little bit scaled back--I couldn't have any of the good microbrew on hand, and I only ate one rib and one small piece of pork, but it was all pretty damn good--no sauce needed at all, but we still had it available.  Scottie is a magician with the smoker, and everything he makes comes out tasting awesome.  Hell, when I was in the hospital, he even smuggled in a bag of smoked chicken for me one time so I could skip that horrible meatloaf they served almost every night for dinner.  Talk about making somebody feel better...

Anyhow, it was another great meal, and after dinner we hung out on the back patio enjoying the cool fall weather and had a nice visit with our friends.  It wore me out though, (as does everything) and I crashed early.

Lucky I did, because I had to get up fairly early on Monday morning to get down to the clinic at Vanderbilt and have them stab me with a needle again.  But once the results came back a few hours later, they told me that starting next week, I may be able to get tested just once a week instead of twice like I'm doing now.  Thank god--it's kind of a pain in the ass to have to have somebody drive me down there and do that all the time.  The fewer times I have to do it, the better (BTW for those of you that are interested, my INR level is holding steady at 2.4, so I'm right where I need to be).

But that little chore was done by 8:30 in the morning, and I spent the balance of my Monday morning dozing in front of the SportsCenter reruns.  The painkillers make me extremely drowsy, and eventually I just went back to bed for a three-hour nap.  It's amazing how much better I feel when I take a nap, but for some reason, I don't do it as often as I should.  It's not like I have anything else going on, but I feel like I should be up doing something, anything.  But like I said last week, I'm not gonna fight it any more.  My system needs bed rest, so that's what I'm gonna do.

Once I got up and moving again, I felt good enough to kick around the house a bit.  I made dinner for Scottie and Amy, but it didn't take a whole lot of effort on my part.  We had a bunch of leftover meatballs and sauce that I'd made for that get-together on Friday night, so I just boiled some whole-wheat pasta to make an entree out of it.  And we have some of these whole-grain sandwich rounds that I sometimes substitute for regular bread, and I made garlic toast out of that.  I took some dry-roasted garlic and ground it up in the mortar and pestle, then spread a little olive oil on the bread and sprinkled it with garlic.  I topped it off with some low-fat mozzarella cheese and parsley flakes, then popped it into the toaster oven for a few minutes.  It turned out pretty damn good!  We also opened up a nice bottle of Oregon Pinot, and with that, we had ourselves a great dinner.

Once I finished my meal, I still had a bit of wine left in my glass, so I indulged in a couple of squares of that 70% cocoa dark chocolate, and again, it was a wonderful substitute for dessert.  And I'm sure I'll sleep well once I finally crawl off to bed.

As far as Tuesday goes, I don't have a whole lot on my agenda.  I just have to call the folks at Bally's payroll office and make sure they finally sent my last paycheck (going on two months now!) and then talk to my local insurance guy about getting my policy changed over to Tennessee from Nevada--gonna save another ten bucks a month--Yay.  (I was hoping to save about fifty, but that ain't happenin').  Other than that, I think I'm just gonna take another long walk followed by another long nap.  In between all of that, I'll practice on the guitar, surf the internet, and just play with the pugs until they wear me out.  Ain't my life interesting?

Oh well, that's all I've got for now.  Y'all have a great day and try not to work too hard.


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