Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Look Back at a Productive and Trying Winter

Winter wasn't very winter-like this year. We had a couple really cold snaps and a couple snow/ice events but otherwise it wasn't much of a winter. In fact, February has given us so many days in the 60s and 70s that the outdoor plants have already started to grow leaves and the grass is turning green again. It appears spring has already sprung in St. Louis. Let's take a quick look back at the winter that was.

Winter Favorites
My very favorite find of the winter (and of the year) was the Cloudstepper line of shoes by Clarks. I had spent a good portion of fall and early winter looking for shoes with enough cushion and support to help me best cope with the pain that continues to plague my poor feet. I researched online and I tried shoes on in stores. I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the "comfort" shoes brands for their lack of cushioning. Even the "diabetic" shoes brands (made specifically for people with diabetic nerve pain) were surprisingly stiff. They had support but not the softness my feet need.

The Clarks Cloudstepper have plenty of give in the shoe base and also in the inserts, which is what makes them far superior to any of the other shoes I tried on. After all the searching and shopping I had done it was such a relief to put my feet into these shoes. I got a couple pairs and will be going back this spring to get a summer sandal.
Much like this past summer and fall, I've been watching plenty of Netflix and Amazon Prime. I found myself engrossed and entertained more than usual by one show in particular - The Moaning of Life with Karl Pilkington

You may have seen Karl before, he was on The Ricky Gervais Show and An Idiot Abroad. This latest show is one part documentary, one part travel show and one part opinion piece. It follows Karl as he explores what it means to be human, through his own nontraditional perspective. I think what I love so much about watching him is that I relate to him. He doesn't quite fit the norms of present day society. His thinking has a certain logic and simplicity that is fun to watch. The whole show is just Karl being Karl - encountering the world and commenting on it. Doesn't sound like much but it was wonderful!

I also really enjoyed The OA and would recommend that to all you Netflix streamers out there.

Winter successes
The big success story of the winter was finding some measure of relief from the sudden increased pain in my hands and feet with nortriptyline. I had hoped for more relief than I'm getting but any relief is better than none. I'm just so happy that I'm not in as bad of shape as I was prior to starting on this medication.

The other success was the unexpected discovery of the perfect picture to put over our fireplace. When we first moved in here 3 years ago, I put up a good-enough-picture as a place holder until I found one that was just right. The search was passive because I knew one day I would happen upon the right picture and that happened just earlier this month.
Van Gogh is all over our house. I'm a big fan of his work, never growing tired of looking at these paintings. This one was grand enough in size and setting to make it the perfect one for above the fireplace. Plus, I didn't already have this one on any other wall.

Winter failures
The house hunt ended in failure. We were not able to find the right place, in the right area, at the right price. I don't consider the entire ordeal a failure because the outcome was good, but it was unfortunate that we couldn't make it work.

Winter highlight
Spending time with hubby.
We got to spend a little more time together this past December than we usually get to. Plus the warmer February temps have helped us to get out and enjoy some time walking with our fur daughter, Gypsy.
We went to the track at the nearest high school so hubby could run and Gypsy and I could walk. She had a great time prancing around and hanging out on my lap to rest. She seemed to enjoy walking the track much more than the park because she wasn't anxiously looking to cover other dog scents with her own pee. She literally was prancing instead of walking and sniffing like she does at the park. Such fun to watch. Plus, the track was better for me to walk on than the cement and blacktop we walk on at the park.

Winter lowlight
Having our house on the market and house hunting sucked. Ultimately, I'm glad we did it because I feel like it was important to explore what it would like, financially, to make this move. On the surface it looked like we could save big money by relocating across the county but we discovered that wasn't the case. Still - it required a certain amount of time and energy and that was tough.

I've also spent a good deal of time suffering, as always, with my migraines.
Thankfully hubby is always willing to help out when I can't get up, and sweet little Gypsy is always by my side to comfort and protect me. Okay, so I don't actually need protection but she's not convinced of it. Better safe than sorry.

Welcome spring! I'm so glad you're here.

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