Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Sleeping Dead


I feel fortunate that I got plenty of sleep last night, but you know, it was filled with dreams, meaning that I wasn't truly resting.  The main dream was being in the beginning of a zombie apocalypse (LOL! SO utterly predictable and unoriginal at this point) and trying to gather up supplies. 

Somehow Rick Grimes was there and he made me drive his police cruiser through Atlanta while people were just at the beginning fringes of panic.  He told me that I was in a police car, so quit stopping at the red lights and just drive on through. Hit the siren.  Hahah.  (I suppose I was wasting time when there wasn't much traffic in the roads to speak of anyway.). 

No, I don't have a thing for Andrew Lincoln (much cuter in Love, Actually), so I think my mind was being a tad lazy in comforting me with a familiar character in a really familiar theme.

The main thing I was worried about was getting to my house for my bag of equipment, most especially the multi-tool that I couldn't find in the bag a couple of days ago when we were opening Christmas gifts.  

What causes all this worried dreaming about being prepared for a catastrophe ? The fact that our holiday weather has been filled with disastrous weather?  Right now outside looks like a blizzard is moving in, though the temperature says otherwise.  It's gloomy.  Grey.  Depressing.  




Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Decorations

This year I did a little decorating for Christmas on December 22nd. :D. Well, at least I did it. I was finally feeling a little bit inspired.  We drove around a few times looking at holiday light displays and I lost my will to put up icicle lights, even though I had bought an entire new set.

The day we attempted to put them up a few things went badly.  First, I had to maneuver myself around the power lines leading to my house, and that made me nervous.  Dreadfully nervous indeed. By the time I got around to the gable on my house, I realized that the ladder was far too short to get halfway up that roofline.  Well, I'd thought it was longer but I was mistaken.  Several days later my brother loaned me a much longer ladder, but I didn't want to bother with those lights on the house anymore. Ever again.  

And then my neighbors, the Griswolds, put up their lights and I was a bit jealous coming home to my dark house.  *Sigh*. I just wanted some holiday cheer, you know? Hardly anyone in my neighborhood made an effort this year, but they did and I wanted to.  It's what makes me enjoy Christmas -- the beautiful lights.  

We went on a two city hunt for this year's newest holiday lighting gotta-have -- the laser light shower projector.  It makes your house look like it was wrapped in red and green lights.  But after Halloween, those were nowhere to be found.  I was wanting the ability to choose different colors, anyway.  :( 

My sister and I had decided we would get together and make tomato cage Christmas trees.  I excitedly bought wired garland and some lights and then never did it. :(. But on December 22nd, we were under a tornado watch from the unnaturally warm weather and something possessed me to create something I hoped would look pretty, rather than homemade.  I had to buy a lot of extra garland (no more wired was available) and another set of lights just in case.  I already had the tomato cages from a failed summer attempt to grow tomatoes in pickle buckets. 

Okay, the whole summer even the tomatoes in the ground did poorly.  They went in too late and grew more greenery than fruit, until it was too late in the year to get decent tomatoes from them.  Next year I'll just plant the darn things at the beginning of May and risk them being frozen or flooded.

I finished the "trees", put them on my front porch, hooked them up to an extension cord and timer stake, and they look so much classier at night than I expected them to.  :). It made me so happy that I went inside and decorated my two small interior Christmas trees with ornaments. I'm sorry that I didn't get the big tree up, but that was dependent on getting rid of an old chair that was in the way.  

I think that the tomato cages will remain Christmas trees, and I'll probably just put them away as is for next year. Now what I have to do is find a tall box for each little Christmas tree and gently set them in, fully decorated. :D. Maybe if I just tackle one or two new things each year it'll look nice without one gargantuan effort?

I would like to paint a Heat Miser and a Snow Miser to go out front. Maybe if I start on them now they'll be ready. 

It would have been nice to hang up my sparkle balls in the tree, but the lights inside may be kaput by now. However, that doesn't mean I can't wrap a new set of lights around the outside, and I may do that. I also have a couple of old lighted topiaries that need some TLC -- more lights and more garland.

The problem is that being a teacher, I am utterly exhausted and just trying to survive in the weeks leading up to Christmas break.  There's not any time to rest before putting up decorations. This time I had nearly a full week before Christmas, BUT I was suddenly beset by a lot of pain and fatigue that really made my chiropractic adjustment in my lower back, shall we say, excruciating.  You know, pain the week before, agony the week of, and pain the week after.  In another week I should get to enjoy my one pain free week of the month.  It's funny to think that I'd not be in such misery if I'd had children.  I've got one heck of an exam to dread very soon.  Right now I'm flopped on the couch, knowing I shouldn't be this tired and I shouldn't be feeling any pain at all, but I am...

And I'll get on with my day regardless, because I tend to hide most of my suffering from view. After all, I'm really the only person who knows how bad it is.  







Sunday, December 13, 2015

Chiropractic and... Narcolepsy!

I've been unofficially diagnosed with narcolepsy.  Dreaming vividly within five minutes of a nap in the car was what gave it away, but the constant fatigue and daytime sleepiness are symptoms too.  I wake up just as tired as when I go to bed.  It might explain why I don't lose weight easily, as well.  I dread being told I have to take meds for it, especially since those meds are sometimes amphetamines - scary stuff. I don't like taking drugs. 

My dear fiancĂ© (DF) made an appointment for me with his chiropractor, who took a bunch of X-rays and found that my spine curves to the left near my tailbone, and does a sharp angle forward and out of place just below my skull.  Weeeeellllll...... How about that? And why didn't the neurologist notice any of that in the images he took?  

My X-rays look freaky, but there's no denying that's my skull.  There is even a metal clip marking where the tumor was removed, and my dental work is very familiar to me.

Sounds to me like he found the cause of my continuing headaches (different from the migraines, of course).  I don't know how to hold my head and it might be a result of whiplash when I was 15.  For that, I get put in a neck stretching machine.  (It's pretty uncomfortable, especially when it grips the base of my skull, and it's about as emotionally comforting for me as getting into an MRI tube.  Not being able to move my head freaks me right out.)

The lower back displacement is possibly due to my tailbone injury, and it might be the reason my leg has nerve problems, because there is a compressed disk down where it curves.  Irritating nerve roots, unhappy muscles, bad signals being sent -- this might also explain my ever-increasing clumsiness.  

My shoulder, thankfully, is a case of rotator cuff tendinitis, not a torn rotator cuff.  Unfortunately, this knocks me out of weightlifting for a while and might keep me from having toned arms in my wedding dress.  :(. 

My ankles are definitely recovering from bad sprains, though I'm told they weren't broken.  The left was badly sprained, and the adjustments he does on my ankles are excruciating... But only for a couple of seconds.  

So,... The chiropractor is doing all sorts of work on me, including trying to release my frozen lower back. He's treating my plantar fasciitis too. I'm getting crackled all over, ultrasound on my feet, and electric shocks on my shoulder and left ankle.  

I've also got arthritis in my spine, which doesn't scare me as much as I thought at this point.  I suspected as much for a long time. 

While sometimes all that popping is a bit painful for a split second, I have to admit I immediately feel better the minute I stand up -- especially in my lower back.  It seems to be getting looser each time. I have a dream that at some point that nerve is going to become unblocked and my leg will feel normal again.  :). I also dream that someday I'll run again, but my ankles will call that particular tune.  

Wedding Bells

I'm getting married in the near future.  Wow.  It was expected....eventually, but more unexpected was the proposal.  :). Imagine, having your fella stolen away 20+ years ago, but he comes back.  I should call him Odysseus.  I'm a little dumbfounded, going about making plans and arrangements, and getting used to having someone in my life.

This old maid really thought she never had a reason to think about such things as a date, a venue, a dress, cake, attendants, invitations, a guest list, and all that.  So I am completely unarmed!  Hello.... Pinterest?  My old pal?  Are you gonna help me through this?  

First things first - I presumed a date and a venue would have to be chosen first, as a lot of engagements happen at Christmas and venues would be reserved quickly by the first of the year.  It looks like the place I was most interested in will be available, but I'm pretty sure we got very lucky on that.  :)  

Now I can take everything else a step at a time. I most likely will not be creating a handmade lace dress.  I could, but I think time is too much a factor and my garment shaping skills are not good enough for that.  It's not like I will have a daughter to consider giving it to, anyway.  I'll add my personal touch to the dress, and probably make my own veil and other accessories.  

I'll have a lot of stuff to make by then.  I cringe at the thought of buying some of the items when I can make something much more beautiful by hand. 

So much to do, even considering this will not be a grandly expensive affair.  I don't do such things, and I think spending tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding is a waste.  Besides, being an older bride is a consideration.   Too many people think a lovely wedding is a waste for someone so old.  They think all the celebration should be for those girls who want that ridiculously fancy wedding more than wanting that man to be their husband for the next 80 years.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Magnesium Deficiency and Migraines

As I've said before, I've suffered from migraines from age 12. They've slowly increased in frequency and severity over the last 32 years, until I started having more than 2 a week. They got to a point where nothing was helping.  

Funny, as I got older and my periods went from an uncomfortable inconvenience to an extended hemmorhaging hell-on-earth excruciating situation making me hope I can have my organs cut out, my migraines ramped up right along with them, although they seemed to share no other link than my advancing years. 

The timing on my migraines was random, and were triggered by myriad unrelated causes.  Bright lights, loud sounds, too much sugar, too little sugar, caffeine, lack of caffeine, PMS, actual menstrual period, the days after my period when hormone levels dropped and messed with me emotionally, poor posture, overly straight posture, anxiety, waking up from a peaceful slumber, eating, not eating enough, rapid breathing, not breathing often enough, exercise, lack of exercise, crying, stifling the need to cry.  Random, really.

After my last visit to Urgent Care for a migraine shot and pre-emptory prescription refill for Imitrex, I started taking a magnesium supplement with my vitamins.  250mg -- that's all.  Just one dose a day.  I never needed to refill the prescription.  

I haven't had a migraine in SIX MONTHS!  

I've had a few mild headaches caused by letting my neck droop, but no more migraines. Given what a picky eater I've always been, I don't really eat many foods rich in magnesium, and not that often anyway.  I've probably had a worsening magnesium deficiency over the years, likely caused by my reproductive system, which is trying to kill me.  

I'd read that eating a spoonful of salt was an instant cure for migraines, but as it turns out, it's not table salt which does the trick.  It's Epsom salts, rich in magnesium.  I won't eat a spoonful of that, but it can be dissolved in water to drink, if proper dosing instructions are followed.  

So I've been taking magnesium supplements daily, and had no more migraines. If you have them, you might give it a try.  

*I'm not a doctor, I'm not selling anything, and I'm no expert, but my experiment worked for me.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Blues and News and Things I Do

It's been a month since I've written anything, for several reasons.  Some are good, and some are not so good.  

First, some of the good.  I haven't had a migraine since the middle of May.  I went from 2 or 3 a week to suddenly.... None. I still have occasional headaches, but not migraines. I'm perfectly happy with that, because Imitrex makes me feel wretched.  What changed, other than maybe a miracle?  I started paying close attention to the position of my neck.  When my head goes too far forward, the pain begins and accelerates.  Head up, no migraine.  I guess that's a good reason to never let my depression show in my posture.

Actually, I'm not exactly feeling true depression at the moment -- it's a hormonal drop with its typical accompanying blues.  I'm in a lot of pain though.

More good: I've started having a little success with selling my t-shirt designs.  Not much so far, not even enough to pay taxes on, but I hope things continue.  So far I'm just breaking even on equipment and materials. No, that stuff isn't given away. Lol

The problems come in with me feeling pretty crummy for the last month.  On my next appointment I'll probably get the official diagnosis that I have a serious case of endometriosis.  It gets exponentially worse every month, and I'm spending too many weeks in between with the pain just as bad as it is during my period.  Cramps... I wish it was simple old cramps, but it's a grinding, tearing, pulling pain with some seriously sharp teeth and other gross complications.  I can't sleep, I'm always dead tired even when I do sleep, and I feel too sick to eat pretty often, though my belly is swelling.  And now my anemia has come back, despite daily iron pills, yuck.  

Well, we shall see what's going on, if I can just find a doctor who will listen to me about the pain I'm in.

Oh great.  I just realized I forgot to call my grandmother and wish her a happy 94th birthday.  :(. I guess I got distracted.  It was another day of smelling strangely familiar phantom perfume.  It only happens on her birthday.   Maybe I should have dragged myself to the backyard.  I might have found another heart shaped stone placed mysteriously on my dog's grave lie last time I smelled the perfume.

Of course, right now I can't do much in the way physical activity.  In May I shredded the interior of my foot and ankle and probably broke my cuboid.  Three weeks ago I fell at my first VOLS game and broke my toe.  Now I'm trying to alleviate the resurgence of plantar fasciitis resulting from those injuries' healing time.  

But hey... My Strassburg Sock is actually helping with that, so maybe I can get on my feet again before something else breaks. :D

Further good news: I'm going to Italy again.  I can't wait to go back and I'm hoping that I don't have another blubbering meltdown in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.  It was a bittersweet moment when it happened because the fresco that made me cry uncontrollably reminded me of precisely when my mother died.  It was so hot in the upper cathedral that my tears and sweat were indistinguishable.  I was just soggy and exhausted.  What's in my head goes through my heart and comes out of my eyes without warning.  I feel far too much empathy at times, usually when I don't want to and I'd rather be cool and detached. 

This time, I WILL walk up to the fortress of Assisi and check out the secret passage.  I'll eat a lot more fresh local fruit for snacks and hopefully I'll come back with the amaretto I missed out on last time. Somehow I was sold Nocino, and I'm not into walnuts. Eww. 

:D I'm going to Italy! I suppose those coins I threw into the Trevi Fountain worked after all, if you consider that I didn't actually want a romance with a Roman.   And this time, I'll pack better, though last time I didn't do too badly.  Coming back from Paris, though, I had too many souvenirs and injured my shoulder trying to lift my suddenly weighty suitcase on the Eurostar.  (Lesson learned: bring only three shirts and just buy a couple more to hand wash in the hotel.  Maybe wear two on the plane. )

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rust and Shards

Tentacles 
Of broken glass shards
Rusted barbed wire
Jagged razor blades
Invisibly tear through
Draining vitality
Shredding the soul
She staggers
The growing pool of blood
The vague stench of slow dying
Trailing unnoticed
Cast aside
Ignored
As she serves
Pieces of herself
Her only worth
Providing
Hated
Until she's gone

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Randomness

A few random thoughts for today... 

If I ever find myself in a "Walking Dead" situation, I'm going to sew all the little pieces of leather I can scrounge onto my jeans to strengthen them.  It's not like I'll just run across a pair of leather pants in my size, though a few months of starving and running might very well make me a size 8.

I'm thrilled that people like my new t-shirt design.  I bought a new Cricut last year, having never much utilized my Expression, and this makes me feel relieved that it wasn't just a splurge.  It's been really useful.  I'd love for it to be more useful.  :). 

By the way, anybody want to buy an Expression in really excellent shape? I struggled with it because the original mats that were made for it always tore up my paper on removal, but the mats for sale these days are a million times more user-friendly.  

I enjoy doing custom orders and artwork, but I'm still pretty slow in my ability to create custom artwork, so I appreciate everyone's patience. I can handle Photoshop really well, but it's not the right software for this type of designing.  That calls for Adobe Illustrator.  I want to be faster, just like with my oil painting. 

I'm enjoying making t-shirt designs for the sake of enjoying all the shine, bright colors, and glittery bling (because SPARKLIES, I LOVE PLAYING WITH SPARKLIES!) and it makes me happy that others like my work. However, I'm still having to pay for all the supplies, and they aren't the cheap stuff.  I'm not gonna work with the cheap stuff.  I just hope people understand that my shirts take time to do, quality supplies, and I'm not charging a correct price on them currently.  Yes, I'm undercutting myself quite a bit.  No, I can't go lower, because of the costs. (I'm still trying to pay for my supplies!) For example -- my first original design took me TWELVE HOURS to create! (I'll only do that on my own time.)  And yes, my personal time at night and on weekends is worth money, and no, I don't do that stuff when I'm doing my regular job.  Only on my own personal time.  No interference. 

Sure, there are designs out there already, and the people who created them will happily charge me if I want to buy them.  That runs up the cost too.  (I'm not well-off, or I wouldn't need a second job.  Health insurance costs are starting to eat me alive, and I'm a healthy person!  Well, I don't run to the doctor for every little thing, and there's a major issue I'm ignoring as long as I can.)

I wish I could sell at craft fairs on the weekends and make a fortune, but it's not going to happen.  I can't keep a shop's worth of various colors and sizes in garments on hand, though I'll gladly order some if several people have requests.  The one craft fair I worked pretty much killed my confidence.  I'm doubtful I could make a living at this, but if I can make a few people happy at a time, I'll take it.

My house is terrible for house plants. I'm going to have to relocate them all to my classroom.  The one I already moved is flourishing.  The two here look like they are dying a little each month.  

I've still got to replace my central heat & air unit.  Ouch.  Big bucks.  But living the past two months without AC has been miserable.  Today is a misty cloudy day and I'm loving it.  

My foot & ankle injury still hasn't healed after four months.  I think that not only did I tear my plantar fascia with an audible CRACK, but I probably also tore my peroneal tendons. They still hurt a lot.  Aw, but gee, at least I didn't break it, right? Oh sure, that makes everything ok, doesn't it?  I didn't go to the orthopedist because I suspect that they're just stretching treatment out to collect the maximum from my insurance company and me for treatments they know are ineffective. I had separate hip and leg injuries.  He refused to look at my leg at all until he had "finished treating the hip".  For three years he hemmed and hawed on one hip, though both hurt identically, and sent me to a variety of his partners who never did more than say they wanted to have yet another doctor take a look.  My leg was never examined, presumably because he wanted a separate office visit charge for treating each location.  I wonder, if someone breaks an arm AND a leg, how do they decide which one to ignore until treatment has finished for the other limb???  Luckily, my cracked rib healed on its own. I'd still be waiting if it hadn't.  (A cracked rib is easy to diagnose without an X-Ray, especially with the extensive bruising I had, and considering that I had taken a flying leap to land with a hard seat back directly into that rib. Breathing was rough for a couple of months.). It was either take the leap, or buy a new mower.  I just didn't foresee getting hurt.  I wasn't scared.... Just a little angry that the mower slipped out of neutral and into first. Gremlins! 

There are some things that it's just not worth spending the doctor fees for: breaking three of my toes (splint and just be more careful about kicking snow off), breaking my tailbone (like there's much to be done for that), cracked rib (it hurts to breathe and bend over, so I will just avoid the pain and breathe shallowly unless I'm struggling to breathe), broken thumb (okay, it was low into my palm and I didn't realize I'd broken it until much too late - it was my non-dominant hand and that thumb never gets a workout anyway), glass in the foot (disinfect and remove the glass yourself, and what you miss will cut its way out a few years later, LOL), torn open bridge of the nose (I butterflied it back together after being told by the school nurse it was too late to see a doctor to stitch it, since a couple of hours had passed since the accident -- I think she was wrong about that though).  

I suppose I'm frustrated that most doctors these days are focused on how to increase profits, rather than treating patients efficiently.  The ENT who removed the tumor in my neck was effective and efficient.  I only had to see him three times to get the problem taken care of: consultation and biopsy, surgery, post-op checkup.  He didn't waste my time, he listened to my concerns, answered my questions, was very pleasant, and he was very understanding that I wanted the golf ball GONE.  He didn't even leave a hugely obvious scar, but he credits me for my excellent after care for that.  My recovery was spent alone except for a single visit by my brother and nephew, and I was pretty out of it on meds when I cleaned up the surgical site and removed the drain.  I had to "burp" the air out of it.  Pretty disgusting. Lol. Self-sufficiency.  You never know when it will be required. I was a little disappointed that nobody ever asked about the scar, though. I was hoping to wildly embellish a tale of how I got it.  Knife fight!  You should see the other guy!  

I suppose I'm a little bit Wednesday Addams, because I'm enjoying the gloomy lack of heat outside, and my dogwood's Autumn colors. It's pleasantly cool. I'm sure I'll regret it when the grey days of December have me in the throes of seasonal affective disorder depression.  But right now, nap time seems appealing, though not likely to be possible. (I have blinging to do!) 

A student seemed incensed by the understanding that I have to mow my yard.  And everything else.  I told him that you have to be able to take care of yourself, because not everyone has people around to do it all for them.  I just never have enough time when I'm feeling well, and when I do have enough time, I end up being too sick to do anything but stay in bed.  Hmm.  Maybe I'm wrong about being healthy?  Must find new doctor for problem.  Must hope to find doctor who actually wants to heal patients! Must make new doctor understand I'm not shopping for drugs.  I resent the obligation of prescriptions and the side effects that I always suffer with prescriptions.  It's best to avoid all that, hmm?




Monday, September 7, 2015

Pain and Pain(t)

Yesterday I entered four of my paintings in the county fair.  Last year I won two blue ribbons...  I'm hoping for at least one this time. :). Maybe. I've not painted anything lately but the ledges for my living room, but I still want to.  I've suffered a loss of confidence lately due to my classes being moved out of my reach, time wise.  I suppose that I'm an inconvenience, being one of the workers of the world, with non-negotiable working hours.  I suppose I'll continue to teach myself, given that's what I did before I found a studio to work in and a little basic instruction.  Will I ever be welcome back? I don't really know.  I'm not sure that my need for studio hours that fit my own schedule was the problem.

Sometimes I suspect that I just don't fit in, or I'm disliked, or looked down upon.  

But the honest to goodness truth is that there is nothing I can do to alter anyone's warped, unjust, or simply incorrect opinion of me.  I really won't waste time trying, in any case.  I'm better off making myself happy than wasting time making them happy, anyway.  Hey, nobody's ever been devoted to my happiness before, so it might as well have me on the job.  

I've got my health to worry about.  Something is brewing that will likely turn out to be a major health concern, so I'm trying to focus right now on what I can control.  On top of everything else, I'm showing signs of problems with gluten, so it combines all the pain into one indistinguishable whirlwhind that can't be separated into discrete causes.  Saturday night was interesting, lying on my side, unable to move or breathe because it felt like I'd swallowed razor blades, and almost like an appendicitis attack.  It's not usually that bad, but I can count on a dose of it for several rounds every day, in various locations inside my torso.  

Let's put it this way: the pain has been less today, probably because I ate oats for breakfast and then had some grapes.  Wonderful, delicious, bursting with juice, black grapes that were actually on sale.  *sigh*. Delightful.  Not processed at all, and they taste like pure health.

Oddly enough, despite my constant fatigue lately, I haven't really gained any weight, though my stomach is swollen and I haven't been going to the gym. 

I've been zonked.  Maybe it's my health.  Maybe it's due to the failing AC in my house. It's hard to sleep well when you're in an 84° bedroom, and you're not doing hot yoga.  Lol.  Still, I'm managing.  Sometimes the AC works a little while, until it freezes, and sometimes I use fans and a homemade ice air conditioner to fool my brain into thinking the room is comfortable.  I'm sure it has a coolant leak now.  If the leak is fixable, maybe I'll have a few months before I have to spend thousands on a new central unit.  

I did go to the gym last night and got so revved up I couldn't fall asleep for a long time.  I checked my blood pressure about 45 minutes later -- my BP was healthfully low, but my pulse was still at 94.  Probably just a post-workout thing.  I was surprised at the good BP reading, considering that I developed a headache with my first set of exercises. 

I did assisted pull-ups (because of course I'm not strong enough yet to do them with just my dead weight!). I actually didn't lose any ground on them, despite my time off.  I managed 21 pull-ups, with 94 pounds assisted. Then I did 3 with only 88 pounds assisted.  Not impressive at all, but my boyfriend/trainer told me to try the 88 on my first set next time, when I'm not already wiped out.  I'm glad he knows this stuff, and he's willing to help me.  I'd have never been able to do any kind of pull-up, and I wouldn't have anyone to spot me with my puny 40 pound barbells on chest presses, without his help.  

I didn't lose any ground on the isolateral row, but on plate-loaded chest presses and inclined bench presses, I did regress.  And to think... It's just 40 pounds that I'm struggling under.  Lol. I'm kinda pathetic on upper body strength. 

Then we went for a lovely mile walk at midnight in the park, where my former family (I only say that because they don't have much to do with us since the divorce) had their family reunion earlier in the day.  I thought about all the good times we all used to have together, and then suddenly it was just as someone predicted years ago: that they wouldn't be around in my future, and it wouldn't be my choice.  I was pretty sad about it, but what can I do when they don't want me around?  They were the only close family I really knew, and that's that.  

The point of the walk was to reaccustom my injured foot & ankle to distances.  Call it my own physical therapy program -- they're getting painfully stiff and walking is sometimes excruciating.  Self-diagnosis?  I tore my plantar fascia and cracked my cuboid bone.  It's still awful to press down on it and I get terrible arch pain.  But what's the therapy, past the initial time for healing?  Gentle use through exercise and stretching, a bit at a time.  

Then icing my ankle AND foot, which both cramped up and hurt not ten minutes after the walk, after a short ride to Wal-Mart.  Go figure. Maybe that means the walk was the proper thing to do, and the pain is part of recovery, like my rounds of physical therapy for my hips taught me.  Maybe it's time for a Moji roller.  How does a person keep plantar fascia supple, when it wants to tighten and deform her feet? Hmm?


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Painting and Creativity in the Heat

 I'm sitting here thinking about buying a Kreg Jig Master Kit.  Hmm.   Its expensive, though now a bit lower in price at Lowes, and this month it comes with a 500 screw set for free.  I suppose I could think of it as $25 off the price it would take for me then started using it.  Still, that's $139, and while a smaller kit might suffice, I'd still have to buy a couple of special clamps, a lot of pocket screws, and I'd probably be better off getting all I need from the beginning.

Will I use it?  Oh yes.  Last weekend I built 2 4-foot gallery shelves for the living room.  I plan to make more, and pocket holes would make it ridiculously simple and fast.  No, the shelves are not up, proudly displaying my oil and acrylic paintings yet.  Why? Ugh... I don't wanna paint them. 

Actually, I don't wanna prime and then paint them. However, there's a strong possibility that I have leftover paint in the kitchen (no place indoors to store ANYTHING temperature or moisture sensitive like paint and tools, though they are in the house in various places) in just the right shade of white (the right shade being free and already on hand, LOL). I think I may have even sensibly bought paint with primer in it, so I just need to get outside in the broiling heat and start painting.  

There's my holdup.  It's hot out there.  And I have to mow today or tomorrow.  My eyes are dried out too, and I really need to wear my contacts so that I can see what I'm doing.  

Isn't that funny?  I can spend weeks painting an 11 x 14 canvas in oils, yet I'm shying away from painting plain boards plain white.  Okay, so I haven't felt like painting at all lately, and I haven't had much time for it anyway.  *sigh*. Or money.

I'm just trying to improve my world a bit.  I've built in a cutting board rack for my microscopic kitchen, underbed shoe drawers or the overcrowded bedroom, gallery ledges for the living room, and a file caddy for my desk at work.  My house is small, but most importantly, poorly arranged for organizational efforts, and it has taken doing a few beginner carpentry projects for some solution ideas to flow in my head.  

I need to just go on out and finish the job.  Screw the ledges into the studs.  Display my artwork on them. Maybe even my blue ribbons. :) The ribbons thing seems a bit silly, but I've achieved little recognition in my life, so I am proud of the small accomplishments.  I kinda fade into the background in life.

It took me a while, in the last place I lived, to develop organizational strategies that worked while being temporary.  (I rented a townhouse apartment.). Mostly, I worked with wire coat hangers.  Haha! But they worked.  I didn't know of any place where I could buy affordable hangers and racks and things, so I made my own.  

Now I CAN make permanent alterations, and my brain has been like sludge on the things I might do.  I'll admit that I went a little crazy with the wooden crates from Jo-Ann's.  But in my own defense, I was horribly in need of shelves (tons of creative books!), and in my weirdly sized and shaped rooms, only custom bookshelves would have fit.  But those crates.... They stacked up and looked VERY nice flanking my entertainment center.  (Big old TV that will be used until it dies.)  Then I put several in a useless space in the back bathroom, and voila, I suddenly had a linen closet of sorts.  Somewhere to store my stash of toiletries I only buy on sale and my supply of toilet paper.  

It does not do to run out of toilet paper when you are a woman living alone.  I mean, we use the stuff every time we go, you know?  It's required, generally, like sitting down to use the toilet.  Men don't get that.  It reminds me of the time my dad got mad that my toilet seat was loose.  He said that women always loosen the toilet seats because we are always moving around.... And I said, "Dad, think about what you're saying... We women ALWAYS sit down to go.  Of course the seat will loosen faster when there's a woman always using it."  

He looked rather sheepish and laughed when he realized the truth.  

Yes, women can pee standing up, and with practice, can be just as accurate as a man with good aim. But I don't wanna go there.  I really don't.  The potential mess all over the floor makes me just say no.

Truthfully, it doesn't do to run out of things you need on a daily basis, such as soap, toothpaste, deodorant.  If they come in a value pack, you need some place to store them, don'tcha?  So I fixed that bathroom up to work for me as a storage closet.

I created a hall closet with the crates too, though I'm not satisfied with it yet.  The hallway is narrow, and the crates have to have a quick disassembly option because the attic door is right over them.  It won't have room to come down with those crates there, so I can't permanently attach them.  

My dad, by the way, is excited that I'm teaching myself carpentry.  And it is all by myself and on my own, though he said, "We're going to make a carpenter out of you yet!" and I'm confused about who the "we" might be, because I've had no help. (I'm a woman and bucking the old rule that girls can't do manly things like woodworking. I can BECAUSE I WANT TO DO IT, and I most certainly will.)  I dearly love my dad, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't truly understand who I am or what I'm capable of.  

Actulally, I've never told anyone enough for them to understand me, because they don't get very far with me beyond that point where they proclaim me weird and then act like its a contagious disease.   

I just want to create, and I don't appreciate people who try to limit my creativity with their pet boundaries.

Gee, it would be nice to work someplace other than my flooding-prone carport, which isn't very good for this sort of activity.  Someplace like, oh, I don't know, my dad's work shop.... (With all those power tools and accessories already well-stocked, like a table saw, drill press, router....)  Well, I haven't been invited, so the carport it shall be.  đŸ˜. With my beginner's tools and fledgling skills, I'll get where I want to be, eventually.  I'm okay with making mistakes along the way.  That's how we learn.

I should just go on out and blitz a few projects this weekend.  I need a serving tray, some more shelves, new doors for the crawlspace, more underbed drawers, some coffee table trays, and a mini-kitchen to go in my closet at work.  I also need to sit and sketch some ideas, and put them in Evernote for safe-keeping. 

Maybe it's cooler outside now....  Oh yes, it's 88° now.  Just balmy... 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Burrito Making Time

It just hit me: I really need to take some time today and tomorrow to make some freezer meals for the school year.  I don't have much time left.  Eek!  

Last year I made beef and bean burritos and breakfast burritos, and they were really handy to keep in the freezer. I think I might branch out into making some breakfast muffins as well.  Even though I intend to continue juicing as long as I can stand to, there have been mornings on which I realized I did not prepare for the following day's juices. Sometimes you just run out of time to do everything.

Now, while I really love our school cafeteria's food on most days, I realize that it is not the most healthy choice for someone with my age and health considerations to indulge in.  Preparation and planning are  allies in eating healthfully on busy days.  And let's face it -- for the first month of the school year, every day is a busy day.

Here's my recipe for Breakfast Burritos. Servings: 22
14 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 lb. pork sausage
1 pkg hash browns
1/2 onion (optional)
1 pint salsa (I used salsa I canned, so I used the whole pint.)
8 oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend
24 pack medium flour tortillas 
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Cook the sausage in a skillet until browned. Drain. Pour into large mixing bowl
Cook the onions in the skillet used for the sausage. Pour into bowl with cooked sausage.
Cook the hash browns until they begin browning.  Pour into large bowl.  Mix up sausage, onions, and hash browns in the large bowl and season to taste.

Scramble the eggs with the milk and pour into a large skillet.  Pour in the contents of large mixing bowl and cook until eggs have set, stirring often.  Turn off heat.

Pour in salsa and cheese and mix thoroughly.

Tear off a sheet of plastic wrap about a foot long.  Lay it on your work surface.  Place one tortilla on top.  Near the end closest to you, place about 5 tablespoons of filling (I use a Pampered Chef large scoop, so a couple of level scoops is plenty) across the middle of the tortilla.  Begin rolling the burrito up, remembering to tuck in the ends as you go.  Roll the burrito up in the plastic wrap (I like Press N Seal) after.  Place finished and wrapped breakfast burritos in a freezer zip bag and put them in the freezer.  

When you're ready to eat one, you can put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes of still frozen, and a minute or less if you let it thaw overnight in the fridge first.

And that's breakfast for a good month of school.  :)

~~~~~~~~

Oh my.... I just thought of something.  You know how sometimes you need to send a student on a walk, just to give them a moment?  I know that sometimes teachers send them to another teacher on a bogus errand just to give them a breather.  I don't like to think of bothering another teacher for such a task.

I could keep a single plastic cafeteria glass at my desk and send a student on the errand to return it to the cafeteria when they need to take a walk.  Hmm.  That just might work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Requiem for Summer Break

It's the last week of my summer vacation.  I have two week days left, and I'm trying to live in each moment as if they were days long.  

I'm convinced I can figure this out, and savor what little time I have left.

Am I ready to go back to work?  Well, more or less. There's not a lot of prepping I can do, and I don't intend to spend what hours I have left actually working.  There will be time enough for that when I'm back on the clock.  If you don't keep your home life separate from your professional life, your job will consume everything.  

This year with a change in my curriculum, I'll be flying by the seat of my pants for at least the first quarter, trying new things, tweaking lesson plan, searching for better things to do.  Some things will be eliminated, and a little of the old will stay, but I'm trying to instill fresh ideas this year without a lot of resources.  

And yes, I'm trying to make it fun.  That's always the goal of teachers, but if I brought in cupcakes and we had a class party in the name of fun, there'd be about a quarter of the class complaining that they don't want cupcakes.  Because that's just how kids are. Lol. Fun is relative to a lot of things.

We shall see how they respond to the Brownie Points Reward System.  I'll be trying out new brownie recipes on them when they earn the reward.  I have discovered that Betty Crocker mixes aren't great, but Pillsbury mixes are yummy.  However, using purchased mixes would be costly, so I'll just make them from scratch.

Am I excited about going back to work?  Really?  Even though these six weeks off were unpaid, I much more enjoy my days off than my stressed-out days.  Which is nearly every work day.  It's just the nature of the beast.  I'm working to become type B instead of type A, just for the sake of my health.  If I could have flipped a switch and been instantly mellowed out, I would have done it years ago and probably been happier for it.
From makingitteacher.com

Honestly, I was too afraid to be unworried.  Work politics, money, family, natural disasters, terrorism, relationships... (Especially that one who was so awful to me) I have never felt safe enough to mentally relax.

I haven't had a migraine since the week before I disastrously injured my foot and ankle.  I am absolutely thrilled.  I don't know for sure what the cause of them might be, but I've noticed a few things.  This summer, while my stress was low, I was able to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  While I have had headaches every few days, they didn't turn into migraines and ibuprofen stopped them within three doses.  (Often just one dose, though.)  Another thing I've done is that I've had green juice just about every day.  

I've been juicing to lose weight, but for sooooome reason I can't get through most days without ending up at a restaurant. :(.  So I've lost six pounds and now I'm stuck.  

The point is that sometimes migraines are caused by a sodium deficiency, which does not get resolved with table salt.  Celery, on the other hand, has plenty of the right kind of sodium, and what do you know?  My green juice is always heavy on the celery.  My fridge tends to freeze and rubberize celery in about one day, so I usually put in the whole bundle of celery for my Mean Green.  

A couple of times, I felt a headache coming on, drank Mean Green, and my headache vanished. Yep, it did.  I would honestly rather drink green veggie juice (and veggies are not my love) than take Imitrex and Toradol.  I firmly believe that God provided us with plants that heal and when we shy away from them in favor of fast food, then we start having issues.   I might start keeping celery sticks in my fridge at work, to munch on in case of a headache.  

I made myself a cute yardstick box for file folders on my typically sloppy desk.  (Nobody has yet complained about that but me, but it bugs me.) I love my new workbench.  That box only took me about an hour to make, and the clamps made it so much simpler.  Add in my jigsaw and drill, plus a little hammering, and I was set.  I really want to build some more things for my room, but I just don't know what yet.  Maybe a rolling shelving unit for the microwave and mini fridge. It wouldn't be that difficult to design and build.  I'd learn how to attach casters.  

I learn several new skills with each new project, so they're all useful in several ways.  On the tomato cages I built, I learned that Thompson's Water Seal becomes sticky if you overlap coats, but it really does work.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to seal them all completely before I needed them.  

I still need to build a couple more underbed drawers for my bedroom.  I'd like a couple of crate-style shelves too.  Some gallery ledges for the living room. Pegboard in the storage room on the carport.  More pegboard in my studio.  A kitchen tray. A therapy ramp for stretching my plantar fascia, which is in a state of over tightening itself and making every step tearful for me.  

And I lose most of my creative time when I go back to work, so I'll be a bit depressed, I'm sure.  

However, I would like to know why I develop a headache after I've been in my classroom for a couple hours.  Is it environmental?  Am I straining my neck?  Is it stress causing a hormone imbalance?  Hm. 

On the brighter side, I've found a wonderful recipe for instant Chai Tea Latte Mix that I'll be enjoying at work and home.  It's delicious, and I can just about placebo-effect myself into calming down whenever I drink it.  So, cheers!  (I have to thank my eldest nephew, the barista, for turning me on to them.  He's a genius and usually knows what I will like.)  They have lots fewer calories, than say, a Dirty Snowman Frappe.  Lol 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lion Brand Pelt Cowl

I'm (in my own estimation) an advanced beginner in knitting.  I've finally gotten to the point where I can remember how to cast on and knit without consulting instructions, and my speed has increased because I changed from English to Continental knitting style.  

Well, heck, I crochet, so why shouldn't I apply my manual dexterity in making knitting easier for myself?

My former objection to knitting was that I was painfully slow and my stitches were uneven, but with a little practice I improved from what my mother taught me when I was 12 and threw down the needles in frustration.  I'd been working on a headband, and somehow increased from 12 stitches to 21 stitches.  She was amused.  I was extremely angry at myself.  

And then the Internet came along, and became robust enough I could learn much more than the resources of my little podunk town could provide.  I practiced.  I quit.  I saw something I wanted and tried again.  I quit.  I made some fabulous sweaters on a knitting machine.  I quit.  I saw how fat my crocheted stuff made me look, longed for drapier handmades, and tried again.  This time, it stuck, so I try new techniques when I create something. I'm not to the point of being able to look at a photo of something and know what size needles, what size yarn, and come up with a pattern off the top of my head, not yet.  So, advanced beginner.  

I saw a gorgeous knitted faux-fur cowl on the Lion Brand website.  Here it is:

(Photo property of www.lionbrand.com)

Isn't that lovely?  So I went over to our local Joann's, found the Pelt yarn for the pattern, and used all the coupons I had (and my boyfriend helped), to buy all the skeins of Pelt they had. Six. They only keep six.  Fortunately, that's all I needed.  

I knitted in the car across the state and back on Saturday.  I worked on it on Sunday.  On Monday.  Late Monday night, I finished.  

It's beautiful, lemme tell ya!  It's soft and realistic feeling.  My dog loves the stuff.  It's 98% real fur looking, but all synthetic and machine washable.  

Oddly enough, it was pretty easy to work with, unless I made a mistake.  Dropped stitches are impossible to see and fix, but the good news is that with all that fur, all fixes and wrong stitches will never show.  

I'll admit that I kept stopping to rub the fabric I'd made against my face. Mmm!  

This is a project worth learning to knit for.

Make you one? Sure.  Do you have $250?  Materials aren't cheap, and I don't work for free anymore. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Success While Whining ... And No MIGRAINES

I was whining the other day about doing lots of weight lifting and still seeing a fat woman in the mirror.  Might have been PMS talking, but I felt down and at a time like that, all I want / need is reassurance that I will eventually see results, and encouragement that I'm already doing the right thing.  (Spare the trite phrases like "Results don't come overnight." Believe me, I've heard all the clichĂ©s already. And when they get tossed around, they reek of smart-assedness. Is that the impression you want to give, when everyone else is being kind?)

I didn't come back at the person who pushed a diet at me because when people are sure they know the answers, they really get offended if you tell them you're already doing all that they suggest, it isn't working, and you still feel and look bad. So I let it go.  My cousin (I guess one of the few who actually still claims me as family, despite the divorce that negated the link legally) posted an especially helpful remark about the toned woman who is slowly emerging from beneath the surface of an unsatisfying exterior.  I'm likely decently buff underneath my layer of fat.  But fat takes a long time to consume.  

Hint: I need encouragement that what I am already doing is going to work.  I do better with a heartfelt hug that being thrown a textbook. :) 

It takes a long time to make changes visible.  I know that if I lose weight rapidly, I'll have a tendency to put it back on rapidly, and possibly have some saggy skin to boot when I do keep it off.  I COULD lose a pound a day juicing, which would make my ego happy, but the realistic part of me says that it's better to lose a pound or two a week, and give my skin a chance to recover.  

I'm juicing again.  Yes, raw veggies and some fruits, and trying to put in a lot of water.  Plus some protein supplements and a meal a day.  I've done it before and it works.  I get a lot of nutrients I usually don't from my homemade juice.  

I understand the science behind it, and I also understand something that the diet suggesting person unwittingly doesn't have any information on.  I'm dealing with a game-changer that throws all the perfect solutions for a fit male out the window: perimenopause.  Yeah, so thanks, but my body simply won't obey because of a "healthy diet" that allows me 1000 calories a day less simply because of my gender.  I'm glad the male-centric diet works for all those males who still consume mass quantities while I'm still starving, but women's bodies are different from men's bodies, and the hormone hurricane at this age really does throw in some unquantifiable and uncontrollable variables.  

There's no one-size-fits-all diet for women.  I wish it were that simple.  You have to find the tweaks that work for you, and I've found the only one that works for me.  (Diet pills don't even work on me.  OMG I wish they did!)

When I posted my complaint, I had already lost six pounds.  But I had a couple of days over which I lost nothing, despite staying constantly hungry.  I've lost a couple more pounds now, and my boyfriend (who actually IS a personal trainer, so I've got that advantage at the gym) was right: seeing that "1" reappear on the scale reading made me very happy.  I felt like celebrating.  And I did.  I was happy for the rest of the day.  I drank more water.  I did 35 minutes on the elliptical despite not having been on it for a while.  (Badly sprained ankle and torn plantar fascia, I'm pretty sure.) 

Why no definitive diagnosis? I've simply gotten tired of doctors telling me they can't find the cause of the pain that is making me have difficulty in walking.  They won't help me, so why should I keep giving them a co-pay every time they play stupid???  Honestly, I'd have gotten appropriate treatment if I'd broken a bone badly enough for the blood to pour out and bruise me visibly, but a soft-tissue injury apparently makes them want to cry for their mommies because they can't easily come up with a surgical bill to incur.  

Broken toes? "All we can do is splint them."  -  so I splinted my own.

Broken tailbone? "We can't do anything for that but tell you it's going to hurt for the rest of your life and pinch your subcutaneous femoral nerve mercilessly" - so I stood the whole summer while it healed and had two months of excruciating sleep on my back.

Sprained ankle and cracked plantar fascia? "Well, I don't see any blood pooling, so it CAN'T be broken. It's just going to hurt for a long time." I think she meant "it's going to hurt forever and always affect your mobility because you'll never get a doctor to treat it for you."

Strained / Torn hip flexors?  "It doesn't make sense that you hurt like you say you do, so let's treat it like its bursitis about a foot away from your location.  Nothing in that area could ever possibly cause pain."

Strained glute? "Well, let's ignore that injury (likely caused by the dragging leg from the hip flexor problem) until one of your hip flexors is better..." meanwhile, three years have passed with no improvement and no treatment EVER for the injured glute, which is still painful. 

So... The elliptical didn't hurt too badly that night, unlike my last stint on the treadmill which resulted in foot fatigue so suddenly that I stumbled.  I suppose I'll have to rehabilitate myself back into running, considering that my hip flexors are having a hard time lifting my legs.  Looks like my future is forevermore fraught with constant paint from this point, and no thank you, I will not be giving in to taking pain pills for the foreseeable future.  

What I want is healing, not a morphine-based coating of whitewash over the symptoms.  Walking hurts.  Sitting hurts.  Lying down hurts.  Until I master levitation (and pool floating is irrelevant since the city greedily refused my gym the permits for building an indoor pool - the corruption is becoming OBVIOUS) I will just be in constant pain.  

I've got a vague hope that a little weight loss will lessen some of my pain. It might.  Not that I'm so heavy, but every pound counts in this situation.

So today I'm drinking a beet juice combination, and wondering how it made me suddenly need to go to the bathroom.  Lol. I did some research and found this article.  http://www.healthambition.com/apple-beet-carrot-juice-liver-tonic/

Headaches? Fatigue? Circles under the eyes?  Holy cow.  For decades now... Could it be I'm not taking good care of my liver in general, without being one of those people who drink alcohol daily?  Oh my.  Wouldn't it be funny if juicing helped me with the migraines I have multiple times a week? 

Want to know when my last migraine was??? A few days before I started juicing again.  It's been about   SIX WEEKS since my last migraine!  

My only objection is to the beets.  I don't like the taste of them. I really don't.  Lol and NOTHING really drowns out the taste of beets for me.  Necessary evil, I suppose.  Fortunately they don't provoke retching, like white beans and greens do.  Just the smell does me in.  It's a long story.  I can make myself drink the beet juice, especially if I'm distracted while I do it, like writing a blog entry.  

Point regarding manners: if you see me drinking a juice that doesn't appeal to you visually, it's not really appropriate for you to try your best to put me off my only food by saying things like "that looks like dog vomit."  Unless, of course, you think it would be kind of me to come in while you're eating your food and show you pictures of vomit? Talk about some horrible manners!  I'm putting myself through consumption of it (mostly, it tastes so much better than it looks), so why do you feel it is your right to try to ruin my meal for me? Shall I vomit for you while you're eating?

Mind your own business, please.  Yes, I'd love for all my juices to turn out gorgeously colored and looking like cotton candy.  I'd also love for all the chemically laden garbage you're eating to actually provide me some health benefits so that I could eat it too!  If you don't like the look of my breakfast, lunch, or supper, how about you not staring at me while I provide myself nutrition?  

I. Am. Not. Doing. This. For. You. 

I'm beginning to think that these people would only be happy if they knew that I was refusing to eat anything just so they wouldn't be bothered.  But I'm not going to do that. (It doesn't work on my super-efficient fat-storing metabolism.  I start gaining when I starve myself completely.  Trippy, eh?)

When someone says "Gross! What's in that?  It looks like bloody vomit!" I sometimes tell them that my beet juice combo has ground up raw HEARTS in it.  And KIDNEYS!   If they're going to try to ruin my meal, I'm going to try REALLY hard to nauseate them.  

So be polite, because you might be still thinking of my werewolf heart and kidney juice when your lunchtime comes.  What do I see when I look at it? A gloriously purplish-red drink that I'm not going to hide because you're excessively rude, with your nose in my business.  





Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain, Folks

1.  Now that the Supreme Court has made it law that gays can marry, it looks like pedophiles are clamoring for their own rights to victimize children.  And don't give me that "they'll be okay if they watch kiddie porn because that doesn't hurt anyone" crap.  Children were victimized to make it.  Likely destroyed.  

2.  A lot of people need a real history lesson about the Civil War.  Looks like we are headed for another one, but this time it will be literally in our own towns where the divisiveness occurs. The sad thing is, it's exactly the scenario someone wants, so that they can become a monarch.  We are being driven to it by the rabble rousers.  Haven't you noticed how some people purport themselves to be leaders, but the only leading they do is on a path to anarchy and chaos?

3.  A local church burned, and though it has been deemed a likely lightning strike (from the big storm we had over the weekend), national news media is claiming that one as arson and a hate crime. Considering where lightning comes from, can you really personify that? Or are you saying God hates that church?  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. 

4.  If you don't openly proclaim your support for gay marriage, there are lots of so-called open-minded people ready to condemn you as a bigot.  Sorry, but I'm not going to be pushed into following a controversial Facebook trend just for the sake of being trendy.  I never said I was against it, but I'm not going to risk my job to be trendy.  It was difficult for me to land my job.  It's not a protected position. Why in the world should keeping my mouth closed be a cause for condemnation? It seems like the current "you'd better put a rainbow over your profile picture or I'll call you names!" people were awfully quiet about the issue before the Supreme Court jumped the Constitution.  

5.  Reconstruction is over.  Don't be surprised if you keep trying to play that card and you get more of a fight in return than you bargained for.  Knock it off with the Revisionist history.  (Such as children in Germany who have been taught that the Holocaust never happened.) Do some real research and you'll find that the North was never the Promised Land that lately it's being made out to be.  Don't just look in the liberal's handbook.  You'll find it's pretty thin and self-serving.  And don't trust news outlets.  They all lie to suit someone's agenda. 

Do you really think that any country escapes having shameful stuff in their past? The Germans haven't really forgotten the Nazis, and many are embarrassed. I doubt they want to discuss that. The U.S. is embarrassed by slavery that happened so long ago not a person alive is currently touched by it.  Is the U.S. still embarrassed by nearly 50% taxes levied on southern states?  

Frankly, I'm getting really tired of having this stuff rammed down my throat constantly.  It's sleight of hand, people.  If you'll pay attention to what's going on with this sensational topic, you won't see what they're doing to control you and destroy your freedom.  If you want there to be no states' rights left, we are headed down that path right now, because few are paying attention and many are just too lacking in intelligence to understand anyway.

And by golly, someone is throwing those sensational news items out there for us plebs to gnaw on, aren't they?  Don't you wonder what it is that they are doing behind your back?


Friday, June 19, 2015

Banging, Screwing, and Cracking

Still hobbling.  After three weeks, my ankle started to feel better, but my foot became excruciating.  I think the crack I heard when I fell was my plantar fascia tearing.  It made arch-supporting shoes very horrible to wear for the last two weeks.  I forced myself to stretch it, and earned a following day of every step being a tearful nightmare.

But it's getting better now.  I can turn my left foot inward again and the pain only hits me every few movements.  I think that not allowing the fascia to tighten back up is the key to fixing the problem, though it makes for some painful self-rehabilitation.

I haven't tried running yet.  I'm scared.

Well, a job awaits me outside.  I've fixed the fallen bathroom towel bar (plugged the holes in the stud with glued dowels and drilled directly in) so it is nice and snug against the wall once again.  

Tomato cages.  I'm building wood tomato cages because nothing made of wire will hold up a Better Boy tomato plant in this climate.  That's great for growth and all, but when you have a 7 foot tall indeterminate tomato plant flopping over the top of a flimsy 3 foot wire tomato cage, you tend to believe someone was joking around at the home improvement store.  

So I went to Lowe's, selected my lumber, and then had the cashier look right past me to my boyfriend as if it was his wood.  Yeah, thanks, no.  It's mine.  I have saw a and a drill, and even have a workbench because I just feel the need to make things outta wood.

My cages will be five feet tall, and pretty well utilize all the wood without much waste at all.  They'll also be small enough to fit into the flowerbeds where my tomatoes grow.  (And the poison ivy, but I've already had my poison & pull for the season on that evil stuff.)

They are a tad expensive, but they will last me for many years to come, so I suppose it's worth the cost.  After all, these will be custom designed to fit my psychotically tall Better Boys.  It's also another opportunity to learn something about carpentry.  I can read all the books, but there's not true understanding until I get the materials in my hand and start working with them.  

So far, I've got half of one cage built.  :D. I've only been able to work a little bit at a time.  The first day it was so hot and humid I nearly fainted.  Yesterday I had a headache that took most of the afternoon, so by the time I got to Lowe's for the screws I needed, I only had about half an hour of working time.  

Maybe when I finish this task I'll make something fun with some scraps and paint a sassy quote on it.  :)

Now that I'm fortified with some homemade strawberry juice, I'm heading out to work.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hilton Head

So, here I am on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  My aunt and uncle let us use their condo for our vacation, and I'm here with my brother and nephew.  There is about a mile long boardwalk to traverse over a salt marsh to get to the beach, so I'm managing to get in a little exercise, along with climbing four flights of stairs to get to our room.  

And I'm wheezing uncontrollably at the top of the second floor.  It's painful.  It's scary.  It's embarrassing.  But how do you ask everyone to help you with your asthma by not surrounding you with cigarette smoke?  You can't.  They have rights.  The right to pollute every bit of my air with carcinogens of their choice.  

I just wish I had the right to clean air. I'm a lesser being as a non smoker.

Well, it's beautiful here, anyway.  There are trees everywhere, shading the streets and shopping center parking lots, keeping things cool and shady.  Apparently, some ordinance requires signage to be unobtrusive and low to the ground.  It looks less commercially bald than it does back home.  Everything is calmer here.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 5

Well, I got bored pretty fast with logging my juices, but I was asked to eat out on day 3 (twice) and neither was a request I could really refuse.  It felt like really bad juju to say no, so I ate carefully.  No sodas, not much iced tea (it was unpleasantly over-sweetened), and a little juice afterward.  

I still lost a pound that day.

Yesterday I had 2 quarts of juice, two tacos, and a Virgin Mary, and I lost another pound.  

So as of yesterday, I'm down four pounds, and I've gotta make all the produce in my kitchen into juice.  

I still did a full workout at the gym and actually managed more reps on my assisted pull ups, which is quite a feat for me, because I haven't been able to do them before.  My shoulders do feel a little stronger, and maybe I might be overcoming my shoulder injury last summer as well.  (A suitcase lifting injury on the Eurostar from London to Paris.  Even though I'd packed light going over, I bought way too many souvenirs.)

I'm hoping that when I go on vacation, I can find some of those juice bars and that their prices are reasonable, because I really don't wanna lug my juicer with me, though it would be a healthier option than restaurant food.

Yesterday, I finished my painting of a Tahiti sunset and I'm pleased with the result.  Then I took my leftover patient which was too pretty to waste and just blended it across another canvas I'd started using for waste paint.  It was probably the prettiest accident I've ever made. Lol. It looks like it should be the background of ... Another beach sunset painting. :)

Funny how I'm actually looking forward to this. Too much of a good thing!  Lol

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 2

Warm lemon water
Half a quart Mean Green
quart Mean Green + pineapple (I used zucchini in it, which gave it an unpleasant peppery taste.)
Half a quart strawberry juice
Oh, ok, I had some waffle fries from Chik-Fil-A.  Couldn't handle my boyfriend eating them in front of me. 

A little bit headachy... Probably all the crying I did yesterday and last night.  I probably shouldn't have watched the video of the dog who follows his beloved owner to the hospital after a stroke, where the man dies, but the dog rejoices after a woman is wheeled out with his former owner's heart inside her... Ah... Cheap shot.  

It's like telling someone the plot of Snoopy, Come Home after all these years. Niagara  Falls.  Just can't do it.  

Good news: my ankle and foot hurt a little less today, though my neck and shoulder are trying to tighten back up in me.  I feel like I was in a car accident.

Down since last weigh-in: 1
Pounds lost this week: 3
Total pounds lost: 3

Not bad. 

Day 1

1 Quart Mean Green Juice
1/2 Quart Strawberry Juice
insomnia....

But my cells feel better.

Completed:

Too much crying, exacerbated be watching Atonement and Seeking A Friend For the End of the World, which I thought was supposed to be a comedy.  

Worked on my tan for exactly 8 minutes.  I just don't wanna fry like I did the last time went to the beach so I'm prepping my skin a bit.  No discernible tan, really.  I'm just trying to avoid another case of sun poisoning.  

Made my juice, which was quite a feat of preparation and took me a couple of hours.

Total pounds lost: 1

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Every Day I'm Hobblin'

Two weeks ago, I was being a very good girl.  I'd gone to the gym for the second day in a row, cementing my newfound drive toward health, and I'd walked my dog two nights in a row.  I was starting to feel really healthy again.  I was going to get myself back to running shape again, and run at dawn.

My dog and I had turned at the end of the street and turned back toward the house.  

Famous last words: 

The last thing I remembered was... I was just worrying that my dog had headed toward a sewer grate and turned to urge him back away from the sewer.  I was afraid he would fall in if I didn't get him away and with my right foot at street level I put my left foot into the gutter and reached out to tug his leash...

Instead of the gutter being an inch below the level of the street, it was closer to three.  My left ankle folded under my leg, and with an audible and painful loud CRACK, I fell headlong.  Luckily, I was able to fall flat on my face in the grass.  A few feet further down the street and I'd have fallen into a gutter filled with shards of broken glass.

So I feel lucky to have landed on my face on top of the concrete sewer grate cap.  Yeah, lucky.

But there I was, lying stunned in the grass, and wondering if that ominous crack I'd heard spelled a broken ankle for me.  I felt like I was going to be sick, it hurt so horribly.  I was also wondering if I'd be able to stand up again, and somehow get back to the house.  I considered seriously that if my ankle wouldn't hold me, I'd have to drag myself home through two driveways and two yards worth of grass, on my belly. 

My poor dog was cowering, shaking, a few feet away from me with the guiltiest expression on his face, though none of my condition was actually his fault.   It was just a freak accident.  I specialize in freak accidents that result in personal bodily harm.  Don't ask me why - it seems to be my super power.  

Fortunately for me, it was dark and the grass was very damp, so sliding wouldn't be too impossible.  I was grateful that I had my phone in my pocket, in case I needed to call for help.

Worst ankle injury of my life, without a doubt.  Standing was excruciating to the point I considered lying back down and sliding across the grass and concrete after all.  

I whimpered all the way back to my house, which was an impressive feat, considering that I broke into wailing the minute I opened my kitchen door.  :). The only reason I had any control over the wailing was that I didn't want my neighbors coming out or calling the cops.  

Ooh, that'd be embarrassing on top of painful.  

My summer was flashing before my eyes though.  I had so many things in mind for my brief unpaid summer "vacation" and wearing a cast was a panicked possibility I had to consider.  I can imagine how horrible sitting on the beach at Hilton Head would be in a boot.  I'd do it, too.  Tan everywhere except under my cast and then have a bizarre white leg and foot for a year.  No way to get in the ocean and cool off. No way to easily take a shower.  Minimum six weeks.

I won't lie -- I wailed and sobbed for about an hour after I got home, terrified I'd broken my ankle.  It was horribly painful and swelling.  I propped it up high with ice and tried to sleep while a wave of nausea kept slamming me.  After asking medical advice I decided that if the swelling didn't subside or it hurt or looked worse anytime before morning I'd head to the ER.  

In the morning the swelling went down a little but I was having a lot of trouble walking, and not just because of ankle pain.  I was hurting along my shin, my calf, both sides of my foot, and both my instep and arch felt like something was torn up inside.  

So the next day, I hobbled slowly until my lunchtime, when I went to the urgent care clinic for an X-Ray... But their X-Ray machine was broken so the nurse practitioner who barely examined my foot said that it would have bruised or swelled if it was broken.  Well, heck, it WAS swelled.  I've normally got a skinny foot.  She said if it didn't feel better in a week to go see a regular doctor.  She said it was a severe sprain, and it would probably take longer to heal than if I'd broken it.  *sigh*. 

My ankle is still screwed up.  The bottom of my foot is making walking painful every few days.  I suspect that the crack I heard was my plantar fascia tearing apart.  It's been painfully tight for months, so now it's swollen and my arch supporting shoes hurt too much to wear.  :). Lovely.  

The kicker (Ha ha) is that I can't give myself a decent pedicure -- trimming my toenails is nearly impossible unless I can bend that ankle to reach.  But it hurts too much.  I'd leave it to the professionals but they don't ever take care of ingrown toenail prevention. I have pretty feet with little toes, but I have toenails that curve down at the sides rather than being flat.  It just requires special trimming to manage, but managing that at the moment is difficult.  So yay.  

Two weeks later I'm still trying to walk without tweaking my ankle or arch, and wondering just what cardio I can do that will be effective without exacerbating the injury.  I won't be running for a while, and I'm really disappointed by that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Le Comte Saint-Germaine, Is That You?

Ah the mysteries of the world... And the attempts of a pathological liar to make himself seem mysterious.  Let me preface this by saying the idea greatly amuses me.  One could almost be flattered at the possibilities of motivation for this caliber of sophistry.

I've known about St. Germaine since I was 12, when he was merely the vampire hero of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Hotel Transylvania and battling pathetic wannabe satanists, seducing the ladies of the court all the while.  

However, beyond a History Channel feature and the mentions of St. Germaine in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I didn't give him much further thought.  

Until today, when I came across another article about the mythical immortal man, and discovered his claim about parentage.  Which, incidentally, completely overlaps the heroically romanticized tale my pathologically tale-telling former friend provided, right down to the name, though given a slight twist for authentic flavor.  

Like a sliver of lemon zest.  How bright and refreshing.

Ah ha ha! Oh, you nearly got me there!  It did sound believable, though I still didn't trust it after so many blatant lies.  But thanks for the laughs.  It was amusing when I found the dash of St. Germaine in there.  

Truly, with such great storytelling creativity, why not turn your talents to writing fiction? If you're a success, you could always become a wealthy man and have a viable excuse for such curmudgeonly coldheartedness -- asset protection.  

Yeah, he's about as close to royalty as I am, and I share ancestors with lots of British highborn myself, including royalty, which means I just have an amusing family tree. As many do.  We're all related in some way.  Even those liars claiming kinship to the Hungarian royal family.  

Ah, this is the only picture I could find on the net of the cover that I remember for this book.  I apologize that it is such low resolution, but you probably understand why it appealed to me in my early teens, while I wished earnestly for the Interview With the Vampire sequel that I didn't know was in the works.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

How YOU Doin'?

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/12-choices-step-back-from-burnout-vicki-davis

A great article that just may be a lifesaver... I found it very helpful for dealing with my own feelings of professional hopelessness recently.  One more week of school...

One more week of school....

I can make it.

I know I'm gonna make it.  

And then I get to think about going to the beach. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dancing in the Red Shoes

I finally got over a really painful "hormone week" and my tree pollen allergies are now going haywire, so I'm on pseudoephedrine, hoping to dry it up and somehow soothe my sore throat and coughing.  My calves are aching and cramping from all the hilly walking yesterday, and I'm really thankful I wore running shoes.  The rest of me still hurts all over.  I'm considering being re-tested for rheumatoid arthritis, considering that my feet are rapidly and painfully changing shape.

As usual, my concern is finding a skilled doctor who us a healer, and not a profiteer.  I'm not sure they exist in this country anymore, but it's not like I can just bebop over to England and ask the NHS to help me so that I can continue to walk.  

I sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies every time I move, and I have joints popping loudly in places where I'd never have expected it --- such as my sore elbow joints.  I'll have to say a personal thanks to the doctor who dismissed this ten years ago as "just a virus" because of his own incompetence.  

Still, as crummy as I've been feeling, I donated completely unmedicated and presumably healthy blood on Thursday and it wore me out.  I was lightheaded afterward, though I ate plenty of food and drank a decent amount of liquids.  

The donation site continued to bleed for hours afterward, of course.  It soaked the cotton ball, and it was still wet when I was supposed to remove it hours later.  Something made my blood pressure rise and I ended up over exerting myself when I should have been resting.  But no. 

I need some time off from fulfilling others' expectations of me.  I'm actually feeling a lot more run down than I've been letting on, but everyone misses the obvious physical signs of that. Excessive and unrejuvenating sleep, dark circles deepening under my eyes, and loss of appetite.  Nobody notices anything. And I'm expected to dance feverishly to everyone else's tune.  

How about if I just chop off the little red shoes with my feet still in them? *


* The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Andersen, in case you don't know your fairy tales.