Saturday, September 30, 2006


The red betta quietly passed away while I slept.
He was noisily flushed.
The blue betta doesn't comprehend. He did his grieving a couple weeks ago when his red rival disappeared. They were used to going to the sides of their bowls and flaring at each other off and on all day. The blue betta believed he lost his companion a couple weeks ago. When I changed bowls, he went over to the appropriate side to flare and taunt that first day. I think he thought the red betta might have returned with the move--but he never showed up. They had been playing musical bowls for a couple of years. I always kept the bowls in the same spots so they knew which side of each bowl to look for their rival. Today the bowl is gone, too.
I wonder if the blue betta's life will be better or worse without his rival companion?

Friday, September 29, 2006


One week and here is the new baby on the top of the jar, just like I read would happen.

Here's a top view to gross you out--hehe!

You can see the big mama mushroom hanging sideways in the jar and the baby was just attached at one point--floating all pretty and white. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.)

Here's the baby. I decided to be smart and save the first baby as a back up with some of the tea. It is now in the back of the frig in this plastic container. :)

Here's the quart jar of strained tea that came from the half gallon jar. It made this full quart jar and half a cup of tea--all in the frig now. No, I didn't drink any yet. I like it cold!

Right now the half gallon jar is clean and waiting with the strainer. The mama mushroom is lying in the zip lock bag way in the background--waiting for cooled off tea water to be plunked into again. This time I made the tea water with brown sugar (used white last time) and the same green tea.

I have been sleeping off and on around the clock. For example--on Wednesday after I saw Dr. Hager (and got my back cracked) I slept from 8pm - 11:30pm. Then on Thursday I slept again from 3am till 8am (had to get up to go see Dr. Sleckman-rheumatologist). Came home from that jaunt and was back in bed by 4:45pm till 8pm. This morning I finally slept from 4:30am until 1:15pm! I have been sleeping pretty well, too! :)

I watched In The Bedroom yesterday:

Set in a tranquil town on the Maine coast, In the Bedroom tells the story of a couple (Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson) whose teenage son (Nick Stahl) is involved in a love affair with a single mother (Marisa Tomei). When the relationship comes to a sudden and tragic end, the boy's parents must face their worst nightmare and embark on a dark, dangerous psychological journey. Spacek and Wilkinson turn in stunning performances.

Was an engrossing movie that drew you in--quietly--until it had you by the throat! One of those movies where the performances were so genuine in such a subtle way--dealt with loss, grief, frustration, and went places you weren't expecting and yet you were. Excellent, but dark, movie--wonderful performances from everybody!

I also have been watching the videos about the Shaklee products. Have watched ten of them so far. I am learning new things. For example--I discovered I have never read my toothpaste tube. I was shocked! My tube of Crest says:

Warnings Keep out of reach of children under 6 yrs of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Do not swallow. To minimize swallowing use a pea-sized amount in children under six. Supervise children's brushing until good habits are established. Children under 2 yrs: ask a dentist.

All the years I've used toothpaste, I guess I have never bothered to read the tube. I thought they were pulling my leg telling me that there were often warnings about swallowing toothpaste and poison control! Crest--been using it most of my life. Hummm???? It has made me stop and think about the things we use every day that have toxic ingredients in them--and that we absorb through our skin or even swallow.

And this concern about what I am swallowing comes from a lady who is drinking kombucha mushroom tea! chuckle! Yes--I am sipping on it right now. Cold--kind of like apple cider--with a little fizz or a bite to it. Actually tastes better than I remember it! Probably because of using the green tea instead of the black Lipton that I don't really like in the first place. Wonder if it will be better next week with the brown sugar? Experimenting might be more productive than I had expected!


Thursday, September 28, 2006


I wasn't able to post this earlier. Wouldn't work. I'll try it again now--3:30pm
Here's the red betta who has been lying like this on the bottom of the bowl for ages--lost track--been over a week, but not sure if it is two weeks now? He's in the smaller bowl with the slate rocks now. Still alive!

And here is the blue one, showing off his pretty fins. He is now in the bigger bowl with all the live plants.

Okay--went to see the new chiropractor, Dr. Hager, yesterday. He was so nice! And what an impressive chair! Stands upright and just lowers and raises you from a standing position! Fancy! And the girl changed the paper roll (we had to do that ourselves at Dr. John's) and she even wiped down the table before I got on it! I never thought of that--cleaning the tables off between people. And it is nice to have a private room and not be out where people can walk past or hear you talking.

Dr. Hager worked very hard to get that spot cracked where it was pinching. Tried first on my stomach, then on my back, and finally against the wall--and crack! Was a painful process, but was worth it! He told me it would be sore for a while. Told me to make an appointment for Friday, but if I didn't get the sharper pain back to just call and cancel. He didn't tell me that I should be coming in regularly or anything--just make an appointment when I need to. (Dr. John had me coming three times a week and then twice a week?)

And--if he cracked my spine--then seems to me that maybe it was my spine that was out of whack and not a rib, like Dr. Mike said? Maybe he had caused a disc to slip and pinch a nerve? Who knows? Anyways, I am still sore, but I don't have the terrible sharp pain I had--just twinges.

After Leah took me to Dr. Hager then we took the elevator up to Dr. Sleckman's office to see about him filling out the form for the school loan and getting a refill on my pain pills (Rheumatologist). Just so happened that he had a cancellation for today at 10:40am. (Took me 2 1/2 months to get in to see him the first time.) So, Dagan took off work and brought me today. Just got home a little while ago.

I met with Dr. Sleckman, he filled out the form, checked me over, and gave me a perscription for my Tramadol. I don't feel so badly that I have actually had to take two at a time sometimes. He told me you can take up to eight a day--2 of them at a time 4 times in a day--every six hours. Since I had the original perscription at 60 a month, I thought I wasn't supposed to take more than one in the morning and one at night, but I have had to take two at a time just to take the edge off of this back pain (and that didn't always work). I just had him write it out for the same amount--60 a month--take as needed. I should be just fine with that. I try not to take them every day--only on bad days.

Dagan and I went to White Drug which is inside of the SunMart Grocery in West Fargo. That is where Dagan and Leah get their pills--you can have them mailed out every month. So, while we waited for my pills, Dagan took me to the little cafe they have there in a front corner of the grocery store and we had burgers for lunch. Picked up my pills--got it set up so that I can just call every month and they'll mail them to me. Dagan dropped me off at home.

I decided to call and cancel the chiro for tomorrow. Wait and see how the weekend goes. I can always go again next week if I need to. It is sore and burns a little back there. I get little tiny sharp prickly twinges occasionally--but am not sure if they will go away or get worse? Right now, this is nothing by comparison. And I am so tired and exhausted that I want to be able to just sleep tomorrow and Saturday--so, just wait and see. He said it would be sore for a while. ?? Sunday we have Sacred Circle here--since we passed last month. I'll see what shape I am in by Monday. If it is not gone/better by then, I'll call and make another appointment--he's there Tues and Weds afternoons.

Anyways, I am feeling a lot better. Just want to rest...relax...collapse... :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Mom and Dad came on Sunday for a few hours. We went to IHOP for a late breakfast. Then came back here to my place for a while. Here's Dagan laughing at Karma.

Here's my mom laughing at Karma.

My dad got a digital camera for free and was trying it out. Leah was helping him with his new toy.

Dagan and Leah had to leave about 3pm and my folks left about 4pm. I was really sore and tired and was in bed by 9pm on Sunday.

Yesterday I was forced to wash clothes--had no underwear or socks left--hehe! And then I just could not stand watching the red betta struggle to make it to the top of the bigger bowl any longer. I have had water ready for days and the bowls needed to be cleaned--so I got that done, too. I have never seen a betta live this long lying on the bottom of the bowl!! Poor guy! I moved all the live plants into the bigger bowl so I could dose the red guy with aquarium salt (plants don't care for the salt). Just thought I'd give him a little boost, not that it will amount to much--but it made me feel better--hehe! I do feel better, too, that he doesn't have to travel so far to get to the top of the bowl. And--yes--he's still alive!

Caroline came today to clean. She just left a little bit ago.

I am very sore today after doing all that yesterday, so I am really looking forward to meeting the new chiropractor tomorrow!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Here's the dream scrapbook I was working on. First, I painted the inside front and back covers with silver paint.

Then I added the words to the song. I thought it was appropriate for me because I really do try to always look for the silver lining! :)

The next page kind of tells what the book is about. This isn't what they call an actual "altered book"--because they are much fancier and have more bells and whistles--hehe! Mine is more like using an old hardbound book as a kind of scrapbook.

Then I added the cut down black-eyed susan painting (which I posted previously). I have loved wildflowers since I was a kid wandering the fields near our neighborhood!

So, if I was healthy again and won a big lottery--the book is about what my life would include. The first section is about having an actual artist's studio. If you're going to dream--dream huge! It would be the ultimate to have an actual separate building--so, I found samples for my dream book. (There are more to come.) I would want a building large enough to have groups of people over to paint or make handmade paper...or whatever arts & crafts projects we wanted to do/teach/share. I would have to have sections for the supplies for each type of creative project: oils, acrylics, watercolors, paper making, card making, beading supplies, polymer clay supplies, calligraphy, etc. And I'd want enough room and supplies to be able to have a group of up to maybe 6-8 people all working together on any given project.

You can't really see the strip of mesh that lies crosswise on the orange page, but this is the absolute fantasy painting equipment for oils and acrylics. Not for class or group supplies, obviously, but just for my own personal use. :)

I painted the surface of the next page green today for a background color, but no point in taking a picture of that one yet. I didn't do all of this yesterday--only the blue page and the orange page. They really are pretty blah looking, I guess. I might add something later--or just leave them as is and write a little note--"done with a dislocated rib"--hehe! It is just a scrapbook for me, after all. "Fun" therapy!!

I did a book for an art class at Concordia that reminds me of making this one. I have no idea where it went--stored away someplace. Our assignment was to make "A Book About Me". This one will be much easier--hehe!

Well, my mom called at about 12:30pm today. I was sleeping. Had finally fallen asleep somewhere between 6-7am. They're coming tomorrow about noon. Dagan and Leah will be over then. I told Mom that I may or may not be able to go to lunch with them--depending on how my ribs are.

I couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and was slowly trying to clean up around here little by little. I was running out of dishes and glasses, anyways, so I emptied the dishwasher, filled it again, ran it, and emptied it again. I went around and emptied all the garbages from all the rooms. Figured I'd see if I could work my way up to a trip to the dumpster with the little green cart or if I'd have to ask Dagan or Leah tomorrow. I had two small bags full of catalogs left to throw away, too--they are heavier to lift and I didn't want to put the rib out any more then it is already. Not moving very fluidly today, either.

Turned out Leah called this afternoon--wanted to stop by and pick up a spool of beading wire. So I asked her for help. She took out the trash, put the catalog bags in her trunk to recyle (she is so conscientious!), and even got my mail for me!! If I didn't have company coming--I would have just waited until I felt better--no rush, you know? So, Leah was my very own personal angel today!!! :) :)

Just all the bending with the dishes and trash today aggravated my ribs enough that I had to take a pain pill a couple hours ago. I am getting concerned. I really need this new chiropractor to be able to get my ribs back to normal quickly or I will never be able to tolerate a long car trip! We have the wedding in Minneapolis to go to October 7th--just two weeks away! I am using my last pain pills up pretty quickly here and I have never gotten recovery time/consistent sleep for many days since I was sick for a month on those other supplements. Last night was a restless very few hours again. I am beginning to almost feel like I did when I was in school--like I am gradually just kind of fading away...harder to think, able to accomplish less and less. Like gradually starting the day out with less spoons every day--hehe!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not worried about my surviving all this--not at all. I will eventually get rid of the pain in the ribcage and eventually sleep and sleep--I will be fine--eventually. One learns patience with fibro, I can assure you--(or you'd just be depressed all the time). I am only concerned because I want to go to the wedding and see everybody. Most of my family is in the Twin Cities and I rarely ever see them any more. And I especially want to see my aunt, Mary Lou! Dagan, Leah, and I plan to stay with her this time when we go down and I have been so looking forward to sitting over coffee with her in her kitchen. I have really missed her since I moved away up here. So, say a healing prayer for me!

In the meantime, I am just hanging in here until Wednesday. I do need to wash clothes and sheets before then--but, other than that, I am trying not to irritate the ribs any more than I have to. I am off to watch some more of The Sopranos...

Friday, September 22, 2006


Here's the tea with the mushroom floating sideways in the jar--taken earlier on this chilly, rainy day. Karma, as usual, has to investigate anything new I am doing. In our small world, small things are interesting. :)

The mushroom was too large to float flat on the top, but even if they sink (I have read) the babies will appear on the surface of the water. We'll see. The jar is sitting quietly in the pantry. My first batch of tea should be ready in about a week.
Not a good day with the rib pain. I have dirty dishes piled in the sink. I need to wash clothes pretty soon. I have bags of catalogs to throw into the dumpster that are sitting, waiting, on the little green cart by the door. There are buckets of water still sitting out for the bettas--yes, bettas, plural! That poor red one is still lying about on the bottom. He has a diffcult time making it to the top of the larger bowl to eat, so I had finally decided to clean and switch them--set out water to get to room temperature yesterday. But then today--too sore to do so. Maybe tomorrow?
Since I have to shift about and need something to do when I am sitting by the table, I drug out the altered book I barely started a couple months ago. My fantasy or imagined life--a kind of scrapbook with all the things I would want if anything was possible--suggested by Dr. John long ago. I started with an artist's studio! Is fun to sit and cut and paste. I will be doing some background painting on pages, too, but wasn't up to that tonight. I'll try to remember to take pictures of the pages tomorrow.
Oh, I was asked about the re-evaluation for my cleaning girl. It went fine. Gwen does a home visit every six months. (I believe she is a social worker for the county?) She needs to come and find out if anything has changed (like if I am going downhill and need more help) and if things are working out okay with my cleaning girl. Funny--every time Gwen arrives she remarks at how much she loves coming here and loves my place. Of course, I like to think it is the good energy! :)
My folks were supposed to call to find out if we wanted them to come visit on Saturday or Sunday this weekend (my mom called the beginning of the week). They haven't called. Dagan and Leah are busy tomorrow, so it would have to be on Sunday. My mom and dad are staying with friends in a town about an hour or so away from Fargo and are planning on just driving over for lunch and driving back. Since I haven't heard from them, you'd think they were coming on Sunday--but with my folks, they just might call on their way into town. And they also mentioned the "possibility" of their friends coming along so they could go shopping in Fargo. I told mom I haven't been feeling well at all and they should check and see if I was up to a visit....
I am just going to sleep when I can--no alarm. Who knows--I might not be able to sleep much at all tonight, either--like last night? I seem to be collapsing about every three days--which would be Sat night/Sunday....
Pam emailed Leah and I about watching a series of 30 product videos online for Shaklee, answering questions about the videos, and Renae would give us each a product reward worth $100 retail!! It is a special opportunity and Renae picks out about 5 people a month for this--we are really excited about it! She pays for our rewards out of her own pocket, which is why she can only do a few a month.
I ended up going into a different section and watching a 47 minute video on fibromyalgia and then a follow-up question and answer video, too! This doctor was very informative and I took some notes. I can't afford to buy all the different Shaklee products related to fibro, but I learned some new things about several of the products. I am concentrating on the digestive cures first--and now I have a list of other items I can graduate to if I get the IBS under control. :)
We have 30 days to watch the 30 product videos. I wasted my first day (not!!) watching one about fibro that doesn't count--hehe! I am sure glad I have the laptop and can watch from anyplace in the apartment, because these are not short videos from what Pam told me. She's watched about seven of them so far. I know Leah is going to be excited about them. She had talked about going to a class on nutrition--well, this it just what she wanted!! All kinds of information on nutrition and how the body works, etc. :)
We both want to be really well informed when Leah begins to have her own presentations (they're not "parties"). Then whatever Leah doesn't remember, maybe I will. :) I am happy to help her out. I think she will be having her first presentation on November 1st. (Dagan's birthday is on the 2nd.) Renae will run the meeting for Leah. In fact, Renae will do several presentations for Leah, and with her, before she'd leave her to do them on her own. I am so happy for Leah to have something so healthy to be excited about!
Well, this has taken me two and a half hours to write this in segments. That's about it for me for today. I am going to go watch ER on tape. :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006


My kombucha mushroom arrived!

Pretty gross looking, eh?
I am going to go and boil the water, tea, and sugar to begin cultivating a batch of tea after I am done with the blog today. I have only one half-gallon jar left in the pantry. I guess I need to buy some more canning jars--again.
Back when I was making this tea before, about twelve years ago or so, I had the one recipe. There are so many more recipes out on the web now--I was amazed! You can use any kind of sugar--white, brown, raw, organic--and any kind of black or green tea. You can use combinations of the sugars and teas, too. Maybe I can come up with a recipe that will taste better than the old one I had with white sugar and black Lipton tea? I hope so--hehe! Altho, I did get used to the taste of it after while. You don't drink an awful lot at a time. I read that if you drink some before each meal it is supposed to even help with weight loss??
And now I know to keep an extra baby or two in the frig--in a cup of tea like you see in this bag I got today. I didn't know to do that back then and my mushroom went bad in the summer heat (mold). Now, I will be prepared and have back-ups. They are supposed to keep in the frig--almost like in suspended animation--hehe!
Leah has been feeling better already on the Shaklee. She said she hasn't had the gurgly, upset stomach that she had on the other supplements. She has had more energy and isn't hungry before her morning break at work anymore after putting the daily protein powder in her milk with her morning cereal. She's already happy enough with Shaklee that she's talking about getting a website and selling it! We kind of figured she would feel better and would want to sell Shaklee--but weren't expecting her to feel better this quickly! :):)
Last night I watched Shattered Glass:

This fact-based film depicts the rise and fall of disgraced journalist Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), who was a staff writer at The New Republic and contributed stories to Rolling Stone and other magazines. Glass fabricated many of his stories, which led to his downfall. Steve Zahn plays the technology reporter who uncovered the truth about Glass's deception. Chloe Sevigny, Hank Azaria and Rosario Dawson also star.
Was really interesting because this was true, of course. They had an interview with the real guy on the Special Features on the DVD. I almost wish I had watched that first, because you get to see him close up--how he can look so earnest and sincere while he lies. I am surprised that there isn't some law that is broken by lying in the press? Glass just graduated with a law degree... ?
And I watched Inside Man:

Dispatched to a crime scene where a bank robbery is in progress, police detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) hopes to apprehend the cunning thief (Clive Owen) so he can make his case for a promotion. But when a savvy negotiator (Jodie Foster) with questionable motives arrives on the scene, an already unstable situation threatens to implode. Spike Lee directs this tense action-drama co-starring Willem Dafoe and Christopher Plummer.
This description dosen't give you any clue as to how unusual this bank robbery is! There were twists and turns in the story line--definitely not your run-of-the-mill bank robbery movie! Much better than I expected it to be!
My rib pain is a little better today so far. But I am still not up to much yet. I think fixing up the baby mushroom a new home and making dinner will be enough--and I will watch what I lift and how. I will be so glad when I can get to the new chiropractor! I sure hope he is really good, experienced, knows what he's doing, and can fix me right up.
I am also watching the Season 5 discs of The Sopranos. I think that is the last season currently available on DVD. Then I'll start ordering the rest of the seasons of Six Feet Under, I guess.
Man! Would I ever be bored without Netflix! It would be a lot more frustrating to have so many hours a day that I can't physically do much of anything (even read!) and not have these interesting DVDs to watch. And I can stop them at any time and take a break and move around and go do something else for a while with my timer--come back and pick up where I left off!
Now, with the rib problem, I try to get to this blog almost every day but it is hard to get to very many emails or Eons, etc. And I have had to give up on keeping up with the online class. Next time they run it I can take it again. The class did give me a kind of shot in the arm, tho--motivation to write this winter. The classes go fast--just about a month and they're over with--so you have to be able to keep up. Wouldn't have been any problem for me in the past--but the "present" me finds it a challenge! If the rib thing hadn't popped up--(or "out"- hehe!)--I wouldn't have had much of a problem keeping up. But, as they say--shit happens! :):)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Hager for my initial visit--chiropractor--on Wednesday the 27th. Leah is taking me, but didn't want to make her appointment right now. She's not sure yet what she wants to do and isn't planning on going very often anymore, anyways. But, I am going to try out a new chiropractor! Just need to hang in there till then. Going to be a long week, I imagine.

I tried to call to make an appointment with my old doctor in Moorhead and he isn't even there anymore! (I had no medical insurance for a long time--couple years?) Since I need some forms filled out for my school loans and the only other doctor I had been to was the Rheumatologist, Dr. Sleckman and he is in the same building as this new chiropractor--I decided I will just bring in the paperwork with me on Wednesday and walk over and see if I can leave the form with him. Dr. Sleckman did fill some paper work out for me for Social Security a few years ago, so hopefully he'll agree to fill these out for me. Then, I want to either make an appointment with Dr. Sleckman again or ask who would be a good regular doctor for me to go to that is familiar with fibromyalgia. Now that I have Medicare, I can go to a doctor again!! And I am getting very low on pain pills. Obviously, I never used them every day--I am still using up the tail end of leftover pills from over two years ago!

A couple of days ago I tried doing lots of different stretching exercises--thinking maybe I could pop the rib back in place. Not a good idea. Just made matters worse. Sleep finally overcame pain again last night, tho. I slept from 8-10:30pm and then again from 2am till 2:30pm!! Could hardly move by the time I got up for the day, but at least I am more rested as I hobble about--chuckle!

Yesterday I had the re-evaluation for the cleaning girl with Gwen. We got to gabbing a little after the forms were filled out and somehow landed upon the subject of kombochu mushroom tea. I used to make that back about 13 years ago--till my mushroom went bad. Gwen knows a lady who will give me a baby mushroom and is going to drop it off tomorrow. I'm more than game to try it again! Gwen might, too, after she gets done moving. Maybe it can help the fibro or one of the other ingredients for my daily pain cocktail--chuckle! I'll try it! :)

Here's a couple of websites if anybody wants to read about kombochu mushroom tea. You can see just how nutty I really am--hehe! (Dagan--you will probably remember the jars on the counter and in the frig! I had you taste it once back then, but you thought it was dreadful--hehe!)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Yesterday, as I was walking down to get my mail, I got an intense feeling that I shouldn't go to my appointment with Dr. Mike. I was feeling a little better at the time, too. (This rib thing comes and goes in intensity, but never seems to fail to gloriously expand when I lay down to try to sleep) Dagan was home sick with the cold Leah recently had. I called Dagan to tell him that he didn't have to drag himself out in the cold rain. Told him I would wait and see how I felt or what I received as far as going Wednesday went. Leah and I had previously tossed out the idea of finding a new chiropractor that would be in the system she'll be in with the new insurance (Dagan's new job) thru Innovis.

Well, despite the fact I was not able to sleep much last night and I am using up my paltry stash of pain pills, I still strongly feel I am not supposed to go back to Dr. Mike. So, today I searched the yellow pages, called Innovis, found the chiropractor Leah would have to go to, called Dr. Hager's office and got his hours and price for adjustments (same at Dr. John's was), and called billing to see if I would have to start over on the Medicare deductible and whether I'd be billed or not (don't have to start over and they'll bill me). Everything checks out. But, this guy has less hours and is done earlier (1-4:30pm on T-W-Th and 8:15-noon on M-F). We need half hour initial visits and he only does those at 2:15 and 2:45pm. I emailed Leah the information. I could take the bus if I had to.

So,'s like my life is on hold. I am functioning on the bare essentials mode for now. The sharpness comes and goes during the day and usually gets a lot worse at night when I try to sleep--of course, isn't that how it usually goes?! I will just deal with it until I can get in to see the new guy. Whether it is a week--whatever. I need to go to somebody else.

This afternoon I have my lady coming for the reevaluation of my cleaning girl and my reassessment for that service. The place will have to be messier than normal. I am not going to be able to go around and pick up. Sad proof that I do need help--hehe!

Been really chilly up here!! I think the weatherman said it was 40 degrees below the average/normal temperature yesterday? I think it only got up to around 45 degrees? It feels like it could just about snow out there right now. Supposed to get down to mid 30s tonight! Only up to about 56 today. We went from closed up with the AC on to being closed up with the heat on in a matter of a couple of days!! Nuts!

That's about it from here. Hard to concentrate. Hard to sit very long.

This too shall pass...eventually. :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Never speak too soon. The minute I get any kind of reprieve, my optimism kicks in. Well, I don't think that rib is all the way back in place--at all. I got more and more sore last night and have still had trouble sleeping or getting comfortable anywhere. And today isn't any better. The pain is increasing in sharpness like it did after this first started on Monday. I sure hope he can get my ribs and spine adjusted now this coming Monday. If I can just get me back to my normal pain--I think I just might run for the hills!

While I was writing an email to Duane tonight I remembered that I have asked repeatedly this year for my guides and angels to make it abundantly clear what I am doing right and wrong for my health. I put my health first this year and asked them to really let me know, in no uncertain terms, what is right or wrong for me. Well, then I can't complain. Dr. John's adjustments--right for me--immediate improvement. The supplements from Dr. John--wrong for me--no uncertain terms. And, sadly, Dr. Mike--wrong for me--abundantly clear. Shaklee supplements--so far, no adverse reactions--but I am withholding judgment, because I have been slightly nauseous--but long term higher pain will do that to me. I know that from experience. So, I am waiting to see how I feel after the pain level goes down. (SOON, I hope!!)

Leah and I had mentioned to Erica on Wednesday about only coming in once a month from now on--well, if I can just get back to my own normal on Monday, I think I am honestly afriad to go back to him. (I'm kind of nervous about going on Monday in the first place!) This is just is not working. I have been getting worse! If Dr. Mike can't fix what he did to my ribs on Monday--I should just give up and go to someone else for relief. That would be giving him twice with adjustments to put my ribcage/spine back to where it was. He should be able to do that, right? Enough said. I am just absolutely drained from all of this the past month and a half or so. I just pray he can put my body back to right on Monday. Guess I had better do some serious asking for help, eh? Ask my guides and angels to be there and help the guy! :) Please! Please! I think he just graduated...and each chiropractor has their own personal techniques.. and I know he means well...but.......please help him!!! :):)

On a lighter note--well, not much lighter come to think of the content--ha! About all I am good for lately is watching movies/TV. I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose this afternoon:

Attorney Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) always manages to keep her emotions in check when she's in the middle of a case, but she finds herself unraveling when she decides to represent a priest (Tom Wilkinson) who's conducted an exorcism gone horribly awry. The highly charged case, in which Erin battles an overconfident state lawyer (Aaron Douglas) who thinks he has a slam dunk, leaves her questioning her life choices, career prospects and beliefs.

This was based on a true story and the actual court trial, so that made it more interesting to me. Was on the creepy side, of course. Especially because you know that it was real. The movie doesn't tell you whether to believe or not to believe the versions of what happened. I liked that they left it up to you to decide. Was done well. I always enjoy Laura Linney--a fine actress.

So, you know what I am probably up to the rest of the weekend--musical chairs around my apartment, TV & movies, trying to sleep, and waiting for Monday. :)

Friday, September 15, 2006


I finished the black-eyed susan--which no longer actually resembles a black-eyed susan--hehe! Since I had to go darker on the petals to cover up all the pencil marks, I just got colorful and crazy with it. This is what it looked like when I finished with the watercolors.

Now, all watercolor purists--look no further--close your eyes!
I, persoanlly, enjoy the look of combining watercolor and ink. I got out my Rapidograph tech pens, picked a nice thin .25, filled it with sepia ink, and outlined each petal.

I just think it just gives it a little punch! And since it is mine to play with, I can do what I want, right? So--this is my "artistic interpretation" of a black-eyed susan--tada!

I actually slept during the night last night! From 11pm till 6:15am!! Me! I have usually going to bed at 6am lately, not waking up. I can hope that my hours will change around, but I am not holding my breath. It was just the exhaustion finally winning out over the recent pain and soreness. I think the only thing that might alter my crazy night hours--the menopause pills from Shaklee--hehe! I'd sure like to get back to being able to go to sleep between 1-3am (my more normal hours) instead of being up till dawn. I've been in this crazy cycle for the past couple of months! I am sure it will change eventually.

I finished the reading for lesson three last night! So, now I can go online, read posts, and discover what comes next? I can probably get another lesson done by Sunday, too, so I don't fall behind.

Been windy the past couple days--20-30 mile an hour winds. Feels very North Dakota-ish out there--hehe! It has warmed up again all of a sudden--been in the 80s during the day. Supposed to be thunderstorms passing thru the next few days.

I am feeling better day by day. :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006


And you thought people decorate early for Christmas!
Since Monday, September 11th, I keep walking past this door on my way to the mailboxes every day and wonder..... why?

These are the two books for the Memoir Writing class.

This is the book for the Fiction Writing class.

Yesterday afternoon I put another wash/layer on the black-eyed susan.

Went to Dr. Mike's with Leah last night.

First, I have to say that when I went to get up off the table on Monday I had a very sharp twinge, but ignored it and never said anything. I should have known better--something similar happened once with Dr. John and I suffered for two days until I went back (maybe even happened twice). But this time I was really sore across my mid back--very hard to get comfortable, therefore very difficult to sleep. By Tuesday it was worse and I hardly got any sleep Tuesday night, either--even after taking two pain pills. Seemed to be coming around my ribcage. Was nowhere near this bad the other time I had some crazy twinge with Dr. John.

So, I had my assessment and then my adjustment. Told Dr. Mike about the pain and where it had been since Monday, etc. For some reason he started working on another very sore place--kind of by my hips in your lower back there are fibro trigger points and he was pressing and trying to massage the pain away. I thought I'd try to give it a go, but it kept getting more and more sore. Just aggravated it, I think. I had to ask him to stop. Told him he had managed to completely remove the focus of pain from my mid-back, tho, and laughed.

He gets done and I go to get off the table and I get that sharp shooter of pain in the very same place again. So, I tell him and he has me show him while I was sitting up--and he finds a rib out of place by my spine. No wonder! Probably pinching a nerve! He got it back where it should be and that stopped the sharp shooting pain, but I was sore all over by then.

Obviously, I didn't put my own rib out of place. Wasn't able to do much of anything for two days. Certainly didn't do anything different--didn't even do the usual activities--couldn't.

This has not been a good month/month and a half for me physically. I am totally drained from all of the pain and sickness. One thing after the next. The sharpest rib pain is gone, but the soreness is still there and doing quite a job on me yet today. That is why I didn't blog yesterday. Was too miserable to sit--even for shorter periods--to work on one. Pain makes it hard to concentrate. It is impossible for me to tell if I am more sore or sick from going back to eating wheat and dairy this month. How would I know with all this going on? Lack of sleep causes me more pain--period. And the feeling sick, IBS, pain--all prevents decent sleep or any sleep at all. So, I have been getting worse over this past month. Bad fibro cycle.

Meanwhile, Dr. John was there yesterday with the baby. I saw them inbetween leaving the assessment room and going to the adjustment table. I told him Leah and I needed to talk to him before we left. But, when I was finished (Leah didn't get adjusted yesterday--just gave me a ride), he wasn't around and Erica zoomed up as soon as I came out and said to Leah that we needed to find Dr. John. Erica said that Apex Energetics would charge us the 12% restocking fee (not 20%) and that Standard Process said they would take back the unopened bottles without the boxes and they only charged a 20% restocking fee (not 25%). Somebody will make some money off of this--but, at that point, we didn't care. At least we got something back.

Then Erica suggested that instead of me getting back my money that I put it toward my outstanding bill--which I agreed to do. I had asked her when we first arrived yesterday if she could figure out how much I still owed them. (I just make monthly payments). Even putting my refund towards the bill--I still will be paying them for many months, even if I stopped right now.

We told Erica that we were both going to try to come in once a month and see how that works. I go back Monday for the results of the assessment. Dagan will give me a ride and there is supposed to be a refund check for Leah that Dagan can pick up by then.

After Leah and I left the chiroprator we stopped at SunMart for a few groceries. I walked with her and was hoping to walk out some of the lower back pain. Didn't work. I couldn't stand very long to help them cook when we got to their place--Dagan and Leah made eggs benedict for dinner with holandaise sauce made from scratch!!

I wasn't up to painting--again. Dagan and Leah have been so busy--committments every single day--that they suggested we take a break for a while. I was all for it. I need to have a while to recouperate--no chiro, no appointments at all. I need to rest up and get in better shape for the wedding (my nephew) in Mpls in October--which is coming up rapidly!

So, Leah worked on her email to Renae from Shaklee. I worked on mine after I got home--in time segments, of course, until I got done. We told Renae everything we could find that was wrong or that we had questions about.

I was so uncomfortable still last night that I had to keep moving around from here to there. A few times I sat at the table some more and played with the WC painting again. I can work on one petal at a time, so I can stop and start without any problems with this flower. I am not lasting in any position for more than 20-30 minutes at a time--even in my chair--the place I am usually the most comfortable--where I can usually last up to 2 hours at a time on average days--that is moulded to the shape of my behind--I could only last 30-45minutes in my chair without having to get up and stretch and bend and make vain attempts to alter this nagging uncomfortable soreness. Today is a little better than yesterday. So things should improve over the next couple days, I hope.

Anyways, I don't always paint things exactly as they appear. I tend to add more color. Love color! And I had the perfect excuse--I shouldn't have penciled lines on the petals--so I went darker to cover that up more. I still have a few more layers to go--try to put creases in the petals and darken up the center. Haven't totally ruined it yet! That's a good sign--hehe! :)

I finished Duane's book Jubal Sackett and just started The Grapes of Wrath--(one chapter so far)--which should be wonderful--I loved the movie!

I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle:

Sometimes, it takes a strange night to put everything into focus. That's what happens to Harold (John Cho), a Korean-American banker, and his roommate, Kumar (Kal Penn), an Indian-American med school student. Both men are at a crossroads in life, about to make major decisions that will affect the course of their future. They arrive at wisdom by accident as they drive around their New Jersey city to find the best stoner fix: White Castle burgers.

I couldn't resist the title. It is a stoner movie, as I expected--young guys looking for grass, girls, and good times. But it was funnier than I expected. It is kind of over the top and silly--with repeated bizarre circumstances happening to them all night long, of course. Looked like they probably had a blast making the movie. "Doogie Howser", Neil Patrick Harris, has a cameo as "himself"--a self-centered, stoner, womanizer---which probably had more shock value in comparison to his role on Doogie Houser BEFORE he got the role on "How I Met Your Mother" where he plays a character every week more like this arrogant, wolfish guy in the movie. Chuckle!

I also watched The Invisible Circus:

Phoebe O'Connor's California dreamin' days are done. Lost and confused in post-free love San Francisco, this headstrong flower child (played by Jordana Brewster) decides to unravel the mystery of her sister's (Cameron Diaz) suicide in Europe. In her desperate search for answers, Phoebe is forced to face the past, as well as disturbing truths about her own future. Based on Jennifer Egan's best-selling novel.

Was okay. Being as I lived thru the time period, I guess it didn't seem very real for some reason to me. I am not sure if it was the clothes, hair, or what--but I'd be watching it and forget that it was supposed to be like the late 60s and early 70s and be thinking it was a modern day movie. That happened to me a couple of times. Can't really put my finger on why--but they seemed to miss the atmosphere of the 60s they were trying to capture--the "we can change the world" hippies and radicals. And all of the unraveling of the mystery of her sister's suicide--just consisted of the sister's ex-boyfriend slowly telling her the truth. So, if you're looking for a mystery movie where pieces are being put together or a 60s atmosphere movie--don't look here.

Today I am finally going to be able to continue reading for the online classes. Now that I will be home and left alone to heal and rest--hehe!--I should be able to catch up and get my next two lessons done by Sunday. I am pretty darn tired, tho. Renae called this morning at 11am--and I had just gotten to sleep at 7am. I might need a nap. Maybe when I've been on Shaklee for a while I might get back to my normal night hours and be able to get to bed at 1-3am again instead of 6-7am. I hope so. Darn menopause!! Chuckle! Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Was very frustrating yesterday. Found out that Apex Energetics is now telling us that they are going to charge 20% reshelving fee instead of 12%. I told her that they say 12% on their website, so that is not right and she should argue that point. Then--the other company--Standard Process, which is a company that you can only get thru professionals like the chiropractors--Erica said they won't take back the unopened bottles because we took them out of the boxes they came in! Standard Process charges 25% reshelving fee, she said. I checked online when I got home and on their website it says 20%. So, even sealed and unopened we cannot return anything to Standard Process because we removed them from the little boxes they came in. Good grief! Am I ever glad to be shed of both these companies! Shaklee has 100% guarantee on their products!!

I started taking the Shaklee products yesterday and did not get the terrible stomach pains I had the first three days with the other two companies! A lot of the products are for the same type of thing--digestion, malabsorption, etc--so it is not like I am taking completely different types of supplements. I am being cautious and only taking one of each to start with, but I had no bad reactions at all so far. Just not having stomach cramps or diarrhea--I am happy already! :):) We'll see how the next week or so goes.

Tomorrow Leah and I go in to Dr. Mike. We decided to take back everything that cannot be returned.

1. We can use them experimentally for comparisons with the Shaklee--like to use them for the oven comparison test--sure don't want to actually ingest them!!
2. We don't want either the Standard Process company or the chiro to be able to turn around and resell those sealed, unopened ones for full price again.

Now, the neck thing and the migraine headache--Dr. Mike actually had an explanation, or a good guess, for the neck swelling. He said if I had inflammation where it really hurt on the right side of the base of my skull that his technique could have irritated it further--and since the pain was in a spot from where the nerves travel down my neck, that could have maybe caused the swelling. First person to have an idea , anyways, eh? He didn't do any neck adjustments on Monday and said he'd stay away from the headache treatment. :)

I have the assessment on Wednesday. Leah and I are going over to their place after Dr. Mike to go over all the mistakes on the Shaklee order and hopefully to paint a little, too. I can discuss with Leah how often she wants to go in a month--for sure--so I can tell Erica next Monday. We had thought maybe once a month. I need to drop way back--just can't afford to keep up that monthly payment forever. I am seriously thinking once a month. If I start feeling terrible--I can go back sooner. I'll see how Leah feels about it. In fact, she is stopping by in a little while to pick up her Shaklee order that came today--but I don't know if she is just going to be in and out or what. Poor baby! She has been home the past two days from work--flu--but she said she's feeling a little better today.

Meanwhile--the red betta is still alive on the bottom of the bowl. Years ago Dagan named one of my betta's Bubbles. At the time I had my African Grey, Gabriel, and he associated the fish bowl with "Bubbles"--so every betta after that was appropriately named. Gabriel called them all Bubbles, anyways. These two are either Bubbles the 10th and 11th or Bubbles the 11th and 12th--we have lost count. I suppose I'll have to pick--make a decision. Been putting it off since I bought the second one--the blue one. Silly to keep doing that after Gabriel's not around any more--but we do...just to remind us of Gabriel...who I still miss!

Leah's here, so I will go--more next time.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I got caught up with the online classes yesterday. I need to do two lessons a week to keep abreast of it all. I am just lurking in the Fiction class and have no desire to actually write anything, since I am not as interested in writing fiction as I am reading it--hehe! They do discuss the stories we have read, tho, and the stories are good, plus it is interesting to read all the different opinions. But--there were close to 300 introductions for both classes. In the first lesson in Memoir there were almost 200 posts to read and in Fiction there was 836!!! Took me all weekend, little by little, just to quickly skim along and make it thru lessons one and two. Whew! Now I am reading the assignments for lesson three in both classes. I am participating in the Memoir class and have posted my responses to the appropriate class questions.

I am waiting to see if the UPS man comes with the Shaklee order today. Leah's order hasn't even shown up on her personal website. But, there's an odd place on mine where I think her amount shows up as distributor points. ?? I think we have them really confused because she is using my address as her shipping address, of course. I think that has really messed up our order. We can only find out what needs to be done after we see what arrives. She's been charged for everything--so it is possible that both orders might arrive. Just have to wait and see.

I just hope they don't come after 5pm. Dagan is coming to take me to Dr. Mike's. And I have to tell Dr. Mike how badly I reacted to the anti-headache technique--hehe! It isn't his fault, really--my crazy body--but he will be learning something with my reaction, I'm sure. I doubt he'll be happy about it. We are going to pass on that technique for me in the future, that's for sure.

I am supposed to get the spinal re-evaluation on Wednesday, I think? Or maybe today--I can't remember. Anyways, I am going to tell him after I get the results (subsequent visit) that I am only planning on going once a month or maybe sooner if I feel I need to come in. I need to pay off the outstanding bill I have over there. And I haven't noticed that it does much more than it did in the first month or so--and I have gone down from three times a week to two times--and have only gone one a week several times due to IBS, holidays, etc--and didn't notice feeling any worse when I went less often? Going to a chiroprator does help keep my severe tailbone pain in check and keeps my shoulders a little less tight--but I don't think I need to go once a week even to keep that in line. We'll see if I drop way back from the twice I week I am going now. Might have to make it twice a month--time will tell. I know I need to keep going, but just have to find out what is the least amount of visits I can make in a month and feel about the same and not get worse.

Well, we ended up not having Sacred Circle last night. First Leah called and said that Dagan wanted to finish watching the football game before they came over. I tried to call Jennifer and left her a message that it would be later. Jennifer showed up at 5pm, like we had originally planned--her phone battery had died, so she never got the message. But that was okay because I hardly ever get to see her anymore. She's been so busy working two jobs and has been putting in more hours since her promotion. I'm afraid I talked her ear off! :) Pretty soon she will have the Internet at home and then we can email again.

Jennifer had to leave early--like 7:30pm--and Dagan and Leah didn't get here until almost 7pm. Leah brought home made apple crisp and some vanilla ice cream! We had our treat--and then Jennifer had to leave. Leah wanted to go home early, too. She is trying to get to bed earlier since she has been so tired at work. So, Dagan and Leah hung around for a little while and then went off home.

I was disappointed. Had been looking forward to Sacred Circle. And Dagan and Leah are out of town visiting her sister and brother-in-law next weekend--so we just decided to skip this month entirely and just meet as usual, first Sunday in October. I was too tired last night--but I want to do my own thing by myself one night here soon. Probably not tonight. I woke up early and got less sleep. Having a pain dream that involved a rapist and being sliced with a knife--couldn't get back to sleep after that. Not that I am afriad in the dreams when they are pain dreams (where I incorporate my pain into the dreams)--but when I tried to lay back down I started thinking about when I was actually raped in this life back in 1968 and it was creeping me out. So, I started out the day with many less spoons--hehe!

I'll wait and see how I feel later tonight after Dr. Mike's and everything. The trips out of the house are normally tiring for me. I want to do my own buring bowl ceremony and prayers for people and maybe some angel cards and a mediation tape/DVD. Tonight or tomorrow night?

I have two betta bowls--one red betta and one turquoise/blue betta. The red betta has been dying for several days. When they get old they get very weak sometimes. This guy has had a hard time making it to the top of the bowl and has been just lying around on the bottom for days. Won't be long. The blue one is fine and fiesty--he's in the smaller, 1-gallon bowl. He'll be able to graduate to the 2-gallon bowl again when the red one dies--(I have switched them every so often to be fair). I will combine all the live plants into the one larger bowl and not get a replacement for a while. In the meantime, I don't want to disturb the poor dying betta and put him thru cleaning and switching him over to the smaller bowl right now--even if he'd have an easier time getting to the top of the bowl for food. He's not eating much these days anyways and I wanted to give him quiet, peaceful last days.

It is the anniversary of 9/11 today. Lots about that on TV--over the weekend, too. The events and the aftermath--all of it is a shame and so sad to me. Could have been handled so differently. As a country we lost a great opportunity--could have united people instead of separated them--could have promoted healing instead of hate and self-interest. That is in my humble opinion, anyways. I don't think we will ever regain what we lost in the eyes of the world.

UPS is here and coming up! Be back--

Just what we were afraid of--just my order came and not Leah's. Got to go--have to call our lady from Shaklee and find out what the heck is going on...

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I had guessed that it dropped into the 40's night before last--it was down to 38 degrees! Last night was warmer, I think--they predicted 44 degrees. This is unseasonably cold weather.

Yesterday I drank a lot of coffee and that was helping the headache quite a bit, but it also had me wide awake longer than I had wished. But since, in this usually quiet building, there was pounding music from 2:30-4:20am below me somewhere that vibrated the floor even tho I couldn't hear it distinctly--it was probably a good thing I had that caffine coursing thru my veins. I finished reading the assignment for the memoir class after all--at 5:30am.

I spent over three hours on the phone with my friend, Bonnie, from Hibbing last night. Worked on emails little by little until I got caught up--tada! Read Poets & Writers Magazine--inbetween short stints at the computer--article by article. And, of course, the television kept me company in the background.

Leah discovered how she could access her Shaklee personal website yesterday from the Shaklee home site and emailed me the instructions. I finally reached mine, too. They had all kinds of problems with their computers at the end of August, orders were messed up, and Leah and I still hadn't even received our confirmation emails yet. It does say on our personal sites that our orders have been shipped and are supposed to arrive on Monday! I hope that is correct.

Tomorrow is Sacred Circle--postponed from the first Sunday. I have several people I want to pray for and send healing energy! My God Jar is full! I feel overdue for some connecting time.

Oh--our "God Jars".....thru the course of the month we write down on little pieces of paper areas we need help with, things we are grateful for, wishes, prayers... and then we have a Burning Bowl Ceremony at Sacred Circle. One by one we privately, silently, read our little pieces of paper and then light them on a candle and place them in the copper burning bowl in the center of the table--and those thoughts, requests, and prayers are sent up in the smoke to the Universe. It's just a nice little part of our Sacred Circle that we enjoy. A little bit of private ceremony--shared. :)

The other ceremonial thing we always do at the beginning is pass the "talking piece'. The person in charge of Sacred Circle can choose what they want to use as the talking piece--a crystal or some kind of stone is what we usually use. Just something small enough to be held in your hand as you speak. No one else can speak--only the person who holds the talking piece. They can talk about what they have been going thru, thinking about, having problems with, successes, joys, whatever has been going on the past month since we last met--but with a spiritual overview. What is said in Sacred Circle stays in Sacred Circle. It is a place where each of us feels safe to be honest and open--and we know that we all have the best spiritual interests in mind for each other.

Whatever else is done at Sacred Circle, besides those two things, is up to the person in charge for the month. The Burning Bowl Ceremony can be done at any time during the meeting. Talking Piece is always first. It is my turn this month. :)

After a break, I am heading to my online classes now that I finally finished the long chapter. Oh--and I don't have the splitting headache today! Hallelujah!! :)

Friday, September 08, 2006


What a last couple of days! After the neck swelling Wednesday, I woke up with a terrible headache Thursday and have had it ever since. One of my really bad ones in my right forehead that lasts 2-3 days. I am on day two--relief is soon on the way. This is the first time I have ever wondered if the neck swelling and the headaches might be related? It's the first time I noticed that there's also a weird feeling up the back of my head on the right side along with the headache. Normally the pain in the forehead is the only thing I notice, of course, since it rather dominates my attention. The swelling in my neck goes up into my jaw and behind my ear--to the base of the skulll. Hummm??? Oh well, whatever it is, I have been living with it for many years. I suppose it could have something to do with my ram-rod straight bones in my neck from all the years of stress? Could be pinching nerves? Right now--I don't really care why. Just waiting for it to subside. I have had four separate hours of sleep since I woke up Thursday--and that was with the help of an Aleeve, two Bufferin, and two pain pills.

Besides that little annoyance--I have still been trying to read my assignments for the online classes. I am caught up with the fiction class, but the second chapter of the memoir book we were assigned to read is over 120 pages! Not easy to do with a splitting headache. Being the stubborn Swede that I am, I have been reading little by little and have read more than half. I am hoping to finish today so that I can go online tomorrow for both the classes and check in. I am not up to reading all the posts today, either--but hopefully tomorrow. I have just about used up my spoons for the day already. :)

Karma and Gracie are exhausted today, too. I have slept so little--and, therefore, neither have they. That makes Gracie very edgy and she has to squawk every time I move (great for a headache-chuckle!). She just needs to see where I am every second and talk to me a lot when she's ill at ease. I have to keep talking to her and telling her she is just fine. Silly girl! Animals really are tuned in to how you feel emotionally. I think Gracie can tell I haven't been feeling well the last couple of days and it makes her want to talk to me more. (She does that when I am talking and/or excited, too, but then it's because she wants to join in the conversation and fun.) Karma, on the other hand, has wanted to be lying quietly purring on my chest half the time the last couple days. Way more than she ever would be. Wanting to console me---or (since it has cooled down considerably up here in the North country and I love the windows open) is she trying to warm up! I was just chuckling out loud--you can guess my answer!! :)

I know you don't know if I am gone, but I have been away several times because I can only sit here a short time with the headache. I have watered my plants, done some stretching, have a fresh pot of coffee brewing (sometimes caffine helps alleviate the headaches a bit), talked a while with Miss Gracie to calm her fears, checked my mail (no Netflix today--where are they when I need them--hehe!), and spent a little time with Karma on the porch looking for bugs on the screen.

It's a beautiful day. The temps have dropped into the 60s during the day up here. Believe it or not, there's a frost advisory out for tonight! I think my plants on the porch will be as okay as they can be, I guess. Neither of them took as well to being outside as I thought they would. Maybe the spider likes it the best, I guess. I don't think they are crazy about the wind. It's an aquired taste.

Karma's now draped across the arm of the chair watching the kids playing outside. I can hear them running and shouting to each other. Probably have to keep moving to stay warm--hehe! I don't have the livingroom windows open today for the first time. Must be too cold for Karma to sit on the porch for long, either, for her to come inside to watch from behind the windowpane. It got so cold in here last night that I actually had to turn off the bedroom fan and shut all the windows and the porch door. It was so quiet in the middle of the night without the bedroom turbo fan--almost stunning! I wonder how low it got last night? I never checked, but it felt like it might have even dipped into the 40's?? Too early for it to be this cold. What crazy weather! I still prefer this to the heat, tho--any day!!

Well, it is 6:30pm now. I guess I am going to throw on a sweatshirt and go sit outside--drink hot coffee and read for a few minutes at a time. Try to finish the long, long chapter. :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Leah and I went to Dr. Mike for adjustments today. He takes more time and does things a little differently than Dr. John. This was Leah's first adjustment with Dr. Mike. For headaches he had us lie on our back and held our head while he put pressure on spots at the base of the skull. Leah gets headaches quite a bit and I have had them regularly since getting fibro.

Oddly, later after I got home tonight I noticed that the left side of my neck had swollen up and hurt all the way up into my jaw. I remember years ago, before I was diagnosed with fibro, having this same side of my neck swell up like this, going into the doctor, and he couldn't find anything wrong. Eventually it went away. A couple months later it happened again, I tried the dentist, and he couldn't find anything wrong. Eventually it went away. And we are talking really obviously swollen and readily visible. So, tonight I just massaged it off and on and tried to think about sending some Healing Touch energy into it. It is already going down a bit.

I had the feeling that it was connected to the pressure he put on the base of my skull, for some reason? I've been bending my head forward, too, and massaging the base of my skull and all around on the back of my neck. How strange! There has never been an explanation for the odd sensations and occasional swelling on that side of my neck. Apparently it is getting better. Hope it is gone by the time I get up tomorrow.

After seeing Dr. Mike, Leah took me over to Sam's Club so I could buy some cheap pure vanilla and we looked at the cat supplies they have there. I got 40 lbs. of Fresh Step cat litter and a box of Fancy Feast canned cat foods (fish flavors for finicky Karma). Then we went to PetSmart. Spent the rest of my money--big surprise! hehe! These last few months I have been cutting back on food for me, Karma, and Gracie--and the time had come this month to stock up again. I spent extra on me for food, too, this month. Gracie kind of got the shaft, tho. Cheaper bird seed for her and only one package of treat sticks. Next month I will concentrate on the fish and Gracie Girl, but this month--Miss Karma made out like a bandit! She has good dry foods, catnip, two boxes of canned foods (fish flavored), lots of treats (fish flavored), and a couple of cheap toys I can tie on the end of her favorite cat pole toys.

Oh--and we found seeds I can plant for cat grass for Karma, too. Last summer I bought some cheap colorful small tin planters that have been over at Leah's ever since. We were going to plant catnip, cat grass, etc. Never have remembered to do it. So, Leah is going to mix up some dirt and vermiculite for me and I am planting them for Karma.

The 40 lb container of kitty litter was so tall it didn't fit on the floor under the shelves in the pantry. I had kept the old container I had just emptied. So, I used a plastic 4-cup measuring cup and moved the litter into the smaller container and filled it way up to the top--then slid it into the pantry and poured the rest into the cat box. I may not be able to lift much--but I am good at problem solving! hehe!

That exhausted me. Rested and watched a DVD--The Iceman Interviews:

Forensic psychologist Dr. Park Dietz gets into the mind of the notorious killer known simply as the Iceman. This disc features Dietz's previous and recent conversations with the Mafia hit man himself (aka Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski), who confessed on camera to numerous killings. His horrific deeds landed him a sentence of 60 years; another 30 years were added concurrently for the murder of police officer Peter Calabro.

It was a series of three different HBO specials on this man, Richard Kuklinski. I suppose with watching The Sopranos lately (I have the beginning of season 4 coming tomorrow), I was curious about a real life hit man. I thought it was very sad--especially the third part where Richard was talking with a psychiatrist. His father was a cruel, cold-blooded man who beat them regularly for no reason and his mother was cold and beat him with broom handles, too. (His brother raped and killed a 12 year old girl and was in the same prison--also for life--but they rarely spoke even in passing.) They probably inherited the psycopathic personality disorders--and the constant beatings made Richard also paranoid, extremely defensive, and cruel. The only positive emotion he felt was for his wife and kids (who never knew anything about what he did), and he'd lost them when he was arrested. He had nothing. Hate was the only thing that kept him moving one foot in front of the other, he said--or life wouldn't be worth living. He said something like, "I am the lonliest man--I have nothing." And the psychiatrist said that is all he had when he started out as a kid--hate. Richard said, "well then, I've come full circle. Time to die." It was so very sad.

I watch things like that--and I think--there but for the grace of God... Which parents, which genes, what kind of life, how do you react to survive, what choices do you make.... until you have walked in another's shoes... my heart breaks for that little boy whose father and mother beat him and the only way he felt power was to throw cats into the apartment furnace and kick dogs off the roof of the building. The pain of it... so, he shut himself away from the pain and refused to feel anything but the hate of his life. What a horrible choice. But, I could understand how it could happen. And he grew up and used his violence and hatred to make money and earn position and power--killer for hire. In an odd way he eventually channeled his tendencies into an "acceptable" occupation in those circles. Before that, he was just randomly killing people for pissing him off--not that he didn't do that after it became his job, but much less often. What an angry life to live--drowning, choking in hate. I thank God, GA, and all my guides and angels that I have made it thru many circumstances in my life where I could have chosen anger and hate, but I made the choice to fight against that taking over my life and to keep aiming for love and forgiveness. Good grief! I am crying...

Anyways...well, I haven't made it back to my online classes yet today. But as of last night there were 145 introductions in the memoir class and 187 in the fiction class--in one day!! I have loved the stories we've been assigned to read so far. I wrote down the next reading assignments and will go online when I have finished them--probably tomorrow. For the memoir class I also had to ask several people I know what they thought the most interesting aspect or part of my life is to them--so I sent out an email. It has been very interesting to read what people have had to say about that. I thank everybody who has taken the time to answer. It really means a lot to me and will help me to decide where to start--has given me an overview, insights, and several stories I need to write about! :):) **Big hugs**

Timer went off--hopefully more tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Yesterday Leah and her friend, Robyn, came over to look at beads and beading catalogs. Robyn is thinking of having Leah make beaded lanyards for the ladies where she works--for their name tags when they go to seminars and such. Robyn decided to ask the ladies at work at their next meeting in two weeks if they would like them or not. She has an idea about price and looks now, anyways.

I made soup yesterday! Nappa cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic in chicken stock. Yummy! Always tastes better the next day, too. :)

Caroline called this morning and was home sick with the flu, so she will come to clean next Tuesday instead. Poor thing! She sounded weak--had been throwing up. I told her to take care of herself and get well. I hope she doesn't miss too many classes. I remember the trying to catch up all too well.

I spent the day on the porch--reading. Finished Arctic Dreams, which bogged a bit on the last third, but was quite an interesting book on the whole. Then I read the assignments for both the B&N online classes that started today. I went online last night just to peek and nobody had started on the holiday. I wrote the reading assignments down to do today and now am heading there to see what's next--and to read all the introductions and see if there's anybody from Minnesota or North Dakota. Usually there are so many people in the classes that the first week or so there are sometimes hundreds of people introducing themselves and chatty. The volume of posts usually begins to dwindle a little after a couple of weeks--but it is interesting to see where everybody is from and to read their various impressions and concepts about the stories we read. And I have never been in an online writing class, so these should be interesting when people post some of what they have written! Almost be like being back in writing classes at college! hehe!

Another beautiful day!! I do so love the fall weather!! :)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Another stage. I am not sure what I am doing. Experiementing and trying some new techniques on the center of the flower. This could go badly quickly--hehe! Oh well. Then I would start another one. :) I am learning by my mistakes. I already wish I hadn't sketched inside the petals. Duh!
I bought two tablets of watercolor paper on sale at Hobby Lobby and just traced the enlarged B&W photos of a bunch of wildflowers onto the sheets. Then I made a smaller color copy for me to follow while I paint. I figured it was a cheap way to practice and practice until I got the hang of it. I have a few books and went to a couple of adult classes--and now am learning on my own by trial and error.
Tomorrow I start the free writing classes with Barnes & Noble Online University. That will use up a lot of spoons--hehe! So, don't be surprised if I write a little less/less often. The classes only last about five weeks. I am hoping it will get me going on the writing again this fall/winter.
Beautiful sunny day this afternoon and supposed to stay like this for a few days. Nice to have the windows and porch open again! I slept thirteen hours last night and only woke up twice!! Goes to show you how exhausted I still am from the being sick for weeks from those supplements. I am feeling better and better every day now.
I guess Shaklee had such an influx of orders at the end of the month (trying to make the August specials) that the computers went down and they have some of the orders screwed up. So, not sure we will get them this coming week. Might be the following week. It will be soon, tho. :)
Keep smiling!!