The Pennsylvania Conference for Women: Why We Should Care

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On November 19th the 12th annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  I was fortunate to be able to attend, supporting coaching in the career pavilion alongside resume review.   Since I was working, I had a limited opportunity to experience the Conference.    But even in my little corner I absorbed a lot of the energy and excitement of the day.  I came away with a renewed sense of optimism.   Continue reading

Adventures in the woods: A Friday the 13th Story

 

IMG_3436As you know my days have been taken up caring for Shiloh and helping him recuperate.  Friday the 13th was the first day he slept through the night.  It’s been a long time since I had babies waking me up, so I’m pretty devoted to the good night’s sleep.  For him, though, I’m willing to get up multiple times as he shifts around to get comfortable.  The day ahead seems promising with so auspicious a beginning.  Boy, was I wrong  .  .  .  Continue reading

Ice is your friend: recuperating from ACL surgery

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I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog lately.  We have been focused on the impending surgery and recovery of our dog.  Then there are the leaves which keep falling.  The oak trees are almost done, but the pear trees (non-fruit bearing) that line our drive have not.  I threw in the towel over the weekend and asked our dog walker, a nice young man who lives near us, to help out.  It’s not so much that I haven’t had time, but that I have been distracted.  Somehow when I’m thinking about something else or worried, I don’t seem to get much done, but when I am busy I seem to be able to get a lot done.  I’m sure someone has done a scientific study on this phenomenon.  If you know of one, please send it my way.  I’m going to write about Autumn soon, but first we have to attend to our ball of fluff.

On Monday Shiloh, my black lab, had surgery for a torn ACL.  All went well and we brought him home yesterday.  You wouldn’t think a dog that has severe arthritis in one front leg, and some arthritis in the other front leg would be able to do the kind of moves required to tear an ACL, but this one did.  I put the blame on our young guy, Barkley for literally running circles around him in the back yard.  Never one to be outdone, even with his disabilities, he managed to twist and turn and tear it.

We have a full page of instructions for his rehabilitation.  We start with massage, icing, and gentle stretching.  This changes in week two to warm compresses and longer walks.  Eventually he gets to do things like walk in a figure eight, go up hills and ramps, and in week twelve, back — we hope — to full mobility.  In the meantime he cannot jump, run, twist or turn.  Barkley seemed to know intuitively that he had to behave, because he has been interacting with Shiloh gently and calmly.  I am going to sleep downstairs with him for a few days until he gets more confident moving around.

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While unplanned, this should be a good trial run for us if he later gets elbow surgery.    Certainly after a successful rehab with this the doctor will see that we are serious? Our lives will be different for a time as we focus on him and his rehabilitation.  He is taking it all in good spirits, happy to be home.  He is also quickly learning, like I did after my own knee surgery, that ice is his friend.

Autumn: a time for reflection and raking leaves

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It’s that time again when the leaves change color and fall to earth.  Once on the ground they lay there, making little piles.  Sometimes a wind arrives and blows them around the yard.  I love this time of year.    I’ll be honest,  I don’t like the heat and humidity of Summer, but I love Autumn.

When you have over an acre of yard you have a lot of leaves to rake.  While we don’t cut our own grass, we do rake leaves.  I love raking leaves.  It’s similar to pulling up weeds in that it’s a repetitive process that rids the yard of something you don’t need. Unlike pulling weeds, once the leaves are gone they don’t come back. Continue reading

Survivor’s guilt: am I good enough without a real job?

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A few days ago I hit day sixty of my post-retirement life.  A lot has happened in two months.  I moved, left my career and friends in the DC area, got to know a new community and neighbors, and started working with a volunteer organization.  I’ve kept busy and engaged with all kinds of tasks, but every once in a while I think about that prior life when my value came from my job title and the size of my office and the number of people I managed.  What is my value now?  Am I a success or a failure? Continue reading