March 2021 Wrap-up

What a weird, weird month. Most of March was actually pretty nice. I had a lot of good moments, learned some things about myself, had tons of birthday celebrations, etc. Ambrose got his first job, Jason and the boys got their first vaccine doses, and things were generally going well until the end of the month, when my family lost a member on the 29th, which of course was fraught with complications since there’s a pandemic in place! But I’ve talked about that in its own post already, so let me move on to how March wrapped up.

Reading and Watching
Hey! I actually managed to read a bit this month! Not much – finished 3 books and have another in progress – but it’s something. I also watched a few new-to-me movies, both older but I’ve never seen them: Dr. Strangelove (saw the very beginning and very end in college, missing all of the middle, so I had no idea WTF was going on, ha!) and The Devil Wears Prada. Both were excellent! Otherwise the only thing I’ve been watching is my recent binging of Temptation Island, which is like uuuuugh but also very addictive and helped me when I was extremely f–ked up about my grandpa this month.

What are these? Seriously, though, my 2021 goals are basically a bust. I created them before I had some major health and household changes at the end of the year, and I doubt I’ll focus on them at all this year. I suppose that I did get a personal answer about the career exploration I’ve been doing, with an ah-ha moment about school and anxiety and aversion. I’ll have to see where things go from there. Trying to approach this cautiously.

This was a month focused on doctors. I saw three specialists in addition to my regular doctor, and had multiple x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, and MRIs, with more to come (some results still en route to me). After years of struggling to get anyone to listen to me, I suddenly have All The Things happening at once, and it’s a bit overwhelming. Especially while also dealing with Pandemic PTSD and my grandfather’s situation. I don’t have answers yet, but at least I have progress. (Pic: WTF is up with my left foot??)

In my stats this month, I exercised on 19 days for a total of ~21 hours, including 5 yoga, 45.5 miles hiked/run/walked, and 12 days of social fitness. I tried to do well with my fruits/veggies, averaging 2.9 daily this month, but sadly I’m doing sooooo bad when it comes to controlling how much coffee I drink. I’m like 99% sure that coffee is what’s keeping me from losing weight, and yet I can’t seem to give the stuff up! Ugh. I ended up gaining about a pound from Day 1 to Day 31, making it a total of 8 lbs gained in 2021 so far. But! I’m pretty sure I know why I’m suddenly gaining like this, as well as where my fatigue, depression, and other symptoms are coming from, thanks to the bloodwork I took a few days ago and some strict food-tracking. That’s a subject for its own post, though!

The back siding and porch-building are still in progress. Goes very slowly when you only have a few evenings and a couple weekend days to work. It’s been a very rainy month, which meant further delays. But it’s coming along. Much of the trim is up on the back of the house, and some of it is painted. The porch sides are built up now as well, and almost ready to paint. One of these days, our yard will no longer be filled with construction supplies!

In the garden area, the nectarine guild is doing phenomenally (pictured below). We’ve had a small bit of fruit (baby nectarines, small strawberries) which we weren’t expecting so quickly, and we have beans, carrots, and garlic all growing well. The marigolds, honeysuckle, and lobelia are blooming like crazy. We set up a makeshift tiny wooden “fence” for the area right by the back of the house, sewn with oats, peas, and fava beans mostly to keep the area from eroding. I’ve begun designing the next phases of the backyard – a wildflower bed (pictured at right) for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, to go around the new live oak (with another makeshift “fence”); and a succulent zen garden (not done yet). Jason is planning to string up some fairy lights over the porch as well. And we currently have a hibiscus sitting on the porch until we get a tray to go under it – this will eventually be inside by our very bright dining room windows/doors.

In the front yard, I was delighted to find that the copper canyon daisy is coming back from the roots! The vinca – which we had to raise up with a lot of dirt, meaning much of it got buried – rallied and pulled itself to the surface and is blooming like crazy! The purslane, which we thought was dead-dead after the winter, is growing back from its roots. Plants are seriously so amazing! I’m sad that the lantana is also growing back from the roots. It was there when we bought the house and not planted in a good area for lantana. It’s always half-dead without enough sun, and we were hoping it was gone for good so we could rip it out. But nope! (We still plan to rip it out, but it’s always harder to do that on living plants!)

Favorite photos
As always, these are photos taken by me, and aren’t always the best photography – just photos that I particularly love for one reason or another! Full versions can be seen on FB or Instagram.

Top row: Jennine at the top of Enchanted Rock; garden strawberry; tree tag. Bottom row: hibiscus blooming; snail on the trail; a puddle oasis on top of Enchanted Rock.

Left, top to bottom: Lindsay surprised by her baby shower; itty bitty snail escapes; lobelia flowering. Right top: lizard gives me side-eye. Right bottom: eating the first garden strawberry; lichen growing on the side of a tree at Friedrich Wilderness Park.

Highlights of March
March is a very busy month for my family, especially with the million birthdays everywhere. Busy is often very stressful, and of course the month ended on a sad note as well, but this month produced a lot of wonderful fun moments to break up all the rush rush rush and brighten the sadness.

  • meat-and-veg handpies, cherry handpies (in the air fryer!), and sweet cream ice cream, all homemade from scratch, for my birthday
  • our nectarine tree and strawberry plants got baby fruit! and ohhhh fresh strawberries from the garden, mmmm…
  • the new air fryer. that is all.
  • Molly Galbraith’s new book published, and when I mentioned it online, she DMed me a voice message telling me she remembered me from her Love Your Body Challenge seven years ago, and how much my support has meant over the years
  • my boys got a Switch, so I got a Ring Fit and have enjoyed playing that
  • used part of the tax refund to get a rower!
  • signed up for my first in-person 5K since Feb 2020!
  • I found this lizard in our basil that was trying to camouflage to both the plant and the dirt, making him two-toned, ha! –>
  • yoga in the park with friends
  • new plants! Including the hibiscus we’re (hopefully) able to keep alive inside
  • many members of my family were able to get their vaccines, including the three in my household!
  • meeting hikers by accident in various parks
  • discovering that one of my hiking friends is the mom of one of Ambrose’s friends
  • a doctor who actually listens to me. Let me repeat that incredible statement: a doctor who actually listens to me!!!
  • a day out to Enchanted Rock with friends
  • a surprise baby shower for a fellow hiker
  • helping Laurence with a cool theatre photography project
  • the cuuuuuutest puppy out on the trails!
  • we had a hummingbird near our back door, likely there for the hibiscus, when I’ve never seen a hummingbird near our house before!

Coming up in April
More medical stuff, Easter, and generally transitioning to summer. April is traditionally a tough time for me, with the increased heat, though the last few years that’s been less so. Fingers crossed this is one of the better years. Also: fingers crossed that everything works out and I can get my household fully vaccinated by the end of the month (no delays!)!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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