Tag Archives: daily photo

It’s Been a While

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It’s been a while since I posted a phone photo.  Oops?  Ok, so I’m not feeling as guilty as I look in this (whistling innocently?), but after seeing this post from a year ago January, I decided it was high time to post something.

Though I liked my hair shorter (surprise!), I’ve been growing it out in anticipation of Norwescon, at which I might be entering the Masquerade competition, requiring longer hair for my chosen costume.  Assuming I can find time to cut the fabric, sew the basic shape, gradient dye the dress, and then alter it to take on the desired shape.  Not likely to happen since I’ve neither the money, nor the experience dyeing fabric, and my writing workshops have been scheduled in conflict with the pre-Masquerade meeting times (although I haven’t given up entirely, my writing comes first) . . . and I’m babbling again. 

Now to figure out which ONE writing sample sums up my ability to write fabulous web content.  Why did I have to use “that” so many times?

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Energy Boost + Depression?

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Headphones

With Headphones

It’s been . . . a while since I posted.  Losing Taigil, and not knowing where he is, has taken up a lot of my extra energy, and thanks to the addition of 600mg of CoQ10 to my daily supplements, I’ve had a lot more to burn.  What I have discovered, is that extra energy doesn’t mean I feel better, am less depressed, or that somehow my pain isn’t as severe.  In fact, because I’m more awake and not mentally numbed by exhaustion, I notice the pain all the more.

Waiting for Taigil

Waiting for Taigil

On the third day of taking CoQ10, I not only had more energy, I had more awareness of the my usual pain.  I popped two each of acetaminophen and naproxyn sodium to help me get through the day.  It worked, by the way, and I’ve only needed to take one nap since starting them, and that was entirely from a draining day after several days of staying up worrying about Taigil.

While I’ve kept up with my water (except one day), supplements, and even the meditation portion of my goals, I’ve been remiss in taking all my daily photos (at last three missed), and stretching has been my worst since the 4th, despite the extensive physical activity prompted by daily searches for my lost kitten.  I’ve been all over the yard, including down the hill to the pond, across the fallen branches in our neighbor’s yard, up the street to talk to all the neighbors for the first time, down the road posting signs, and everywhere between.  I’ve even been in the crawl space, which my partner has never been in despite owning the house for more than a decade.

That being said, while I’m disappointed in myself for not getting the stretching done (and I can feel the lack between the days that I do remember to do it), I am not as concerned about the daily photo as I thought I would be.  Maybe it’s because since the 12th, I’ve begun looking more and more sad in each photo, and with direct response to . . . well, the very same reason his sister Charlotte looks constantly sad, despondent, and hopeful.

She goes out to check on him several times a day, but stays within 5 feet of the house’s perimeter.  If he’s still alive, he’s likely up a tree avoiding something he finds threatening, or hunkered down beneath any of the hundreds of places in our neighborhood one so slender and small can hide.

Tomorrow I’m going to venture out and be a good homeschooling parent, but I know that my mind will be divided.  I’m trying to keep up with my regimen as well, but it’s so hard when my mind keeps going over a thousand scenarios a minute; what’s the use of having extra energy if it just gets burned up with pain and worry?

Friday a Wash, Saturday on Ice

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In the Maud Gonne Dress

In the Maud Gonne Dress

After the expended energy of Thursday, Friday was a wash in terms of accomplishing anything of consequence.  I also did not stretch, though all other requirements were met.  We did, however, manage to get through the last episodes of Dr. Who, season five (with Matt Smith), and it put us both in better moods.

This morning, I got up early and prepared to take Daughter to her first ice skating class.  I drew while my friends talked and the children ran away from us until their class started.  I’d been good, having had a full glass of water with my vitamins, got a water bottle ready for the rink, and made a large cup of tea to take with me in a container for the purpose.  I spilled some of the tea at the rink, though, but drank most all of it (a 12 oz. cup).

After the class was done and the children had a chance to spend a little more time together, we left and headed to PCC to do some grocery shopping.  I brought home four bags of food, and made bagel-veggie sandwiches for lunch, but then I felt drained.  I couldn’t stay up.  Without even thinking about it, I went upstairs and began to change into my night shirt, and gave Daughter some schoolwork tasks, and went to bed.

I thought I would just lay down, pet the cat sitting on my chest for half an hour, and

Post-Nap

Post-Nap

then feel refreshed and get up.  Instead, as soon as I was beneath the fleece and linen, my whole body sank deep into the earth, and I couldn’t stay awake if I wanted.

I still need to stretch and finish another four glasses of water, but that shouldn’t be difficult.  I’m thirsty and I’m making fettuccine alfredo with crab meat, so the water won’t be a problem.  My body aches, so stretching won’t be pleasant, but maybe I’ll feel better after I’ve pushed myself to do it.

Maud Gonne Dress from GaelsongThe first picture (from yesterday) shows me in a new dress (and thoroughly spent from the day before).  I had posted a link from Gaelsong to Facebook asking why this wasn’t available when I worked there and could get an employee discount.  Yesterday, it showed up after dark on the doorstep, and Daughter practically stripped me herself in the living room to see how I looked in it.  She made me wear it until my partner got home so he could see.  With all the food he picked up at Costco he couldn’t care less, but I love it.

New Moon, New Resolution

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It’s been a challenging few days.  I’ve felt stretched to my limit as a mother, and yet I’ve managed to face things in creative ways that I can only attribute to some combination of time, experience, support, and wry humor.  I’m thinking more about the consequences for the choices Daughter makes before reacting; I may be angry, and she may know it, but I’m keeping my distance and thinking before laying down the law.

Her father and I talked about some of what she’s been doing over the phone, and her behaviors are often unfamiliar territory to me.  She (Daughter’s father) admitted that there are patterns all too familiar to her; so at least I know who to blame, right?  😉

It’s really amazing how alike they are in some ways, despite Daughter not having lived with her father for the majority of her life.  They only reconnected a little more than a year ago, yet . . . *sighs*  There are positives and negatives, and I’m exhausted.

But I can feel good about my own actions and choices, and I can praise my daughter for getting her schoolwork done in record time.  It took her less than ninety minutes to do her day’s schoolwork, with the exception of our shared project (learning from Doodle Math videos by Vi Hart on YouTube.com).

Getting Ready to Write

Getting Ready to Write

Today is the new moon, and with it comes another healthy addition to my daily routine.   Along with my water, vitamins, and daily photo (I forgot yesterday’s!  Yipe!), I will now also be stretching every day and doing one of the following each day: morning grounding, afternoon/evening meditation, or shamanic journey.  In May, I might add “dancing to connect with Spirit” as part of the spiritual rotation.  I get to choose what feels right to me each day, but it’s usually best to not journey more than once a week, unless one is providing service to others.

Today I followed through on all of it.  I awoke remembering what day it was.  I also awoke incredibly sore and exhausted, but I did morning grounding in bed (with a 22 lb. cat trying to sit on my chest, no less), I took three deep breaths afterwards, and no longer felt quite as sore.  I got up, dealt with morning hygiene, ate a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter, had a cup of pumpkin spice tea, and took my vitamins.  Later in the day, I was already halfway through my water quota when I took my daily photo and just before my writing session with my co-author/Daughter’s father, I stretched my legs, arms, and back for 10 minutes.  I used a combination of moves I learned from yoga, quigong, and dance classes, and felt a little better than when I’d started.

So, this new year and new moon are off to a shaky start, but at least I feel confident that I’m doing my best most days, even when I’ve been handed few too many spoons.

Not Quite Perfect

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Shirt Ninja Fail

Hiding Inside My Graduation Shirt

Ok, so I’m not quite perfect.  Perfection is far from me, in fact.  As we grew closer and closer to Solstice and then onslaught of holidays and even in the post-holiday slump, I found myself putting off responsibilities, not drinking my water, and not taking my vitamins.  Of the greatest failures was keeping up with my daily photos.

Preparing for Solstice

Dancing in My Kitchen

My current tally between December 20th and today is having missed my water quota one day (the day I spent out in Redmond waiting for car repairs for three times longer than the promised time I’d be down there).  My daily vitamins were forgotten four times, three of them consecutive days after Christmas.  I missed at least 6 days’ worth of self portraits, and some of the ones I took are still sitting in my Nikon (which needs charging) and need to be downloaded so I can get them on here.

Not More Fragging Snow

More Fragging Snow?!

However . . . I’ve been the most consistent with the water and vitamins this past month than in the last ten years.  Not since my pregnancy with Ana have I been so dedicated to keeping up with certain daily habits (and then I was downright religious about my health, or as much as I could be living below the poverty level).  I also discovered that my skin looks better when I don’t just drink 64oz. of water, but rather that I replace one glass of water with a cup of tea each morning.  It didn’t seem to matter whether I drank green or black or vanilla mint, it only mattered that I was hydrating with hot, leaf-infused water at least once a day.

A lot of this work came from my own need to be healthier, and my own refusal to live another day in pain and sickness without trying to make it better.  At least by doing this, I can say I really am doing my best to make healthy, long-lasting changes in my body.  If after following through with this 13 lunar month cycle proves to leave me little better than where I started, well, at least there will be some improvement, and I’ll know what does and doesn’t work for me far better than anyone else on the planet.

Running Errands

Running Errands

The other part of this is the support I’ve received.  By placing this out in the world, I’ve heard from several people close to me that they’ve been following (and enjoying!) my blog entries.  That gave me such a boost, and to those of you who said it and are reading this entry, thank you.

That being said, I started the year off right, continuing my knee exercises like my doc wanted and taking my supplements.  My water quota is going strong yet again, and I know that tomorrow I’ll be making a cuppa to get me going.  I wrote up a meal plan from last Thursday through Tuesday, and we shopped accordingly.  I’ve been doing this last part for over a year now, but sometimes I let weekly meal planning slip, and then it’s always more stressful figuring out what to make and when.

Why Can't Computers Keep Up With My Typing?

Why Can't Computers Keep Up With My Typing?

So the big obstacle facing me right now is getting these pictures done.  I really want to take interesting self-portraits each day, but to do that usually requires planning, and I’d prefer the higher quality of my Nikon.  However, going downstairs everyday to pull a single image off my camera seems excessive, and with my knees hurting more than ever, I try to avoid extra stair climbing whenever I can.

Two days until the new moon, and then my second “month” begins.  The calendar for this program started on December 1st, but I’d mistakenly thought it was the new moon, when in fact, December 4th or 5th was.  So in January, the new month starts on the 4th, then:

  • February 2nd
  • March 4th
  • April 3rd
  • May 3rd
  • June 2nd
  • July 1st
  • July 30th
  • August 29th
  • September 27th
  • October 26th
  • November 25th

Bet you’re wondering what I’ll be adding to my routine on Tuesday, don’t you?  😉

(to the tune of "White Christmas")

"I'm Dreaming of a Ta-a-all Viking . . ."

Completely off topic, having just read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series in under a month (I’d have read them faster, 4-6 hours each, but the library was slow in getting me the books), I’d like to impress upon others that I’m squirming in anticipation of book 11 in May, and the return of True Blood in the summer.  They can’t come too fast, as far as I’m concerned.

Days 12, 13, 14

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I’m not even sure what I did Sunday.  I know there was writing, cleaning, cooking, and I took all my vitamins and drank all my water.  What I failed to do was take a daily picture.  So instead, you get to see one of my two kittens.  This one is Charlotte a.k.a Lola a.k.a. Bunny Tacos on the middle tier of the cat tree (that’s literal, btw), and she’s laying on a tribble that’s tied around with package ribbon.

She's very tiny

Charlotte the Mighty

Monday there was even more cleaning, after pap fun and x-rays at my doctor’s office.  I felt so run down, but I kept chipper through the process, showed my daughter that pap tests don’t have to be nightmarish, especially with a trusted doctor, and I kept my nurse laughing.  Isn’t that important?

Awkward and squished

Awkward and squished

My blood work, which I don’t think got tested for everything I wanted (no mention of dairy allergy test, for instance), showed that four out of five celiac disease tests came back negative, one of them is still pending.  My wheat/gluten allergy test showed a mild positive, which I will likely need to address after the holidays as we shift our diet and our pantry to one that honors my body’s needs.  Although, at such a low positive, I have to wonder if a strict no-wheat diet is necessary or if I can get away with the occasional nip as I do with onions (much to my stomach’s displeasure).  For instance, can I have a product with trace amounts of wheat?  Or do I have to live a wheatless existence?

The x-rays of my knees (and they took a lot, I felt all weirded out by the irradiation of my body as I stood on a step ladder), show that I have a lot of cartilage left between my shin and thigh bones, which is good.  They also are free of obvious spurs or signs of arthritis.  What was weird is that my patella aren’t shaped right.  Instead of being round or oval in nature, they had rounded tops and came to triangular points at the bottoms.  “At least it’s symmetrical,” did not cheer me, neither did the fact that he wasn’t sure what was going on.  But I like my doctor because he doesn’t let his own ignorance of a condition deter him from finding answers.

After all, this is the guy who diagnosed my hidradenitis suppurativa when three previous doctors blamed me for my suppurating cysts.  He said that I should give some basic physical therapy exercises a try for a month, and come back to see him.  If they weren’t helping, then we’d start looking into getting an MRI of my knees.  A step in the right direction!  He did warn me, though, that with the state insurance I have, it might be very hard to convince the limited resources that might help me to actually, you know, help me.  If the MRI showed problems, and the chondromalacia is bad enough, then surgery may be in my future.  But that surgery–the one my mom didn’t get–gave our cousin back his mobility after he suffered the same illness.

So there’s a smidgeon of hope, but I still need to test for other food allergies.  It may take me a while to save up enough money to go to Bastyr and pay for the full battery of tests, but I really need to know if my inflammation (and possibly my cysts) can be reduced or even eliminated just by changing my diet.

So, after coming home, napping off my exhaustion, and cleaning like crazy, our power went out.  At 1 a.m.  I was just heading to bed, and my partner, who had seen the lights flickering several times, was logging out of his game.  Suddenly, we were bathed in black, but even when he yelped, I said, “It’s ok.  We’re prepared for this.”  I went over to the front door and grabbed the flashlights, handing him his big black one, and grabbed Ana’s blue one.  We went upstairs, and began lighting candles.  He lit a gas lamp in his room.  I made my bed by the candlelight from my altar, added an extra fleecy blanket, and took my sheepskin to my daughter’s room, throwing that over her shoulders.  Her meatloaf of a cat was curled up next to her head, peering up at me with curiosity.  We got ready for bed, I made it clear to my partner he could climb in with me if he wanted, but his bed gets too cold in winter for me to want to sleep there, so I declined joining him in his.

I curled up under the covers, sat up to blow out the candle, and laid back to enjoy the darkness and quiet.  Except it was neither.  The lamp light carried down the hall to my room, the sky was lit with the distant lights of the city, and the cars, now crawling at 20mph beyond the trees down the wet road cast occasional headlight reflections onto my ceiling.

I paid attention instead to the battering rain, the windchimes whirling and ringing about in the night, and the ringing in my ears from staying up too late.  It didn’t take long before I was asleep, though I didn’t stay asleep much, waking every few hours.  I’d set the alarm on my phone, and prayed the electricity would come back one because we were expecting a guest.

Raven in Banjo shirt, Ana in footie jammies

Raven and Daughter hug before bed

Instead, I woke to a chilled house (though I was grateful it was in the 40’s and not the 20’s as it had been in 2008), took a hot shower (water tank is gas heated), and got dressed.  I’d emailed my co-author before bed from my phone explaining the power outage and that the promised lunch treat might have to be forgotten for the time being.

We welcomed our guest as soon as we managed to find clothes in the shadowy half-light, and sat down to banana nut bread muffins that I’d baked the night before.  After some chatting and a bit of computer talk, Daughter asked to spend time alone with her father.  They went upstairs to her room and talked for a couple of hours while I sang and drummed and looked for my knitting books to try to figure out the abbreviations for a pattern I’m trying to conquer.

When they came down again, we talked some more, and decided that if the power didn’t come back on by 12:30, we’d head out for lunch.  It wasn’t quite so easy, as it turned out, but we eventually got on the road and headed down to the Redmond Chipotle.  My co-author had never tried the only fast food restaurant we ate at, and said, “It’s interesting.  The flavor is different, it has a different spirit.” Indeed, it does.  So we ate slowly and talked, Daughter growing less pleased with that fact that we were talking about our storyline than her, but eventually we left, and she got more attention.

I introduced co-author to Pomegranate, got them a cookie to share, and we returned to the house to find the power was back on.  It was far too late to make chili, even as a to go treat, but we spent more time talking, and basking in the warmth of the heated air.  It must have come back on right after we’d left.

Daughter had brought something down and hid it behind her back.  “Guess what I’ve got,” she said.

I said, “The secret of the universe.”

“No, it’s something sharp.”

“My wit?” I asked.

“No! Oof!  It has nothing to do with brains or minds or anything.  It’s something I stepped on the other day.”

Considering Daughter’s track record for injuries, I just shrugged, and she brought out a clear tack.  I really wish I could find the alarm necessary for every minor hurt, but it happens so often, I wonder if she’s ever really aware of her body or her surroundings EVER.  Still, when it happens, I ask her how badly, make sure she tends it right, and give her a hug.  As long as she’s not bleeding profusely, burned badly, or broken something, I figure it’s not worth getting upset about.

Anyway, we had a good time overall, and Daughter got in lots of hugs and snuggles with her dad.  We said our good byes, and I collapsed in bed as soon as I could.  When I got up, I made the double batch of my special vodka and black bean chili that my co-author misses from when we lived together, and when my partner got home, we gobbled up half the pot, and I froze the rest for our next home visit.

Then I remembered my deadline.

It took me less than an hour to adequately revise my short story–my first erotic short story submission–and send it off the editor at Circlet Press in hopes that it will join a rather intriguing anthology.

Now, it’s 11, and I’m tired again.  I think I’m going to treat myself to another Sookie Stackhouse novel, or at least start one, and prepare myself for tomorrow.  Tomorrow, I conquer the kitchen.  Tomorrow, I return to finishing up the sketches for our third book, so we can wrap it up, and return to the final revision of book one.

Day 3: A Lotta Work in One Chair

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Raven smiling, but with shaking hands

Raven smiles, though her hand shakes, making the image blurry

It’s hard to believe that I’m in such a good mood given the way I started the day (image below).  I’ve gone from working to prove someone was wrong on the internet in politics (see here and here) to getting a lot of work done on clearing scenes to tackling the complexities of multiple author imports on WordPress to having a  meaningful conversation with my co-author and on to a Grammy-recipe of cheese sauce on, well, everything (i.e. chicken, cauliflower, pan-fried potato rounds) followed by giggles in a poly chat space.

Grumpy, greasy Raven

Before the shower, after the political rant

Oh yeah, and I took my vitamins, I’m on my seventh glass of water plus a mug of pumpkin spice tea, and I dealt with some personal responsibilities with scheduling time for others that I’d been putting off.  Weight: 259.2. Not bad for day 3.

Tomorrow: Take Daughter to her clay animation class.  Free clay animation class.  Blessings all around.

Grammy’s Cheese Sauce
(which I don’t make very often, just look at the dairy content!)

3T. flour
1/2lb. butter
2-3c. whole, organic milk
1c.+ cheddar cheese (only if you want a cheddary cheese sauce; can be made with almost any cheese that melts)

Make a roux by melting the butter in a small pot and mixing in the flour until it’s smooth (no lumps).  Add milk and stir constantly on med-low until hot.  Add in shredded or crumbled cheese, stir until cheese is fully melted.  Serve immediately on anything you like.

NOTE: Shred your cheddar!  It may seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it takes a lot less time and effort than waiting for cheese cubes to melt in warm milk.  Also, the above portions are estimates only, I didn’t actually check my recipe card to make the sauce this evening, and I didn’t check it before posting here.  I didn’t use measuring tools, either.  These are guesstimates. Ahem.

TIP: Make extra, save extra for later, and chop up jalapenos or green chiles (I like poblanos best) and store it for a nacho treat later.  Great on whole black or pinto beans, too.