When Good Backs Go Bad

My back when out a couple weeks ago. Where it went, I’m not sure. But it’s out and it isn’t in a big hurry to come back.I’ve been lifting more than usual lately and not the beneficial kind of lifting, like at the gym. No, I’m lifting gargantuan wired cages and cat traps for our nonprofit cat rescue, Marin Friends of Ferals. (Yes, it’s a shameless plug.)

The scene of the crime happened in my garage. While lifting my twelfth trap, I felt a searing pain shoot through my lower back and thought: Have I been stabbed?  Then I said (to nobody in particular, since I was alone), “Oh, that’s not good.Since then I’ve had limited mobility. I am not one who does well with limited mobility. Just ask my animals. Our walks this past week have been shorter than usual. I go as far as I can until the pain moves from my lower back into my butt. The butt region is my turn-around point. Sorry dogs, but this is where we head home. They give me a look of disgust (I swear) and proceed to mope on the walk back.

Still moping

Still moping

Fortunately, I have an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow, who, when I’m out of whack, puts me back in whack.

Yeah, that's the spot

Yeah, that’s the spot

In the meantime, I have become more sedentary than I prefer. My workout partner, Sue, is continuing our weight lifting class without me and is getting more buff by the minute (damn her) while I’m not-so-quietly turning to mush.

See what I mean?

But when your options are limited, you do what you have to. So this is what I’ve been doing:

* Baking. For a recent event, I baked desserts to serve 150 people, but just 100 attended. Now the extras sit in my kitchen, taunting me. There’s English Toffee; pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting; Ritz crackers filled with peanut butter then dipped in chocolate; tropical cupcakes; apple strudel bars and coconut-almond cookies. I tested each one, more than once as it turns out. Gotta make sure they pass muster, right?

Just a sampling

Just a sampling

* Gaining weight by the minute. After eating all those baked goodies, I’ve noticed my muffin-top has gone from small to a gargantuan-sized muffin, like the ones at Max’s Restaurant, where one can easily serve 4 people. Yep, that’s my waistline now.muffin tops* Spending more time on the computer, mostly doing my nonprofit work, but straying more frequently. For instance, today I discovered a cool site called MouthWateringVegan.com. Not that I’m becoming vegan yet, but it doesn’t hurt to eat healthy, right? I figure after all those fattening treats, it wouldn’t kill me to see what butternut squash has to offer.

Butternut squash with quinoa, spinach and walnuts

Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

* Watched part of The Voice on TV for the first time. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad. I only made it through 15 minutes but that was long enough to hear James Wolpert sing A Case of You. I tell ya, that kid has some pipes. He’s a self-defined geek who really nailed that song. You’ll see, check it out here.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYEkvHvB0KU

* Playing more often with my foster kitten who doesn’t like me much. Thor, as he was unfortunately named by his previous foster parent, is what you’d call a scaredy-cat. As a feral kitten, he hisses at me all the time. Fortunately, my self-esteem isn’t threatened by his apparent hatred; I understand he’s never seen humans before. It takes time to warm up to us. Trust me, I know; that’s why I work with animals. Anyway, now that I have time, I’m giving lots to him, even though he wishes otherwise.

Thor

Thor

* Picked every last Fuyu persimmon off my tree. That never happens. Usually I ignore the ones at the very top. Not worth climbing up the ladder for them. But when you have time, you do those things. So my friends are being inundated with persimmons, whether they like them or not.

Last of the persimmons

Last of the persimmons

*Not sleeping more. You’d think I would, wouldn’t ya? But alas, no. Not even having extra time gives me blissful slumber. I’m afraid that’s a distant memory.Now don’t get me wrong; being a gimp has its pluses and minuses. But like everything in life, this too shall pass. Soon enough I’ll be mobile again. I’ll go back to ignoring reality TV, walking my dogs until they refuse to take another step and attempting to whittle a giant muffin-top into a small one. The first two should be a piece of cake.

Speaking of cake, do you hear that? I believe it’s a tropical cupcake calling my name. Catch ya later…

For those wanting something a bit more healthy:

Butternut Squash With Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
1 cup quinoa
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts or almonds

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, squash, quinoa and raisins and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash and quinoa are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with the walnuts or almonds.

6 thoughts on “When Good Backs Go Bad

  1. So sorry to hear about your back. Same thing happened to my daughter recently, also from lifting boxes in the garage. The pain was immense so I know what you went through. She’s OK now. Time heels and I hope you’ll be back to normal soon. Use good judgment and error on the side of caution in lifting anything more than a cocktail glass. Mend quickly, Zoe

  2. Reblogged this on Now Don't Get Me Wrong and commented:

    I just returned from vacation where the only writing I did was a grocery list. So my Sunday blog this week is one from 2013 that you probably didn’t see. I’m just guessing. But if your memory is as bad as mine, you won’t remember reading it anyway so it’ll be like a whole new post to you. Just like I actually wrote one this week instead of eating, drinking and being merry on my vacation. Talk to ya next week!

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