Sunday, May 24, 2009

John is home

John left Monday to go to New York city for a wine tasting, returned Friday. He was very happy with the wine tasting (and went to another) and he had one unsuccessful day of museums and one successful day. He came back saying he had had a wonderful trip.

I don't drink so I didn't wish I had gone. But it is hard that he does so well when he travels on his own, then comes home and is negative and confused. On Friday our son had had a driving lesson and done testing to evaluate his ADHD. John got mixed up three times in half an hour about which one our son had gone off to do that evening. And yesterday he was having particular trouble finding the word he wanted and sometimes used the wrong word without realizing it.

I think he is in a stage where he can hold it together when he is doing something he wants to do, but it is tiring so he doesn't do so well when he gets home. It makes sense that he would be awfully tired after a trip but I do get frustrated sometimes that he can't put together that kind of effort when it isn't all about him. On the other hand, I'm glad he is taking responsibility for his own happiness.

I've been deep in house renovations. After they cut a hole in the roof the carpenter and I batted ideas back and forth and ended up more than doubling the size of the dormer. He says I should take the attic room as my bedroom, it is going to be so nice. He also came up with a better idea for how to fix the staircases, which weren't to code. John initially didn't like the tile I had picked for his bathroom, but we went to Lowes to look at other alternatives and he decided he liked it after all when he saw it on a wall from a distance. So many decisions to make.

John and I walked around the badly overgrown lot with a friend who is a professor of horticulture and he told us what to save and what to cut down. I'm not good about asking for help, but I did and he was wonderfully helpful. John is eager to go after the poison ivy--something he has always gotten obsessed about. I think he also took in that our friend liked the house.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Belated race report: Clemson Triathlon, May 16, 2009

Swim 750 meters 25:15
T1 03:15
Bike 11 miles 46:01
T2 02:29
Run 5k 43:37
Overall time: 02:00:36


I picked up my friend Pam and we biked from my house to the race, as I wanted to leave my car for my daughter and my mother to come (though in the end they didn't). We had one fairly heavy shower before the race, then on and off light showers. The race was a week later than usual and the water quite warm--I'm not sure it was worth wearing my wetsuit, though most people did. It did help for the in the water start, as I could float upright waiting for the start without expending any energy.

The water was warm but I didn't settle in very comforably to the swim. Not for any good reason; it was even easy to see the buoys with the sun not out. My swim time was 2 minutes slower than last year.

I had left my transition things in a plastic bag instead of laying them out and I was happy to put on dry shoes. Clemson attracts a lot of people doing their first triathlon, and on the bike I passed a number of people on mountain bikes. It hadn't rained that hard and so there weren't many puddles.

I did the walk-run thing for the run and was happy that my time was slightly faster than last year. The funniest moment in the race was on the run when someone going the other way (ahead of me on an out and back course) said in a tone of great surprise: "Professor Mack!" I was passed by a 67 year old in pink tri shorts on the run and I said I want to be her when I grow up.

I didn't stay long after the race because we needed to get to North Carolina for my son's awards ceremony that evening and then graduation Sunday morning. But I had fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

different directions

John is in New York city for a wine tasting and to go to museums. I've settled down so much about how he is doing, and I don't think he has lost much in the last year.
I'm very busy with the house we are renovating:

The first task is a new dormer for the attic.

house renovations

The house renovations have started and today they cut a large hole in the roof for a new dormer.
We decided to make the dormer bigger to better fit the existing roof and to improve the space inside.
Pray that it doesn't rain.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Our son's graduation from high school is today. John came up Friday to attend the celebration of seniors. I told him one of us needed to attend and he reluctantly agreed, but it sounds like he enjoyed it. I stayed home because my mother and daughter were flying in Friday evening and to do my favorite local triathlon Saturday morning. We all met for the award ceremony Sat night, where our son got the drama award. It is rainy this morning so graduation in the gym.

-- Post From My iPod

Monday, May 11, 2009


Trying to get John's aunt moved this week. She holds onto stuff worse than John. And I spent much of today dealing with the house we are renovating. I'm glad I was there when the rental manager went through--I don't think the students will be getting their security deposit back. Tired.

Friday, May 08, 2009

This character was in our road. It turns out she had only 3 legs--missing her right hind leg. But she seemed to be getting around fine. We put her onto a lawn where she wouldn't hit a fence.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


The meeting to sign the contract for renovations on the other house just got postponed until tomorrow, when we are also meeting with the realtor to sign the papers and list this house. And John's aunt Florence got a place in assisted living, so she will be moving out of her apartment in the next few weeks. The assisted living place smaller, but it is still a one bedroom apartment, so I don't know how much stuff she will be giving us. The timing is actually fairly good in terms of needed to focu on her--at least we've pretty much finished getting this house ready to show. But more things to deal with...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

My first swim meet

I asked our coach whether to sign up for the meet or whether I would be too slow and hold things up. He said I should ask the person running the meet, he didn't know what the times were like. She encouraged me to sign up, so I did. I didn't want to lose my whole weekend, so I said I would volunteer early Saturday morning and swim Sunday only. I signed up for the 500 yard free, because that is most like a triathlon, the 100 IM (25 butterfly, 25 backstroke, 25 breaststroke, and 25 freestyle), and the 100 free.

When I got there Sunday I was a little nervous, but a teammate was much more nervous so I took charge of figuring out what we needed to know. I asked our coach what to do for a warmup (what he suggested was more than we could have done, but it gave us a starting point). People were really friendly.

The 500 free was swum with the fastest heats first so we were in the last heat, but I didn't fully focus on the starting procedure, I just knew I was going to start in the water. I forgot I was jumping into the deep end and and came up sputtering, and then it was the start. I started out awfully fast (1:05 first 50) because I was excited, so my main goal became not to fade too much. Mostly I tried to stay just below getting too out of breath. My time for a 1500 meter triathlon swim last week was 46 minutes so I had said I just wanted to beat 15 minues. When I looked at the scoreboard after finishing I saw a 15, because my last lap time was 1:15. Only after I got out did I realize that my time was actually 12:46, which I was very happy with, even if the 74 year old woman doing her third swim meet ever beat me. I got second in my age group (out of two).

There was a fairly long break and I ate a nut bar but didn't do any more warmup. The shorter events were organized slowest heats first, so I was up quickly for the IM once the next part of the meet started. That for me was the most exciting event because I did feel competent in the butterfly (which I don't always) and was in a tight race with the person swimming next to me all the way through the event. She was always a little ahead and I couldn't gain on her in the freestyle, but I tried. I was very happy with my time of 2:29 (first 50 in 1:13). I was sixth in my age group.

The most interesting event to watch was the 200 butterfly--the youngest person in the race was 49 and the oldest was 65 (the 82 year old didn't enter that one). The 65 year old won it.

My last event was the 100 free. I worked really hard and I had the start a bit better figured out, but I was disappointed by my time. I didn't stay until the results were posted, and now I don't remember if it was 2:20. Maybe I was tired, or I just pushed too hard and lost efficiency. My first 50 was 1:04, second was 1:16.

I stayed to cheer teammates in the mixed relay and still got home around noon, very hungry and with that good feeling of having pushed myself.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Thursday John avoided actually working with the woman who was supposedly helping him declutter for three hours, before he finally started with her in his office (she worked on other things, but his things are most pressing). The good news is that he acknowledges that he wouldn't be getting it done without her. And she is beginning to get him to accept the idea that someone else might do the things he does his way, such as his laundry.

We had someone take a load to the dump and it has become more visible that we have made a lot of progress. And we are taking over 10 boxes of books to a booksale tomorrow.

swim meet

I'm swimming in our local swim meet tomorrow only. This morning I went and helped for a couple of hours. I talked with one lady who is 74 and swimming in her third swim meet. She will probably beat me tomorrow (she said she was a swim instructor for many years, just didn't compete). I'm pleasantly scared about tomorrow: I've said to several people that I am doing it because it is something I never thought I would do in my life.