Off My Routine

I live pretty much with a set routine. It’s how I’ve always done things. But there are times when life decides to turn that routine upside down. My last two weeks were like that. And that’s why I’m posting on a Sunday, which I’ve never done before.

I have several more “meaty” ideas for blog posts, but it’s been a week since I’ve posted anything and this is all I have the time and energy to write about. I hope to get another post out later this week.

Trip to Arizona

We spent a long weekend (Friday – Monday) visiting Tim’s mom and sister in Gold Canyon, Arizona. We have to schedule these visits around holidays to maximize Tim’s vacation. This year we picked Columbus Day.

The time always goes way too fast. We only had time for one visit to In-n-Out Burger!! Tim had to settle for a Smashburger at the airport. ☹

The weather was perfect. Tim ran and I walked all three mornings. It was the kind of weather where I could walk all day. Made me seriously question why I live in Iowa!!

We flew into Sky Harbor and had our usual rental car issues. No cars that fit the category we reserved. We ended up with a Prius, and I have to say it wasn’t a bad car at all. The only problem we had was figuring out how to get it into Park. It took us a while to realize you don’t use the gear shift. There’s a button next to the gear shift that’s pushed for Park. Why is that????

I’m not sure we want to rent from Budget again. The only time we drove the car was from the airport to his mom’s and back to the airport. We put $4.00 worth of gas in while still in Gold Canyon and as I reviewed our receipt yesterday, I realized they’d charged us for more gas at $9.99/gallon!! This was a Prius for heaven’s sake. It gets 55 miles to the gallon.

It seems there must be some way to know how much gas is in the car, as they had listed specific amounts for when we left the airport and when we returned. I’ve never seen that before. As a result, we had to pay another $8.99. Ridiculous!!

My mom’s knee surgery

My mom’s knee has bothered her for years, but all of a sudden, it was hurting more. She was going to physical therapy which wasn’t doing much. As luck would have it, the surgeon she chose had cancellations and was able to get her in on the 14th, our last day in Arizona.

While I wasn’t able to spend that day with my family in the hospital, I did spend most of Tuesday and Wednesday there. I also went to their house when she was discharged on Wednesday, where we met my brother-in-law who was going to install bars on the toilet seat.

I got very little else accomplished during this time, although I did still have my evenings with Tim. I chose to spend that time with him instead of doing boring things like laundry and bill paying. 🤷‍♀️

This past week, I went to Ankeny (which is about 27 miles from our house and where my parents live) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I went with her to physical therapy, a primary doctor visit and a follow-up with the surgeon’s physician assistant. I also helped her out by shopping for three pairs of casual, slip-on pants that she can easily get on and off without affecting her knee.

I’m so glad I have the flexibility to do this. If I were working, it would be next to impossible. My sister, who is still working, helps out by bringing them food, so we’re each doing our part.

My biggest issue is the driving. If you remember my issues with vertigo, you know I’ve pretty much avoided interstate driving. Taking the back roads means a 50-minute drive, while the interstate is closer to 35 minutes. By the last day, I was driving both ways on the interstate. I don’t dislike the backroads route; it just takes too long!! I’m such a risk-taker. 😉

She’s doing very well, despite the pain, swelling and bruising. I’ve never seen bruises like that!! We can all tell a difference in her leg. Before, her right leg was kind of bow-legged and now, it’s completely straight. I know it’s no fun to go through this but it will feel so much better once it heals.

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon

In between all of this, Tim ran in the half marathon. In past years, I’ve done the 5K (walking not running) but decided to skip it this year. I’m tired of how cold it always is and trying to dress for both fast walking and waiting for Tim to finish. This way, I was able to cheer him on at about the 2.5-mile mark and walk to the finish line in plenty of time to see him come across.

I used to work downtown and things have changed so much in the last 3.5 years. It was kind of fun walking around and seeing what’s happened. It was a cool day, but not windy and I enjoyed every minute of my walk.

Downton Abbey

You may remember, I mentioned we’d started watching Downton Abbey. I had three seasons on DVD and knew we could watch the last three on Amazon Prime.

Tim said he wanted to see the movie on the big screen, which meant we had to try to get all six seasons watched before it left the theater. That was a daunting task and I was sure we couldn’t do it.

But we did it!! Although, I think Tim might have slept through a few episodes.

We fit in episodes here and there and managed to get through all six seasons in about a month. I admit I’m feeling a bit of a letdown. Now that we have no more episodes to look forward to, I feel kind of sad.

We made it to the movie this afternoon. I think it was in the nick of time, as one of our local theaters isn’t showing it anymore. I loved it!! I’m hoping there are more movies to come. They definitely left a few loose ends they could tie up!!

My projects

During this time, I got a little behind on my knit-along poncho. But I’ve managed to catch up. Sitting in a hospital room is great for making knitting progress!!

Here’s what it looks like after week 8.

I’m all done with the gold yarn and had just enough black to finish week 8’s pattern. I had to buy more in order to finish the last two parts.

I started yesterday on week 9’s section while I watched football. And we were also given week 10’s pattern, which is a nice finish on one long edge. When that’s all done, I’ll sew the ends together and have a poncho!!

It’s been a fun project and has made me interested in knitting more than just slippers, washcloths, scarves, and hats. I have yarn and patterns for sweaters and I hope to start one, maybe in January.

I also got four of my cross stitch projects back from the framer. Didn’t they turn out nice? They’ll hang in my studio behind my desk when December rolls around.


This past week, I baked pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread (gluten-free), and sugar cookies. The pumpkin cookies were for Tim, the bread for my parents, and the sugar cookies for the grandkids (for Halloween). Let me know if you’d like me to share the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They’re nice and chewy and you’d be surprised how well pumpkin and chocolate go together. Yum!!

I tried something new this time and made royal icing for some of the sugar cookies. I clearly need more practice but I was going for speed and not art. I know it doesn’t taste as good as my usual frosting, either, but I wanted to give it a try. Hopefully, I’ll get better each time!!

I had to fit in my baking (and laundry) between visits to Ankeny. As a result, by Friday, my kitchen was a disaster and I had dry laundry hanging in the bathroom and my closet waiting to be put away. It was good to get everything back to normal. Tim was great too, helping with dinner and taking me out when I needed it.

I also made Halloween cards for the kids, but in my rush to get everything boxed and ready for mailing, I neglected to take pictures. I take pictures of all the cards I make, so I’m bummed I missed these. Oh well.


We also managed to fit in our flu shots this week. We had those on Monday and then on Tuesday, they called to say my second shingles vaccine shot was available. I had that done on Friday.

I don’t know if you’ve had this shingles shot (it’s the one that requires two shots), but it does make my arm hurt. I can only raise it so far without pain. It wasn’t hurting too bad Friday night, but I do think it affected my sleeping a little bit.

Early on Saturday, it was really throbbing and I was feeling achy all over. (They say it can do that.) I took some Tylenol and that helped a lot. I started feeling bad again later in the day, but more Tylenol did the trick again. Today is much better. My arm is still sore but only with certain movements.

Going forward

This week should be a little more normal, which is good because I have several sewing projects I need to get ready for Thanksgiving decorating and Christmas presents.

But I can’t predict what will disrupt my routine next. It’s sure good to have flexibility!! I love being retired!!

14 thoughts on “Off My Routine”

  1. I guess I binged watched Downton also, at least the first three seasons anyway. I did it all about four weeks before the fourth season was about to start, and I had no DVR to record the episodes (post-divorce budgetary requirements). I remember the Saturday before watching the last four shows starting in the late afternoon. 🙂 Glad you got caught up; hope it wasn’t too arduous.

    1. It was easier than I thought it would be. Any time we had a spare hour, we’d watch an episode. I’m not sure we ever watched more than three in a row. It was a fun way to watch, like reading a book in one day. Everything stays fresh in your mind.

  2. So funny I had to binge watch Downton Abbey too. Liked the movie also.
    We just left AZ visiting my brother’s family.

    1. I would have been happy stretching it out but Tim wanted to see the movie in the theater. I can’t believe we made it!! Glad you did too. Thanks for commenting!!

  3. You have been busy! I’ll bet it feels good to just chill and get back to your routine. The best part of travel is coming home!

  4. Hi, Look into Uber next time you’re visiting Arizona especially if you only use the car to/from the airport. It might be worth not getting a car at all! We use it when we travel to go to the airport, instead of paying for airport parking. And I use it when I go out with my girlfriends and want to have more than on glass of wine. It’s an app, so you do need a smartphone.

    I understand how life can get in the way of blogging… had the same thing past few weeks! Not any fun crafts or baking. I am heading out today for the flu shot!

    1. Great idea to use Uber. We got the car primarily because Tim’s mom doesn’t drive and we weren’t sure if his sister would be around. Uber could be a good option for future trips.
      Speaking of life getting in the way – is your new place in Redington Shores or somewhere else? Living on the inter-coastal would be my preference too.

  5. Please share the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!
    I also love being retired, but after a very busy two weeks, I have decided I need to concentrate on helping my family more and sayIng no to other requests.

    1. I will definitely share that recipe now that someone other than Tim has mentioned it. 😉
      We need to say no and not feel bad about it. Doing too much only makes me crabby and no good for anyone!!

  6. Wow, you’ve been busy! I have always lived in Southern California and can’t imagine not being able to get out and about year-round. My husband and I got the double shingles shots last year. I’ve had shingles, and you don’t want to get them, trust me! Nice progress on your projects!

    1. Believe it or not, we have snow in our forecast this week!! Way too early. Brrr.
      I need to make sure my husband gets the shingles shots. He tends to put this kind of stuff off. I know they can be awful.
      I never feel like I’m making much progress on my projects until I write something like this. I’m too hard on myself. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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