It Should Be a Good Day

content note: exercise & fitness

Ellie wasn’t awake yet, but Aryabhata says good day. It should be a good one here — I woke up and did some writing (the new blocking software I installed to keep me off Facebook until after 9 a.m. definitely helped), talked to a friend, worked on some politics stuff, have a Serendib Press meeting shortly, and I’m expecting to have birthday lunch with a writer friend.

This afternoon will involve some exercise — I’m taking the last few weeks of summer to try to instill some better habits for my newly 50-year-old self.

I signed Kavi and me up with a trainer at the Y for a few sessions, and also signed myself up for a private swim lesson. The trainer has kicked our butts for two sessions so far; it’s good, pushing me harder than I’d push myself. I do the sessions with Kavi, which also is good for helping to make sure he’s not pushing her *too* hard.

She’s not assertive enough to push back against an adult in authority, and with some trainers, you really need to be able to say when you need a break, especially early on, when they don’t know your body and capabilities that well.

For me, I used to push myself so hard that I’d pass out, or come close to it — now, I know myself well enough that I can feel the light-headedness coming on (oh, those squats! working those big muscle groups!), and sit down and breathe until it passes. (That should get better as my body gets used to this kind of workout again — it’s been a while…)

Swim lesson today; I *can* do a front crawl, but still not that well. I’d like to swim like a fish, please. I’m a lot better than I was a year ago, thanks in part to Amanda giving me some lessons in exchange for curry, and I’m hoping a few more lessons will help get me to actually competent swimmer.

If I can get a routine where I’m doing yoga, swimming, and cardio/weights, with something (or maybe two somethings) every day, I’m hopeful that’ll keep me in decent shape as I head into my 50s and beyond. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is my inspiration — still workout out with a trainer into her 80s!

Goodbye Sripati

Today’s the day I signed the paperwork to transfer ownership of Sripati to his new owners. We’ve been a little slow getting this done (on both ends). I put together a bio and collection of photos for them, along with copies of all his medical and legal paperwork. Sad day for me, but hopefully he’ll be happy in his new home. 80 photos, so prepare to be drowned in cuteness. The first photo, in the bag, is from the day they arrived.

Background info, part 1:

https://www.facebook.com/mary.a.mohanraj/posts/10161992035164616

part 2: https://www.facebook.com/mary.a.mohanraj/posts/10162136824629616

His new name is Willie, and amusingly, it turns out that he’s just living half a block away. It shouldn’t matter, but it’s actually quite comforting to know that. The new owner says that there’s an orange cat that comes by and hangs out and they mew at each other, so I suspect Aryabhata has known where his brother was all along.

Once they’ve finished all the paperwork transfer and taken him to the vet, they plan to let him go outside some, so that’s a reassurance to me. He really loved going outside, and they say he still does, so it’s very good to know that’ll still be part of his life.

*****

Family history:

Your cat was originally named Ganymede, son of Florence, born May 28, 2018 (or thereabouts). He and his sibling, Galilea, were rescued by the astronomers at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico; after Hurricane Maria, the astronomers were flooded with feral cats, and did their best to rescue, treat, and re-home as many of them as possible. For more information on this, check out:

https://www.space.com/41619-arecibo-observatory-space…

Two astronomers there were coming to the U.S. and posted on Facebook asking if anyone would like to adopt some of the cats. My husband and I had been talking about getting some cats, and this seemed like a great opportunity. We agreed to adopt a pair of them. They arrived in the midst of our Christmas party in 2018, about seven months old at that point. We thought it was a boy-girl pair, but it turned out that Galilea was actually a boy as well, so two brothers.

We renamed them at that point, giving them South Asian names (since I’m also an immigrant, from Sri Lanka, another little island like Puerto Rico). We kept the observatory names as middle names, so Galilea became Arybhata Galilea, named after an Indian astronomer, and Ganymede became Sripati Ganymede.

Since they’d been feral for so long, and the period of high risk for outdoor cats is when they’re very young and haven’t yet learned to navigate cars, we decided to let them stay outdoor cats; they freely moved in and out of our house (we have a pet door that lets them have access).

They got along well for the next several months, but as they moved into adolescence, they started fighting quite a bit. This is apparently fairly typical for adolescent male cats; since my previous cat was an indoor girl cat, I had no experience of this. The rest of the story you know, I think.

I hope you continue to adore him; he’s a pretty special cat, I think. I think he may well be happier with you than with his brother bullying him – Arya is a little bigger than Sri, and I think tended to win their brawls. If you feel like sending photos occasionally, I’d love to see them, and I’m sure the astronomers would too.

– Mary Anne

Garden Log 5/27/21

I’m a little groggy today — after the board meeting, it took me a while to wind down, so I didn’t get to bed until after close to 1, and then this morning, an INCREDIBLY LOUD RACKET came from the street at around 7 a.m. I still don’t know what it was, some kind of construction that went on for at least half an hour — even after we closed the bedroom windows, it was still REALLY LOUD. Neighbors, any clue what was up?

I finally got back to sleep, and then I got a phone call about a community thing around 8 a.m. People, please don’t call me at 8 a.m. unless someone’s health is in danger. I didn’t actually answer, but the phone buzzing woke me up and then I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I dealt with the community thing and then got up for the day, but I am still v. sleepy.

Taking it a little easy this morning — I have meetings upcoming at 11 (SLF) and 12 (comic), and then hoping to write this afternoon. For now, I’m alternating sitting in my shed watching Veronica Mars (I saw an episode or two the first time around, but never actually watched the show through) and gardening.

So far today, I’ve dug up and moved a sweet autumn clematis that I had planted smack in the middle of this bed, which is ridiculous, because it needs the fence to climb on, I don’t know what I was thinking. I had it on a little 3′ trellis which it had completely overwhelmed. So I disentangled it from the trellis, and by disentangled, I mean that I hacked it away as needed.

I had to cut off half the vines, but I think it’s such a tough plant it’s probably going to be fine regardless; sweet autumn clematis is a bit of a monster. I’ve now replanted it on the far side of the greenhouse, which is fairly deep shade, but there are some tendrils still long enough to reach the top of the fence, so I think if I tie them up, they’ll likely gather enough sun to keep the creature alive — we’ll see. It’ll be an interesting experiment.

Other than that, spread another bag of mulch, neatening up the area. Only 30 or so bags of mulch to go. I really do like the sort of meditative aspect of doing this one bag at a time, and using this process as an opportunity to reconsider every square foot of the garden as I go. I should plant some shade lovers around the base of that pear tree. Hmm…I think I’ll move the giant hosta that’s not really visible behind the clematis.

Clematis Niobe is starting up (I need to go tie up some of the vines so they reach higher on the trellis). Pretty pretty. I’d love to pair it with a white rose on the same trellis, but that spot really is somewhat shady — any shade-tolerant climbing white roses you’d recommend? I’m thinking Iceberg Climber.