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Foot Freedom

21 Feb

It is hard to describe the liberating feeling of wearing a small (albeit ugly) sandal instead of Das Boot.  I  feel light and like I can do anything.  Seriously.  With the doc’s OK to be up as much as I can tolerate (thank the holy lands I have a high pain tolerance…), I have been to the gym with my sandal every day, cleaned and cooked, walked one dog, hit TJs and the market, shopped for a friend just for fun…taking my time wandering around the store without checking my watch to make sure I haven’t gone over my allotted minutes.

I can even sleep without the sandal.  Ah, so nice to wiggle my toes in the covers, to roll over without creating an earthquake in my bed (Not that kind!  Get your minds out of the gutter.  I am talking about feet.)

And…drum roll…I showered without a trash bag and tape!  I have to balance on my heel, but wow.  Wow. Wow.  What a difference to be able to stand under the water, to wash my hair without having to duck my head down while sticking my boot out of the spray and washing my locks upside down.  I can shave both legs.  My sandal fits through the hole of underwear, my swim suit and boot leg jeans, so I can change without having to undo velcro, redo velcro, tuck in pants, etc. All these positives are enough to overlook the ungodly sight of the sandal.

The clincher is that I only have two more days with this sexy sandal.  I bought new running shoes today.  I feel like my comfort zone is not too far away.  Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?  I have survived 5 weeks tomorrow.  I have 3 weeks until new orthotics  are casted and 2 weeks after that until they are ready.  So, 5 more weeks of easy, but not sitting on my ass.  I can handle that.

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Mountains

19 Feb

We escaped from behind the Orange Curtain this weekend for some fresh mountain air.  Das Boot made this an interesting escapade, but my flabby ass was happy to get off the couch and out into the world.  Our travel squadron includes our family and Mrfireman’s brood (my brother’s family).  The sum total includes three teenagers, four dogs, three quasi-adults (combined, Mrfireman and I probably only equal one adult), one huge truck, one minivan, a ton of food, coolers and cameras, and one Balalaika…Have you heard of this instrument?  It is a Russian stringed instrument our nephew plays…and takes with him on vacation.  Did you catch the part about four dogs?  I don’t even need to extrapolate because you get the idea.

Yosemite is breathtaking any time if year.  In the winter it can be serene, quiet and cold.  This winter it is warm and there is hardly any snow.  While we packed enough chains, snow gear, boots, mittens and long underwear for our squadron and then some, we needed none of it over the four days in the mountains.  Weird, right?

Add to this, Das Boot and Mrfireman’s knee brace.  I guess injury is running in the family because he has a torn meniscus.  What a ridiculous twosome for hiking in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Luckily, he is a photographer and had some distraction with his gear.  Including leaving his tripod behind twice…in two different spots.  Mrfireman’s sweet wife had to hike back to fetch it because he was in no shape to repeat the hike and no one was going to ask Peg Leg.  Sirskatesalot tried to follow the tripod retrieval hike, but was too late after lacing up his hiking boots and we all ended up missing each other.  Remember, we have four dogs between our families?  Fun stuff.

In the name of moutain people, I wore jeans, a flannel and a beanie yesterday.  I was cozy and comfortable at Yosemite Falls and El Capitan.  Mrfireman took tons of pictures.  Then, while bowling last night with real mountain people, Mrfireman said I was taking the mountain thing too far with my lumberjack look.  Mrfireman’s sweet wife thinks this is the most funny thing she has ever heard and is pointing and laughing at me…not for my terrible bowling skills, but because I look like a lumberjack.  Mrfireman’s wife is not so sweet after all.

Ahem.  Holy cow.  Add Das Boot to the flannel, jeans and beanie…and my crazy, curly hair…and you have Peg Leg Lumberjack.  Needless to say, Peg Leg Lumberjack lost the bowling game, Mrfireman and his sweet wife tied.  Balalaikanephew tried to hurl himself down the bowling lane with his ball, Sirskatesalot slipped with his sick bowling style and fell flat on his back.  The real mountain people at the 10 lane bowling alley thought we were hysterical and I must admit we are a motley crew.  I hope we have this much fun over spring break without Das Boot.

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Running on Empty

13 Feb

I like to live on the edge.  It’s exciting and kind of makes me giddy.  The feeling of an uncertain outcome sends adrenaline coursing through my veins.  I don’t sky dive or swim with sharks.  Instead, I generally run my gas tank to below the red line indicating “alert, stupid driver, you are on empty.”

Pushing the limits is my game, so I drive around like this for at least one day each week.  Sometimes I even wake up the next day and drive around town with my minivan’s gas gauge far, far below the red empty line.  You should try it.  It can be both thrilling and hysterical to try to make it to the gas station without running out of gas.  This is especially true when you have a carload of other people’s children.  My own offspring hate this game, but my friends’ kids think I’m funny and they join in the game, groaning at each red light.  So far, we have always made it to the gas station in time.  I have a 20 gallon tank and the most gas I have had to put in is 19.2 gallons.  I could have probably done carpool another time and still made it.

Today, I thought I’d be responsible and fill up before junior high carpool duty.  Today was day two of driving irresponsibly, so I was happy to arrive at my pump.  I slide my card, plug in my information, choose the cheapest gas (which in CA right now is well over $4/gallon…yikes!) and proceed to the driver’s door to put my cards back into my purse and check my email.  But, damn, the door is sticky or something.  “Yank, yank, yank.”  Nope, the door is not glued shut with a slurpee spill (which literally happened to one of the rear sliding doors that we just thought was broken for a few months).

The doors are all locked, my keys with my cute giraffe key chain are dangling from the ignition and my cell phone is lying on the passenger seat.  How do I call AAA without my cell phone?  How do I know my neighbor’s number to have her get my spare key from my house to come rescue me before I am late for carpool?  Arg.  I peg leg over and use the gas station attendant’s phone and only hold up traffic at the pump line for about 20 minutes.  I think I looked pathetic with das boot standing outside my minivan, so I only got dirty looks.  I was relieved no one honked.

AAA and my neighbor arrived at the same time, car was quickly unlocked.  Off I went with a full tank.  Life is just not as exciting on fill up days.  I’ll be living on the edge again in about three days though.  I prefer that thrill to locking my keys in the car.

Das Boot and Barf

11 Feb

I have found another benefit of having Das Boot.  Sirbarksalot was barfing last night.  Twice.  Sooo gross.  If you have experienced a large dog barfing in the middle of the night, you know this includes disgusting noises, shouts, a leap from the bed, lights flicked on, slider to outside open, dog bed changed, barf cleaned up (gross, gross, gross).  So, when this all transpired last night, I was exempt from any jumping, leaps from the bed, opening the slider, changing dog bed and cleaning up barf.  Remember, I am a Peg Leg.

When all the chaos started, Sirskatesalot took the lead and I rolled over to face the opposite direction with Das Boot.  Das boot and I got cozy and settled while Sirbarksalot heaved, Sirskatesalot leapt from the bed, ripped the crate door open and threw Sirbarksalot outside.  I offered a  feeble, “Can I help you?”  But Sirskatesalot knows I am a Peg Leg and cut me some slack.  He took the bed outside, cleaned the crate, re-bedded the crate and put the pup back to bed.  I cuddled with my pillows.   Ah, so nice to be a Peg Leg at times like this. People expect so little of me.

And then, another disgusting round of barf noises from the crate.  “Sirskatesalot, Sirskatesalooooottttt! ” I scream while he is out in the kitchen cleaning up.  Damn.  Am I really going to have to get Das Boot and I out of bed?  Aha, I spot my phone on the nightstand.  I text, “Bring paper towels!”  I hear Sirskatesalot immediately running down the hall.  Ah, now I can go back to sleep.  He bursts through the bedroom door,”Is he throwing up again?”  I just roll over and groan.  I’m tired.  Das Boot has had to roll over, pull on the covers and resettle already three or four times.

But I am grateful to Das Boot that Sirskatesalot never even asked me to get out of bed.  I am going to keep the hated Das Boot by my bed at all times so that when a kid or dog is barfing at night, I can velcro it on and skip all barf clean up duties.  Das Boot sucks, but barf clean up is so much worse.

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Swim Little Fishy

6 Feb

Peg Leg got wet.  No, I am not a bragging rebel patient again.  I was given clearance to swim!  This little ducky is free to dip my head and wet my feathers. I cannot touch anything with my foot, but I can swim.  Taking off das boot and getting it back on on the side of the pool is not a pretty sight, but the humiliation of das boot removal and my neon swim suit (which, no joke, is called Dolfin Uglies) could not damper my excitement to get my heart rate up for the first time in nearly three weeks.

I am not an efficient nor beautiful swimmer, but it felt surprisingly good to swim.  My sore and pathetic Peg Leg did alright propelling me through the water.  I made it about 45 minutes and had been so relieved no other swimmers or bystanders were around for my maiden voyage.  But, as Peg Leg luck would have it, a few arrived just in time for my exit from the pool.  Grace is not my first, nor middle name.  I thought I had das boot’s removal and reattachment planned well with a towel laid out for drying and das boot right at the end of my lane.  But, when it came time to get out, I realized the ladder was at the other side of the pool.  No chance I can scoot in my Uglies, with Peg Leg in the air from one side of the pool deck to the other.  Imagine a crab with an extra claw stuck in the air…So I had to brave a full-body hoist up, with an audience.

You know when you try to hoist up like rising from a dip and you don’t quite make it?  Embarrassing.  I had the added worry of banging my Peg Leg on the wall.  A definite NO-NO.  I feigned stretching, had a drink of my water, played with my watch (actually my son’s old Shark watch from Jr. High when he was all about Rasta colors…adds to the look of my Uglies suit).  These bystanders and swimmers are still lurking and I need to go.  I muscled some muscle and some courage, and popped this ducky right out of the pool.  Quack.  I attempted drying off while sitting on towel, reattached das boot, did not look up and scurried out of there.  But, I went back again today.  Duckies can’t stay out of the water too long.  Even the Uglies.

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Poop Patrol

5 Feb

Sirskatesalot and I walked the pooches yesterday.  A very, very leisurely 20 minute stroll with me limping behind.  It was nice to get outside and move, however slowly.  Then Sirbarksalot (little black lab) went to the bathroom.  No biggie, normal walk.  I take poop bag off leash, clean up and off we go…galump, galump.  Then Sirbiggestgoldenontheplanet has to poop.  Ok, cool.  Another nice break from galumping along.  But Sirskatesalot has Sirbiggestgoldenontheplanet and no poop bag.  Duh.

“You don’t have a bag?”  Sirskatesalot answers, “No, I didn’t notice we only had one.”  Great. What to do now?  I have one, shit filled poop bag and another gigantic, steaming turd on a neighbor’s lawn.  Sirskatesalot is nothing if not resourceful. Remember, he is a skateboarder.  He asks for Sirbarksalot’s poop filled bag and opens it, figures a way to scoop up shit from Sirbiggestgoldenontheplanet and makes it all fit! I must say, I am impressed.  He didn’t use shoe goo or a skateboard and he didn’t even get any on his hand.

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