For us May felt a like a whole lot of nothin’ going on since we kept waiting every day for things to materialize that would get us closer to our expat goals. Instead, a whole lot of smaller things happened while we were waiting in May .
We had a change of scenery
We moved again, three times. We moved from the townhouse vacation rental where we were staying in Kanab into another unit for a week, and after that we moved to Cedar City for another week into a rental we found on vrbo.com (kind of like airbnb). Currently we are house-sitting for my cousin about 20 minutes outside Cedar City while she is in Europe.
I say we are house-sitting, but really she just did us a favor. I think she would have been fine without us watering her plants. After all, we were supposed to meet up with her in Europe on her visit. But since we are still in Utah, it has been nice to be closer to amenities and in cooler weather.
We went from Kanab:
To this near Cedar City:
We saw our mothers on Mother’s Day
It was the first time in many many years we have been able to hand-deliver our Mother’s Day gifts. We took goodies and potted plants to my mom and Scott’s mom.
The Mudge brought me a wildflower bouquet he picked. The flowers are Desert Globe Mallow. Thanks to a wet Spring they are everywhere, which suits me just fine since they are so pretty.
Later, we went for sushi and a movie. We watched The Age of Adeline. Have you seen it? Maybe it just struck me in the right mood, but I loved it! There was one point in the movie with a narrator that we thought should have been moved to the end for more impact, but overall I thought it was a great story. The critics don't seem to agree, but I think the critics sound like a rotten date.
I had a haircut
I was waiting on our move to Edinburgh before getting a long-needed haircut so I could establish a relationship with a stylist, but the longer we waited the less I could stand my hair. My ends were so dry and split I just couldn’t wait any longer, so I finally went in to the best-rated salon nearby (not that there were many options) and got a chop and some low-lights to even out the color.
The stylist straightened my hair to check the evenness of the cut, and dry snipped some layers. The picture on the far right is more of my everyday look now. I’ve been air-drying my locks for a while. Just before our move abroad last Fall my hairdryer gave up the ghost, and my straightening iron needed replacing as well. I have held off replacing both since I was waiting to get them on UK adapted 220V power. It is making me a little crazy, but I am learning more and more to embrace my natural wave, in all its fickle glory.
I started training for a race
I did not sign up for a race, but I’ve been using the app called Gipis on the recommendation of a relative. She trained for a half-marathon with this app, and spoke highly of it. The app assigns you a workout program and then walks you through it, telling you to speed up or slow down to keep pace, and even lets you know when you are halfway done.
Formal exercise has been non-existent for me for longer than I care to admit, although I walked downtown on my lunch-breaks pre-Euro-trip, and while we were in France and Ireland I was taking walks as I felt like it. I am excited to use this app to actually get back into running over walking. I may even consider an actual race.
Right now my goal in the app is a 10 mile run. Because I am essentially starting over from scratch, my program in Gipis is working me up to it slowly. So slowly, in fact, that I literally can’t run at the pace they have started me at. I have to walk. My normal walking pace is fairly quick, faster than what the app has assigned my pace to begin. I think that might be because I essentially started from zero when I was inputting the parameters for my workout goal. I was going to maybe set a new goal to start at a higher level, which would delete my current progress, except then the next thing happened this month:
I fell down the stairs
I was walking down when I slipped on the stairs. My feet flew out from under me and I landed on my spine mid-back on the edge of a riser. It knocked the wind out of me, literally. I slid down to the floor and lay there. For a good half a minute or so I thought I was irreparably broken. I felt my spine hit and then I couldn’t move my chest to breathe. Instead I lay there groaning while the air slowly, it felt ever so slowly, seeped in and out of my lungs.
Luckily, nothing seems to be broken. After a few minutes on the floor I was able to move and breath again. The doctor didn’t even see a reason to take x-rays after checking me out later, though he recommended I see a chiropractor. My spine, sternum and several ribs were very sore for a few days, but luckily that was the worst of it.
I started studying French (again)
I already mentioned I have been working hard on my French skills. I changed the language setting on my phone to French, and it has been interesting. One thing I did not realize would happen was now my Google Maps app speaks to me in French. Luckily I can understand “Tournez à gauche”, and “Tournez à droite” (Turn left and Turn right).
Utah is confusing for mapped directions anyway because of the streets which are largely named for coordinates. So you get directions like, “travel west toward north 200 west and turn north toward west 300 north”. Got that? No? Me neither.
Also, this town where I am staying is in a Bermuda Triangle of sorts in Google Maps. To find my cousin’s house the first time I had to select her address but in a different city a few hundred miles away for the map to locate it only a few blocks over from where I was in her hometown. And when I was mapping an address for a location downtown, Google Maps took me to the corresponding address in the next town over, all while showing my location on the map right next to the place (in the original town) I was trying to go. That is confusing in any language.
Coming up next
June has a few things in store for us. We’re going to Las Vegas next week. Then Scott is off to Scotland for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, The Mudge and I will spend more time with family and friends, and maybe we will get some hikes in. After that, the three of us might be doing some domestic travel, possibly to the East Coast. I am pretty excited about that!
As usual, the details are being sorted out as we go. Stay tuned!