...but there are so many interesting things to do!
This week they installed the ICP-MS at work, even though they can't install the laser ablation system till next year (due to complications that include someone failing to order the gas containers from the US, and the connection points are not compatible with gas containers manufactured in Europe). They managed to get it on line and pretty much working on Monday, which meant that on Tuesday they started doing training for us. Since the guys doing the training have come up from Stockholm and are only here a few days that means that I get to work full time this week instead of my normal half time, so that I can get full benefit of their availability. (I have anticipated this need, and so have been careful to work a little less each day most of this month, so that I would have the extra hours available now so I could be here long days and not go over my total number of hours for the month.)
However, the fact that I am coming home much later than normal has not translated into doing less things with my time at home. On the contrary, I have added yet new projects into the mix. We have some little round wooden boxes we found at a second hand store some time back, and inspired by some beautiful painted ones that 12c_yseult
did and posted photos of not too long back, I decided that I should paint these. I gave them a base and second coat in white early in the week, and then had to actually decide what to paint on them.
So I sat down to the computer and looked through the various files I have created in CorelDraw over the years, to see if any happened to be suitable for such a project. As luck would have it, I once did a vector drawing tracing of a Pictish pattern which I used to decorate a wax tablet I had made as a gift for my apprentice in Tasmania. That pattern was proportioned perfectly to go around the circumference of the box below the lid, so I decided to go for it, for at least one of the boxes.
However, I didn't want only the sides decorated, I wanted something nice for the top, too. So I took the pattern and tried to make it look good in a round. It took quite a while (almost four hours) of messing with it, but once I realized that, rather than having six repeats of the pattern around the circle, it would work better with eight suddenly it just worked, and I had a pattern I was happy with.
That was Tuesday evening, vanished into art projects, and by the time I finished yoga and went to bed it was pretty much midnight. Oops. This made me really tired on Wednesday for training. Tired enough that I forgot that I had an appointment scheduled with a physical therapist for Wednesday evening, until it was pretty much 16:00. That complicated things, since the appointment was scheduled for 17:00, and I was at the office, the appointment was in town, and our car was at home (where it is supposed to be).
I realized that I didn't really have time to do the 45 minute walk home to get the car and still do the drive into town to make the appointment on time. I also noticed that the PhD student in the next office was still in the building (everyone else on our corridor had already gone home for the day). So I explained to him my problem, and asked if he had a car nearby. He did--he lives in an apartment only a five minute walk away, so we walked over there, picked up his car key from the apt. and then he drove me home. That gave me enough time to plug in the car to warm up a little, use the toilet, grab a bite of food to go, and head to town, where I managed to find the location of the appointment fairly easily and was in just enough time to check in and pay the fee before the physical therapist was ready to see me.
The reason I had booked the appointment was because the last time I flew to Australia my hips really hurt by the time I got there, and they continued to bother me any time I sat for a long time or tried to sleep curled up (which had been my normal way to sleep before that trip).
I had had good success with my visit to the physical therapist training session in October, where I let them use me as a teaching example for the students, and they determined that the reason my back had been hurting when I slept was that I had been neglecting my muscles under my shoulder blades. After I started doing the exercises to strengthening those muscles I could sleep without back pain again. Therefore I decided to see if there was anything I could do to prevent having hip pains when I fly back to Australia in February, and booked an appointment directly with the teacher who had done October's lesson.
This turns out to have been a really good idea. He tells me that my problem is a mild case of FAI, where my hip joint is interfering with itself--instead of the leg bone rotating smoothly within my hip it starts to rotate, then shifts just enough that the leg bone bumps into the hip bone (which makes a clicking sound) before jumping past the bump and continuing to lift the leg. This is caused (at least in part) by my having neglected the small muscles in my bottom, which should be strong enough to keep the bones from bumping into one another, but aren't. In my case the issue is minor enough that I hadn't noticed it--when I try to lift my leg it moves, and I didn't realize that I was using only the big muscles and not the little ones which are supposed to be participating in the job.
As an aside, I suspect that this problem first started the year I first moved to Tassie--I remember having a problem with the muscles in my but hurting to the point that even doing a forward bend was a problem--when I did one during yoga (that was before I had started doing yoga daily, but I was doing it fairly often and wanting to do it more) it felt like the muscle was catching on something and getting stuck. Mom paid for me to see a physical therapist at the time, and he showed me a stretch I could do wherein I would lay on my side with my leg and hip bent and an friend would put an elbow into my but--if they hit the sore spot it would make my toes tingle and a sharp, yet pleasant pain, would result in the muscles of my but. The first year or three we were together clovis_t
would do that for me often, and, gradually, I felt like I needed it less and less often. Now I have a hypothesis that it was while that was a problem that I first started using other muscles instead of those.
But back to the present...
The physical therapist gave me a couple of exercises I can do to strengthen those muscles, and he did a pretty intense stretch of my hip for me before I went home. It feels like it will help, and I am seriously motivated to do the exercises--I really don't want a repeat of that hip pain when I travel!
After I got home from my appointment I baked a batch of cookies as a thank you for the PhD student who had driven me home so that I could get there on time. Between that and getting distracted with email/FB I didn't get yoga done till late, and it was, once again midnight before I went to bed.
Which, once again, made me tired for our training at work today. Oops. Tired enough that I got a ride partway home from lord_kjar
rather than walking all the way (he happened to be driving home as I was already underway). Once we were home he grabbed some food and went to his computer to relax after a difficult day at work and I grabbed some food and fell into a book (which I finally finished! This makes 28 books read in 2014, which is way more than last year's 13). Then I got inspired and cleaned out the set of wire drawers that had been on the shelf in the corner near lord_kjar
's computer desk to free up that space for the new printer (which is sized like the spot had been designed with it in mind) and then spent an hour painting the design onto the first little box.
I considered being smart and putting the painting off for another day, but then realized that I want to bring the box with me to the SCA event on Saturday (since it is such a good size for holding my little embroidery snips, thread, and needle case), and that if I didn't do the painting today it wouldn't be dry enough to use on the weekend.
So, now it is nearly 23:00 and I still have yoga and physical therapy exercises to do before bed, and, even though tomorrow is Friday, which I normally have off, I will be going in to work for one final half day of training before they fly back to Stockholm. Therefore I had better close this here. Hope all of you have had a good week! (and that some of you will post about it)