Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve



Image from here.

I haven't done resolutions in a couple of years. Everything got so knocked on its ear when Dad passed. And it's pretty easy for me to fall back into a default position of letting life pass me by, even with the terrible understanding of mortality that his passing brought, because it's a position that I lived in for so many years, when I was unmedicated, had no sense of self, and was in such pain. It's why I don't root for USF's football team...it has nothing to do with the fact that they didn't have football when I attended that school; it has everything to do with the fact that my five years there are an open wound that I don't revisit often.

This year though, there are very specific goals that deserve to be written down. I've learned how to keep an exercise regimen. I'm moving us out of Florida in October. We still want to try for children. I want to plant more vegetables and herbs and keep them alive. These are very big goals that require thought, planning, and much activity to come to fruitition. I'm finally in a place mentally, emotionally, where I'm ready to make these things happen.

The picture above is actually a good illustration of what I'm working toward...I won't have livestock for at least another year probably after the move; we will be in a rental house at first, and lord only knows what the individual landlord will allow in regard to gardening, animals, etc. But I'll be in a place with seasons and I'll be working outdoors much more, this time next year, and will need a good vest and barn coat, gods and my spirit willing. I'll be in a new job and money will likely be tight, and I could even be working on another member of the family by then; so the world's my oyster right now, kind of, and I know what I want for us...so it can only be good to finally write some stuff down again, get goals on paper and look at them, and then create off-shoots on top of off-shoots of those lists as we scrimp, save, purge, organize, and work our tails off toward the October move.

Time's been moving terribly fast lately. I haven't had an answer to how to slow it down, just been letting it do its thing and scare the crap out of me, the worry that we've let too much time go by, that children aren't possible at all, that there are so, SO damn many things I want to accomplish in this life and here we are still in this rathole apartment in Florida. I've read enough where the answer is really frickin' obvious, though, and I'm very grateful to Jenna from Cold Antler for sharing that she got back into yoga/meditation lately, because one line in a recent blog post rang so true that I'm putting it in my resolutions: "I want to start every day able to clear my head and touch my toes." Just 15 minutes of zazen morning and night and a light yoga workout. It's as mandatory as coffee in the mornings and getting my ass back to the Y several times a week; it'll feed my soul and shove out the god-awful-clattery noise that's in my head 25/8.

I'm blessed to be able to read so many intelligent and creative bloggers...told a couple of them just that today. They give me ideas, drive my creativity, spark so many great feelings that help me expand my personality, who I am vs. who I want to be. And their experiences on farms of their own are the delicious compost feeding the seed of my own dream. So maybe my continued good steps toward mental and physical health are the water on the garden. I'm not a huge fan of metaphors, but I've been in enough therapy to see that that's not a bad interpretation of how things will play out, as my work turns into results and these goals are achieved. Sure can't do it from a weak position; and that's not even an issue anyway, because I'm never letting go of the strengths I've gained the last 6 months. Physically and emotionally, minus a small sidestep for the holidays and Mom's surgery, I'm definitely on the right track.

I can't talk to you people all night; I've got serious thinking to do! Count your blessings, hug your families, and have a great New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Taking Stock Wednesday


Image from here

Outside: Cool...warming gradually to Florida levels during the day.

Inside: Chilly...we're keeping it low and will open up soon, since the hard freezes are past us for now.

Wearing: Nightshirt, flip-flops...will switch to socks soon, as my tootsies are cold. Can't wait for new slippers to come in, ordered 'em today!

Creating: Lists of goals...it's terribly clich├ęd, I know, but I get contemplative this time of year. I've tried to celebrate the new year at Samhain like a good little pagan, but it's no dice...Gregorian calendar takes hold and I'm adrift on the dreams that can be/will be realized in the new year...

Reading: Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs and a pile of other library books about organics, farming, herbalism, cooking with grains, and crafting (glad I thought to grab Amanda Soule's Handmade Home, because it helped me see I do want to spend the money on it).

Going: Nowhere special, except over to Mom's sometime this weekend to help her take down Christmas at her place. We're still driving the rental, possibly til next Monday. Otherwise, we're doing the usual at the apartment...a little cleaning, a little organizing, a little purging...it's so terrific to look around this place and really see what needs to happen. The Charlotte move is a mere 10 months away.

Hoping: The car's ready by Friday, cuz I miss it. Even though the cupholders are niftier in the rental and it's a smooooooth '09 ride, I'm quite attached to our Nissan. Need to go looking for new bumper stickers. Also hoping I get to knit a little, bake a little, and relax a lot this weekend. Between Mom's surgery and the holidays, the last 2 months have kicked my tushie a little. I'm ready to get back at home with my center and get some shit accomplished!

Monday, December 27, 2010

AAAAHHHH..........

Apparently it's mini post day.

When you live in Florida and the wind's up so much your midday outside temp is 39F, and you've been sick and ornery both with a head cold and lousy intestinal issues that made you feel like your chi needed rebalancing, and you got in a car accident right before the holidays so your poor car is languishing in a body shop somewhere all alone, without the car mascot or anything (we named him Frank), AND they're taking the noisy pagan bumper stickers away..........

............but now you're back from the holiday and trying to concentrate on work, and there's new blogs to read and cleaning/organizing to plan, and you're feeling MUCH better health-wise and for that you're so grateful that it has you looking to educate yourself on herbalism and more natural means of staying healthy, and you're in a good mood and feeling strong and there's a little money in the bank, so you indulge in an S'bucks breve latte (yes, OK, not the healthiest way to start a new leaf, but holycrap, that tastes good going down!).........

The little things mean so much sometimes. Tis the season for gratitude....but ideally, it's something to note throughout the year, so the heck with the season.....this life is so short, and there's so veryvery much I wish to accomplish in it, but I'm also more and more aware of the need for the quiet, the stillness, finding time to seek my center and live in it......so the speed at which the wheel turns won't be so scary. I am blessed.

Workyworkwork

Yea, OK, not!

Two Six more blogs to the right....probably more than that, as I tend to add them as I find them. I'm a packrat of useful blogs, lovelovelove being able to get glimpses into how like-minded folks handle life. Gets my brain stirring, making lists, pulling out fabric and yarn, dreaming of chickens and puppies, or tossing butter, sugar, and flour together to create something yummy.....

Bitter cold today...so glad to be home!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home

Such a small word for something so big. I'm enjoying a fresh perspective following the last couple of days.








These semi-crappy cell phone photos illustrate how my holiday started. I left work Tuesday night with every intention of grabbing smokes for the man, heading home, and baking bread...and then spending Wednesday relaxing and doing loads of cookies to bring up to SC to his folks the following day. Or relaxing, and trimming back on my baking plans, because I was still fighting the cold and feeling like crap from my ColdCalm overindulgence. The best laid plans...

I was stopped at a light on US 1 when I was suddenly rear-ended and shoved into the car in front of me. I never took my damn foot off the brake. The driver in error hit a pickup, which hit an Escalade, which hit me, and I nudged a Hyundai. For those of you heading home on US 1 Tuesday night from the Flagler/Bayard biz district, yeah, that was me in that mess. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and I think the only totaled vehicle was the sphincter who caused the whole thing.

The cops were summoned, and the girl I hit worked in insurance...her boss drove by and stopped to assist, get everybody's addresses, phone #s on paper, etc. We stood around for the better part of an hour while the guy who caused the accident steered clear of the rest of us. We bemoaned the crappy timing...the guy who caused everything was scheduled to go out of town the next day and wouldn't be back in town til January-something, never mind our travel plans, so we were skeptical that things would be addressed before the holiday hit.

I assessed the damage and determined the car was driveable, but it looked questionable that the bumper would stay on. I had an old pair of Dad's shoes in the trunk (an eventual Goodwill drop-off) and I took off the laces to secure the bumper for the drive home (which was a HUGE nostalgia thing for me, as my mom did the same thing with mine and Lil Bro's shoelaces once in grade school, because our station wagon's back bumper had inexplicably given up the ghost). Bumper stayed on fine, but the first decent bump opened the trunk; it wouldn't stay latched. Yay.

Got home, called my insurance, filed a claim. Was given an adjuster and tried to inquire about a rental car for our trip north, but was told that could only occur when we actually got the car fixed. Couldn't do anything else after hours, so lay around in a brown stare mostly the rest of the evening.

Next day, got up leisurely (with no neck pain at all, yay!) and hit the phone. Got same song and dance from my insurance, but filed more info (taped interview, etc.) and hung up to plot next move. Phone rings 5 minutes later and it's the insurance company of the guy who caused everything. Everything's covered, when do you want to take your car in.....

Reliefreliefrelief...

We drove to SC in a rental '09 Kia Optima (smooth ride); the car's at the same body shop that handled Mom's bumper that I...ehem...mangled a while back. Our bumper and my pagan stickers will be history in the next day or three : (

Christmas with the inlaws was OK, no shouting matches or bloodshed. I held my tongue, ate my body weight in pecan pie, and enjoyed nuzzle time with my niece. This morning, I was treated to the best Christmas present ever: real snow! Fat, beautiful flakes that transformed Aiken into a cold, sticky paradise. I made a mini-snowman for the niece before I left, and Les and I threw a couple of snowballs at each other. His aim's better, the little creep : )

I'm looking forward to the next year, the next 10 months really. We'll start purging and reorganizing with a real goal in mind. I'll look into ETrade, now that my company's stock is finally rising a bit. I'll start saving. We move the weekend before Halloween 2011. Gods bless us every one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bah!

No, not humbug...just virtually ramming my head against a wall...

Pretty sure my symptoms can be traced to my candida sensitivity...my eating habits have been atrocious lately. Add to that Sunday evening, which included a decent amount of alcohol and honey-baked ham and turkey, all that OJ, and the peppermint patties that have been surreptitiously inhaled in the bedroom the last week, and it's no wonder my body finally said "ENOUGH!"

The good news, I think it scared the cold off.

The bad news, I'm going into Christmas with his family, feeling like I don't want to eat anything except beans and brown rice.

Ho-ho-friggin'-ho!

I'm not myself today...

Then who the heck are you? Emily Dickenson?

Def not Emily, never was a fan of all that morose longing...actually I'm a self-flaggelating idiot today, so naturally, I want to share the experience with you lucky few.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. Above-average IQ and reasoning skills. Hold down a job that requires learnedness and precision. Good looking in the bargain ; )

So how is it that I misread a box of cold medicine and gave myself what had to have been a toxic reaction?

First incorrect assumption: that homeopathic medicine is somehow "less" than your normal over-the-counter stuff. When you're raised to trust the chemicals that go into your average Sudafed, you tend to think that anything embraced by the homeopathic community must not be worth its salt (or duck liver, as the case may be)...actually, it's the opposite; the levels of medicine they place in homeopathic remedies are concentrated, but if taken as directed, there is zero risk of overdose...you see that repeatedly in the advertising.

I'm a medical marvel then, cuz I feel like crap.

Actually, I'm rallying, but I can tell it's gonna take a couple of days. I felt myself getting a cold late Friday. Bought ColdCalm, because I was looking for Oscillococcinum and upon reading the info on the stuff, saw that the Oscillo...is for flu, whereas ColdCalm is self-explanatory. I've been reading granola blogs of SAHMs who swear by the stuff, so figured I'd give it a try. The instructions tell you to take 2 tablets every 15 minutes for the first 2 hours, and then 2 tablets every hour until symptoms desist. That's their wording.

Symptoms desisted fairly early, but I could still tell I was getting a cold; it was there in the background under layers of homepathy. For reasons I cannot explain, I thought this meant that I should be taking 2 tablets every hour for the duration of the cold. Don't ask me why; I'm baffled myself as to what made me think this way. Probably the fact that I was feeling so much better so quickly, that I was able to breathe through my nose even while it was evident I was in the middle of a cold...so me wanting to keep up that pleasantness tossed all reason out of my head. Got to rub it in my Lil Sis's face too (wasn't really trying to...I was just feeling so good, I wanted to tell other people about this great med...since Drixoral went off the market in the US, I've been at loose ends about a decent cold medicine).....she was still getting over a cold and not experiencing the chipper attitude and ability to breathe normally that I was. Mind you, I was also taking Zicam (miraculously according to the instructions) and mainlining OJ.

Saturday night I woke up with a backache, took me awhile to get back to sleep. We assumed it was the cold attacking a weak point in the homeopathy.

Sunday night, backache again, little worse this time, up and down my entire back. Usually if I get backaches at all, they're localized in my lower back and are the result of hormones or strain, neither of which were issues. I took some Advil and managed to get back to sleep, not thinking that it could be a result of overdoing it on the homeopathic meds. Second incorrect assumption.

Monday, I'm at work in the afternoon and all of a sudden, it's like I've been run over by a truck. The pain comes back, floods my entire torso, front and back, so that it's almost hard to breathe or stand up straight. I don't feel nauseous at all, and I'm not breaking out in sweats, otherwise I would've thought I was having a heart attack...I am 41 and built like a Biggest Loser contestant. I almost drove myself to the ER (my work is right next to one of the local hospitals), but I stubbornly went home instead, where I rested the rest of the evening, ate very little, and tried to assess what was happening to me. I think in addition to putting toxic levels of the med in my system, I engaged my candida sensitivity, because the sensation I was enjoying was like the worst bloating you've ever experienced. It felt like my diaphragm was out of place or something, or my digestion had shut down. Thankfully, the blinding headaches I usually get with my candida flare-ups haven't surfaced, but I'm still so high on ColdCalm, you could toss swine flu at my immune system right now and it would get soundly bitch-slapped back.

Today, I'm back at work with no appetite, and I feel damn fragile. I stopped taking everything cold-related, and I'm trying to flush my system with tea. The pain has dissipated and I'm fine to work, but def looking forward to going home and chilling. Thank goodness I only have to do breads tonight; cookies would kick my arse.

I'm such a f**king idiot.

OK, enough of that...I'm off work the next 3 days, we leave for SC on Thursday to visit his folks. Their Internet access has apparently improved substantially (no more dial-up!), but I prob still won't be on here until after the holiday weekend. I plan to spend lots of time outdoors, play with my niece, and hold my tongue about all the rest; but I'm expecting it'll be hard. I look forward to next year, when we can finally start establishing our own versions of the holiday season and make the family visits briefer, though more frequent.

Wishing you peace, courage, health, and hope this Yule!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking Stock



Outside: Not quite chilly enough...warming just enough to be balmy this weekend. I'm trying not to resent it.

Inside: Cool-ish...windows open, thank goodness. Last month's electric bill took a nice dip; we're hoping to keep that up for a while.

Wearing: pink top, purple velveteen PJ bottoms...comfy : )

Creating: hmm...thinking of doing some mending tonight. Breads and cookies will be baked Saturday, as we're celebrating early with my family on Sunday. Most gifts are figured out, and I'm resigning myself to the holiday things that won't get accomplished this year...

Reading: A New Song...and going through a very weird phase (for me) that involves trolling blogs written by homemakers, reformed Christians, and simple living folk...not sure what it all means, but I'm really enjoying the reads...

Going: Nowhere this week...hitting overtime Friday and Saturday at work, and the holiday celebrating will be at Mom's...

Hoping: we can polish off our shopping this weekend, because I'd rather not do any up in SC. That I can make good use of my time this weekend. That the holidays remain happy for us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rallying, planning, dreaming...


This image reminds me of Silvermine in Norwalk...not sure why.

Feels damn good to be rallying...best I've felt in weeks, back to old self and all that...

Helps that the temp was friggin' 21F when I stepped out the door this morning. Wore my kid suede, which barely fits, but is too comfy not to wear in this weather, along with hat, gloves, scarf...

Going to place a basket on the table in the foyer for that stuff, so it's easy to grab as we're going out the door...such an easy concept. Should also guarantee that the weather warms soon after its placement.

I really can't remember it getting this cold this early before. Here in Florida, we get the cold days around February, or maybe January, but never December, it seems. I'm grateful. The cold air on my face wakes up my brain.

The leaves are finally changing. The trees along the highway are a rich palette of reds and rust intermixed with the pines. I wanted to take a picture, but that's never advisable when driving along I-95. Besides, pretty sure the camera's not in my bag lately...Tumblr's made me lazy in the picture department. Not exactly a bad thing though, as I'm also grateful for pics like these:



YES! I'm going to start cleaning and baking tonight. I can feel myself getting edgy about things to be accomplished for the holiday, and I don't want that. I want to take my time, take pleasure in the baking and creating. I want to really feel the spirit of the season, my spirit that is shaping how I view and celebrate the holiday season. I want to write down some of the ways I want to celebrate, to remind myself for next year...stuff like St. Nicholas' Day, and lighting candles for my version of Advent, and celebrating Yule ourselves while we celebrate Christmas with our families.....


And this idea is going to keep my cookie sizes under control. Love the idea of placing them in Mason jars, which we have handy, and it'll make it seem like there's more "stuff". The giving may be thin in spots, but the thought behind it will be rich with care.

All images from here, where they were likely snitched from elsewhere and credited, thx to Tumblr.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rehinged...


I've been on Paxil for 12+ years...went on it soon after moving to Jax. This was after a L...O...N...G...period of trying different meds for my "marked depression" with little success. This was before I knew that I was lithium deficient or that my body burns through meds faster than normal. I've recognized Paxil's benefits and that as long as it keeps working, it's something I need to be on.

Paxil works for me. I went through the requisite periods of thinking I was "cured" and trying to go off it several times. Paxil unfortunately has the added side effect of being physically addicting...so in addition to your brain unspooling from being off it, you also slowly realize that your entire body hurts. So I don't do that anymore. Deliberately, that is...

This past week, I ran out and refilled, but thanks to my usual exemplary budgeting methods, we didn't have the dough to pick up my refill til Friday. I was only off the damn stuff like, 36 hours. That 36 hours though, was enough time for my body to start to hurt and my brain to start to fly. I was never diagnosed bipolar, but I think I come as close as you can to that diagnosis without being it. All my plans for cleaning and organizing went through my hands like sand underwater yesterday (Saturday) as I realized I felt like crap. Les's and my moods tend to seesaw according to extremes, so he was up and coherent enough to go out with me yesterday...we dropped off recycling and got about half the holiday shopping done. But I was in a lousy, achy, self-flaggelating fog and turtled the rest of the night.

Today's better, not 100% of course, but I'm thinking about cleaning a little and getting grocery shopping done. I've been up a while and made pancakes, and the coffee's starting to kick in. It's the little things. But it's also a big reminder that I need to remain cognizant of my condition, that I'll never be someone who can neglect my meds. It's been hard enough staying off the lithium while we (seriously sporadically) navigate the concept of possible procreation. Going off the Paxil too is not an option, even by accident. And it was an accident, thankfully; I have gotten past that point of thinking I'm "all better". Age may bring wisdom, but it doesn't cure chemical imbalances.

The holiday shopping was kind of fun...we managed some purchases without draining the account yet, but there's a couple more to go. If I can get to the grocery store today, I will start baking..."quick" breads that can be frozen. And I'm thinking of a handmade gift for one sib and some handmade gift tags for all the pressies. It'll be a day of puttering as I let my brain "heal" again. Probably good that this is happening in winter, when the focus should be on stillness anyway. My holiday spirit has been buoyed by the above pic; I think it nutshells nicely the feelings of the season....I've just been flipping around the last three in my head: Peace. Gratitude. Stillness. Giving. Hope. Love.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My cup runneth over...

The weather is overcast and cool. Tumblr is working again, and I've been downloading Christmasy goodness this morning, including the niftiness above. I have Andy Williams playing over and over in my head, and it's not annoying me yet. I got paid, and we may be able to buy a pressie or two and still eat the next 2 weeks.

I'm in such a good mood.

Hitting the Y every other day. Looking forward to tearing into the apartment this weekend. We get angry at the cat when she tears around there like a madwoman, but honestly, she's just looking for someplace that isn't overrun with boxes and crap. We need to recycle this weekend, it's been piling up. I'm going to start baking for the holidays. I want to buy candycanes.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Taking Stock

Sorry, no pic tonight...my pics come from Tumblr lately, and they're experiencing growing pains again : (

Outside: CHILLY! I've been in heaven the last week, can't believe it's this cold this early in the season...usually FL doesn't get the below-freezing stuff til like, late January, if at all.....Christmas came early for Melanie : )

Inside: cozy...dinner out of the oven...windows open...

Wearing: jeans, boots that make me look 12, and a sweater that I call a woobie with sleeves...gotta run out to Mom's in a bit, so only half-changed after work.....

Creating: holiday lists and knitted hats, entirely in my head...still settling back into my version of life...it really throws me when I'm out of my comfort zone.

Reading: Plowing through the Mitford Series (currently in Out to Canaan)...picking up Starhawk occasionally as my brain allows.....

Going: hopefully nowhere special this weekend...the apartment really needs my attention...

Hoping: good question...that my check on Friday covers the bills and allows us a little mad money for the holidays...that we can get out and take care of most of the holiday gifts soon...that I can clean the apartment enough to decorate a bit without feeling like I'm adding to the clutter...

Monday's excursion in the bedroom closet was so cleansing, really got me thinking about the importance of material objects, what I can do without...couldn't believe that most of that big box was stuff for the dumpster. I'm ready to tuck into the next corner...

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's December?


Image (from here) defines how things look inside my head. I'm afloat in a sea of holiday merriment, making lists, thinking about how to decorate our pit of an apartment and my cubicle...paper garlands and snowflakes...ideas for baking and gifts....how in the future, I want to celebrate St. Nicholas' Day with or without children...how this time next year.....

I've been away...I know you've all missed me, all 6½ of you. My mom's surgery was a success; she's healing and back to work, ½ days to start. I spent most of last week over at her place, helping out. The dog and I got along surprisingly well. I worked out 2 days while I was there. We went and saw Burlesque, which I wasn't expecting to enjoy...but the music had me grinning all the way through. I lost complete track of time, was off work 4 days.

Back at work...company holiday party was OK, didn't win anything as expected. Celebrated 11 years with the company today...wasn't expecting a set of steak knives, but still feels like I deserve combat pay. We're losing our supervisor, gaining more editors, and they still haven't hired a manager. Not crazy about that, going into the holidays, but it's the normal "we fear change, change is evil" chicken-ness...coupled with the pondering of whether or not I should try for the supervisor position. I'm hormonal, and my head still kind of feels like it's screwed on backwards. Sleeping on couches and air mattresses does that to me.

Weather turned cold early down here. I'm in heaven, but since I haven't been home much, it's bringing about these unnatural bursts of organization. Went into the closet tonight looking for my footie pajamas and spent 3 hours unearthing the joint. Was a good exercise, I'm throwing out a huge pile of stuff, but holy crap! We let it get down to 58F in the apartment before we pussed out and turned the heat on...yes, we had the windows open, why do you ask?

Jenna's new Scottish Blackface ewes and a new copy of Mother Earth News about living off the land are setting me dreaming...

Have a great week, y'all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks


If there's anything more excellent than this time of year, I don't know what it is.

I'm more excited about the holidays this year than I've been in ages.  I'm delighted to find this is the case. Sure, it'll be hard to afford and the family drama will shred some of it when we visit, but I'm remembering all that this season means and it's buoying my spirit nicely. I'll do some handmade gifts this year and take pride in them, regardless of the recipient's reactions.

The roll dough is rising and I'll start the pie soon; the gratin will be last. Les is smoking a turkey breast and we'll go to Mom's around 2ish. Lil Bro and new wifey will be there too.

I'm thankful every day of the year, so you'd think this day isn't a big deal, but I adore Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for my husband, who is the most solid source of love. I'm thankful for my health and intelligence, because it keeps a roof over our heads and food sometimes on the table. Living in a city like Jax, it's easy to look at what I have and think, well, it certainly could be worse. I take a certain pride in my strength.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. Stuff yourselves and hug your families :)

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Starting the Thankful Stuff


Jenna recommends writing down goals and putting them in your pocket, to serve as a reminder and motivational tool. I think this picture needs to accompany my list...it's a little grander than what I hope for, but def nails my desires. Image from here.

Mom's ever-so-slowly rallying...the doc visit confirmed our concerns, that it was likely that a decrease in spinal fluid was causing her symptoms. They set her up with anti-nausea meds, an OK to use the Percocet for the headaches, and direction to load her up on caffeine (the stuff may be addictive and sleep-depriving, but it also creates spinal fluid! My back must be seriously strong then! ::wink::). She's not feeling the Black Friday shopping idea right now, so that's on the back burner, but her headaches and lightheadedness are s...l...o...w...l...y...dissipating, and we're getting more solid food into her. Relief.

Work's busy lately, not a huge pick-up of business, but I'm on a new project as a result of the merger that is a nice distraction.

Spent too much time on the computer last night, and haven't been to the Y yet this week, but I'm recharging and def feeling like me again. Thinking about timing for Thanksgiving day...I want to do a cauliflower gratin side dish, apple butter pumpkin pie, and rolls from scratch from Chiot's Run's recipe...which means cleaning tonight, prob working dough tomorrow night, pie first on Thursday, then gratin. I'd like to actually watch the parade this year, instead of always being back-and-forth, especially with K's boys marching...it's going to be a nice, relaxed day and I'm looking forward to it. Weather isn't going to cooperate, high of 80F expected, but I'll make the best of it. By the gods as my witness, I WILL have Thanksgiving in Charlotte next year!

With the MIL socks done, I need to make a list of what-all is going into holiday gifts this year. I'd still like to do some handmades.

And the apartment is getting a thorough cleaning this weekend.....anyone who lives in Florida knows that it doesn't matter how clean you keep your place; if the roaches want in, they'll find a way.....however, keeping your place clean can't hurt either. Had to have my big, strong man take care of one today that could've given the cat a run for her money...seriously the biggest damn roach we've seen in ages...had to have gotten in from outside, because if we're growing 'em that big in our walls, I ain't gonna make it to next October! It's one of the few creatures on this planet that I can't handle...just writing about 'em gives me the willies, and when I see them, I know I need to be elsewhere as quickly as possible. So in between helping out with Mom, we'll be tearing apart our house and really getting started on organizing/cleaning/purging. The place is practically a fire hazard anyway.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pensivepensivepensive...

It's almost a relief to be back at work. Very weird feeling. Love my cutewarmfuzzymommie to pieces, have no problem taking care of her, would drop everything in a heartbeat...but getting back to work lends a stability to my day that I've come to rely on. Interesting.

Yesterday, Sunday, was much better. The doc's office called Mom/Lil Sis first thing this morning to set up a follow-up for today, thank the gods, and they are headed that way this afternoon. So frickin' grateful that at least the doc's office is diligent, because this weekend was hard, a little scary, and we need to be sure we're doing everything necessary to assist in her recovery. The only reason I didn't drive her ass back to the hospital Saturday night is because she remained coherent/not altered, and we didn't want to deal with the hassle of a weekend crew treating her without knowing her sitch.

One of the hard things is understanding the things I understand about the body and the practice of medicine and communicating these things in a way that doesn't make the medical professionals roll their eyes and think, oh great, another Internet junkie who thinks they know my job. It's got me thinking...I sometimes say I'll be a doctor in my next life, because I obviously have a penchant for retention of that material now. But what if I tried to get into that field in this life? I don't have the temperment for significant patient/family contact, but something in research maybe? What I would give to get into the field of cardiothoracics and try to invent a means of reducing the 90% mortality rate on aortic dissections.....just gets me thinking.....I could be raveling a thread, or......

Anyhoo, busy week ahead, assisting Lil Sis with Mom where needed and Thanksgiving and all that entails...

I FINISHED the MIL SOCKS! Woohoo! And they fit me, so they'll def fit her :)

Still a little addlepated from the weekend, but trolling my fave blogs appears to be settling the ole noggin...Mom's computer is downright uncomfortable to use (the angles of the desk are weird), and her Internet connection blows...I got home last night in tech withdrawal, but didn't have the energy to do anything about it, so today at work, it's all I can do to edit sites when my goof-off side wants to catch up on my interests. Jenna's had some really interesting posts the last couple of days, and the blogs are rife with Thanksgiving food and decor ideas.

As y'all know, Thanksgiving is my absolute fave holiday, and though the dinero is seriously thin this year, I hope to make apple butter pumpkin pie and a side dish, and Les is smoking a turkey breast, to take to my fam's potluck at Mom's this year. My high school alma mater, Seminole High, is representing FL in the Macy's parade and all three of my friend K's kids are marching, so I'll be straining my eyes in between cooking for a glimpse of my pals (they come on TV around 10:35ish apparently...how cool that they can know that ahead of time!). I love catching the dog show on right after the parade, and then we meander over to Mom's. If Mom's up to it, she, LS, and I will hit the Avenues or St Johns Town Center on Black Friday for a little sale trolling, people watching, and general merriment. We may be dirt-poor this holiday season, but I feel pretty rich going into it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Things I'm Learning

1. I'm taking much better care of myself lately. I'm more centered and stronger physically and mentally.

2. I know this because when life happens to throw things out of whack, I feel it distinctly. It may not totally throw me off my game, but it's evident in how I feel after I take the time to take care of me.

3. They don't keep people in hospitals long enough after procedures.

It appears that Mom's surgery was a success. However, the doctor and hospital absolutely should've told us more about potential complications. They assumed that we'd understand/remember that all the complications they've mentioned before, during her trials and tests, also applied to her actual surgery. The discharge instructions are irresponsibly generalized, and IMO, they did not leave her flat nearly long enough after her surgery; she was given free rein to move the bed up and down by degrees as much as she liked. The headache kicked in the evening after her surgery, but because there was no Tylenol ordered on her records by the doctor, they couldn't give her any. (Tylenol! I should've just run to a convenience store, but I was more concerned with always being there for her.) Post-surgery, all the meds in her system, morphine or otherwise, caused her BP and respiration to drop enough where they weren't crazy about giving her anything for pain. The morphine made her itch to high heaven, and her head was killing her...they gave her a Percocet around 4AM that only dropped the pain about halfway, and they loaded her up with Benadryl. Also, she has a really sensitive system when it comes to medications; breakfast came back up the next day, but lunch stayed down, so we got her home in the late afternoon, because the itching and headaches were making her miserable and she just wanted to be in her own bed.

However, getting her home brings with it a false sense of recovery. We tried soup last night, and she was moving around from bed to john to dining room and living room, when she should've been staying flat (which is nowhere in the discharge orders). Nothing, medication or otherwise, stayed down last night and her head was killing her. Lil Sis, bless her heart, did what I usually do, got on the Internet and found an article about the surgery, with specific information about the complications that could result. As she was reading this stuff to me, the lightbulbs were going off in my head big-time, because when they did the discogram especially, the docs warned that she would have to stay flat for X period of time, because when you puncture the spinal cord at all, to place leads, wires, medications, whatever, the patient then needs to stay flat for X amount of time, because weeping of spinal fluid around the puncture sites means a decrease of spinal fluid going up and down the cord, which causes blinding headaches and a host of other complications if you're not careful. For her procedure, they would've placed a catheter into her cord, then the leads which administer the medication from the pump, and then removed the catheter and left the leads. The gap left around the leads closes on its own, so long as that area's given the correct convalescence. Yesterday's upright movement put the kibash on that.

Through all this, she has NO pain in her back and legs, thanks be to the gods!

So, today's a little better. She's stuck in bed, trying out crackers, soda, etc., her head's a little better, the itching is subsiding (thank goodness!), and we're taking care of her every need. I don't want her up for more than john visits until Monday, and we'll call the doc first thing on Monday to schedule a follow-up, confirm our diagnosis, complain, etc., provided she doesn't go any further south in the meantime.

Those first 2 points at the beginning were my usual self-centered ah-ha! moments. When you're charged with the 24/7 care of a loved one, you go on auto-pilot. I drove her to the hospital Thursday morning, armed with knitting, books, snacks, and coffee and stayed with her. Her surgery ran 12 noon to 2ish, another hour-ish in recovery (that should've been longer too, IMO), and then she got a room. A nice one, thank the gods, with a recliner and fold-out couch, so I stayed all night, only escaping when Les came by to spell me off so I could grab some real food and fresh air. Also, we were blessed with friendly nurses...probably could've been a pinch more attentive in spots, but I'm sure they relax a bit when there's a family member there to take the heat off them a bit. The CNAs were drones, but the RNs were pros.

Lil Sis was scheduled to come home Friday for a week's vacay...she surprised Mom by heading out from Charlotte in the wee hours and getting to the hospital early afternoon, which raised Mom's spirits nicely. I was going to head home last night, but Lil Sis had a deer-in-headlights look, so I regrouped and stayed overnight at Mom's last night. LS had a day trip planned for months to check in with pals in Orlando, so I'm at Mom's tonight and then she'll take over tomorrow night....thank goodness, because getting time off this week proved kind of impossible. I'm working Monday thru Wednesday, but Les will be available during the day too if anything goes down.

This morning I got outta Mom's place early to go home, rest, reconnoiter...crashed for 2 hours, showered, ate, had coffee...I'd woken up with a headache that finally cleared out early this afternoon, and I'm feeling 100% better after that little bit of "me" time. I'm doing laundry, keeping an ear out for Mom, and looking forward to some more knitting and reading.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pensive contentment


Sent this one to my Lil Sis and she thought they were moose antlers, not angel wings :) I like her idea better.

I'm taking a fresh look at the holidays this year. I don't know if we'll put up the tree...it's been years since we've done that (too much trouble, going to SC anyway, blah, blah...) and we don't really have the room unless some serious purging occurs in the next few weeks. But then again, why shouldn't some serious purging occur? No point in using Mom's surgery as an excuse, as Lil Sis is going to be home during quite a bit of her key recovery time. That's a blessing I haven't even fully grasped yet...it's going to keep my head screwed on a bit straighter as we plow into Thanksgiving.

But I actually want to put up the tree this year. I want to make construction paper garland (because I have that on hand, whereas popcorn/cranberries would cost money) and sift through our ornaments, see if what we have in any way translates to how I/we wish to view the holiday.

Did buy the new belt and it fits perfectly, but Sunday's bad eating choices mean I need a day or two for it to fit comfortably. My tummy muscles are still pissed at me about Sunday's workout...did a full circuit of weights, plus a cross-training program on the elliptical that was a little hilarious...I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, and telling me mid-workout to pedal backwards had me giggling before the endorphins even kicked in. I'm loving the elliptical though...I don't run out of breath, I sweat a ton, and feel fantastic during and afterward. Took last night off b/c my bod needed it, and there's no way I'll work out Thursday (Mom's surgery), but it's a habit that gets a slot in my busy days whenever possible now, and damn, that feels good!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Such gifts


I need to buy a new belt this weekend. The old one's almost too big.

There aren't enough cool adjectives for how I feel about that.

It's a two-notcher, so would be kind of a pain in the arse to modify it myself. It was an $8 cheapee from evil big box store, so I'm not bent about it...won't be spending money on leather belts until my waist is more the size of 1 person. Still, damn fine predicament to find myself in.

Hoping to swim tonight...going to pop home, clean the kitchen, throw some chicken in the oven, and then hit the Y...by then, the class in the pool should be done, and the lap lanes hopefully light, people-wise.

If that's not feasible, I'll bring workout clothes and hit the elliptical again...been exercising pain management (taking Advil before bed), and the lack of pain I'm experiencing in the mornings is empowering as hell.

The weekend stretches before me, full of promise as usual. Mom's been given the go-ahead for next week's surgery (she was afraid it would be a no-go because she's had a cold this week), and Thanksgiving is creeping up on us. I haven't done a lot of thinking about the holidays yet, other than to appreciate the sentiment, so hoping to start some projects this weekend.

Image from here

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taking Stock/Things I'm Liking Right Now...


Image from here

Outside: Supposed to hit high 70s today, but not minding it quite so much since the early mornings and late evenings are cool...it's a delicious respite.

Inside: Way too much energy in this bod to be sitting on my butt...a delightful byproduct of regular exercise, I'm guessing. I'll take it.

Wearing: black highwaters, short-sleeved sweater (not the most flattering, but really comfy), black flats.....hair half back, bangs framing face.

Creating: the ever-present MIL sock and lists for the holidays.

Reading: Animal Dreams has half my attention...kind of busy-distracted right now...

Going: Sticking to home this weekend, plenty to do.....maybe get some early holiday baking done, those "quick" breads freeze beautifully...we'll see.

Hoping: Mom's cold doesn't delay her surgery and I can get apartment stuff accomplished this weekend.

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My renewed motivation at the Y is giving me energy and a fresh outlook. Weird, because I didn't think I was in a slump or plateau...tend to think of plateau as being when you stop losing weight for a pinch, but since I hadn't lost any weight yet.....anyhoo, realizing that I do have the strength and energy to handle the elliptical at the Y has been a huge shot in the arm for my fitness regimen. Funny how you can let a machine intimidate you...but then again, back in June I wouldn't have lasted 3 minutes on the thing...had to do some building-up first. Yay, me!

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Things I'm liking right now:
  • Coffee
  • The possibility that I've outgrown my aspartame allergy...yea, yea, it's another processed-to-death chemical food, but if it'll keep me off regular Coke and other junk foods while I transition to healthy, it's a plus.
  • The elliptical
  • Tumblr
  • Kashi Chewy Granola Bars
  • Law & Order: UK.....totally filling the hole left by L&O Original
  • Thinking about the holidays...not the where-the-hell's-the-money-gonna-come-from holidays, but rather the holly-berries-snow-on-the-ground-crisp-air-hot-cocoa-warm-fire-giving-of-yourself holidays...
Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tuesday rally


Image from: here

I seriously dig photoblogging...

The weather has warmed a bit, but the mornings and evenings are heaven...

I kicked my own arse quite handily on the elliptical last night at the Y, and look forward to doing more of the same this evening...

I lost 3 pounds...

I'm drinking Coke Zero and it's not making me nauseous...

Haven't really started gift planning yet, but am getting in a holiday mood...

Working the gusset on the MIL sock...

Husby's been helping out more around the house...

Life is good.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday musings


seriously, what was msnbc.com thinking when they published this one?

I'd like to try not to be bitter, but where in the hell did that weekend go?

Saturday I got up at "a decent hour" and went and did laundry at Mom's.....3 hours later, I got home, hung up almost everything, because I don't have the patience to wait for her dryer and besides, I'm reducing the ole carbon footprint by hanging stuff.....cleaned the kitchen, got cooking, cleaned some more.....made chicken pot pie and Toll Houses to take to C and A.....chauffeured a bottle of wine from Mom's to their place and then hit Starbucks on the way back because Mom was getting a cold and needed something warm, fuzzy, and containing zero nutritional value.....got home, went on computer, burned dinner, watched Street Kings and was quite disappointed to discover that "uncut" doesn't mean "we kept the cuss words in".......

Sunday, got enough sleep thanks to not changing the clock the night before, at least...got up and puttered....did some computer stuff of little redeeming value.....made pancakes, sorted a large pile of crap.....went shopping w/Mom because wanted to help since she's getting said cold.....got back and was completely at loose ends, restless, not wanting to knit, read, clean.....eventually grabbed nap.....puttered rest of evening away, but did turn the heel on the MIL sock.....will tuck into gusset tonight.....

I hate whining...actually, loathe is a more accurate word.....but there's a couple of orneries in my personality jockeying for attention at present.....I chipped a bottom front tooth over the weekend, which was completely random.....pretty sure it's not even noticeable and won't turn into a problem, so long as I can stop f**king with it!.....i'm addicted to tumblr (seriously, somebody find me a 12-step program!), and suddenly there aren't enough hours in the day, never mind that Mom's sitch is solidifying itself this month (thank goodness), the holidays are sneaking ever-so-stealthily up on us, my best friend really needs to find the strength to leave her sig other, DH's grandma is still in the hospital, and I can't take ANY time off at xmas.....and there I go again, whining......this post feels like the first page of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.....love that book.....

Can't wait to burn off these grumblies on the elliptical tonight :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday ... it's a good thing ...


snitched from MSNBC.com

Normally don't like channeling Martha, but dang, this friday thing feels good!

The day dawned crisp here for the first time in oh, about 11 months, seems like...I'm sure we had some cool days in February and March here, but it's been a LONG summer and nonexistent autumn, so I'm in heaven. It's staying in the 60s the next couple of days...I'll take it. We had the windows open last night. I hope to work on the porch this weekend.

Been a hard month hormonally, but I'm rallying...made it to the Y last night finally; glad to be back on track with that. Trying out some new machines and exercises, and bracing my right knee to be safe. Switching from treadmill to elliptical. Expecting a sore couple of weeks ahead, but with the right mindset, I feel more alive when I'm sore, because I know I'm doing good things for the ole bod.

I have the usual crazy amount of projects lining up for space in my head as the weekend draws near. Laundry and cooking take priority first thing; my SIL here in town had surgery this week, so I'm cooking comfort food for them...my easy chicken pot pie, some cookies, maybe some homemade applesauce. Then there's the usual cleaning and planning, punctuated by the possible scheduling of my mom's stuff next week and the distinct need for organization so I won't be completely scattered during that time.

There's the MIL sock and other holiday ideas forming...there will be some surreptitious regifting occuring again this year, I fear. I'm not a fan of doing that, but it really can't be helped. I'm also thinking about some simple candle sets, sewing some simple throws.....need to see what I have in my stashes.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Taking Stock

Outside: Muggy, overcast, not cool enough...supposed to get down into high 30s at night this weekend...I'll believe it when I feel it. Kind of tired of being so grumbly about the weather, but when half the nation is able to start wearing their handknits and I can't, it makes me pissy...


Kind of can't decide if I'm the cat or the dog this week...

Inside: Distraction...quite scattered...too much energy to be sitting on arse...

Wearing: noisy paisley pants, green top, tree necklace and earrings...

Creating: ideas for holiday gifts, the ever-present MIL sock, and potential meal plans in my head...Mom's surgery could happen as early as next week, so some organizing needs to occur.

Reading: Pagan stuff.....the turn of the year has me thinking...flew through the high points of Fifth Sacred Thing, and am turning to other Starhawk tomes, like The Pagan Book of Living & Dying. I bought that after Dad, but haven't had the strength to read it until now. Also planning to unearth Evolutionary Witchcraft...it's buried in a box somewhere...

Going: to the Y tonight, thank goodness...been resting on my laurels a bit, first because I restrained my knee, and then this week, because my hormones were in overdrive and I was seriously mood-swingy. Only one of those excuses really flies, but the upshot is I'm a little better educated about how to treat my knees and I'm finally back in a place mentally where doing the necessary exercises (on a daily basis) to strengthen my knees can occur. Still not eating healthy enough, but baby steps are occuring...otherwise, sticking to home except for laundry at Mom's, because if they do schedule her next week, it's gonna be a busy rest of the month...

Hoping: My surrogate dad's doing OK (I'll call C tomorrow for her b'day and get an update), my SIL recovers quickly from her surgery, my Mom's surgery questions are resolved today (we're waiting to hear about scheduling), and that I can get started on some cleaning and projects now that my mood-swingyness is calming down....hey, it could happen!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Pagan after all


snitched from http://lovelydiamondeyes.tumblr.com/

It was a contemplative weekend.

Rode Mom's couch Friday night, almost more for the companionship than for the nursing necessity...she was doing too well; the med wore off quickly Saturday morning, bringing back her pain. This trial was much better though, and we both hope it means moving forward quickly on installing the pain pump.

Went home and puttered, napped, did pizza and a movie at Mom's that night. Sunday, we had some errands to run, and Husby's been missing me enough where it got him outta the house to run them with me. That was such a treat, and while it's likely kicking his arse today, I'm going to start encouraging him to do more around the house. Did a little cleaning, a little knitting, and a lot of reading, and found myself back in Reclaiming witch territory, totally at home with the five sacred things. It was a nice way to spend Samhain/Halloween. I did some thinking, dug out some old/new books, and am embracing an old perspective that had gotten quite dusty.

Will be bearing down on the home stretch of that blankety-blank MIL sock...started the heel flap last night. Then I'll be able to actually focus on potential holiday gifts for others. Reassessing my Y workouts this week, adding some more leg work, and should be back to that tomorrow. Altering my food intake too. Feeling good.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Friday


Snitched from http://tinyurl.com/2cecfa4

Happy early Halloween/Samhain, y'all! Alas, no dressing up this year...unless I get creative at the last minute and figure out how to look like processed food, so I can grab the $2 burrito deal at Chipotle :)

I've mentioned/lamented before that I work for a web design company? My company's HR department just rolled through, handing out goodie bags. They were all dressed as waiters/waitresses with that fake web stuff all over them, which made them....wait for it.....web servers.

I may grumble, but I dig a company that knows how to have fun occasionally.

Mom's 2nd trial went much better than the first. Whew! I'll probably stay over with her tonight even if she seems OK, because I need to do laundry and her place could use a spot cleaning.

Kind of wish I hadn't hung my witches' hat on the wall for the last year...it's now got a year's worth of dust on it and looks kind of nasty...which is a shame because my hair's so long and thick, if I really brushed it out and wore the hat, I'd have a kick-ass witch look going on...hmm.....maybe for the scant trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood on Sunday night....

This will be a good weekend. Re-figuring out what's wrong with my knees is producing some soul searching, and Samhain being the Celtic/Pagan New Year makes this a good time to mentally hunker and assess some...stuff. It'll be a contemplative weekend. Hope y'all's is full of chocolate and fun times!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Taking Stock...with a Healthy Dollop of Personal Flogging

Warning: LONG personal rant post.....image snitched from http://www.aaos.org/

But first, a bit of self-flaggellation: I am SUCH a brainiac(sarcasm)/dipshit/flaming-idiota who never learns things easily...

OK, enough of that...moving forward...

So a couple of years ago, I started noticing the stiffness in my knees. One in particular became stiff and remained that way for days at a time. I'm the size of 2 people and quite clueless, so I took myself to the doc, who recommended an orthopedist, who wasted my insurance's money on an MRI (which cost me NOTHING back then! Dammit, why does insurance get worse the longer you're on it?!)...

Whoops, digressing.....so anyway, the orthopedist determines that because of my flat feet and knocked knees, and the extra ::ehem:: number of pounds being inflicted on them on a daily basis, that I have osteoarthritis and should be doing physical therapy to retrain my body to do stuff like oh, stand, walk, move with correct posture, etc. So I start the PT and go at it for quite a while, but at $25 a pop, there comes a point where I have to stop. I tell myself that I'll continue the exercises at home ::insert laugh track here::. I continue eating and ignoring my health. Several years go by.

Important to note here that while I do remember the orthopedist saying that my kneecaps pointed out to the sides instead of straight ahead like they're supposed to...that the terms "unstable kneecaps" or "patellar tracking disorder" never left his mouth.....

Fast-forward to 3 months ago...my knee locks. Serious pain. Freaks my shit. I sign up for the Y the next day.

I work out fairly steadily, 3 to 4 days a week for 3 months. Don't change my diet at all (idiot move #1), because I'm a hedonist who loves food, has emotional eating issues, and I'm so delighted that my body's getting stronger and changing shape, I tell myself it's OK that I haven't lost weight yet. Biggest load of bullshit I've heaped on myself in quite awhile, but remarkably, this ain't even about that.

Thanks to glucosamine supplements and the exercise, the pain in my knees lessens. I'm able to go up and down stairs easier. I'm not throbbing at the end of the day, and the swelling's barely noticeable when I overexert. So I stop wearing my orthotics, except to exercise (idiot move #2).

Seriously, did I think my flat feet had reversed themselves?! What the hell was I thinking? I was thinking: my current orthotics are slowly falling apart, cause blisters after a long day of walking, they don't fit in my brown flats comfortably, I need an extra pair of Dr. Scholl's or something to supplement, but the $50 those cost always goes to something else.....

Michael: "No really, rationalizations are more important than everything...they're more important than sex!"
Sam: "Oh, c'mon, nothing's more important than sex."
Michael: "Oh yeah? Ever go a week without a rationalization?"

~ From The Big Chill

Where was I? Oh, so anyway, in the past 3 months, I've also had recurrences of that knee locking thing like, 3 or 4 times. Chalked it up to the extra punishment my knees have been taking in my quest to rebuild the bod. I recently found I was able to jog on the treadmill, that it actually felt good. It did kill my body the next day, but the fact was that while I was doing it, I was comfortable and didn't feel like I'd need a defibrillator before leaving the Y. Oh, the ways our bodies trick us...

Last night I even had a triumph...5 minutes on an elliptical. Hopped on it just out of curiosity...haven't tried it in years, because last time I did, I was gasping in pain within 30 seconds. But my legs are stronger, so I thought I'd just see (and I was at my apartment complex fitness micro-room, thus sparing myself any embarassment of trying it in front of the masses at the Y). That 5 minutes was about my initial limit of endurance on the sucker, but it was so frickin' empowering...I'd started that workout in a slump and was ending it ready to leap tall buildings.....

And then my knee locked as I was drifting off to sleep.

That pain hits my core somewhere. A lightbulb went off deep in my cranium, and I started thinking about how temporary it was, that if I was tearing something, then I'd have continued pain, swelling, etc., which thank the gods, I'm not. So I probably wasn't off target blaming the kneecap area. Trolled Google earlier today, found the AAOS website, did some reading.....and it nudged my past information about my kneecaps from my memory banks.

This weekend while I'm helping Mom through her 2nd pain management trial for her back, I will also be reading Bob Greene, Yoga for Arthritis, and WebMD...they have a good section on patellar instability with exercises that were VERY familiar looking.....mirrors the stuff I learned in PT and have since stopped doing ::pause while I slam my head against a wall mentally::.......gee, ever think if you just created an exercise regimen and stuck to it, you might not have these problems now?!?!............::sigh::........

Anyway, I'm going to wear my knee brace more, get the damn orthotics back into my shoes, and buy an extra pair 2 paychecks from now. I'm going to create a diet plan, get the hell off the treadmill for now, and get the hell on the bikes and back in the pool. Three months from now, I'll reassess again.

And I'm going to try to let up on myself.

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Taking Stock...

Outside: not worth discussing...the temperatures are awful. My hair exploded today.

Inside: bright

Wearing: purple & green blouse, beige highwaters, the aforementioned-cursed-totally-comfy-without-orthotics brown flats

Creating: MIL sock and all the crap I mentioned above...

Reading: see above...

Going: back and forth to Baptist Beaches tomorrow, back and forth to Mom's...otherwise, a homebound weekend...

Hoping: Mom's 2nd trial goes A LOT better than her first did and that my 2nd Dad, B's health issues resolve themselves quickly (send some healing energy please)

This post is already holy-crap-long, so I'll just say that my 2nd Dad is my best friend C's Dad. Her folks took Lil Bro and I in when Dad had aortic dissection #1 back in '82...we stayed with them for 2 weeks, and they taught us a lot about...stuff.....while providing the stability we desperately needed at that time. His health issues are putting him in the hospital, and C's Mom is struggling with Alzheimers, so I find I'm digging out my faith and petitioning the gods for assistance. I know I'm a fair-weather believer, but when the gods take one real parent and then start sneaking jabs at surrogate parents, you grab whatever faith you have and start praying.

Sorry for the length today, gang, but thanks so much for listening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Truly Twitteresque, or a Restless Rut Rally

Peas in a casserole are just weird.

Then, why'd you put 'em in, dingus?

Cuz the recipe told me to....

::sigh::

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Current Jax, FL temp: 85F...heat index of 90F. I didn't go outside at lunch, because I wasn't in the mood to be completely depressed.

Finally rallying from the latest rut....experiencing a rut rally....may not seem like it, but it's in there, percolating...

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Don't think I'll be able to live in the present until I'm at least living somewhere with actual seasons.......

Gonna keep studying Buddhism tho'...certainly can't hurt.....

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Knitting occurred last night...just a couple of rows, but still.....I will NOT be sitting here December 1st with that sock taunting me....hey, stupid, isn't xmas in like, 24 days? I'm waiting......

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8 glasses of water a day.....how do people do it? The stuff has all the flavor of air.

There's a reason sweet tea is so huge in the South. We need the caffeine because the heat makes us move slower down here, and we need the sugar because........oh, who am I kidding, I'm a carb addict.

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Gingersnaps and apple slices for snack at work....will close my eyes and pretend I'm somewhere cool.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Random babblings of a bored and grouchy web editor...

Snitched from http://sandboxworld.com/60-years-of-peanuts-countdown/

"Every night on Halloween, the veil between the worlds is lifted, and the spirits rise up from their graves to walk among the living..."
"Yeah, but how come?"
"For the candy! There's no chocolate in hell. That's WHY it's hell."


~ Paraphrased from the TV show Roseanne

Halloween coming up.....every year, I wait too long to get creative. We get to dress up at work on Friday, but I'm pretty sure with Mom's 2nd pain pump trial happening Thursday, that I need to get cracking or give up the concept. I'll sleep over at her place Thursday (so the dog doesn't have to be kenneled), and then I'll probably sleep over Friday as well, in case she needs anything. She does an overnight at the hospital Thursday, so they can monitor her...they're shooting a lower dose in this time, so hopefully her reactions will be better. It was both alarming and hilarious last time.

I'm in a rut again...it's a blast. Saturday got away from me, did OT in the morning and Southern Women's Show in the afternoon. Sunday, just couldn't get moving...the ole get-up-n-go never even showed up, except later in the evening for some gingersnap baking (YUM!). Oh, and I did repaint my toes. Such progress.

October's ending too quickly. And you wouldn't even know it here. High 80s the next 3 days, near record-breaking temps. I read New England blogs with a rather voracious attitude while trying to qwell the ache in my soul...I keep rereading SouleMama today....can seriously feel the crispness in the air in her photos...

Need to dig outta this rut...remind myself that while I love that weather, it also killed my joints last time I was up there, because the snow storm sent the barometer into the basement...if I can just remember that, it should get me to the Y this week in spite of the extra busyness toward its end...

They said we're getting Photoshop™ today...I may have to stop whining about graphics changes. Not that I really know how to work the damn thing, even after several tutorials. I'll be interested to see which version they give us...sad to work for a web design company and wonder if the Photoshop version they're planning to give you will even have CS in the model #...god, I hope it's a decent version...I'll come in on my own time to master the sucker...being comfortable in Photoshop could go a LONG way toward, umm, well, that thing I'm praying happens next year...

I don't think anybody from my company reads this sucker, but you can't be too careful...much as I grumble, would love to keep this job another 12 months...

So Halloween...do I buy candy, even though it's entirely probable that no trick-or-treaters will show (which isn't a bad thing, given our sketchy neighborhood)? Les is off chocolate cuz of his head, so I guess I should exercise willpower...

And what can I dress up as, that costs nothing to create and can be built using whatever's in my apartment? I usually use Halloween as an excuse to dress up as a modern-day witch, but since I'm somewhere between Buddhism and atheism these days, just doesn't feel right this year...brainstorm and abandon, brainstorm and abandon...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn & Taking Stock

snitched from www.funrose.com/autumn-wallpaper/1536.html
more later...

OK, I'm back...

But I'd rather be at the Y...

Outside: low 80s...yuck! I will never appreciate living in paradise, so I may as well get the heck out...

Inside: insurance health officials at stations, telling employees how unhealthy they are...i already had a pretty good idea of this, but if you're willing to give me gift cards to catalog it, who am I to say no...

Wearing: my fave blue-green blouse, black slacks, my 3-pound Docs (the weight bears mentioning b/c the health assessment required me to get on a scale ::sticks tongue out::)

Creating: the modifications of my novel in my head, the MIL sock bit-by-bit...and the holidays are creating the usual delusions of aptitude...since I told myself early this year that the MIL socks would be the only thing I knit for the holidays, now my brain thinks my FIL could use a watchcap, the Husby could use a scarf.....it's a sickness...

Reading: kind of at an impasse...did find another farming blog that'll have me trolling the archives in my spare time...and I need to tuck back into Phase 2 of Bob Greene...

Going: to the Southern Women's Show on Saturday...it's an annual ritual with Mom that involves grabbing as many free samples and brochures as possible, remembering address labels so I can fill out as many giveaways/raffles as possible, and then catching the fashion show where the local firefighters strip and dance on stage for donations to some charity...good stuff...

Hoping: I can get some stuff accomplished this weekend, and keep feeling good about the steps I'm taking toward better health. I modified my workout regimen, broke down the weight training to 3 days a week so that I'm not overworking the bod, and the initial result is positive—not sore today!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

OK, new topic!


So young, so full of promise...I was 2 or 3 in that photo. I should wear more red; doesn't clash with my blue eyes as much as I tend to think....the brown hair saves the look. Lord, I can be vain. I call it self-pride, but I'm pretty sure I'm kidding myself sometimes...

Actually, I've got nothing of substance going on...just wanted to push Monday's post down a little. It was way heavy, and I want it lower before the thumpers start commenting...living in the South, I'm always on the lookout for born-agains who think a discussion on the topic will convert me...like I haven't given the matter any thought before speaking with them. Religion and faith just ain't subjects I'm willing to enter into a debate about....I'm chicken about debate as a general rule, but the hairy subjects in particular cause me to stick my head in the sand and wait for you to go away. Cowardice breeds patience. I'm sure that mindset comes from never being able to win an argument with Dad until I was too old to care about winning, but that thought slips back into hairy territory, so we'll leave it right where it's typed and move on.

"Copy that, QWLD, how's the weather down there in Florida?"
From the movie Contact

The mornings and evenings have FINALLY cooled down here, but I grieve for my lost autumn. Bloggers have been good with the reminders of what I'm missing, and I live vicariously through them as I look to the future. We're barely making ends meet these days, and the holidays are going to be damn thin. I couldn't care less as we move toward the bloody season, but his fam requires a level of implied largesse that belies/hides their unhappiness...I need to start brainstorming on seriously frugal gift ideas. Even baking gets pricey if I'm not careful, so some planning needs to occur, because if my checks don't get better, we're in trouble here.

Turns out I'm not as into Brit Lit as I thought...the old stuff is serious snoresville. Much as I'm curious to broaden my range of books read, I'm realizing that digging into short stories of more current voices is what will help me with my writing. Figures that after 2 weeks of trolling for Norton anthologies at the library, I end up coming back to stuff I've got in my own bookshelves.....

"So Dorothy gets to the end of the Wizard of Oz and Glinda, the good witch, goes, ::high warbling laugh::, 'but you had the power to get back home all along...all you had to do was tap your heels together...'........I always wanted Dorothy to slap the shit out of her. 'You had the power to tell me that 3 hours ago! Did I need this acid trip? One minute I'm fine, everything's normal, next thing you know I've got a f*ckin' tree chasing me down the road! Now I want a one-way ticket back to Kansas NOW! or I start shoving dead midgets out the door....'"

~ Paraphrased from Dennis Miller's Off White Album (it's a 20-year-old album, so my apologies for the non-PC midget reference)

As you can see, I get a little impatient with myself for not catching onto things quicker...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday ramblings

I need to find some faith. Dad's passing made me an atheist, I fear. For all my searching and reading, I don't really believe in heaven and higher powers and whatnot. That mindset makes life on earth more important, somehow, but not believing in anything after this is awfully depressing.

The randomness of it makes me ache, is what it is. My coworker J's 96-year-old grandfather suffered a massive stroke on Friday. Was in a coma all weekend and not expected to recover. This morning he woke up, demanded to be discharged, threatened to sue if the hospital didn't comply, and wanted to know if the Jags won.

Don't suppose they can keep him another day on the basis that he forgot we don't play til tonight this week?

My dad's heart gave out at 67. They didn't even think about operating to repair the new aortic dissection, because his body shut down so quickly, he likely wouldn't have survived the procedure, so what was the point.

Dad's mom lived to 97. Granted, the last 5 years or so, she lived on Planet WhothehellamI, but still, gotta be impressed with that kind of longevity.

I guess I really don't accept that there's only so much you can control in this life, because those juxtapositions wouldn't make me so angry if I did.

Heavy stuff for a Monday, I know...I just get frustrated. Mom's pain pump will help her quality of life tremendously, but there's nothing they can do to retard the disk degeneration that will cripple her eventually. Les has hit the ceiling on his current medication treatment for his headaches, his doc has no new bright ideas, which means I get to be the bad guy and kick his ass off the couch in spite of the pain, so that we can earn the money necessary to move next year, because my checks ain't cutting it. Never mind how his medications could be hurting his body or shortening his life span...

I totally get that you appreciate stuff more when you're forced to work hard for it. Just needed a little whine before placing nose back on grindstone. Thanks for listening.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thinkingthinkingthinking

Autumn. I can't help being bitter. I try to shake it off, but these persistent 80F days and the tease of coolness in the evenings just make me ache. The pumpkin patches are out down here, but it feels like pants on a cat...they just don't belong.

This time next year I will be putting the finishing touches on our move. I will have a new job lined up and the UHaul booked. We'll be shopping for an inexpensive couch, and I'll be dreaming of real curtains.

When I close my eyes in the hot tub at the Y, I'm rather quickly transported to another place. I'm in my own hot tub, in a screened-in porch...it's early evening, I've just come in from a run, and Les is bringing me a glass of wine...

These can't be just dreams. I can make them real. The cynic in me tells me that it's no different than folks who wonder what they'll do when they win the lottery. I scoff at these folks, consider it a waste of time to speculate on something like that. But what makes my dreams different? And am I reaching too far? Dad used to talk about owning a popcorn store. Was he just talking to hear his head roar, or were there dreams inside that skull that he didn't let slip out, because responsibility plowed them under?

The hot tub is quite a few years down the road...I get that. So are the chickens and a house outside of the city limits. But that doesn't make them unreachable. I'm no stranger to hard work...given our situation, Les's head and all, there are them that would say it's unrealistic to want those things. But I've become an idealist, a dreamer in my adult life, and I simply won't let them go until I'm certain they're unattainable. If that makes me a fool, so be it.

The weekend lays out before me, full of promise...Mom's next trial isn't for 2 weeks, so I can get some serious work done in that apartment this weekend, provided they replace the AC compressor today. Life slows down when you're stuck sweating in an apartment. I can actually feel my brain go numb. We've been opening up here and there at night, but the damn apartment holds heat like a frickin' sauna...the east-west exposures and metal roof combine to create a blasted oven. We opened up last night and I went to sleep with it still reading 81F inside. But I'm not going to make excuses. Things need to happen in that place this weekend...I just won't bake if they don't fix it. There's so much that needs to be done, boxes to be gone through, areas cleaned...one step at a time.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Taking Stock

Caption: Dear Mom, Thanks for cutting my bangs. Please don't ever do it again. :)


It's been a busy couple of days. I got turned down on the HR Manager spot. Probably just as well...it's making me realize that resumes really only get you so far, that I'm a writer first and foremost, so maybe I should hone my skills, build a portfolio that reflects that...

Lil Sis has a friend who's trying to start a photo refinishing biz, or something...he wanted the practice and she wanted to get 700 slides restored to a more manageable medium...the above shot is a taste of his work; he converted all 700 slides to files on DVD...I'll bug her for his site URL to promote him here, because the taste she gave us of the finished product is rather exquisite...she's saving most of 'em for holiday compilations/gifts, but man, it's seriously nifty to see shots of yourself you barely or don't remember posing for...

Mom had her first pain management trial; they want to insert a pain pump to treat her degenerating disks and spinal stenosis. The trial itself could've gone better...I've never seen her that stoned, she couldn't keep anything down, and after they gave her Phenergan, she was passing out mid-sentence...well, OK, that part was funny >:)...DH handled transporting her to and from the hospital, she stayed over at the hospital Thursday night, and I stayed at her place last night in case she needed anything. She's finally feeling more normal, but it was a little unsettling for us kids and we'll be sending her to her follow-up doc appt with questions about what they were thinking giving her that big a dose, and what we/she can expect at the next trial...

So I'm finally less transient and taking stock:

Outside: cool in the evenings, stupid warm during the day...I'm trying to forget that it's October, so I can enjoy it cranking up to 85F and not be so bitter...pretty hard tho'...

Inside: Tuff-Puppy on the tube (don't ask), pondering Mallomars and to-do lists...

Wearing: comfy purple shirt, bike shorts, hair down...it's getting crazy-long :)

Creating: 2nd MIL sock, I'm finally into the pattern again...gingersnaps tomorrow, finally bought eggs...maybe something with the delicata squash, it's thumping ripe...

Reading: Finished Eat Pray Love, pondering her other novels, they look interesting...finished Kindness of Strangers...that was a difficult read...used to think Law & Order: SVU was hard to watch b/c of the subject matter, but reading about it requires a much thicker skin...got my first Hobby Farms magazine in the mail, will be devouring that later...

Going: back to the Y tomorrow (Sunday)...let myself slack this week with interview stuff, Mom's activities...took Mom's dog for a light jog the other night in the wrong shoes and it set my knees to complaining all day yesterday...a good reminder that I'm heading in the right direction, but have a long road to health ahead...

Hoping: I can change my attitude a bit at work this week...continue progress on MIL sock...bake, help Mom shop, and putter/clean our place enough tomorrow to get my head straight for this coming week...there's other stuff, but that's a start...

Here's a reprint, I think I wrote this last year...it explains in spades why I hate FL so much this time of year...

Autumn is…
Apples and pumpkins

And leaves on the ground,

Wood smoke and chill nights

And family gathered ‘round.

It stops rhyming there, so don’t get your hopes up…

Curling up by a fire sipping hot cider

Raking leaves for the sole purpose of then jumping into the pile

Crisp air

Digging out the woolens and boots

Finding a knitted cap for long walks after dinner

Cold noses and toeses

Extra blankets on the bed and not needing AC

The smell of leaf rot

Trying to dig and realizing the earth is cold

Jesus, how’d I survive as long as I have in Florida?

Grabbing a jacket before you step outdoors

Rosy cheeks and wind through your slacks

Soups and stews for dinner that have spent all day in the crockpot

Colors and colors and colors in the trees!

Hot cocoa with little marshmallows

Jack o’lanterns and the last harvests, finding new ways to use squash

That last one’s a biggie…I start planning my side dishes for Thanksgiving a full month ahead…

Making sure the car tires are in good shape

(and keeping a window scraper in the trunk for good measure)

Contemplative evenings

Fall festivals and foggy mornings

Dreaming of eggnog

Walnuts to snack on, and apple butter on English muffins

Starting holiday gifts

Smelling the cold air, straining your eyes against the grey sky looking for flakes

And the warmth of curling up in a woobie when you come in from the cold.