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Thursday, January 31, 2013


There was a time when Spring meant easter egg hunts, Summer was about the pool, Fall was for building fires, and Winter meant waiting for a sunny afternoon to prune the rose bushes. It's been such a cold season this year, and while I normally prune in January here it is the 31st and my bushes are all tall and scraggly and as yet untended. Today would have been a good pruning day; I think last night might have been the last frost, and it was beautiful out this afternoon. Crisp and golden. But I knew it would exhaust me, and I can imagine how forlorn I must have looked as I turned away and headed back up the driveway; not to get my shears from out back, but instead returning inside to reheat my tea and settle back onto the couch. I am grateful that it is only a cold keeping me in, and that I most likely will have another golden day in which I can prune. Imagine not having that in front of you, of there being no promise of the coming warmth, and knowing everything was over.

Which brings me to the point I was thinking about when I sat down to write; my life feels like it's winter, and I'm waiting for a sunny day to do some pruning. And the healthy girl I feel trapped inside is just waiting to spring forth when the right season rolls along. It's hard to be living in limbo when I know I should be living in the now. But I feel like my soul is getting ready to expand, you know, that cocoon to butterfly feeling. I am definitely feeling hopeful. I doesn't matter that I know things are bound to get a little harder before that happens, you know that other cliche - the dark before the dawn? Anyway, this hope, it's just a small feeling that I have, and I wanted to put it out there, maybe help it grow a little. Lord knows I'm going to need it to get through the pruning stage. Two more months.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I know the drill - get stressed and either succumb to the whole ball of wax, including eating poorly and crashing in front of the boob tube, or take the high road and eat well and walk every day. Last week I took the low road and this morning I have a cancer sore.  Just desserts, so to say. But I can't hide at home, it's almost the end of the month and I need to go in this morning, at least for a while. I will definitely try to hide out in my office.

Green smoothie made, healthy lunch ready to nuke at work - trying out the high road this week.

Monday, January 28, 2013

another short one

Yes, I made it around the block after dinner. No, I didn't walk at lunch. I was sick and kept telling everyone I was leaving early and more shit kept hitting my desk and before I knew it eight hours had flown by and I was driving home exhausted and coughing up a lung. Or trying to.

In any case, I came in to see what Dani's graffiti with punctuation looked like for the day and couldn't even pull up the post because I hadn't walked myself yet and I could feel the guilt crawling up my spine. So I grabbed my coat, slipped on the crocs, and clipped Kalyee to her leash and headed out around the block. It's still really hard (cough, yak, choke...) but all in all I am glad I went; mostly because when I got home my body was warm and ready to ... unload some more crap. My poor lungs.

Anyway, Dani, that walk was for you, and here is a pic of my standing workstation. We took an old nightstand that had already been whittled down for when the mattress had been on the floor a lifetime or two ago and just stacked in on my desk. Works perfectly.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Around the block

My lungs ache, whether from the change from stale to fresh air or the stress of just breathing heavier than usual, they are just a little stressed. I think walking must be important when we are sick, so that we pump our Lymph system and help remove the crap we have stored there while fighting a virus, or whatever. But it sure is exhausting. It was more a stroll than a walk; Kaylee and I just meandering down the sidewalk while she took advantage of the pace to sniff everything she could. I was so happy to see the home stretch, a short enough piece since we are only one house in from the corner, and relieved that one, we had made it out out for our walk and two, we were done!

I anticipate each day will get better, but will keep the walks short while I am fighting this cold.  I won't necessarily blog each day, but walk I will. Speaking of blogging, I was watching Contagion earlier and there was a great line that went something like this, "Blogging isn't writing, it's graffiti with punctuation." That tickled my funny bone, not that I  necessarily agree with the statement, but that I love the idea that what I do here is expressive enough to be called graffiti.

Back to my tea.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

100 days to May 6th

I think I have mentioned Dani's blog before, Walk the Year. She is on day 256 and has 100 days left to go to complete her year of walking. I am going to join her. As I posted on her blog this afternoon, while I am sick it may only be around the block, but walk I will for the next 100 days. Probably mostly while on my lunch break at work, because taking my lunch is another goal I have, but I am entitled to an hour each day so I can certainly spend at least half of it walking.

It feels good to set a smart goal; I don't believe I have ever done that before. If you have read any of my blog you will have determined that I am not the most steadfast of fellows. Rather I tend towards being a bit of a flake despite my good intentions. And I also tend to think I always need help - this will be just for me, and just by me. A small thing really, but I am anxious to start. I will start this with a new tag called 100 days.

Damn, now I have to get dressed.


The body is a conglomeration of wondrous components whose health is dependent on a variety of important factors; IMHO they are nutrition, movement and mental health. Failing in one of these areas is tantamount to knocking out one of the legs of the tripod, and when you ignore or abuse all three...well, there you go to rot and ruin fairly quickly.  Grilled cheese,  too much emotional stress, and embodying the tenants of a couch potato do not make for a healthy machine. Succumbing to neglect on all three fronts my body has rebelled in a full blown cold. I know I had been fighting the bug for weeks as one after another everyone at the office fell victim. But replacing green smoothies and home cooked nutritious lunches with fast food knocked the final leg from under me and I fell. Hard.

So today is about liquids, rest, and staying warm.  This is what the Dr. told me Friday while there to see her on another matter. She forgot to say Chicken Soup! I imagine ordering in Won Ton soup for dinner, always a blessing when you have a cold. And while I began the day with hash browns and eggs over easy (I think it's been years since I made that!) I will be eating better and taking care of myself today - cuz tons of snot running out of one's nose is anything but pleasant and I want it GONE.

Happy Saturday to me - I will not be going in to work after all. Another small blessing.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Survival Mode

How silly to feel like a survivor after a hellish week. People struggle with worse all the time, I know that, and I have no particular desire to jump into a pity pool just because it was a particularly harder than usual week for me. But I guess I just needed to acknowledge that it was hard and I made it through. Yes I know, there was a healthy side dish of whine and angst as evidenced by my rash of posts, but nevertheless, here I am home safe and sound, in one piece and still employed.  

The final meeting today at work was productive, the consultant agreed with me on almost every single thing, and I got what I wanted! I am proud I spoke out, and kept the department going in the direction I wanted, and so relieved of the support I got. Hopefully the boss sees me in a better light, and I'll have the desperately needed time now to focus on my special projects and improve the quality of my work. 

Then the therapist; I had to stop at Kaiser on the way home so a shrink could evaluate my meds and review my mental state. It was painless, not at all traumatic, and I go back in a month for a final review of the meds.  Two days of meetings and my pain level has decreased; it's wonderful to be home and not totally wiped out by pain.

Now I just need to call my massage therapist and let her know I have a cold. Yuck. I was really looking forward to the massage. Instead I will curl up with lots of hot tea, extra Immune and rest, and putter just a little while I work on getting better.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Melt Down

It has been a long time since I cared about much beyond my family, so today caught me by surprise. We had barely begun our mini seminar when I had a melt down. In front of my department, my boss, our guest. What a nightmare. I had to excuse myself and go take a walk outside. Walking through the parking lot, wiping away tears and feeling all kinds of foolish I just couldn't get a grip. My boss had been riding my ass for a month, every mistake we made landed at my door warranted or not, and I guess all the frustration that I had bottled up for months on end while we tackled this overwhelming project just came bubbling to the surface at this inopportune moment. What a fucking nightmare. But on the bright side, I realized that in order to react so harshly I must actually care about what I was doing, and I will take that as a step forward no matter the dismal circumstances.

But after all was said and done, today it really became clear that I just don't want to be there. That I'm tired of working so hard for absolutely no recognition. That I am a fish out of water. I won't give up, I'll stick it out until things are running right, but I have a feeling that once that happens I will be out of there. I am so tired of being unhappy and unfulfilled; if it weren't for the rest of my team I would go out on disability tomorrow. 

Just worn out with sadness tonight, and wondering if I can take a tylenol pm with all the other crap I'm taking.  Another day, another big sigh. "God, somebody tell a joke."


Another dark morning, my mantra unable to overcome my racing thoughts and carry me back to dreamland. Years ago I had this rule, no wasting my precious time in bed thinking about work, and now it's instinctual; the moment my morning thoughts turn to work my feet hit the ground running. Before I realize what has happened I have left the cozy warmth of my bed and here I sit chilled and quiet, listening to the quiet rustle of Kaylee snuggling into the warm nest I have just abandoned. Good for her, at least one of us gets to enjoy it. Eventually I will make it to the kitchen and put the kettle on for tea, maybe grab a blanket and see what recorded after bed last night, but gone are the days I would immediately log in to Facebook and check my farm(s). I miss that rush of anticipation, the absorption of design. Lord knows the combo of an audio book and farming was the relief I needed from the battering thoughts of Joey that would overwhelm me; I could disappear for a little bit and find a little sanity. But I don't need that anymore, mostly the edge of my grief is gone and I can and do think about him daily without falling apart; the waves are farther and farther apart with each passing year. A friend once said that it wasn't any different than her son being away and incommunicado in the peace core in the jungle on the other side of the world; I pray she never knows the difference.

So  my important and persistent thoughts this morning that drove me out of bed?

I have to stop for gas on the way to work, we have a CPA coming and I have to clean my desk and catch up the filing before she gets there. I need to hit the ATM before work in case we go to lunch, I have nothing nice to wear having once again outgrown my wardrobe. I need to organize my project management sheets before the meeting and mostly I need to get there hours ahead of everyone else and cut cheques early because this two day seminar is going to preclude getting any regular processing done and I don't want to have to go in over the weekend. Blech. How mundane; I could be dreaming about wiggling my toes in a soft warm sandy beach.

Okay, time for my tea and a short morning snuggle with the pooch.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another Day One

I am out of my anti-inflammatory meds, and a little nervous about the coming day and what pain it might bring. But I am also curious as to how this will affect my mental capacity - which has been lacking somewhat at work. Too many ridiculous mistakes, even for me. I'm going to open the last bottle of Oki and add that to my afternoons to help keep down the inflammation, as well as continuing the Vivix my DD gave me to try in my morning smoothies; go fruit. 

I woke too early, before 4am, rehearsing what I might say to the therapist on Friday. Craziness, never did get back to sleep. But I'm going to put cocoa in my smoothie and not drive through for a decaff. So, bottom line, still struggling. Still starting over most days, and thank heavens there is no limit on how many Day One's you can have. I plan on using one up today.

Friday, January 18, 2013


As Poodle might say, Thank Dog It's Friday! Seriously, this is the end of another ... challenging ... week. A portent of times to come with all the upheaval I have planned for this new year. While I may yearn for a quiet and pacific new year, that is not what I have set in motion. Typically we can deal as long as we have a couple of strong legs in the tripod to keep us on the level; work, family, significant other. But when all three are wobbly it is truly a challenge to stay upright and steady. I almost mixed metaphors there, I wanted to type 'crumble under the pressure' but then I would have had to reword the beginning of the sentence. If only all problems were that small. Which in fact they all are if looked at from the right perspective.  So that is what I am trying to do, look at my life and trifecta of stress from a new and positive perspective. One of gratitude. I am grateful for my work, that ensures I can pay the  mortgage; I am grateful the kids want to move in, I'm looking forward to collaborating on projects; I am grateful my soon to be ex-honey is being calm and friendly in the face of our looming separation; we both need a chance to break free of our respective depressions.

I am spending way too much time on the couch in front of the boob tube, when I arrive home I am in pain and physically exhausted. I did have one good day after the acupuncture session where my pain level was much lower. Silly me, I thought it was going to stay that way but it was just a tease. Oh well, on the right track as they say. One day I will find this infamous 'they' and wring their bloody necks.

But like the badgers of Narnia, I endure to fight another day - which means that yes, the ants are back in the kitchen, and I go to battle!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Yesterday I had an acupuncture session; my first ever. Getting up after the treatment I was dizzy and hot, there was no follow up with the Dr. Her assistant came in and was deft and quick in her removal of the needles. Never asked me how I felt, and I was never led to expect that reaction. It was a relief to get outside in the cool air, and then I sat for a bit in the car until I felt steady enough to drive. Once home I became a couch potato, making a dent in the list of recorded programs on the TV. I can only hope that this means my body is reacting to the treatment and they will be successful. As my DD pointed out, it's much like a good massage releases toxins and you have to flood them out with water afterwards, so I spent the evening hydrating and will continue to do so. Water is my friend.

This morning I am what passes for normal in my new drugged state. Woozy, uncomfortable, but in much less pain. Speaking of which, last night was the first time I climbed into bed without my little heated bag of rice to soothe my arm. I don't know if it was the treatment or because I left work early or the accumulation of drugs in my system; probably the synergy of all three. So apparently I am trading pain for feeling ... disoriented? Hard to explain, but not clear headed, not my personal brand of normal. For now I will accept this; while my arm is still achy and my fingers numb, at least my pain level is reduced to uncomfortable instead of debilitating.

I know what this feels like, it's the way I feel when I am having a vertigo attack, and hold myself still because I know when I move the world will spin. Except instead of spinning I just stay in this fuzzy anticipatory state of waiting to tilt. But I know this will fade as I remain upright, and that I will be fine to drive after breakfast.

All I want to do is curl up in a warm blanket and disappear. Instead I have water heating for tea, secure in the knowledge that I will gradually come to my senses and be able to greet the day properly; with gratitude instead of griping. As they say, every day I have my chance to start over. I just wish, for the moment, it didn't come with brain clouds.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

So tired....

Didn't sleep much last night; Dr. prescribed a couple new drugs and I already feel lousy after one dose. I've been down this road before, and I don't want to take another step.

God, it's only Wednesday.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Water & Hope on a Saturday

This morning's reminder to self - start the day with water. Hydration makes it possible for me to know when I am hungry, and on the weekend I love to start the day more slowly with food, waiting to feel the need for fuel rather than fixing breakfast on a timetable that works with starting the work day. I can't remember all the reasons, but I know I read lots about breaking  your fast with water - google your heart out if you feel the need. And for sure I do feel better drinking a few cups of H2O down before anything else hits my stomach.

Today I need to finish evicting the ants from my kitchen, and I'm looking forward to getting rid of the odds and ends that have found their way into bowls and corners and stacks on the counters. I have a feeling Spring cleaning is coming early this year. Note to self - pace yourself, do not burn out early and spend the rest of the day recovering.

I am excited about new possibilities this morning. Happenstance has brought me into contact with a new friend, and it feels promising - you know, of the race that knows Joseph, so to say. If you have read the Anne books (of Green Gables, etc) you know of what I speak. But our personalities seem to 'like' each other off the bat, and my mood is good this morning, feeling like we are about to embark on a journey together. I met him because he had 'liked' TOPS on Facebook, and I reached out - and he has held his hand out in return. I haven't met his wife yet, but I am already thinking we are the three musketeers and in for a great adventure. At any rate I am crossing my fingers and full of hope this morning; it would be ever so nice to have a small supportive group to help get this weight off.

Plan for the day:  Ants, Green Smoothie, Clean kitchen counters, Chopped salad for lunch, steamed veggies and rice for dinner. Simple, doable, positive.  Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

What's going on..

Family was the bright star lighting my way as I walked and breathed through yet another holiday season. This morning the last piece of chocolate is a fading memory on my tongue and the number on the scale scary enough to shock ten years off my timeline; which might not be a bad thing as 58 looms in my near future.

One might ask why I would weigh myself after eating a piece of chocolate for breakfast, or rather for a snack - anything before 5am has to be considered a snack, despite the fact I did break my fast with the sugar and cocoa, food doesn't count as breakfast until 6am. It was the drug I was after; if I had to be up I wanted to be actually awake. Then I used the scale to remember one of the reasons it's time to stop the indulgence train. Too much whine and not enough action. Enough already.

I would love to get back to basics, but still can't walk because of the pain it creates in my chest. At least I am stretching, back to eating mostly plants, and drinking enough water; all good things but again...not enough to make a difference. Yet. How tedious it all is, I need something better to write about, I don't think the current theme (case in point) is helping me think anymore. But we write what we know, so I need to have better stimuli. What a wicked circle. Which brings to mind the picture I just saw posted on my D's FB page. Surprise, surprise, when I went to copy it for the blog - it's from The Earth Diet ! Go figure.
And I am reminded about the three years that I ate well and lost 50 pounds. I wasn't working 9-5, and had time to research everything. I surrounded myself with positive influences and healthy information; reading about nutrition every day and walking and eating plants. So I know what works, I just need to integrate it with working the grind. Alright already. Here I go -  and yes, it's a list. I just need to convince myself to start with 1.

1. Juice  2. Lose weight  3. Heal  4. Get off the meds 5. Walk