Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Friday

Snitched from

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'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

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, 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 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.


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....



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...


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.....


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......


8 glasses of water a 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.


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

"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'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 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
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'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'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 in the South, I'm always on the lookout for born-agains who think a discussion on the topic will convert 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


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'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 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'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'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 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 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.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Nothing of substance

Just mental wanderings...

Opened the windows last night for a bit. I stepped outside this morning to cool air on my arms and wanted to cry with relief. Won't think about the temps going back up a bit next week...will just enjoy, embrace, revel in the sweet cool air...

The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. In other news, hell froze over.

Watched Law & Order: UK last night...I think I love it a little. Practically need closed captioning for deciphering the British accents, but that makes it fun. Makes me glad too, because Law & Order: Los Angeles did NOT blow my skirt up.

Caprica's back tonight!

Sinking my hands into yarn again in the evenings...I will finish the MIL sock this month! Also tucking away at a pullover, a wrap, and some long fingerless gloves...feels good.

The Great Smoky Mountains got snow last night. Next October really can't come fast enough.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Deep in my head

Saturday. October. The temperatures are s..l..o..w..l..y..calming down here, but I've been so achy in my soul over the heat of September, I can't appreciate the promise of cooler weather until I step outside and feel it.

I turned down an opportunity yesterday. Spent the day loathing how this would make me look. Like a coward and a flake. I'm sure it's not that bad, but it does punctuate how the business world doesn't tolerate indecision. I know in my bones I made the right decision, both for myself and my team. So why do I still feel crappy about it?

It has me thinking about how I need to tweak my expertise, what I want to be looking for in a job next year in Charlotte, what will make me happy and keep me sane, while also feeding and sheltering us.

My knee went out of joint again last night. Interestingly, instead of not being able to extend my leg all the way, this time it was the reverse...I could extend it, but couldn't fold it all the way in. Makes me wonder if I have more than one issue. The good news is I iced it and got it reset, and it's not sore or swollen today. Still, I'm on the fence about my workout today...I was going to do weights, but may swim instead.

Gotta go clean...thanks for listening :)