December 10, 2019

Back To Normal

As I saw a similar view from my bed Sunday morning I knew with a sunrise like that, would lead to a great day. At the time I just didn't know how nice of a day it would be. Within a minute I knew I'd not be able to enjoy much of the day outside. My hip and waistline felt almost like the first week after surgery. Only this time I knew the cause and once again I was the culprit. It all started Saturday morning, more stiff and sore than normal. I had done something Friday afternoon that I guess I shouldn't have.

There are some mountains somewhere in there.

The wheels I ordered for the FJ came in on Friday, or let me say three of the five ordered arrived on Friday. Due to a UPS screwup the other two wheels were delayed. I was feeling great on Friday so I didn't think anything of it when I decided to drag a box weighing 63 pounds from my front porch, across and down the driveway to the back of the FJ. I would then break the banding and load each box that contained the wheel into the cargo area of the FJ. These will be mounted downtown.

Taken within minutes of the first picture.

I bent my knees and lifted the ~20# boxes (3ea) into the back of the FJ. Hours later that night sitting on the couch watching the Pac12 Championship game I knew I may have screwed up. It was getting harder each time I stood from the couch and I started taking some Advil not for the pain but to reduce the swelling that had to going on inside my hip and lower back. This was the exact muscle I had stretched a few months ago by making a mistake on a day I was feeling great. I knew what the plan of attack would be to fix it. I also knew it was going to take a couple or three days to heal.

With more sunshine you can see the reflection on the mountains. This picture was also taken within minutes of the second picture, all in a sequence of four.

Saturday didn't help because I spent a lot of time sitting on a comfortable soft couch watching the SEC Championship game, a basketball game and then the B1G Championship game Saturday night. I made a point of standing every 15-20 minutes but all that did was tell me how sore I was.

While the hounds were sleeping the day away on Sunday, I applied one of those temporary therapeutic heat pads to my lower back not he right side. I was going to keep that on all day, at least for eight hours and I was also going to spend a lot of time in bed, just like I did a couple of months ago. It must of worked because the sleep app on my phone also records detailed times for any siesta taken. I was catching up on a lot of missed sleep from the past two night.

By Sunday night I took off the heat pad and moved to the ice packs I had used the first month of rehab. I placed one under my lower back and the other to the side of the hip. Within minutes I could feel more relief. Movement of my leg was returning to normal without stiffness or pain. I could feel the improvement throughout the night each time I got up. Not only do I get up different times in the middle of the night but Heidi will at least once. We are both getting older I guess.

I could tell Sunday night that Monday was going to be a day of rain. WeatherBug app forecast confirmed my suspicions.

To see if my new iPhone camera would work like the advertisements I saw on tv last month, I held the phone up in the air in a pitch black bedroom and aimed it where I thought Stella would be sleeping ... right next to my bed. This was the result although I had to hold the phone camera still a few seconds for the auto flash and shutter to work properly. Not bad for a room that was dark.

I woke up at 4am when Heidi woke me up with her dangling tags as she shook her head. She was headed to the patio door to go outside and I always plan to get their first. I quickly got out bed and felt all the pain and stiffness was gone from my hip and lower back. I felt normal again as I walked fast down the hallway to catch up with her.

What happens if I don't hear her? Two options, Stella either wakes me up by whining to tell me Heidi is gone or Heidi will lay down by the patio door until I get there. Most of the time I do here her and get up.

Sunday I pulled one of her favorite blankets out of the closet and put it in the corner of the room. It's winter and she likes to have blankets in different parts of the house for a nap. You can see she preferred the blanket to be out in the middle of the floor instead of the corner. I have just enough room to step around it to sit in my desk chair. As long as she is happy I am happy.

Monday morning's sunrise didn't have a lot of sunshine. That's fine as I needed another day of rest before getting back on the bicycle. I will have to watch it though as the last two wheels are arriving this afternoon. Since they came from the same warehouse in Colorado there were be two boxes banded together. If I can catch the UPS driver in time, I'll have him load them into the cargo area of the FJ.

Duluth Trading Co finally shipped my order without telling me. They also sent it 2nd Day Air but that does not mean it was delivered on a weekend. Still nice to get another flannel shirt and a pair of Keen shoes I wanted. Plus Heidi will have a strap that connects her collar to the seatbelt the next time she is riding in the passenger seat. She and Stella have not been on a road trip lately.

For not doing much on Monday things got busy enough that I didn't have time to blog last night. The hounds slept more than normal and I sat outside watching the clouds developing into some afternoon thunderstorms. I never heard thunder but saw rain, not heavy. My friend in Phoenix sent me a text mid-afternoon telling me it was HAILING ???? where she was. I glanced at my iPhone weather for Phoenix and it was showing me it was 61° ... how could it be? Well last night on Twitter I saw what looked like a blizzard north of Phoenix.

The hounds were a lot like I was yesterday. I felt like doing something but didn't know what. Heidi would go outside expecting hot sunshine to sleep under but it was cool and overcast. When she looked at me wondering what was up, I had no answers for her. She would turn and head back to her favorite bed back in the corner of the bedroom.

I anxiously awaited to see that brown truck show up in front of my house with UPS on the side. I really wanted to get my last two wheels early enough so I could get them mounted at one of three tire stores here in town. I played a lot of Mahjong and some PS4 ... I'm not a big gamer but like I said, Grand Turismo is a favorite of mine. Honestly with those two games I have felt it helps with hand and eye coordination and that can't be a bad thing as I get older.  (Or that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

Stella was like Heidi. She was begging to get outside and take that daily nap in the hot sunshine up near the back of the house on the warm stone yard but not today. The later the day got the grayer the sky got, plus it was a cool 50's in the temperature department. She too turned immediately and headed back into the house to one of her many sleeping spots.

Those last two pictures were taken within 30 seconds of each other.

It was past 3:00 pm and UPS had not arrived. Between 2-3pm is their normal time but with Christmas two weeks away they are a little busy right now. I was going to be surprised if my wheels showed up before 5:00 pm. So I went back outside and watched the storm clouds get a little more intense to the west and north of me. I was back in my weather pocket where I live, where it's normal for all the intense storms to be around me and rarely on me.

It rained solid but not hard. No lightning or thunder as my young neighbors stood out in the rain trimming back one of their overgrown shrubs. I couldn't tell from my vantage point but it looked like what they were cutting and loading in their truck could be used for making Christmas wreathes. Why else would they be in the rain trimming only one of many overgrown shrubs?

A little after 4:00pm the brown truck showed up and by the time they had the 63 pound box with two wheels out of their truck, I had the back door of the FJ open where he could put it without me even touching it. After my bad back episode over the weekend from dragging and lifting those wheels into the FJ, I wanted the least amount of interaction with them.

After making three calls I found that Big O Tires was open until 6:00 pm and was looking for some action. One part of their problem is having only one entry that does not go directly into their parking lot while the business sits on one of the busiest intersections in town. Now I know it doesn't mean much to 99.9% of you but I've always wanted my first FJ back ... it was a 2007 Voodoo Blue with black wheels and rock rails. It came that way back in May 2014.

So with rock rails installed last week and the wheels last night, I now have what I've wanted every since I traded it. Those are the exact model of wheel the other one had. I haven't made up my mind whether to sell the brand new OEM wheels I took off or keep them. I have no plans of selling or trading this FJ so there won't be a need to give a new owner the option of different wheels.

Here is my first FJ I speak of ... I'll have a better picture of the new setup later today since last night did not have the best lighting for that picture with it dark and raining lightly. Current picture added Tuesday at 3:35pm MT.

My plans are to ride my bike today outside for a short one hour ride just to loosen those muscles up in my lower back and hip. They both feel like they can handle a short ride on fairly flat roads. I will make it a point to keep my ride to that one hour and not ride longer just because I am feeling good those first 15-20 minutes.

I found out this morning, since I was up so early (4:10am) and thinking clearly, that while coffee is being made I have time to do some basic exercises for my hip. Two of them were given to me by the doctor back in October. I haven't done enough of them on a daily basis and that may be some of the problems I am having right now. From now on it will be a daily routine to start my day.

I see 10 days of sunshine in my forecast and that is always a good thing for my mental outlook. Expect some posts this week about some local hiking or road trips ... I am in the mood to get back out on the road again, with my camera(s) in hand.

An early morning blog post from the 'Wild West' this morning.

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