Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lightness of Being

At long last I have finally found time to sit down in the mermaid chair and do some writing. Life in my end of the tide pool has been crazy, but crazy good. Just lots of things keeping me busy and away from the keyboard. No time for waxing poetic or any kind of theme for this entry, best to just jump in and get wet.

After months of waiting, Blogsource finally fixed the compatibility problem with internet explorer 7.0. During the interim
Tigerlily was forced to blog her thoughts elsewhere (here on as what was the point in writing them there when no one could see them? In the end, the fix is just too little too late. I'm settled here in this new cove to stay. Remember though, the old blog is readable now, so if you want to revisit you can. There is no longer a need for a separate browser, IE works fine now. or click on the link titled Mermaids Chair I in my links box. (Gretchen, you can show your mom the photos of the patio now)

Topping todays news: Score one for Al Gore and Mother Earth. We bought a new car. A hybrid. My Toyota Prius in lovely Seaside Blue is one month old and averaging between 48 and 52 mpg. No kidding. Makes for a bit less of a blow at the pumps with prices edging closer and closer to $4 a gallon. Yesterday, while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic I got 70 miles to the gallon, because I was running on battery while sitting there not moving.

Here is the new family member from every angle, even her rear. Certainly is a whole new look for me. Very spacey. The P.T. Cruiser was much more me with its vintage design. If only I could combine the outside appearance of one and the hybrid mechanics of the other...

I love this car. Driving it is like being in some sort of space shuttle. If you ever wondered what it would be like to drive Luke's land speeder in Star Wars, this is probably as close as you can get. It feels as though it is floating. Quiet. Makes no more than a bit of a high pitched hum. No ignition. No key. No shift lever. Push button turn on. Small lever to put it in gear. Responds with the lightest touch. It is like nothing you've ever driven before, unless you are an airline pilot. It's "wire" system is exactly the same as what is used in jets. No, I don't have to plug it in! Geesh. Get that all the time. The battery is always charging itself with left over energy produced by the gas powered engine. Even the ABS feeds into the battery. If you are at all considering a new car, consider a Toyota hybrid. And for those of you driving SUV's (and I really wish you'dgive them up), gas must be killing you right now. If you really need a bigger car, and it must be an SUV, Toyota also makes the hybrid Highlander. For anyone out there driving a Hummer, I don't feel sorry for you at all, and I'm laughing my ass off all the way to the pump.

The P.T Cruiser is taking a much needed break, having been reassigned to 3rd car for the girls to use.

So, for the last month, I've been zipping around in my new car, mostly between home and my new best friends. Dr. Aaron Cassleman. No, I'm not having an affair, he is my new chiropractor. Three times each week I visit for adjustments and traction. Yes, traction. My neck is one messed up piece of equipment. I have considerable degeneration, including loss of disc in my neck vertebrae. Have also developed bone spurs on the damaged vertebrae along with a wonderful reverse curve in my neck. Very swan-like, but in the wrong direction. With all the crunching and smooshing and general crookedness no wonder I have been experiencing such pain and headaches. My life has done a 360 when it comes to how I am feeling. I'm not pain free and I still have bad days, but so many less and much less severe. Instead of headaches every day, I've only had 4 in the last month.

The fibromyalgia is still around, and it aggravates the neck or the neck sets the fibro off, but still, how wonderful to feel this much better. I do neck exercises to strengthen the muscles, the traction is pulling my neck back in the right direction, and the adjustments keep me sane and relatively, very nearly, completely HEADACHE and PAIN FREE! Life is bliss compared to a month ago.

I am celebrating a very palpable lightness of being.

Of course this walking above ground feeling is not without its problems. It is costing a small fortune at $45 a visit times 3 days a week and no insurance benefit. This on top of the car payment is eating all our extra cash. My dream of a New Orleans courtyard will have to wait another summer, and I don't know if we'll get the fence finished, but my health is worth more to me than a few pots of flowers. I actually feel like sewing again. I can turn my head without vertigo or nausea. True, I come home from Dr. C and feel like I have a rubber chicken neck, and traction makes me want to cry, but my head seems to be sitting a bit more firmly. If you've ever looked inside a Barbie doll, you would find their head sitting over a round ball, thus allowing Barbie to move her head a bit more realistically. Well, my head feels like it has popped off the ball and has been riding around on the top, spinning wildly around making me dizzy and sick to my stomach. Dr. Cassleman seems to be gradually working my vinyl head back onto its ball, and we both hope that with stronger muscles it will remain there permanently.

And one more medical plug... Cripes, I'm sounding like a 75 year old grandma chatting with her friends and sharing ailments. Distinctly unappealing...

Nordic Naturals Fish Oil. /We're taking the Ultimate Omega.

You can buy Nordic Naturals products online, or at Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods. Fish oil has been talked about for a very long time. It has been shown to not only be great for your heart, but your brain--memory loss and alzeimers. Also depression, digestive health and as a cancer preventative. They have no taste or nasty sad effects. Promise. It is all about what kind of fish is used and where it comes from. Go read about Nordic Naturals and how they are made compared to the typical off the shelf stuff from Walmart. You do get what you pay for when it comes to vitamins. While I'm on the vitamin subject, the doctor said my blood work came back significantly low in iron. In other words, anemic. I swapped my multiple vitamin for one made from REAL food with extra iron. No artificial anything and lots of anti-oxidents. We're using Rainbow Lite once a day for women, but there are several combos. I'm a pretty bad vitamin consumer, so for me to have actually noticed a difference in the way I feel is a very big deal.

Mike has begun a new position at the P.D. He left Community Resource to head up the cities citizen volunteer program. Has to oversee lots of people and handle a department budget. After a horrendous first week he was ready to resign. Yesterday he actually used the words, "take this job and shove it" but despite repeated attempts to quit, he is still employed. He was fighting stress before and apparently has jumped from one burning ship to another. He did get the police chief to admit they more or less played him to get him to take the position. Lied. Covered up. I was right, they knew that to put Mike in a job was to guarantee success or he'd die trying. Yes, and that's why he and I are where we are after 27 years of marriage. He is a work-a-holic and is eaten alive by work left undone. He can't ever leave it behind. He has two cell phones and they tried to give him a Blackberry and an ear piece for phone #2. Nope. No Borg ear. No Blackberry. He has no intention of answering emails at 3am like the chief of police.

The Denver P.D. is a sinking political nightmare of a ship. Actually, I'd say the city of Denver itself needs a trip to Dr. Cassleman for readjustment. Dear Mayor Hickenlooper. Consider yourself owned. (new slang term learned from kids)

Stress level probably won't drop but Mike is still hopeful (?) it will look all good on a resume for FEMA someday. That elusive golden ring, the ultimate job. Does it exist? The only positive to the new job is a take home car. Free gas from the city, plus the great mileage from the prius, should equal a significant drop in the monthly gas bill. Now if I can just learn how to build a wind collector to power my homes electrical needs....

Still struggling to reduce my carbon footprint. Goal is to have a green home. Am slowly changing out all our light bulbs for the new long life florescent type. The suckers are expensive, so have to buy a few each week. Did you know they don't have to be that sick blue color? They come in "warm" for that traditional incandescent look. There are 3 ways and can light bulbs too. Learned that the clothes dryer uses the most electricity of any household appliance, so have severely reduced use. Now have mom's old clothes rack, plus a new one set up permanently in the living room. Dry everything possible by "air." When I must use the dryer I do several loads one after the other. The unit is hot and dries faster, using less energy. Drying racks are not exactly an attractive part of the decor but it is chic to be green. Have decided my new fight will be to bring back clotheslines. What dumb ass person decided they were unattractive anyway? I love clothes blowing on a line.

My friend Tami and were talking recently (Hi Tami :o) about our beach themed houses. She says mine is different. That we both do the same things but they don't come out the same. "My stuff looks like it just came in from the beach, yours looks...umm...manicured." She wants me to come to her house and "manicure" it. Could I have a future as the interior decorator who manicures your home? Makes it you but better?

All these careers I could have had but never did. I'm just this clump of unrefined things. I'm something and nothing all at the same time. I would love it if someone would pay me to do anything. Especially now, when money is tight. Have lost count how many times I've applied to Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and several scrapbooking stores. No one wants me. Have posted fliers for knitting lessons to no response. I entered a scrapbook page in a contest on Martha Stewart and I didn't win. I'm not surprised I didn't win, what does burn me, is how crap the winning pages were. OK, not crap, but average, a couple were downright dorky. No mind blowing originality there, or fantastic photo work. Thank you Martha for making me feel even less worthy if that is possible.

I did sort of get paid to kind of help a couple people knit, but they really knew what they were doing from the beginning. Was really more of a knitter sitter. I sit and watch and am available when they have questions, or to pick them up, apply a band aid and send them back out to the playground. And speaking of knitting and crafting....The Icelandic Lopi sweater knit-a-long fizzled, so I trudged on alone. Here's how it looks so far.

Once the second sleeve reaches the right length, the whole thing goes on the needles and I knit the bodice, which is where the majority of the colored pattern work shows up. I could have finished the sweater, it was that easy, but decided to concentrate on the Wing of Moth shawl. Yes, it's finished!

The wind was against me while trying to photograph her loveliness, blowing her completely out of the tree instead of creating the billows I was hoping for. I am so proud of this work. My only disappointment, is the moth did not come out with the wingspan she should have. Have nearly 2 balls of yarn left over. used a size smaller needle to get the correct gauge, perhaps after I became more comfortable with the yarn I began to knit tighter?

This does not help my perfectionist problems one bit. I've ordered more yarn to start Moth II, determined to get her right the second time around.

Having agonized for two weeks over what I wanted, I finally placed several orders for yarn, which should fill plenty of hours by the fountain with summer knitting... The scrapbooking is moving along too. Completed several more pages in the pet album. Now I have to take a break and switch to sewing. Thank goodness for less neck pain, I'm actually looking forward to sitting down at the machine. Both Comic Con and the Renaissance Faire are coming up, so there are costumes to work on. Lara Croft got new shorts and a new British flag top that need altering, and Queen Gorgo from 300 will be making an appearance, so there is a whole new look to develop. Here's a hint:

This is the best story of the last couple months. We met Carlos. It all started with Sarah needing help altering her leather Underworld corset for Selene. Ended up downtown in a little off Broadway leather shop. This place is the best kept secret in Denver. The place is filled with leather codpieces and gladiator skirts and strange bits of apparel for men that my wide innocent eyes had never come in contact with before. The shop is run by the sweetest, nicest guy you could ever imagine. A design school grad who once upon a time worked on a TV show called Sonny and Cher for a man named Bob Mackie...cross my heart. He may be hip deep in leather designs for the Village People on regular days, but get on his good side and he might help you discover a whole new you.

to be continued....