Friday, March 24, 2017

Art Night at the Cottages

Matt's studio is in a gorgeous park; his is one of six artist cottages set up along the river, but they're not close to the road and don't get lots of foot traffic. During Art Fest, we constantly hear, "I've lived here for decades and had no idea these existed!" It doesn't help that most of the cottages had been empty for quite awhile before Matt moved in and started Upriver Ceramics.
So, in an attempt to get the word out, Matt and his fellow artists have started a monthly Art Night where the cottages will stay open late. They invite guest artists to come set up as well. This Tuesday was their first "event." We weren't expecting a huge turnout because this was a new endeavor, but we were happily surprised!
People came in waves throughout the evening to check out the various artists.
Some of the crowd outside Matt's studio.
Steve had a presentation going with some of his bigger pieces; I LOVE the lamps made of pieces of real mangrove roots.
John worked on a painting in full view of our guests.
Around 7:30 I walked over the bridge to pick up tacos for everyone - there's an authentic Mexican restaurant that sells $1 street tacos on Tuesdays, so it's pretty perfect that Art Night is going to be on a Tuesday each month.

Quick side story: When I got to the front of the line to order, the young man did a little double take and then broke out into a huge grin. "I think you were my teacher!" I immediately recognized him - he was my student 7 or 8 years ago, in my first or second year teaching! He gave me a big hug and pointed out his mom, who was working on filling orders. It turns out his family owns the restaurant!
Mm, nothing tastes better than food grilled outside!
Anyway, by the time I got back around 8:30 (taco night was slammed!) the artists were cleaning up. We ate our tacos and then called it a night. I don't usually stay out so late on work nights, but it was worth it.
I'm so excited that this first night was a success! Matt sold a couple pieces, including my favorite, "Forbidden Fruit."
Remember this piece? Well, it went to a good home.
I think this will be a great tradition the artists are starting, and I hope it only continues to grow.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Calf Update & I Need Some Advice

Last Friday, I went to a see a sports medicine doctor about my calves. I was going to go in April when I have spring break, but Elizabeth suitably freaked me out and convinced me to move the appointment up.

Dr. Cintron took a very detailed history - I was glad I have a blog because I was able to pinpoint when the pain started and how it progressed over time. She palpated my calves and had me do a few stretches, none of which hurt. My calves only hurt after certain exercises or while running.

Sometimes they are tight early in a run and then loosen up 30 minutes in; sometimes they feel fine and then get tight a mile in.

She was skeptical that I have a strain or tear in both calves, but ordered an MRI anyway, which I will have this Friday. My followup with her is Monday afternoon. I hate that this is an ordeal; I wish it could just be diagnosed and over with.
In the meantime, no running or high-impact exercise. (What am I supposed to do for cardio?!) I'm on a regimen of taking Naproxen twice daily to combat any inflammation I may have. Before I left, the nurse set me up with some ice and TENS therapy (she was glad to hear I have a TENS unit and was using it at home) and then gave me a massage with Biofreeze.
I hate icing. SO COLD.
She also printed out some stretches for me to do with explicit instructions not to overstretch. I'm very inflexible so I'm totally guilty of overstretching frequently, but I'm going to be good!

So, that's the deal for now. I'm not sure if I'd rather get definitive answers from the MRI (which would mean bilateral strains/tears somehow) or not. No strain would mean possibly a less serious issue, but it could mean compartment syndrome, which Dr. Cintron did not rule out.

I wish I could run just to test the pain and be sure it's still there; I've been resting so long I'm starting to doubt my own memory! But maybe if the MRI is negative, she'll stick me on a treadmill to get some results.

Any advice for getting some cardio while I'm avoiding high-impact exercise?