Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rust and Shards

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
As she serves
Pieces of herself
Her only worth
Until she's gone

Saturday, September 26, 2015


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?