It’s frickin’ COLD in my office! Only cool air coming out of the vents and, even though I spoke with Facilities yesterday, and even though I spoke with the assistant director of Facilities, I still have no heat.

The good news is, the office seems to be too cold for the little varmints to come in and shit all over my desk, as there hasn’t been any sign of droppings for the past two days. Of course, that might have something to do with the mouse trap I have *on my desk* these days, too.

The cold has also forced me out of the office more frequently each day. I quit smoking SEVEN years ago last month. Since then, I don’t take breaks like I used to so I’ve been walking at 10:00, 12:30 and 3:00 each day, for no less than 20 minutes — often between 40 and 60 minutes during the lunch hour break. Last week I logged 65671 steps (an average of 9382 steps per day) and this week I’m on pace for 65894 steps (still short of my goal of an average of 10,000 steps per day). I’ve lost six pounds since I began this program and I’m feeling pretty good about myself.

Our neighbor Mary and I have taken to walking after work as well. But, since it’s been so cold and wet, neither of us is motivated to walk outdoors. So, we moved her Gazelle Glider into my family room where mine is, and we’ve begun to “walk” indoors. I introduced her to SpikeTV Tuesday night, watching Maximum Exposure. It’s sort of like World’s Wildest Videos, except the commentator doesn’t hold back comment on the stupidity of some of the people seen in the videos. It’s humorous and helps make the time fly by when I’m working out. Mary seemed to enjoy it as well.

I actually begged off last night, as I had 9985 steps when I got home, and I was exhausted from the day’s work, and the previous night’s restlessness.

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I saw the doctor on Monday, and she’s referred me to the Sleep Center at Strong. For most of my life, I had some pretty violent nightmares — the kind where my abuser still visited me in my sleep. Often I would wake up retching, sometimes unable to hold the contents of my stomach in place. I think the term “panic attack” would apply to these nightmares. About 5 years ago I began receiving hypnotic therapy which helped me to train my brain to wake myself up anytime certain elements of those dreams invaded my sleep. The therapy has been wholly successful and the monster is only a vague memory these days.

However, with the onset of menopause and the ridiculous conditions in which I work, my stress level has increased tremendously and I find myself, once again, without restful sleep. I have a condition called RLS (restless leg syndrome). Many people describe it as a “crawling” sensation in their legs but I describe it more as a sensation of a tremendous buildup of energy that builds up to a level so high that I *must* move my legs. It often keeps me awake for a while, and I seem to have found mild relief by having Lisa stretch my legs for me. While this helps me get to sleep, it doesn’t help me rest. Apparently my legs jump and lurch throughout the night, causing Lisa some restless nights, too. I’m unaware that my legs jump around but when I get up in the morning, I feel like I haven’t slept in a month. Clearly I’m not resting and not reaching a level of sleep that is required to obtain that rest. Lisa has also indicated that my arms sometimes “lurch” in a rhythmic fashion when I lay “spooned” against her back with my arm around her. As if that’s not bad enough, I often wake up hot, so I pull my arms out from under the covers to stay cool. Then I get cold so I put my arms back under, which eventually makes me hot again. Even though the night-time temperatures are only in the 30s these days, our bedroom window remains open, complete with a fan which kicks on if the temperature in the room goes higher than 60 degrees.

I’d almost forgotten what it was like back in the days of the nightmares, to live without proper rest. There are days here at work where I could just lay my head down on my keyboard and fall fast asleep. It’s not GETTING to sleep that’s a problem, it’s either staying asleep, or achieving a restful state while I sleep. And the situation at work has made the RLS worse, which keeps me awake more, which causes my stress level to increase, which affects the RLS more… It’s a vicious cycle.

On the weekends, I seem to be fine because I stay in bed until I feel rested enough to get up. Last weekend, it was 10:00 Saturday morning before I arose — 9:00 on Sunday. Me, who used to be up by 8:00 at the latest on weekends, sleeping in like a teen hung over on MTV videos.

So, it’s off to the Sleep Center for me.

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Lisa’s Grandma Ruth has been doing very well (thanks Scotty for asking, sorry I didn’t update sooner). She had her pacemaker put in and was sent home not long afterward. Lisa spoke with her mother just last night and found that Grandma Ruth actually was caught standing at the counter making Jell-o yesterday. Something she’d been unable to do for a long, long time. She apparently is more energetic and, with that energy, has a tremendously improved mood. With that pacemaker, apparently 90 doesn’t feel so old to her any more!

Speaking of pacemakers, Lisa’s father is getting one put in this morning, also. Her mother had open heart surgery this past Spring, and now her father’s heart is acting up. It probably doesn’t help that the man smokes like a chimney.

Lisa’s stomach has been messed up again — she’s back on the Prilosec. I cautiously asked her last night if she’d considered that her problem is stress, as it started acting up when her grandmother’s heart problems arose a couple or three weeks ago. I was relieved when she said that she figured that was exactly what her problem was. Perhaps the Prilosec is the best course of action for her at this point. We’ll see.

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The secretary on the 5th floor, directly over me, has caught 11 mice in traps over the past 4 weeks now. At the same time, she interviewed and was selected for a new job, which will mean a huge promotion for her. We’re really glad FOR her, but really bumming for ourselves. So, I fixed her up a little “going away present.”

Hehehe — good thing she has a sense of humor, eh? And, of course, I crack myself up! LOL!

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Lisa and a co-worker had plans to make applesauce this weekend. That’s an annual event in Lisa’s family and one she enjoys — not to mention the fact that she enjoys the end product which is LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of applesauce. They’re only going to do one bushel of apples, and Bonnie (the co-worker) was going to make dinner for us. Yesterday, I asked Lisa if she would be disappointed if I begged off — I really have no interest at all in making applesauce when I’ve got gardens to winterize, rose bushes to prune and insulate, morning glory vines to cut down and remove, seeds to harvest, and other preparations for winter. She was absolutely fine with it — that’s one of the things I love about her, she’s flexible, undemanding, and doesn’t take things personally. It’s s’posta be nice out this weekend — with some sun and temps in the mid-50s Saturday, and sun with temps around 60 on Sunday. I want to get all the garden prep done, and try to help Mary get her garage finished up. I’d rather be moving like that than standing around peeling apples, mashing them, and watching water boil. I want to burn some CALORIES! 🙂 Can’t rack up many steps making applesauce, can I?

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Today’s Joke of the Day from Fickle (WFKL):

John & Marcia decided that the only way to pull off a Sunday afternoon quickie with their 8 year old son in the apaprtment, was to send him out on the balcony with a Popsicle and tell him to report on all the neighborhood activities. He began his commentary as his parents put their plan into operation:

“There’s a car being towed from the parking lot” the boy shouted.

A few moments passed:

“An ambulance just drove by.”

A few moments later, “Looks like the Anderson’s have company” he called out.

“Matt’s riding a new bike…”

“The Cooper’s are having sex!”

Startled Mother and Dad shot up in bed!! Dad cautiously asked, “How do you know they’re having sex?”

“Jimmy Cooper’s standing out on his balcony with a Popsicle too.”

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