A One Week Grateful Post

I have mentioned how crazy this past week has been, but it hasn’t prevented me from realizing what I am grateful for.

I will start with the young lady I am tutoring.  Her name is Christine, and even though she was born in France, her parents are American and they are from nearby Massachusetts in the Wallum Lake area.  I have been helping her complete an online English course and she has been fun to work with.  Her friend has been sitting in on our session and she has been a delight too.  Thanks Claudia and Christine for being great students!

My student and her friend.

My student Christine and her friend Claudia.

I am grateful to my uncle that I don’t see too often because he lives about 75 miles away.  He is also camping this week, right down the road in the same campground as me and his stories still crack me up as they’ve been doing for the past 40 years.  Thanks Uncle Russell!

I am grateful to my boyfriend for helping us bring down the camping supplies.  With his truck he managed the large gas grill, the bicycles, a plastic shelving unit for the “kitchen” and plenty of firewood so far.  Probably have enough for at least another 5-6 days.  Think we can make it stretch.  Thanks Jason!

The firewood in the back of the pickup truck.

Our supply of firewood in the back of the pickup.

I am grateful for Burlingame Campground.  It has been a part of my life for more than 40 years.  I first went camping with Mom and Dad, then spent 2 weeks at a time with my aunt and her kids when I was younger.  We know where everything is and feel comfortable there.  It allows me to relax and kick back and just enjoy my time with the kids and any company that manages to come for a visit.

Alex on the rock.

Alex on the rock outside the bathrooms.

I am so very grateful the weather has been decent so far.  The past 2 years we have been nearly flooded out of our campsite with summer rains and so far, so good this year.  We’ve had an early morning sprinkle 2 days, but it is all cleared up by the time I roll out of my tent.

Rain at the campground.

Monsoon season at the campsite 2 years ago.

Climbing Aboard the USS Salem

The USS Salem

The USS Salem

Saturday found my daughter, son Alex and I visiting the USS Salem, a naval cruiser docked in Quincy, Massachusetts.  My youngest son is a military fanatic and was so excited to get to see the ship and explore it.  And boy did we explore!

A staircase on the USS Salem

A ladder, I mean staircase…

Guns aboard the USS Salem

Look out for the heavy artillery!

The ship is under renovations and restoration, but if a door was open and a light was on, then that room was fair game.  I climbed up and down about a dozen vertical ladders that they were calling staircases.  We even descended 2 levels to view one of the engine rooms where my son followed the volunteer around like a puppy dog hanging on to his every word.

Engine Room Control Panel of the USS Salem

Engine Room Control Panel

The turrets were mostly accessible and of course he scrambled over those and sat in seats and pushed buttons on the control panels.  Even though this is a heavy cruiser, the ship never saw battle.  I guess her presence as the Sea Witch was enough to keep enemies at bay.  This ship last sailed in 1959 in the Mediterranean and was decommissioned shortly after that.

USS Salem, The Sea Witch

The USS Salem, nicknamed The Sea Witch

Alex at the controls of the USS Salem

Alex at the controls. Don’t push the red button!!!

I didn’t think I would get much exercise visiting a ship and naval museum, but walking around each deck and climbing up and down ladder/staircases was definitely a workout.  My legs were achy and arms tired from hanging on to the ropes and railings as we managed those deadly staircases.

My son was delighted with his visit to the USS Salem and we are planning to visit the battleship USS Massachusettssoon.

On board the USS Salem

My children on board the deck of the USS Salem.

On our way home we stopped for lunch at House of Fortune, a Chinese restaurant owned and operated by people who became friends when they owned a smaller version of the same restaurant in Cumberland.  Their new location is in Plainville, MA and still very much worth the drive over to visit them.

Salmon and Tuna Sushi

My salmon and tuna sushi lunch special.

I had the sushi lunch combo along with edamame, miso soup and a tossed green salad with ginger dressing and some green tea.  A delicious lunch and filling enough to last me the rest of the day.

Ahhh, A Massage….

I had a rather achy New Year’s Day and Monday didn’t start out much better, except that I remembered today was Massage Day! I had made the appointment with my friend before Christmas and was so happy when I realized that the appointment day was actually today.

Massage can be so beneficial to anyone wishing to relax and work out some stress but is even more helpful to someone working out and needing some extra attention to those sore and achy muscles.  A good Swedish massage can break up lactic acid build up in muscles and ease knots and kinks you may have unwittingly worked in there.  And it just feels great!

My friend owns her own business and gives me a special rate (I hope because she just loves me, but probably hoping for a massage in return…) We met at Massage School and I was a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist but never applied for the state license and then life got in the way.  I took a job at the end of classes to get me through and that job ended up paying very well with excellent benefits and I strayed away from the massage.  Then I hurt my wrist at work and after that it became difficult and painful to massage with any pressure, so I had let it go.  I may think of taking up Reflexology again which doesn’t require a special certificate in Rhode Island and will be looking into that soon.

Ida delivered a wonderfully relaxing Swedish massage and worked extra on my poor suffering feet and my thighs and buttocks.  Also on my aching back which unfortunately has not improved yet.  She was surprised when I told her she could work on my feet a bit more because in school I could barely stand anyone touching my feet since they are so ticklish.  But she used firm pressure and it felt like heaven.  Felt good enough for me to go to the gym where I increased the running intervals to 40 seconds.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it is an increase over last week and was a wee bit tough for me to get through today.  I did it and felt good! (And that is not Ida nor I in the picture.)

For anyone in the Seekonk/Attleboro, Massachusetts area, you can call Therapeutic Techniques Massage by Ida Simpson.  She is located at 550 Central Avenue, Unit 6, Seekonk, MA 02771 and her number is 508-212-7625.  As her business card states, “Be Swept Away” with a refreshing massage by Ida.  And tell her I sent you!

Enjoying the Vacation Week

Heading down into the Chasm

We have been taking it easy this week between the holidays and before my son returns to school at Blackstone Valley Prep.  He has been working on his rather large homework packet that needs to be completed before this upcoming Monday, but not all at once since this is supposed to be family time.  We snuck off yesterday to Purgurtory Chasm in nearby Sutton, Massachusetts for a little hiking and rock climbing.  The weather has been unseasonably warm here in Rhode Island for the past 6 weeks and taking advantage of that with some outdoor time is always a plus.

The top of the Chasm

When we arrived at the park we spotted a sign saying the Chasm was closed until Spring.  Normally by this time of the year the rocks are covered with ice and there are large ice pools created at the bottom of the paths.  But it was in the mid-40’s, so my friend Erin, her daughter, and my son and I decided to pretend we didn’t see that sign and headed out anyway.  The path was not icy at all and where there was any water, it was still moving or just muddy.  Some of the rocks were a bit slippery with the moss on the side so sliding down on my butt proved the best maneuver there.

Alex in the Crevice

There is a crevice between two humongous rocks that people squeeze through.  Even though I have been here several times in the past, I have never noticed this crevice.  Erin was familiar with it and my son Alex decided he was brave enough, and skinny enough to walk through and we met him at the other side.  Then Erin admitted she had always wanted to be able to go through so I told her to be careful and I would help her out at the end.  Her daughter, Alyssa, now was also brave enough to squeeze through it.  Not so much for me!  The kids had no problem but Erin is a full-figured gal like myself and even though she made it through the crack, getting her out was another story.  The kids came straight up and out with a helping hand from me, but Erin had to pass through sideways due to the width of the crevice.  (Notice I didn’t say the width of Erin! Her width can change but this rock was going nowhere!!!)  Getting her foot into the natural step hold on the rock proved quite difficult.  After giggling profusely and sending the kids away because they were laughing too hard, we managed to get her up and out into safety.  And she could proudly state she had managed to go through the crack!  We managed to end our climbing expedition safely and without being caught by any Park Rangers.  (Oh, we are such bad mommies setting a terrible example of flaunting the rules…but we were exercising!)

The crew coming through! Proud of you girl!

That was the first half of my daily exercise.  The evening hours found me at the gym where I happened upon a fascinating discovery.  At least to me.

I have been walking at a pace of 3.0 which is comfortable for me with my stumpy legs and then running for my 30 second intervals at 4.6 or 4.7.  But I was feeling a bit peppy and decided to push it a bit and cranked the treadmill up to 4.9 and then 5.0 and my running was so much easier and more natural.  I had been jealously watching some of the other treadmill runners lope along so comfortably and craned my neck around to check out their speeds without appearing to be a stalker.  And most of them were running at 5.0 or higher, so I tried the 5.0 and I liked it!  My feet aren’t as sore after the workout, I am completing what I have planned and I feel good!  (Cue the James Brown music…)

And my gym going dedication has finally rubbed off on my sister because she called me and asked to go to the gym Thursday morning with me.  Yeah!  Company for once.