Intentions of the Week

Feels nice to be back to doing these weekly intentions of the week post. They were originally inspired by Shutterbean. I find them to be good practice to help me prioritize what I need to do for the week. My friend’s flight has been delayed so I will be here for one more night here.

This Week
Set defense date (my perpetual top priority)
Drink more water
Eat more vegetables
Eat less sugar
No fast food
Exercise daily for 1 hr, walking is fine, splitting the time up is fine
Stretch for 20 mins/day – I really want to try to get in this habit
Check out apartments in Philly and ideally sign paperwork!
Finish Powerpoints for Ch. 1-2 for my Bio 101 course
Record lectures for Ch.1-2
Clean hedgie’s cage – I’ve missed her!
Cut hedgie’s nails – I can’t imagine how long they are and I can’t believe I’ve been away from home for essentially 3 weeks!
Dye hair (especially before recording my lectures)
Keep journaling
Write a Where I am at post
Write another post
Write next week’s Intentions of the Week

Last Week
Analyze mtRNAseq data – in progress, my co-PI is currently running this because he has the code but it was too messy to send it to me to run it myself. I am hoping I will have the output today
Set defense date – emails (PLURAL!) have been sent, waiting on responses
Drink more water
Eat more vegetables
Eat less sugar – well if you read my last update you’ll already know I failed this trying out all the local treats which were so worth it
No fast food
Walk Hachi 2x/day It cooled down a teeny tiny bit over the weekend thanks to the rain so those days we opted for an extra long walk instead
Stretch for 20 mins/day – I only did it for 2 days, starting new habits are hard
Enjoy a massage (I booked one for Wednesday)
Finish Powerpoints for Ch.1-2 for my Bio 101 course – in progress, Rob had been planning on bringing me my textbook (it was mailed to me after I traveled here) to make it easier than trying to use my PDF version but since he ended up not coming out I’ve decided to just shift this to do to this week. It’s way too much of pain to toggle back and forth between screens, split it or lose your place scrolling in a giant pdf.
Keep journaling (I’ve actually been doing very good)
Write a Where I am at post See it here
Write next week’s Intentions of the Week

Where I am at these days…

I am officially off isolation!

This past Monday was my day 10 so I’ve been off isolation this week. My symptoms mostly stayed mild but I did end up having some tummy issues and one day of pretty bad head congestion with a headache that I didn’t do any work. But by Friday, day 7, I felt good and tested negative day 7 and I confirmed my negative again Saturday. However, Sunday I was so exhausted I pretty much slept all day – I slept in until 9am (which is kind of late for me), napped 1pm-6pm, passed out on the couch by 10pm. But this week I’ve been feeling back to 100% and haven’t had any issues with energy unless you count early morning wake ups by the cat demanding food. Also Rob has managed to stay negative so I’m very thankful for that!

I don’t think, I mentioned this in my post last week, but I know I tweeted about it, my left thumb was killing me. It felt like a sprain and the pain would radiate across my palm, into my wrist, and down my elbow. I was pretty alarmed! Especially since I was like how the heck did I do this and how am I going to finish typing my dissertation! But between the rest of not working/using my thumb for a few days last week and the thumb/wrist brace I got Friday it’s feeling pretty good. But not yet 100%, I’m thinking that will take awhile. I am still wearing the brace when typing and sleeping and foresee doing that for awhile. Especially since I didn’t wear it to bed last night and I regret it. Also I am now pretty sure that the strain/sprain/whatever-the-heck pain was caused by driving – apparently I drive pretty heavily with my left thumb. And it is probably exacerbated by bad sleeping posture – now that I pay attention since it hurts I realize I stick my hand angled poorly against the headboard, between my legs, or tightly balled around my thumb. I guess I need to work on both my day and night posture!

Anyway, since I am now allowed out of solation I have made some time to explore the nearby town a little bit. Stroudsburg, PA is pretty cute and I have now enjoyed a few lunches at Cafe Duet. The first time, I had an amazing pastrami and kimchi sandwich. I really wish I took photos of it! I will have to try to make something like this at home because it was so simple but also indulgent! It was a hoagie type roll with pastrami, kimchi cabbage, roasted broccoli florets, and a dab of mayo. That’s it! Since it was so amazing, I had to go back again and try another sandwich which was roasted mushrooms, gruyere, and arugula on a croissant. This time I did take a photo of it, and it was just as delicious as the first! I highly, highly recommend checking this place out if you’re ever in the area!

Roasted mushrooms, gruyere, and arugula on a croissant

I also got a nice relaxing massage with clementine aromatherapy, a cool stone facial and hair oil treatment all squeezed into an hour yesterday. The cool stones, while initially surprising because I normally think of massage stones being hot, felt so good! Maybe I should get one of those ice roller things! I felt incredibly pampered after and have 0 complaints. But I am still craving a massage that will literally dig deep into the tension in my neck/back so I scheduled another massage somewhere else for Monday.

Also on my adventures out, I tried Jimmy’s Ice Cream, nothing special but a solid standard ice cream joint. And who doesn’t need ice cream in this heat?! And yesterday, I picked up some macarons at Kitchen Chemistry – the espresso flavored one was to die for and of course I loved the lavender flavored one. I also picked up a carrot cake cupcake but I have yet to to try it. And I got a lavender fields latte from 7th Street Cafe – delicious but very sugary. So as you can see I am not doing well on my intention of eating less sugar this week. Oh well!

Tomorrow I have an appointment for a haircut. I’m overdue and is much more affordable to cut my hair out here than in NYC. I am thinking I will just do blunt bob, no bangs. This is pretty much a go to cut for me although I often get bangs and I do sometimes maintain long layers instead which I am kind of considering but also probably not because I think I want to cut off the color. We’ll find out what I do tomorrow I guess. I also got tickets for dinner at the winery down the street for 6pm because how could I not check out the winery that’s literally just down the street?

I’ve been so thoroughly enjoying being in the country-side and cuddling all these fluffy babies and I’m going to be incredibly sad returning to the city life. I can’t believe the end of this writing retreat is near. Although I will be happy to done writing. And I am really looking forward to seeing Rob – it’s been weeks! First, we were planning to do river stuff this weekend but the weather forecast wasn’t cooperating. Then, I was supposed to see him today but unfortunately, some work stuff on his end came up which is fine because I have plenty of my own work stuff to do.

As for PhD updates, believe it or not I am working out here and getting writing done. My latest draft was sent out Monday and a request for permission to set my defense. While the email being received was acknowledged, no response on the defense request yet. I will push again when I send out my full dissertation draft in the next few days. I also got back my last bit of sequencing data, it needs to be analyzed still but I need help from my Co-PI for that – he has the code to do the analysis and won’t have time for a few more days to get to it. And that really should be a wrap.

Anyway, here are some pet photos for you to enjoy. Our routine is typically, water the garden and coffee on the patio, walk, breakfast for the animals, write/snuggle/play in yard, lunch, write/snuggle/play in yard, dinner, and another walk to say hi to the cow friends, wrangle everyone inside, unwind/bedtime, repeat.

The grey and white cat is named Billie (I misspelled her name previously) and she cuddles me pretty much daily while I write. The black kitty is apparently named Coco. I had mentioned I didn’t know his name so the first few days I was calling him Sampson for some unknown reason. The photos don’t do his size justice because he is an enormous tom cat but he’s also so docile and puts up with Billie being rude to him and Hachi occasionally trying to use him as a squeak toy. And then of course, there is Hachi, the German Shepherd/Akita mix. I only lost him once last week for like 20 minutes but he turned up down the street at the nearby farm just like my friend told me he would – she warned me not to worry if he escaped because it wouldn’t be his first time. I wish I could share videos but apparently I need to upgrade for that. While he is mostly a good boy, he likes to be stubborn and lay down on walks when I try to turn us around to head back home. In fact, there has been two occasions now, once this morning, where the neighbors stop in their cars, roll down the windows, and have a good chuckle witnessing this.

Attempts at a morning selfie
Hachi has no bad angles
Kitties getting fresh air too!
Coco loves the outdoors!
Billie says no thanks, I’m an indoor cat!
One of our many walks!
His bff, there is this one cow always comes over to say hi when we walk by