Thursday, August 30, 2007


I just love waking up and realizing that I've been dreaming that Dad didn't really die, it was all a mistake, and we're going to be able to get his heart fixed in time. My heart's broken into about 14 pieces this morning...I'm going to have to listen to music all day just to stay focused on work.

That's gotta be residual from my cardio apppointment...doc looked at the autopsy and the first words out of his mouth were, why didn't they stent him? Granted, we don't have all his records yet, but all I could think was, no shit, been wondering the same thing. I'm beginning to think that what held Dad back was Dad.

Dr. Ashchi is terrific...the ARNP must've told him I got weepy explaining things to her, because when he came in, his handshake turned into a hug and I felt immediately at ease. I'm getting an echo (cardiogram) and a stress test done next week; my EKG showed abnormalities, but I ain't worried yet. The thing is, researching the echo and the pictures it takes, I really can't understand how they missed that Dad's heart had enlarged...the chambers and walls come out clearly enough. I'm wondering if I need to be equally pissed at an incompetent ultrasound tech, as I am of Dad's apparently scalpel-shy cardiologist.

We ended up taking Jordan back to the vet; he has a mouth infection and stopped eating I'm racing to get a baby hat done at least for the shower on Saturday, because we're out of dough and I can't shop like I wanted to for Cooper. Tonight's Mom's jewelry party, tomorrow night's a get-together with my work team to send off our boss, Saturday's the shower, Sunday's a get-together with friends, so Monday I'm doing me some serious turtling!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hump day

Any takers?

JK, happily married and all that.

But seriously folks...

There are times when it's prudent to just hunker down and accept a hard week. Be it due to finances, hormones, or something else, acceptance does make a difference. Not a big one, mind you, but...

I didn't cancel something that I thought I had, so our finances are near empty, and it means writing a questionable check over a holiday weekend in order to keep us in electricity. It also means going to a baby shower empty-handed, which sucks, and borrowing a teeny bit more from the parentals to keep us in gas. While this is occurring, our cat is back to dangerously thin. I truly get a friend's stance on not owning pets if you can't afford the inevitable vet visit. We're back to forcefeeding and prayer. And I'm a hormone hostage, which means no energy in my legs, emotionally crispy, and craving bad foods. I'm incredibly proud of myself right now...went to Publix with limited funds for lunch, and they had my favorite raspberry-filled donut holes on sale for $2.99. Same price as a premade sandwich on Cuban bread....I did sit on the fence for a bit, and then I got the sandwich like a good girl. Of course I'll probably go home and eat the rest of the Haagen Daz in the freezer for dinner, but....thought that counts, right?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Anybody get the license # of that truck?

I'm surprisingly accepting about what a waste of a weekend it was for me, performance-wise. I guess it just needed to happen, but usually I have to really convince myself that this is the case. This time though, it was clearly out of my hands. Went to the funeral, survived that no problem, but I guess even that's a lie, because I went from slightly foggy in mind on Saturday night to barely wanting to move Sunday. Was keeping up with my meds fine, so it was definitely my brain telling me to take a breather.....kept staring off into space and then realizing I'd been doing that like, for a while. So I stayed indoors, tried some careful random knitting, and though my nap was filled with stress dreams, after dinner I began to rally a bit. Y'ever been too depressed to cry? It's been literally years since I've been in that place, but I was definitely revisiting it on Sunday. Anyway, appears I'm back to my version of out of the house at a decent hour this morning, made it to work without wanting to kill anybody, and while I'm only about 2/3rds here (at work), that's about norm for me.

Started the last skein of Colorwaves for the random wrap.....this thing'll end up being used more as an at-home throw than an outdoor wrap, but hey, at least it'll get used. Also did just a bit of the Cascade bag...I'm going to finish the brown that I'm currently working before I add a different color. And I worked 3 rows of the baby blanket I started late last week...MAN, I don't care for seed stitch, but for some reason I just feel the need to make this blanket again (the 4-block model in the original SnB book)...the crap acrylic I'm using is awfully rough, but it's a really pretty yellow, so I forgive it :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I went to Jill's funeral today...glad I did, if for no other reason than to have Joan see that I was there and supported her in her time of grief. I really couldn't handle being there. I tried sitting in the chapel for a bit, but the minute I saw Joan's face, that stoic bravery, the faucet in my eyes turned on and I realized I'd be more comfortable standing for the service. Besides the casket was friggin' open, and I had no desire to see that...I've looked death in the face, and have no desire to wallow in it. So I stood in the back with a bunch of former Website Pro-ers, and tried not to shake my head as the reverend went through your standard Christian service. Two things stood out: the idea that Jill was better off in heaven, when she has a husband, a 5-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, and decent life down here............I can't buy that, and in fact, have a real problem with a god who so apparently randomly robs a family of someone like that. And the sermon, which oh-so-deftly (and quite literally) attempted to save people at the end. We're bowing our heads for a final prayer, and this guy is carefully interspersing his sermon with the standard prayer for accepting Christ into your life. I realize that it stood out for me because I can't help feeling outnumbered and awkward when it gets heavy like that, but I just thought doing it at a funeral was distasteful or something.....they must've been Baptists.

Was kind of empty afterward, so took advantage of that feeling to better study Dad's autopsy so I can ask questions at my cardiology appointment on Tuesday. Still pretty deeply sad though, so trying to knit my feelings out or read my library books...been learning a LOT on agriculture, organic farming, and such. I can tell I'm not going to get any cleaning or apartment work done this weekend, so I'm going to use the time to think and research where I want to look for work, because I can't continue this way.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Yup, that's me. I'm a big, flabby self-centered mess.

I mean, I get that it certainly wasn't Jill's intention to set me back in the grief department. When she was going about her business this week as a licensed realtor or taking care of her kids (her son's probably too young even to understand what's happened), she certainly didn't expect to be robbed of life and transformed to spirit so soon. 32 years old, 2 little seriously makes me want to scream. But more than that is how it's not just bringing death back to the forefront in my life; it's the idea that it could happen to me or someone in my age group. And that's just unacceptable. Denial all over again. I was just starting to pass into anger and leave denial behind, and it comes back with a vengeance. This couldn't possibly happen to me. I have too much to do. I ache for her family; how will they make peace with this? It's one thing when it happens like it did to my friend Gretchen's mom...she died in a car accident last winter, but it was CT and they knew that she hit a patch of black ice and there was nothing that could've prevented it. But Jill's family may never know if she dozed off at the wheel or swerved to avoid hitting an animal or something. I've heard people calling her accident tragic, but that word doesn't begin to describe it for me. Yup, the word unacceptable covers it in my book.

I'm going to the funeral tomorrow mainly to pay my respects to Jill, who I respected as a team leader and appreciated as a friend when I knew her. But I'm also going because I know to do so will help me heal and make me a little stronger. This has been a very hard week; I backslid to crying at work when I found out on Wednesday, and yesterday I indulged in comfort food while the voices inside my head screamed at me all day for wasting my life in my cube, editing websites so people can sell things that other people don't need, contributing to the throwaway society that I find so reprehensible. The little black cloud locked itself down on top of my head, and it wasn't until I pulled out the random wrap to knit on when I got home, that I began to feel like I could breathe again. When I finish that sucker, I'm going to need to start another one, I think. There's a strangely therapeutic quality to random knitting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm sick of being able to see the Thestrals!

My friend and former colleague, Jill Garrido, was killed this morning in a one-car accident. No seatbelt. Maybe dozed off for a second at the wheel and overcorrected, flipping her vehicle several times and ejecting her. She was 32...has 2 small kids. I ache all over again.

I don't understand a god that would take a mother from her kids like that. What's the f-ing point? To teach them that you should always wear a seatbelt? There's gotta be a less excruxiating way to drive that home. I took an early lunch and couldn't stop crying while I drove to run errands (granted, not the safest way to travel either, but I was extra careful given the sitch). I want to scream all over again. I want to go to her funeral but I know I wouldn't be able to handle it; it's just too soon. I want to hold her kids and tell them about their mom. I want this not to have happened.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Check for an eclipse.....

...or evidence that the earth has done a 180 on its axis...well, there was that earthquake in Peru, and Dean's currently a CAT5.....hmm.......

Last night, Melanie did something extremely rare for her personality. EXTREMELY.

She worked out. Exercised. Performed a complete weightlifting scenario.

::pause for the collective gasp of surprise::

Maybe the key lies in not planning, not making a huge deal about it. Just recognizing that it needs to be a natural part of your routine. Whenever I tell myself during the day that I want to work out, 9.85 times out of 10 it plain doesn't happen come end of the day. Guilt happens instead. Chocolate happens.

Last night was different. Wasn't even thinking about it. I got home and wasn't hungry yet, so I decided to do some stretching. I've been off Celebrex for a couple of days now, and thank goodness, my back seems to be better. Lack of snacking due to lack of funds has caused me to drop those four or five lithium pounds I'd added back on (well, it definitely feels that way anyway...haven't jumped on a scale yet, but you know how it is when your pants start fitting nice again and when you suck it in, you recognize those old friends, your ribs). So I'm feeling a touch better about myself, just a little stiffness in the lower back that I knew I could work out with some flexibility exercises. So I throw down my workout mat (because my yoga mat is buried in a sad heap next to the easy chair), and start with sun salutation. And when I'm down enjoying Cobra pose, my line of sight is directly next to where I keep the bag with my weights, the air pump for my Bean®, and where I'm pretty sure I last stashed the Kathy Smith Lift Weights to Lose Weights book. The book I promised myself I wouldn't start until I was sure I wouldn't be ruining it by writing in like, 2 pages and then giving up. And something flooded through me, I finished sun salutation, pulled out what I needed, and proceeded to do Day 1 all the way through. Minimum reps, reading carefully...I'll lower the weight on the triceps and lats for Day 2, but for the most part, not hard at all. And SO. Freakin'. Energizing. Today I'm sore, but it's good's "hey let's go for a walk and work out this soreness after work" sore. Now I just need to find the willpower to stay in my chair at work and not go walking, like, NOW.

Was grumbling to myself as I was getting ready for work, that I wouldn't mind being up this early if it was for a nicer, because I'd already milked the cow, fed the chickens, and put the sheep and goats out to pasture. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to put my kneepads on and weed the squash and pumpkin patch before the heat gets to be too much.

It sure is a nice place inside my head these days.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Manic Monday

So the kimono had the towel thrown in on was vexing me for some reason, or I'd just had enough of knitting baby stuff. Well, that can't exactly be it, because I'm thinking of starting a baby blanket for no one in partic. (in other words, wishful thinking). But I finished the bumblebee hat and booties (pic coming) and threw in an aloe for good measure for my boss (woohoo! One down, 7-something to go!). I'll take pics of my aloe soon too. Kind of just dawned on me that people, friends, family, poor slobs I meet on the street, etc., will be more receptive to acquiring the aloe if it's in a smallish container. I currently have it in, I think, about five medium to large containers (not including the Big Boys), which could semi-easily be broken down into smaller cuttings.

I realize that growing aloe in Florida is kind of like growing cactus in Arizona (not a toughie), but I'm still damn proud of my haul. Our friends Steve and Lynn gave us one cutting probably 5 or 6 years ago, and from thence cometh my porch garden. It's probably the only thing I can grow on that porch...the western exposure means it catches full sun in the afternoon, and in the summer that can be murder for your average plant. I'm still hoping to try some herbs and veggies out there this coming year; I know I'll be tending them more carefully than I've done in the past. I just hope there's a semi-green thumb in my mominlaw can pinch a leaf off of something, give it its own pot, and have a flourishing plant a week later. My mom, on the other hand, killed a cactus once. I'm hoping to be somewhere in the middle.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ok, bear with me...

Just downloaded more pics from the digicam...feeling very pleased with myself. See, the ones on the right side of the blog I stole from my Dad's Everlasting Memorial website (is that grave robbing?).

These pics were more from the CT trip...

The Warren Congregational Church, Warren, CT

The photo is Mom & Dad's wedding, January 21, 1967 at St. Jerome's Catholic in Norwalk, CT (and of course, Dad sits in front of the picture)

Me, Lil Sis, & Lil Bro (Whaddaya want? We're Irish...there's an excellent chance all three of us were tight.)

My Uncle Dan's 1927 Model T Ford (no better way to blow off steam after a funeral than going for a drive in that beauty! Yes, it runs!)

It's nice being able to look back on that trip and feel happy. It was so good to see everyone; we got back in touch with cousins we hadn't seen in 20+ years. I look forward to saving and going back.
Hit the library to start some preliminary study on agriculture. Managed to finish the hat and booties...if I ever get off this computer, I'll put a row or three on the kimono.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lizards and light hearts

I'm definitely doing ok these days. Downright unsettling. Meara thinks we've switched personalities. I'm alternating fairly easily between the happiness and the grief, but it feels healthy, not bipolar ::wry grin:: I'm so happy at the end of the day to be home with Husby, doing little things like cooking and cleaning, while later when I was knitting the bumblebee hat (for the boss's little one), I found myself weeping for my children who will only know their Lyons Grand-Sir through stories. I know he'll see them and know them, but it's so not the same, and it makes me ache.

The lizards I'm referring to in the title are the ones that run rampant in Florida...I'm guessing they're also pretty prolific in states like Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, but this is definitely a dilemma reserved for the significantly southern states. I'm referring to driving down the road and realizing you have an unexpected visitor clinging for dear life to the hood or wipers of your car. I'm impressed by the strength and tenacity of small critters like that; I'll never forget a trip home to campus (Tampa) from Wachulla years back, where I discovered that my under-hood areas were populated by dozens of tree frogs who'd made the trip back with me. Well, this morning one of the little buggers showed himself as I was getting onto 95, too late to pull over and offer him his freedom. I felt a granola, I've developed a soft spot for just about everything except snakes and hard-backed insects, but I was stuck on the highway and so watched him (and the road occasionally), as he positioned himself away from the worst of the wind. We're talking a lizard no more than 2 inches in length, hanging onto the wiper arm facing me while his tail whipped back and forth and his little neck caught the currents. Finally he slid down under the hood somewhere, and I had fantasies of him flying into the car via the air-conditioning vents...with a tiny little yell of "whoo-aaaah!" and landing on my cheek (I hadn't had my coffee yet. And I've been watching a lot of "Scrubs" lately...).

Couldn't find him when I got to work : ( Probably did all that fighting only to slide out of my car and promptly get squashed by the next vehicle. Such is life.

Had to rush the pot roast prep, so I wasn't happy with the outcome...certainly edible, but not deserving praise. I need to look up more brisket recipes; it's too easy to create the same flavor every time with a meat like that. Bumblebee hat almost to the decrease point, kimono withering from neglect, but Kyle XY and Closer had my attention as well last night.

Monday, August 13, 2007

3 Months

Denial vs. survival.....I'm starting to push the thoughts out of the way when they come at inopportune times. But I'm certainly still dealing rather well, letting myself cry, had two decent breakdowns this weekend . . . just finding myself saving it for less public times. That's gotta be a natural evolution; I mean, people let you weep in the early days, wherever, whenever, but now that a reasonable amount of time has gone by (reasonable to whom is certainly a question), it becomes less seemly somehow to let yourself grieve in public. I know I shouldn't give a crap, and I don't's more a personal choice, especially since my weeping of late seems to come from some deep chasm, making me feel as though I won't be able to stop. So it's better that I'm keeping it to myself for now.

Still, it's a little baffling that it's been 3 months already...normally I'd be pleased that the summer's flying by like that, and I probably would be now, were it not for the fact that the true Florida summer weather seemed to have kicked in finally around August 1...this past week, the heat indices reached into the 100s. It's really been mild for Florida standards up until now this summer (well, to me anyway, and that's saying something, because I seriously loathe this state's weather), and I hope that doesn't mean we're in for a short autumn...autumn is usually a take-what-you-get notion in Florida anyway, but it's my favorite season so naturally I want more of it.

Knitting kimono and hat...naturally didn't get those suckers done in a weekend. Saturday I tidied and puttered, weeded my vast collection of aloe (seriously, KBers, who wants some?!), and then went to Mom's to do laundry, hang, and catch the Suns game with my mom. Really nice time with Mom...we both enjoy the people-watching at a venue like a Suns game, as much or more than the game itself, plus a rain delay lent a blessed coolness to what had been a rather sweaty event. Sunday I cased the local Farmer's Market again, which proved very disappointing, did a small shop for groceries, and relaxed the rest of the day. Luckily my boss is on paternity leave right now, so I've got some time to spare on the baby stuff. He's getting aloe too. >:)

Why was the Farmer's Market disappointing, you ask? Because it ain't real, not by a long shot. I went looking for farmers, and instead found dressed-down retailers, where the supposedly local produce is mixed in with California onions, and bananas, mangos, and pineapple that you know aren't grown in Florida (we're tropical, but not that tropical). It's infuriating...makes me wonder if they sprinkle dirt on the potatoes to make them look more authentic. I'm sure there's a couple of genuine farmers in the mix, but it was also in the 90s and I just didn't have the energy at the time to inquire. It got me thinking hard about a couple of things:
1. Expanding my search to the true 100-mile radius that people use as a barometer when searching for local foods. This would be a slow process, given the gas prices and our financial sitch, but the outcome would be worth it.
2. Performing an audit on the local farmer's markets...thinking up questions to ask them about their operation, where they're located, what other markets they frequent, etc. Kingsolver's book is excellent, but there's definitely a need for something from a lower-class point of view, someone like me who's going to be trying to grow food on an apartment porch and searching for local food sources in an area that's known for citrus and not much else.

I went shopping yesterday with a carefully rationed amount of money, and used my cell phone's calculator to note everything that went into my cart, so that I wouldn't embarass myself in the checkout line. It sparked something inside me...that combined with the inability to buy things I wanted to, because the good stuff costs more. I want to be able to buy the good stuff, the organics and fair trade products, and as much as it requires more money coming in, it also requires we make good and proper use of that money when we have it. Firehouse or Pizza Hut vs. a home-cooked meal is an excellent example; we've been lazy for far too long. I've planned meals the past couple of days...even if it's as simple as "the roast hasn't defrosted enough yet, let's do sandwiches," the difference it makes vs. us standing around going "I don't know, what do you want?" is marked. And if we want pizza, I want the damn ingredients on hand to make it from scratch...I think I'd enjoy veggies on my pizza if they were fresh and I knew where they came from. It's such a neat and simple idea, and one that must pay off in spades in maintaining a level of continuity when you have kids, the idea of having one night, like Friday (because it's a celebration of the weekend ahead), be a make-your-own pizza/burger/sub/whatever night. Why pay good money for something the consistency of corrugated cardboard when you could be treating yourself to homemade sauce, fresh veggies, and meats where you actually have a clue of the fat content?

So. Frigging. Inspired. Next step is reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and finding a copy of Plenty by Smith & MacKinnon, a BC couple who tried a similar experiment as Kingsolver's clan (a year of local eating). In the meantime, I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, so I'm going to start at the beginning and read it through again. Most of her husband's essays have links to various websites to learn more about how to positively impact the environment, and it's time for some of her daughter Camille's recipes to get trial runs.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Blissful, delicious Friday...

My boss is becoming a daddy today. I'm alternating between being delighted for him and insanely jealous. I know I'm not ready yet, that I/we still have some work to do...heck, my back alone is proof of that this week. Doesn't make the feelings any easier though...but at least I know what I'm knitting this weekend. Started the kimono last night in sherbet green LB Jiffy; thank goodness I came to my senses about doing a blanket for the kid too!

Begrudgingly admit the Celebrex is working...caught up on sleep last night, feeling better...

Random all labors start in the middle of the night, or does it just seem like that?

This weekend...Saturday is laundry at the house, Suns game with Mom Saturday night, getting to see Hunter (and Cyril), then Sunday at home for some serious cleaning. Also Sunday I'm doing a ritual to both celebrate Lughnassadh a shade late, and commemorate Dad being gone 3 months.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Yeah, sure. Ain't exactly in the cards this week.

The day degenerated badly yesterday after post, as the prescribed amount of muscle relaxants hit my system and turned me into a chair of molasses. I ached all afternoon to go home and nap, and once home, I passed out for 3 hours. Was a nice catchup, but I slept like crap last night afterward, so there was no question what was supplementing my regimen this morning. And I called the doc and left a drug-seeking message on the nurses' voicemail. Not expecting miracles, as the lady isn't a big proponent of the good stuff, but I had to try...I don't want to be borrowing from Husby's stash when I truly run out.

It doesn't hurt when I walk, mainly when I'm sitting or bending, so I'm going to get back to walking ever-so-carefully. Even up and down our driveway (about 1/2 mile one way) would be better than nothing, and it's inclined, which is certainly hard to find otherwise here in Florida. Scenery might get boring, but it's better than breathing in exhaust - we live on an access road surrounded by main drags, so if I want a quiet, stress-free hike, I'd have to drive somewhere, and we just don't have the gas. The other option that I look forward to investigating is a nature preserve right near my work.

So other than my current miserable existence, what else is going on.....I'm so into Kingsolver's book, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to eat the hamburger we currently have in the freezer with a clear conscience (never mind that it was purchased from an Army commissary, which brings up a host of other issues beyond fuel consumption and factory farming). Granted, she's got it easy with a net worth that allows for the purchase of only organic, fair trade, and local food and household items, but there's certainly things we could be doing, small things, to do our part as well. You've gotta start small with something like this; I mean, I get that I can basically buy twice as much food at Winn-Dixie for $100 vs. $100 spent at Native Sun. But the alterations need to start occurring in our lives, from the simple things like turning off the blasted TV when it's not really being watched, to recycling, to hitting the farmers' market for our vegetables and knowing what's in season. And research, research, research...I mean, we both love bananas, and if my potassium supplement is any indication, they're only doing my body good, but where the frick do you find fair-trade bananas in Jacksonville? Is it even possible to buy them in Florida without contributing to global warming and abysmal working conditions in some third-world country? Which leads to nutrition study, so that if they do need to be eliminated as a food source in the short term, we have something to back it up. I don't even need to hit the library for that; I have the ADA's big fat Nutrition manual right in my overpacked bookshelves. I've been having trouble finding meals this week, not just because I have no appetite because of my back, but because I'm craving vegetables, and we're cleaned out for the foreseeable future. This is a good thing, me wanting to find different recipes and ways to incorporate veggies back into our lives...well, into mine period, and back into his. Les grew up on things like butterbeans and rice as a side dish ::shudders::; it's time to get us both on a healthier course.

Of course, I'm always full of bright ideas when the good meds kick in, which is why it's so important to blog this stuff, so I can go back to it later. No gas or $ for KB this week, so I'll work on the hat at home tonight, maybe start the kimono too. Didn't get a blessed thing accomplished last night, thanks to my blasted back. Patience.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mind over matter

Coffee NEEDS to start working its magic. I think the meds are making me sleepy. This sucks. The good news, I guess, is that it does feel as though the Celebrex is doing its job. It's not as good a job as the fun leftover pills I have from Husby, but that only makes sense...we're talking the difference between a COX-2 inhibitor NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory something) and a narcotic, so naturally the narcotic is going to erase the pain rather well, but then not last as long. But I'm trying to save those babies for special occasions, and my mobility has increased quite a bit on the regimen the doc gave me, so it's time to suck it up and quit whining.

Finished the booties, started the hat. Unfortunately, the Babies R Us card we snitched from his sister was tapped, had a whole $.60 on it, so I may have to content myself with just the hat, booties, and kimono for Brenton's little one. SO enjoying Kingsolver's book. Makes me want to hit the farmer's market, especially since we're probably right smack in squash and tomato season. Funds are dangerously low at present though...we'll pay rent first and then see.

This back thing really takes the wind out of my sails end of day, so I'm trying not to be hard on myself for not getting enough accomplished after work. It feels so good to get home in the evenings though. That combined with my impatience for TV lately oughta help get a little more done after work in the evenings in the coming months. Even when the new tube season starts up, I have a feeling there will be less stuff drawing my attention toward the idiot box, plus I'm thinking that 2 of my faves, House and Grey's Anatomy, won't hold nearly the allure of past seasons, not until we've put some more time between us and Dad. So good. I've got too much on my plate to be wasting it in front of the idiot box anyway. I oughta turn the damn thing off for a month and see if the electric bill shows a difference.

So tonight we'll transfer a couple of the listed items to a journal for easy reference, work on the hat, and think on easy areas of those lists that can be performed with a bum back.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

10 Things

My apologies for yesterday's post...I was in a lot of pain.

Admittedly, this blog has been a necessary vent for the past almost-3(!) months, but I'm reaching a point where positive activity needs to start occurring again in my life. My head is chock-full of ideas about studying, organizing, moving and removing furniture, finances, cleaning, gardening, knitting...the list goes on...much of which requires physical capabilities I don't currently possess, naturally. But to keep the frustration level to a minimum, I'll go back to something I haven't done in forever and grew up doing: making lists. Itemizing and categorizing the things I wish to occur. I'll mostly keep these to myself or stick them on my
SC Moving blog, but by listing things I want to occur, hopefully the frustration won't slop over onto here so much.

Which got me thinking about a nice idea that I'm thieving from our buddy
ruthee, who got it from 10 Things. You don't have to be a shiny, happy person to appreciate the simplicity of recognizing beauty and gratitude in life (good thing or I'd be screwed ::wry grin::). I notice some things everyday, have done so ever since becoming a witch. But it's definitely important for me right now to take note of the noteworthy...sounds redundant, but it's not. I'm doing a lot better, functioning at work, productivity almost back to normal, sadness doesn't sneak up on me, but the trade-off appears to be that when the sadness does strike, it feels like I won't be able to stop crying. I'm sure this is a necessary step in grieving, but it kind of sucks. I know working on the grief books I have will help, but they've been pushed aside again in favor of knitting and Kingsolver, which are certainly their own brands of therapy too. Rationalizing to justify fiber time...yeah, knitters never do that :)

In no particular order...

1. The scent of the crape myrtle trees when I get out of my car at work.

I'm actually not a fan of crape first encounter with them was when we moved to NC. Gastonia was mad with them, but that year the gypsy moths infested big time, leaving tons of dead-topped trees with this disgusting webby nastiness in their armpits. But there's a row of them right where I park my car, a nice bit of business district beautification, and although they still irritate me, because I'm usually too lazy to park elsewhere when it rains and I end up with their fine, messy blossoms all over my hood, their scent strikes me when I get out of the car and makes me smile. It's like in April when you suddenly catch wind of a pretty scent and know that there's azaleas blooming somewhere nearby. And gosh knows first thing in the morning heading into the artificial atmosphere of computers and air-conditioning for 8 hours, it helps to have something to smile about.

2. Good medical benefits.

The ease of going to the doc when I want or need to, and paying a copay with a credit card that's specifically a medical cup runneth over with gratitude for that. I may get pissed about how they increase the premiums and copays every year, but I can't knock it when I compare it to a) other plans, or b) no decent plans at all. I don't even have to fight for referrals. Meanwhile I watch a family member (on husby's side) with fibromyalgia, a medication dependency problem that the fibromyalgia has only exacerbated, and nothing but straight Medicaid at present for herself, her significant other, and their baby. I know how good I have it.

3. Chocolate.

'nuff said.

4. The fast gratification of knitting baby stuff.

Even after several years at the needles, the delight I get from finishing a project is hilarious. Had to bring the bootie out to the living room to show Husby, and it's sitting on my end table on display, telling me to hurry up and finish his mate, which should be done tonight, at which time they'll both be taunting me to get the matching hat done.....they don't exactly talk to's more a mental thing....(yeah, melanie, mental's a good word...I hear y'all thinking!)

5. Farm blogs

Been living vicariously through them this week.

6. The Knitting Bitches

We don't meet as often as we'd like, but it's nice to know they're there :)

7. Yahoo Messenger - sneak-chatting with Lil Sis at work...keeps us both sane, I think.

8. Lil Sis

Ain't she a knockout? Not that I'm biased er nothin'...

9. Suns game with Mommie this Saturday!

10. Having a surplus of good meds for my blasted back.

Celebrex and homeopathic meds appear to be doing...very little unfortunately. Muscle relaxants appear to be helping, not nearly as uncomfortable as I was yesterday (as long as I don't sneeze again), but it's nice to have the good stuff available for when I decide to cave. Now if I could just go home to my wing chair and my knitting.....ah well, that's what this being thankful nonsense is for :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pity party

Why me?
If there's a lesson in this, I appreciate it...I'm certainly open to life lessons of late, but if the gods could just give it up now, and skip the 3-4 weeks of pain I'm about to go through, that'd be much appreciated. I just don't have time for this; my PTO is in the basement, which means I have to go to work, even if I feel like absolute shit.
I hurt my back, lower right quadrant, so badly that basic movement is compromised. Getting in and out of the car is teeth grinding, and I simply can't get comfortable sitting or lying down. Makes it real easy to work at my desk or catch up on sleep. That's sarcasm, folks. Can't lift my arms, especially on the right. Can't sit certain ways or the pain travels down my right leg. Went to my doc today, who gave up some Celebrex, which ain't doing dick, and an Rx for muscle relaxants, which I can't get until after work. I'm barely functioning, and I have no choice but to do just that, because I can't take any time off work.

Sick of this blog being such a downer. I did start some baby stuff this past weekend. My boss's wife is due this month...I've done one bootie, started the other, and plan to also do at least a hat and kimono for his little girl. Also elbow deep in Kingsolver's new book, Animal Vegetable Miracle...quite inspiring and thought provoking, about eating locally and healthily. Can't wait to try some of those recipes!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another lesson on taking life for granted...

And believe it or not, I'm not talking about that bridge in Minneapolis. Man, I hate when stuff like that happens though. Watch in horror, allow yourself to be temporarily overwhelmed by the randomness of life, the idea that you could make all these plans for your future - happy ones involving kids and grandkids and going back to school and owning a farm - and then an airplane engine could fall on your head in the middle of said plans. Shake it off, move on...

No, I'm talking about my fear of debate. I've never liked to debate or to watch debates...I know the concept is a free exchange of ideas, but it just seems like controlled fighting to me, and I saw enough fighting growing up to be completely turned off by it. Plus a debate was never a debate in our house; it was Dad's opinion, period. You had to be a learned, educated adult with solid facts and zero emotion behind your argument to get any kind of respect or attention from Dad, so regardless of the strength of my convictions, I just stopped bothering to engage him in discussions as I grew older, especially ones involving politics after I jumped to the other side. This was a guy who watched Fox News and enjoyed the gospel according to Bill O'Reilly, so I knew better than to talk with him about the tough, it wasn't that I knew better, it was that I just didn't want to put forth the effort, because it was exhausting trying to talk with him about things when you knew your opinion stood a good chance of being beaten into the ground. That may sound unfair, but that's how it felt.

So I'm in the shower yesterday with random stuff ping-ponging around in my head (talk about random! the reason I started thinking politics in the first place was a scene from M*A*S*H* where Hawkeye and BJ are trying to get a rise out of Charles by telling him that his parents voted for FDR......4 times! I swear I shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy machinery......) and it dawned on me that now that Dad's gone, I'd love nothing more than to spend an afternoon with him, debating the merits of say, the campaign promises of Fred Dalton Thompson vs. Dennis Kucinich. And the ache hit and I allowed myself a cry. And another lesson was learned, about the preciousness of time and the value of communication, ANY communication, that involves people sharing ideas, opinions, things that open one person to another. We're such a lucky species, to be able to use our brains like that. And yet these are lessons that you can't learn for yourself, until you can see the Thestrals.

Dig the Harry Potter reference? I'm entrenched in Book 7 so all knitting's taking a backseat, because holy crap, what a ride so far! I'm a little more than halfway through and so impressed with how action-packed and well-written it is.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


First harvest. Witnessing and honoring the turning of the wheel of the year. Nifty :)

Speaking of the wheel turning, Dad had an undetected enlarged heart due to myocardial fibrosis (heart walls thicken to the point of chambers not being able to properly sustain life). Helluva segue there, huh? My family's not taking it well. I'm taking it too well. Mom and Meara have passed from denial into anger; how could his doctors not have detected this? I totally see how the docs could have missed it; the heart wasn't necessarily growing larger, rather, the walls of the heart were growing thicker, using up interior space in the heart chambers, so to speak, so technically it may not have looked enlarged on a regular scan - it was just heavier. Internet research indicates that a delayed-enhancement MRI may have detected something like this, but he was only just starting to show symptoms of irregular heartbeat, so I doubt it would have helped. Sure, he may have had other symptoms that he wrote off due to his other health issues (the carotid artery blockage produced eye migraines, mini-strokes, and a host of other difficulties), but either way, I'm basically of the mindset that raising a stink isn't going to bring him back. I'm feeling very TML* about the whole thing; finally seeing what Dad meant when he told Cyril not to grieve too long once he was gone, because what would be the point. We can learn from his death, and possibly help others through our experience (meaning I'd love to do research on deaths attributed to myocardial fibrosis, and whether early detection could change anything/prolong life...maybe write a paper on it?), but suing people or trying to smear Baptist wouldn't be the most positive means of getting the message out. But I can also tell that I need to keep my too-rational thoughts to myself for now. People don't want to hear "couldn't be helped" when they're still searching for answers.

One thing I am curious about is if he'd always had this. The autopsy suggested evidence of a previous MI, which as far as we know he never had, but as I was writing this, I remembered 1982 and couldn't help wondering if that episode was his first heart attack. When I was in the car with him that day, he had a full-blown seizure...his body contorted as though possessed, he made an awful noise, his left arm seized, and his pupils went down to pinpoints. Luckily, they diagnosed aneurysm and rushed him off to surgery; but it was patch work, never open heart, so for all we know, the fibrosis had already started to form. And disorders such as bilateral cardiomyopathy (his resultant condition - the decreased size of both ventricles) and myocardial fibrosis have possible hereditary factors. I am SO losing this weight and getting myself an MRI!

*We refer to things in our family as being TML (Timothy Michael Lyons). Dad was a bit OCD, quite anal-retentive, and had very definitive opinions about things. Add a large ego and you have a personality with idiosyncracies that permeated the way we operated. He could be unnervingly self-righteous, but for the most part, if I'm referencing something as being TML, it's with wistfulness now, respect, and love.

So I'm still feeling decent (also a tad unnerving, but such a relief!)...thumbed through my new books last night and read some Harry Potter - SO action packed! Lower back is still strained, so I'm doing mainly stretching exercises this week. My boss's baby shower is this Friday, so I know I won't have anything done knitwise in time, so the pressure's off. Haven't even started his stuff...started the other baby's sweater, but it took a backseat to the Cascade bag last night, cuz I'm itching for a new purse (switched back to my Vera Bradley in the meantime, trying to get in an autumn mood). Plus when I washed the Katja top before giving it to my niece, I noticed that the tie straps felted nicely, so it got me intrigued about felting, which I'm planning to do with that bag. So much fiber, so little time!

I'm thinking of clearing off the back porch, both because it desperately needs it and because I'd love to do ritual out there. Hope the weather's clear tonight. Happy Lughnassadh, y'all!