My favorite folks ! :)

31 October 2009

Fighting colds & flu

Dear friend Rosemary was ill recently. I offered to recommend some natural remedies & she indicated she was interested.

I thought i already had it compiled in as easy form, but when i went looking for it i couldn't locate it. But i want to have this readily available for myself & anyone else who is interested. I emailed my group of girlfriends & we came up with a partial list. Also, going to reference resources i use when trying to locate info.

To start, i have two that i utilize a lot.

The first (& i believe most important) is Vitamin D3. It has been found that most children in this country are deficient in Vitamin D3. When blood tests are run on individuals who are ill, it is found that no matter what the illness Vitamin D3 levels are almost deficient. This is largely because we don't spend much time outdoors anymore & are slathering ourselves with sunscreen. This is a whole different discussion i'll leave for another time.

Two sources are a good start for info on this. Dr. Mercola has a great deal of info on Vitamin D3. And Andrew Saul has written on it as well. (Andrew Saul is also a big proponent of Vitamin C & his website has lots of info on dosing with Vitamin C.) If you listen to mainstream media & conventional doctors they will tell you that because Vitamin D3 is fat-soluble, it is "easy" to take too much & overdose or become toxic from this vitamin. Andrew Saul has also quite a bit of info on his website on this, so i'll only link to this one on the number of deaths attributable to vitamins. In a nutshell, the most "dangerous" of vitamins is much safer than the most innocuous pharmaceutical. (Iron, a mineral not a vitamin, is probably the supplement which causes the most problems & has most of the overdoses.)

Here is another article on Vitamin D3: Hospitals are a hell of a place to get sick. I don't know about the rest of his blog, i just ran across this, but i found this article accurate of the way hospitals do things.

The second i utilize the most is Manuka honey. Manuka honey is utilized in hospitals in New Zealand, Australia, & the U.K. for wound care as it kills MRSA. I have read that it has been approved by the FDA for use in the U.S., but i have not heard if it is being utilized yet. As far as sore throats, most raw, local honey will also work, but i find Manuka is even more effective. What is more, most honey currently sold in supermarkets is no longer honey such as our ancestors used. Most of the large producers of honey these days take most of the honey the bees made naturally & winter them on high fructose corn syrup. This changes the composition of the honey. It is better to search out raw honey from local producers. It isn't easy to find "organic" honey as the bees travel a distance to the plants they utilize. Organic in honey is fine if you can find it, but it is best to find local, non-commercially raised bees.

Other supplements i keep on hand & use are: Quercetin (good for inflammation & allergies), colloidal silver (natural antibiotic, tho this is hotly debated), tart cherries/juice (good for inflammation & pain), coltsfoot (cough remedy), oil of oregano (builds immune system & good for the respiratory tract), grapefruit seed extract (builds immune system & helps alkalize the body).

Other recommendations (in no particular order) from my girlfriend group included: Sambucol, L-Lysine,
vitamin C, & Oscillococcinum (marketed by Boiron as Oscillo, the homeopathic remedy "reduces the severity and duration of flu symptoms"), echinacea, elderberry, raw garlic. I've also heard that onions are good. Also zinc & cutting out sugar is vital. This is another blog i follow - Health Begins with Mom & her recommendations, or at least the protocol she followed recently when her son had the flu.

I've just found Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy. This website has a number of different ailments listed but i've linked directly to the Colds/Flu page.

This is Dr. Mercola's Flu update page.

Another excellent resource is the forum at Hawke's Health. This is a forum where folks can post articles & info about natural health. The resources listed are astounding. A number of different categories are listed. Or a member can post a question & get responses from other members. Unfortunately, you won't be able to reach HH today as their bandwidth is exceded. However, i've been told it should be back up as of tomorrow (the 1st of the month).

When i had a cold recently what i relied on most was the Manuka honey, colloidal silver, green tea &/or lemon, large doses of Vitamin D3. I later added the anti-viral herbs provided by the acupuncture doc. And, i rested - A LOT !

Hope this is helpful. If anyone has any questions or additional suggestions i'd love to hear it. :) Here is to wellness thru this coming winter.


30 October 2009

Dreaming . . . & Discouraged

(I'm sleeping again, thank God, but it will be a while before i catch up.)

DIY Network is having "a chance to win 100,000 in cash" to create the kitchen/bath "you've always dreamed of!" You can enter once a day from now until 20 November.

Shoot, with $100,000 in cash we could do much more than just a kitchen or bath. We could remodel the upstairs bath so it will be a full bath. AND we could add on to the back of the house so that we'd have a full master suite upstairs (with a full bath & closet! our room currently has no closet) AND under that expansion build a complete kitchen.

It is only a dream, of course. And, with no children in this house it isn't really necessary. If we ever have kids it would be a good thing to have, that extra room. And if this sounds like i'm not content, far from it! We both love Sugarbear, tho we'd really like to have a full bath upstairs. We do plan to expand the upstairs bath eventually. We can probably do it for between $5,000 -8,000 'cause i don't need top of the line, expensive, contemporary things. Just the very basics. We might even be able to do it cheaper. And the labor, of course, will be Duane & me & volunteers. (Don't know if we'll have any, except deconstruct! Folks seem to like that.)

A couple of weeks ago i read on a Chronic Fatigue forum where a doc was recommending pacing yourself. Sounds good, right? His recommendation was 10 minutes up doing things & 15 minutes lying flat/resting to recover. That discouraged me quite a bit. Ten minutes up usually only gives me time to start something. I don't want to start something & then have to take a 15 minute rest. The whole idea is antithetical to the way i work.

So, for a while i didn't do much of anything at all. Of course, last week i was recovering from a cold.

I don't think i'm that limited. I think i could manage 45 minutes or an hour up with half an hour rest. But to make myself do it, i'll be living by timers for a while.

I've mentioned Sara Frankl (who goes by Gitz) quite often. Part of the reason is she is the only blog i read of someone more disabled than i. (Most of the blogs i read are folks who are very busy & active.) I've mentioned before that a number of the comments call her "inspirational." And she is, but i don't really like that term. It has a tinge of saying someone is . . . i don't know, beyond human. Sara is very human, but she handles her limitations & disability with much grace, & that does inspire awe within me. I struggle with it so very much. I feel sorry for myself far too often, tho i do fight that tendency. Her post today on Goals resonated with me quite a lot.

She spoke of limitations & feelings to which i can relate. Particularly about not knowing from one day to another how she will be feeling & having trouble making commitments. Also feeling like she was undependable/irresponsible if she were unable to carry thru. I do so relate to these feelings. These days Sara is home bound & unable to go out at all.

I'm feeling unreliable for committing to doing massages. I often do not know from one day to the next if i will be well enough to do a massage that requires me to take equipment (called "out call"). For the past 2 weeks i have turned down massage from Daniel (he owns "Mountain Mobile Massage") as i knew i would not be well enough to work. But often i commit to work & then struggle to do it.

The work i did a few weeks ago where i carried my own equipment was quite a wake up call. I used to do that, & on a fairly frequent basis. I had a friend where i was doing massage in her home usually about twice a month & i carried all that equipment back & forth. Duane would occasionally load the car for me, but usually i did it myself. And didn't really give it a second thought. Now, Duane almost always goes with me to carry the equipment, & when he didn't go with me recently i find that it is unthinkable that i do it myself. I can't.

I don't know why it is that i can work in my office for a few hours a week anyway, but that going on out calls, even if i don't carry the equipment, wears me out so. I honestly think it is largely psychological, but i don't know how to get over it.

Sara's post yesterday (i think it was called Crazy Love) was inspirational, & yet it disturbed me at some level, as well. It may be that i did not read what she actually wrote or intended, but it was colored by my biases & preconceptions. I honor & revere Sara a great deal for the faith she has in God & managing her multitude of medical issues & restrictions. (She can no longer open a window or go out of doors! I would find that so very hard.) But i also have some trouble with the frequent Christian admonition that you have to give up everything - including all personality - to truly belong to God. There are parts of that that i can accept, but other parts that i just feel are wrong on so many levels.

I'm sure there are plenty of folks who will disagree with me. But come on! We were created with very individual personalities, talents, & gifts. From the earliest age this is apparent. Talk to any mama & she will tell you that her child showed unique personality traces from birth if not before. Talk to anyone who works with very small children or any mama who has had more than one & they will tell you how apparent it is early on that children are unique & individual.

Did John Locke have children? I think he couldn't have, or was not around them at a young age. Otherwise he would have known how ridiculous his Tabula Rasa theory is in reality. Did B.F. Skinner have children? (Oh, i see he did.) His focus on environment/nurture over nature was sadly lacking in the real world.

It seems to me that if God created us to be such individuals he would not call us to supress the very things that make us unique. I believe he uses individuality. And the Bible itself says we are not all called to be the eye or the ear, that a body needs many parts & functions.

Anyway, i've been struggling & discouraged by realiazing how much more limited i am than i was previously. And wondering where to go with this. But tomorrow is a new day & every day i have the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small.

This week my goal is to actually prepare meals for us, even if they are very simple & basic.

I was just laughing my head off a few minutes ago. We are out of suet for the birds currently. I'd just put out a mix of nuts/peanuts/sunflower seeds for the squirrels & a couple of jays wanted in. The squirrel chased them off over & over. If they landed on the railing he went after them. If they went in the tree he chased them there too. It was so funny, i wish i had a vid of it. Finally the squirrel took his nut elsewhere & the jays had a chance to get what they wanted.

The high today was 55F. There is still a large chunk of ice in the dish i have out for the squirrels & birds, but it has melted some.


28 October 2009

I am SO sleepy!

But i realized last night's insomnia may have been from caffeine.

Yesterday i had a fairly extreme migraine, mostly a result of that night's insomnia. (I've had about 6 hours of sleep in the past 60 hours.) Dr. Geske & i were
both busy so i didn't have him do an adjustment. When i finished with my last client at 7 PM i was sorely tempted to take meds for the migraine. (Except the recent trip to ER, i've not had meds since last December.) Instead, i stopped by the grocery with the intent of buying "Pepsi Natural" that has sugar & some other things but not all the nasties in regular Pepsi. The store didn't have it. (Most don't carry it.)

I ended up grabbing a Starbuck's Frappacino (12 oz) - without reading the label! - & downed that. Within about 20 minutes the headache was gone. Good thing 'cause we ended up watching an obnoxious show on TV with the ILs. But it has now occurred to me that since i'm not really used to caffeine, that might have caused my night of trouble.

Last night i tried & tried & tried to do what looked like a simple pattern for the 5th scarf. (No not done with #3 or #4 yet, but i've the yarn & felt like starting this one. I figure i'll leave it down the hill to work on when i'm in OC.) This yarn is a really soft bamboo/acrylic mix by "Spa" by Naturally Caron. The color is green sheen which is a pale green, not quite apple green & not quite lime, but something like that. This particular yarn would do well with a pattern. The ones i tried yesterday were a "baby cable" & a faux cable. I couldn't do either. Or rather, i could have done them, probably, but it felt unnatural & would take a lot of time. Four or 5 times i did cast on & knitted about 6 rows of 40 stitches, took them out & tried again.

I've decided to go with something i know. I'm doing a horseshoe pattern. It is a bit more lacey than i intended. And it has 8 repeating rows, 4 of which are counted. But it is full of YOs, SL1, K2TOG, & PSSOs, all of which i understand & can do easily. This will be much faster than the 4 repeating rows, only one of which was counted but i couldn't do it well. I'll delay learning cables & some of the other stitches until after i finish the Christmas gifts. Maybe sometime after Christmas i'll buy a chunky yarn & learn to do a chunky cable. I found several patterns of them. I now have about 30 patterns bookmarked. (Also videos of instruction of how to do them.) Here is the horseshoe pattern, 16 rows completed:

After all 5 sets of scarves & hats are finished i plan to buy the stuff for Sis #2. I found some silk/bamboo that is so very soft (& rather expensive) in a deep royal purple. (Sis loves purple & lavender.) I plan to do that set in a lovely lace pattern. But we will see how much i get done. I'm not going to let myself start that one until all the others ar
e finished.

Ok, speaking of lavender - i've a question. I see a physical therapist, Kim, about once a month to have CranioSacral work done (which is why i no longer have to have meds for migraines). She works outside of the realm in which most PTs work. She is very intuitive & i'm much impressed with her. I refer folks outside my ability to her.

Kim is very sweet & caring. But she is also professional - she doesn't "give away" things usually. However, recently i told her about the rash that was bothering me & she told me about this wonderful spray she uses on rashes. She ordered it for me & gave it to me, she was that excited to share it & help me. I used it a couple of times without reading the label (i know, i wasn't being vigilant). I reacted to it with a lot of discomfort. I finally read the label & learned that it has lavender in it. I'm somewhat allergic to lavender. I can
tolerate the scent - i sometimes use it in my practice - & it doesn't seem to bother my hands. But if i use it elsewhere on my skin i break out.

Now, my question - i only used it a time or two. I will not be able to use it because of the way i react. Kim is sure to ask about it when i next see her. Should i return it? It was a very gracious & generous gift & if i'm unable to use it in this context is it proper to return it to her? If not what should i do with it & what should i say to her?

Now, on to polite fiction. I finally fell asleep about 4.30 or 5 AM. At about 7.15 Duane, who had gone to sleep about 11, woke. He must have known i hadn't slept much last night. He tried, oh so quietly, to be up & dressed without waking me. When i opened my eyes he had left this note for me.

Should i have told him/should i tell him i was actually awake when he was being so sweet, or preserve the polite fiction that i didn't wake when he got up?

The other things i mentioned can wait until another day. I've scattered a couple of pics from our drive down the hill Tuesday. These were taken at the bottom of the hill, outside of Mentone - practically in flatland!


It's going to be another long day

I hate insomnia!

I'll probably sit around in a daze for most of the AM. Drooling. Not a pretty picture.

If my brain engages later i may write about:

Polite fiction. Lavendar/what to do? Gitz/Sara Frankl (or save the time & go there now). Friends/family. Feeling sorry for myself (but only if i can gain some perspective on it). Perceptions - weight. Oh, & i have some pics for "a study on Sugarloaf Mountain."

Now, if only i drank coffee!


27 October 2009

Becoming apathetic

Well, it wasn't a very long trip!

I woke up about 4.30 this AM & couldn't get back to sleep. So this is gonna be one looonnnng day!

It looks cold outside, but Ben's Weather tells me it is 48 & the low was 47 so looks are deceiving. Yesterday's low was 24, so we have a wide variance in temps.

When i can't get to sleep in the middle of the night everything looks black. Not just dark. LOL Flu, the rumor of flu & death. Friends & relationships. Conspiracy theories all seem to make sense. I'm crankier & more critical. (Someone i read occasionally recently spelled that "since" & it bugs me!) And i have a headache, which is typical when i don't sleep most of the night.

Then, well, i haven't the energy to maintain panic so i slip into apathy (wishing i could slip into sleep). But it is now 8 AM & this is the one day of the week i actually need to move in the AM. Murphy's Law, don'tchknow.

This was written (mostly) tongue in cheek.


26 October 2009

I reserve the right to retitle this later

I'm rather amazed & amused when other folks "apologize" for not having posted on their own blogs for a few days. I guess i used to do that in grade school in my diary, but i find it amusing now. Anyway, i haven't posted for a few days. I am feeling better tho i've spent large portions of each of the days in bed. But it has been worth it over all as not much cough has developed. That is my weak spot & i usually develop a nasty cough that can continue for weeks. Maybe, maybe i've missed that this time by resting so much.

I mentioned Sis #3 & i went picture hunting last week. I never went thru the pics
last week however. Here are a few. Sis took quite a few of these with our camera (she forgot hers).

These last two i've added just because of the blue sky. The upper left corner of the last one is the color of the Big Bear sky quite often.

We've had a glorious fall here. Nights are quite cool, but the days lovely & it has given us lots of time for the trees to turn. Sadly, now a week later much of this color is gone. The trees that were brilliant a week ago are now brown. The wind has blown most of the leaves into drifts on the ground. The trees in our yard/garden have lost most of their leaves.

It wasn't a very good idea for us to leave the apples on the tree so long. By the time i picked them most had been partially eaten by the birds. We need to trim the apple tree back & use a bird net next year. Saturday i picked most of the apples that were left. I found a few that were whole (& we shared those with neighbors). The rest i cut off the bad parts & cooked down. I also got some organic green apples from the health food market & added them. I ended up with probably 1/2 or 3/4 gallon of applesauce, which i took to church for fellowship.

Sunday was Reformation Sunday & it is a particularly big deal in our church 'cause our pastor venerates Luther. (Our pastor has a habit, one that Duane & i don't care for, where he often uses the same hymn twice in the service. Yesterday we did the hymn "A Mighty Fortress" FOUR times ! ! ! All four verses four times! Plus the words were used in the liturgy AND he used the music during communion. Over the top.)

Anyway, Pastor wanted a "German Meal" for fellowship. I had been scheduled to help that day & so i was told applesauce would be good. It turned out well, & the folks who tried it liked it a lot. However, another lady brought a vat of applesauce (like almost 3 times what i brought) & so 3/4s of mine was left. Had she not done that, mine would have been eaten. I've a problem (i get irritated) sometimes with our potlucks as there is always so much food that i end up taking a large portion of what i made home. This time i thought, "Well, if i'm the only one bringing applesauce, at least it will get eaten!" Best laid plans of mice & men. However, one of the other ladies liked what i made so much she took most of it home with her. Duane doesn't like applesauce. What i have left is just enough for me. :)

The men thought it was a great spread & suggested we do this every week which garnered glares from many of the ladies. Some of them spent all day Saturday preparing for this. Pastor said, "I told them to do it simply." To which i replied, "A German meal simple???" And, of course, a German meal meant either flour or meat in every dish, including the potato salad. So i had some apple cider & some of the applesauce. I'm apple-d out for a while.

This is Sis #3 & her Friend before he left last Sunday.

I called Sis yesterday & said that we missed them, what had happened, they didn't come up?

And she said, " ? ? ? "

"I thought this was going to be a weekly thing," i replied.

"Oh, i am sorry," she responded. "I am so, so very sorry . . . that you are so delusional."

Ah, well. It was worth a try.

BTW, Amrita, some parts of our country do use a train or transit system. I used the bus system in Orange County for a while when i didn't have a car. (But i have to say it was a pain. What would have been a 10 minute drive in a car was over an hour on the bus.) I've used the train to San Diego several times & it is quite a pleasant trip. No trains come to Big Bear, so it isn't an option for us most of the time. I think they should build a train/transit from Corona/San Bernardino into OC & LA. Too many folks on that freeway! But you are right, most Americans prefer to drive.

Friday night we went to see Food, Inc. It is a movie/documentary i think everyone in this country should see. It didn't have as much blood & guts as i imagined it would. But it covers a number of excellent points about our current system, most importantly that the way our food is currently produced is far removed from what most people know & understand. It only touches on why this is contributing to our current problems with obesity & chronic illness, but it is an important part. This movie also provides hope. It has some folks who are trying to raise healthy animals & do sustainable farming. But, i was a bit disappointed because i expected the film to be 50/50 bad stuff/hope. No, more like 70/30. But still a good film to see.

Having read Mercola & other health websites for several years, now, there was not much in the movie i didn't already know. Except the tie between illegal immigrant farm workers from Mexico & American corn subsidy - that was new to me. However, this movie put it all together very well. I consider it only a starting point to learn about these things, but i will be buying it when it comes out on DVD & sharing it with everyone who wants to see it.

I was raised on a small piece of land. My parents had 10 acres, but we raised a large garden & had dairy & beef cows, sheep, chickens, horses, & later goats. I read a number of blogs that are folks living that way (tho usually with more acreage.) I support the continuation of small farms. The problems with the food system listed in the movie above is one of the reasons i switched to (mostly) vegetarianism. But another is the fact that these animals have personality. Someone posted how the steer they are raising for beef likes attention. I can't imagine eating my cats. To me (& i know not for others) it is essentially the same thing. But i also try not to be rude to others who don't agree with my point of view.

I've more pics for another day. And i will take pics of the knitting soon. BTW, i found a wonderful blog for crafts of all kinds: The Purl Bee. Found several knitting patterns there, but also crochet, quilting, sewing, crafting with felt (saw some mitten ornaments i want to make this year) & a lot of other things, too. Another blog i follow informs me that Christmas is 60 days away (i didn't really need to know that!)


23 October 2009


Somehow, the cats seem to know when i've woken in the AM, even if my eyes are barely slitted & my brain doesn't yet function.

Mac joined me this AM & was kneading on the sheet over my arm. (His claws need to be trimmed!) I wasn't much awake & so just i was just lying there. After about 5 minutes he moved in & was staring in my face. "You have hands. PET ME ! ! ! "

I'm trying an experiment. I've someone in my life i
dearly love. I call her mom & i have since i was 18 years old. Think i've mentioned her before. We used to spend a lot of time on the phone visiting when i moved away. I mean, for years i had huge phone bills. Now that i've the cell phone where i don't pay per minute it seems we never talk anymore. In fact, i tried to reach her by phone for about 6 weeks & never once found her home. (Or answering the phone. I started wondering if she was avoiding me.)

She's one of those folks who will send on cutesy or religious or political email but never add even a "thinking of you; hope you're well" kind of note. She was sending me lots of these (especially rabidly political) about a year ago. She sent them open - everyone could see everyone else who was on her list. And she never removed previous forwards, either. They could arrive with a list of 200 or more email addresses in the body of the email. On a rare occasion i would pass one of these (cute or thoughtful, not political) on after cleaning them up. I'm not someone who passes things on, however, unless i think it is something very special.

Ok, here's 3rd rail, Rosemary: I don't like our current political process. I strongly believe that the media has hijacked the process & that had Ron Paul been given fair coverage in the media in the last election, he would have won. And, i wrote him in at that election, even tho i knew it
was a useless exercise. BOTH the candidates running for the major parties made me very nervous. I'm not an Obama supporter, but neither did i support McCain. And, to be honest, i think McCain made me more nervous. Nevertheless, i despise the ugly email i've gotten about Obama before the election & since he's been in office.

Last June i received one of these ugly email claiming that Obama had required all religious artifacts to be covered when he spoke at some organization that is religious-based. It was false, & ugly. Without thinking, i hit "reply all" when i countered this email. It went out to 33 folks, most of whom i don't know. I received a couple of responses & they were not pretty. One of them wanted to know how i "intercepted private email between friends." Honestly, it made my point since i didn't like my email being sent out open, & i don't like previous ones showing up in the body.

Since that time i rarely get these forwards, & i note they are clean & come blind. So, some progress has been made. I think mom is thinking more before she sends them out anyway, but i so miss the connection we had some years ago. And the last phone conversation we had about a month ago wasn't very pleasant either.

I wanted to point this out to her, but i didn't think it would come thru. So i set out an (a la "How to Win Friends & Influence People") email along the lines of what i'd like. I decided once a week for a month i'd send a letter like i'd want to receive. It was mostly pics of
Sugarbear & then our fall weather. The notes have been pretty short. It was "this is what we've been up to, how are you?" I've just sent the 3rd one, pics of our cats.

I have not received ONE WORD acknowledging the first two. I'm hurt & discouraged. I'm going to continue my month of going at it. But i'm wondering if next week, the final week in my trial, i should finish with some recognition/realization that she doesn't want to be friends, that she doesn't want to be my mom anymore. Not to be manipulative. Not to hurt her. Not to try to close doors. Just simply accepting, conceding that she doesn't want to be bothered.

I took these pics of Jazz a few days ago. He loves to sit on top of his cat pole (i made it!) getting white fur all over it & having us toss his toys up to him. He is quite good at batting them back.

The knitting is coming along well. I've not taken any more pics. The 1x1 blue twisted rib hat is done. It wasn't as big (long) as i wanted when i finished, so i picked up at the bottom & did about 5 more inches so that the hat has a cuff. And i followed directions from a book & did "invisible bind off." I like it. I'm not finished with the scarf yet.

The new pattern i got is a chevron pattern. I'd seen a scarf done like this at the yarn shop & i fell in love with it. They have lots & lots of free patterns there, as well as books you can buy. I inquired about where to get the pattern a few weeks ago & was informed the only way to get it was to purchase the yarn from which it was made. The problem is that it is a wool yarn & i'm allergic to wool. But when Sis #3 & i were there Saturday, i still loved the pattern & so bit the bullet & bought the yarn. The yarn i gave to Sis, but i kept the pattern. (I did buy 2 balls of yarn, only one required for the pattern, so if she wants it ethically i bought 2 patterns, she can have a copy.)

This pattern called for 33 cast on. I've only done yarn over increases before, which leave a hole & are used for lace patterns. This one is a different increase that i didn't understand, so i went online to try & find directions on how to do it. I learned there are a lot of different ways to increase. The directions only say: "Inc 1" & the first one i came across like that is actually knit two (front & back) into the same stitch. Only then i was 6 stitches short for the pattern. So, i re-cast with 39 stitches & am doing well. But i emailed the yarn shop & told them the problem. They replied that i'm not doing the increases properly, i'm suppose to be doing "Make 1."

The fact is i don't understand many of the increase directions. (Did i explain i'm a self-taught knitter?) So next time i'm there i will have to get them to show me. But my scarf is looking fine with its 39 stitches & my increase (which i have learned elsewhere is also called KFB for "knit front and back."). This increase does have very small holes, but nothing like ones with yarn over. I'm not sure how i'll do a hat from this pattern, however. It might end up looking like something an elf would wear (the zigzag edges of the chevron) but not something i imagine an 11 year old boy would care for. Since his favorite color is green & i found a "camouflage" yarn in black/brown/green, that is what he is getting. However, i was short 1 ball of yarn, & so bought a green that matches. I'm doing 6 rows of green to 14 rows of camouflage & i really like how it is turning out. Will take pics soon.


22 October 2009

Another week

A lot has been happening, & not so much.

I'm not very sick. I know i have been much more ill before in the past. Yet i'm very tired. And it rather hurts to breathe. I haven't been coughing much, but i can feel the stuff in my chest. I know that when the cough hits (& it always does as i damaged my lungs in the past) it is going to sound awful. I've not been suppressing any symptoms, but have been taking a number of supplements (Manuka honey, colloidal silver, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Calcium/Magnesium, Zinc, lemon in hot water, some herbal teas, a number of things) to help my body fight. The acupuncture doc gave me some herbs to use today, too. So, part of me is thinking i'm mostly fine, & another part only wants to snuggle into bed & not move.

And, i've not looked at a single blog i follow since Monday evening or Tuesday AM. Honestly, for me not to read the blogs i follow is unheard of. I'm not quite sure why. I miss them, yet . . . i don't know what is going on.

We have the issue with the Trooper to settle. In a nut shell, it didn't pass smog & in investigating it the guy found that someone removed one of the catalytic converters (this model is suppose to have two) & by passed it. I was surprised that hadn't been found before, but this guy said he had to look 3 times before he found the problem. It will cost us $500 plus labor to fix that. But he said he doesn't expect this vehicle to last much longer. He can see a number of problems. However, we don't drive it much. We've probably not put 1500 miles on it since we bought it 18 months ago. So it comes down to a gamble however we do it. And, since it is not properly registered, it will be a pain to sell . . . it is frankly a mess. I really messed up by not taking care of this on time.

We know a number of young women - daughters of friends of ours mostly - who either have just had babies or are pregnant. The parents of these women - grandparents or soon to be - are not too much older than Duane & i. I'm happy for them, i am, but i'm hurting. We revisited the adoption issues, but there are a lot more hurdles than we expected (& we were expecting quite a few). We're kind of at an impasse.

Then i got an email earlier this week which i found painful. I already wrote my girlfriends about it, but i want to post it here too.

This is how it occurred: I got into an email back & forth with someone whom i do not know well. It was about H1N1 & the vaccine. We didn't disagree, it was a pleasant back & forth. She did ask me if we have children. I don't usually answer "No," because that doesn't indicate much. However, i usually don't care to get into the infertility/miscarriage issue, so the answer "God hasn't so blessed us yet," is my way of saying, "No we don't have kids, we want them, it hasn't happened."

This is the response i got:

There are a lot of children out there just waiting for you to have them. Please don’t blame God… I am sure something from you or your husband has caused you not to have any and, it just won’t be. Not everyone is made to have children. I still would not give up.

I know from other folks in a similar situation to ours this is not an uncommon response, but it is one that causes a lot of pain to the person hearing this. I was rather in anguish over the whole situation even before this email arrived. Duane & i have looked at having children from every angle, adoption, foster children, assisted reproduction, etc. We have tried & tried to see if we could find a way to make it work for us. We don't consider adoption "second best." But adoption & the adoption process is very stressful for the ones going thru it for a number of reasons. It is something you can't consider lightly. Anyone who ultimately chooses "childfree/childless" & has been in a similar situation has been thru a lot to reach that point. There are a myriad of reasons we feel that we may end up not having children. It doesn't mean we haven't given it a lot of consideration. Someone else can't possibly understand the grief we have gone thru to come to this conclusion.

I'm not very confrontational. But i also know that anyone in a situation similar to ours finds such response/criticism painful. My girlfriends said i didn't open myself to such just by saying, "God hasn't blessed us so," nor did it indicate we blame God. I know from another article the comments of which i read recently that folks can be quite passionate, vicious, even vile in their responses to someone who states "adoption isn't for me." The rancor that simple statement brought was really ugly. I know, or i believe i do, that if someone who has been thru this is making that statement it is not said lightly, it is not an "indictment" of folks who choose to grow their families that way, it is not a statement anything more than, "for us it isn't viable." So i'm debating whether to be "confrontational" & try to "educate" this person or walk away from it. It hurts me, but this email arrived Monday, so if i respond it won't be a knee-jerk reaction, but an honest attempt to try to explain why such a (critical) response should not be made. But i still don't know if i will. Part of me wants to spare anyone in the future from this kind of thing from this person, but part of me thinks it would be an exercise in futility.

Oh, yes. The doc called me about the sleep study. She got the report. I haven't looked at it myself yet. It should have stated "inconclusive" because i only slept 2 hours, but evidentally it did not. The doc had no idea i'd only been asleep for 2 hours for this study. She was going to recommend CPAP until i explained exactly what this study did. She was shocked & quite apologetic. Said she knows of a sleep doc who will do it properly for me. I'm not anxious at all to repeat this. She said we can do it as a "second opinion" so that the insurance would pay for it. I may revisit this at a later point but not anytime soon.

Then frankly i'm distressed by all the media hoopla over the flu & vaccines. I believe a number of folks are being scared into taking a vaccine of which no one knows what it will really do. I've strong opinions about why "healthy" young folks are getting the flu. I've a friend who recently posted on facebook that his church is set up to give H1N1 flu vaccine this weekend & i'm appalled that a church would do something so irresponsible.

And, Duane's cousin's wife (who is about 32) just posted she has a blockage in her heart & "it runs in my family & so i can't do anything about it." I have to keep my mouth shut because no one wants my opinion. (Well, i did post a number of dissenting websites on the facebook thing.) I ache because so little real info is being shared about how to be healthy, really healthy - not just the lack of a diagnosable illness. But, so many don't want to know.

I'm sorry for such a post. Fighting whatever virus i'm battling seems to put me on the low side.


21 October 2009


Caught a cold. Nothing much but a stuffy head & drippy nose & a bit of a sore throat. But a cough is developing (my weak spot) & i'm just resting.

Had a good visit with my sis. Put her on the train back to San Diego yesterday afternoon. Was going to drive her but then wasn't up for it.

Bought more yarn & a pattern i love! Am having fun with that.

Resting. Hope y'all are doing well.


18 October 2009

The Winner!

I didn't specify folks had to be right! I entered everyone who wanted to (Shimp indicated she didn't want to be entered) the old fashioned way. We put the names & # on slips of paper & my sis pulled the winner out of a cup.

And she pulled - Number 7! Lisa of South View Farm!

I'm posting that to you, Lisa. We'll email & make arrangements.

The first item was a bed warmer. In the days before electric mattress pads or blankets they would put coals from the fire in this & rub it between the sheets to warm the mattress before climbing in. (No heat in the bedrooms in those days, either.)

The second is a darning egg. I was most surprised by Kelle's answer. I didn't know anyone still darns socks. I do know it takes some talent for if you don't do it well it creates calluses.

The third is a button hook for shoes. It is quite heavy as those buttons on the shoes were stiff & hard to pull thru the leather.

Thank you all for entering & taking the time to read my humble blog. Wish i could give away gifts to all.
Miessence is really wonderful.


17 October 2009


If you came for the give away the post is here.

(Give away closes tonight.)

Duane has been planning for the SAR City weekend for a couple of months. Has been excited about it. We've talked so much about it.

Somehow he got the date wrong in his head. It was last weekend. I can't begin to state how disappointed he is, & i as well. I know how much he wanted to be part of it. We were rather glum last night.

The doc & his wife & daughter (M is 9 months) did stop by yesterday. They like our house. We sent them away with firewood & apples. And i was touched deeply that they'd bother to come. So many don't.

I saw this meme at another blog (Stacey's Thoughts on Infertility) & i'm going to do it. It is something apropos for our anniversary - that was last month.

What are your middle names? Duane's is Lee, & mine is Roux.

How long have you been together? Ah, 6-1/2 years. Married 5 + 1 month.

How long did you know each other before you started dating? Ah, a week? Something like that.

Who asked who out? Um, i think it was kind of mutual. When we first met we talked about "doing something together."

Who made the first move? Not sure exactly what this means . . . i think he did. He was kind of teasing me & then . . .

How old are each of you today? Not going to share this!

Did you go to the same school? No.

Are you from the same home town? No.

Who is the smartest? Definitely he is. Let's just say he is eligible for MENSA. I'm not stupid (usually) but his IQ is in the stratosphere.

Who majored in what? He has an AA degree, not sure in what. I've a BA & part of a master's in Psych, & a second major in Bible.

Who is the most sensitive? Think we're pretty equal here.

Where do you eat out most as a couple? Um, hum. Several places. For a quick bite we usually go to Mountain Munchies. For a nicer place we like Peppercorn.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Until this summer, our honeymoon in Yellowstone & Montana. Now, the trip to KY, TN, & around.

Who has the worst temper? Depends on what you mean as "worst." We both tend to freeze & not talk until it passes & then try to work out the problem. I'd say i probably get mad more, but usually don't say anything so he isn't aware.

How many children do you want? Sad question, this. We'd like two. Pretty much not going to happen.

Who does the cooking? When it gets done, i do. If i'm not well enough he microwaves frozen stuff.

Who is more social? He is. Most definitely. He's much more comfortable approaching people & does well in all situations.

Who is the neat-freak? Sadly, neither of us. I do have thoughts of perfection but don't uphold them. We are pretty equal on clutter.

Who is the most stubborn? Honestly, i don't know. I suppose we each have our minor quirks, but this isn't one that has come up.

Who wakes up earlier? Oh, i do. Most definitely.

Where was your first date? Church! Our church down the hill has a noon Wednesday service & we went. Then went for lunch afterward. He showed up at my door with a single red rose & baby's breath. I dried & saved the baby's breath to wear in my hair at our wedding, but in the confusion of the day i forgot it. The weekend following our first date we went to the Renaissance Faire together.

Who has the bigger family? We each were raised with 2 siblings. Now he has step siblings also. Our mothers both came from families of 11 children, but my dad came from a big family too. His dad (who died about 9 years ago) was from a small family. Now, with the step family his "dad" side is bigger than before. Short answer, my family is bigger.

Do you get flowers often. No. (Not since that first rose.) Oops, that's not true. He bought me some flowers on our honeymoon, & i think one other time he brought me some, but long ago. Is ok. I've got him!

How do you spend the holidays? With his family, tho my sis that lives out here sometimes joins us if she is in town.

Who is more jealous? Jealous? Um . . . what would we have to be jealous of? I adore him & i don't think he . . . Jealous?

How long did it take you to get serious? A month? Three weeks? Honestly, from the beginning we fit together so well it almost scared me. We didn't talk about "serious" for about 4 months, tho. (Very early on we were going somewhere & a song came on the radio - one with a long intro. "Oh, i love this song!" I said. He said "I think it is too early for that." It was "White Wedding" by Billy Idol. I was quite embarrassed for i thought it was a different song - & never cared that much for this one.)

Who eats more? Weird question. I think he does. Neither of us are that much into food. I snack a lot on fruit through out the day.

What do you do for a living? He is "Database Manager" & all around computer & fix it guy. I'm a (very) part time massage therapist.

Who does the laundry? I do. But i think he should put it away after i've folded it. Last week i put a stack on his side of the bed & asked him to. The next morning i saw it was gone & was very proud of him for doing it. Until i made the bed & found it hidden under his pillow!

Who is better with the computer? You need to ask? He is.

Who drives when you're together? Depends. Going up & down the mountain i almost always drive. When we're driving around in town he almost always does.

What's your song? I don't know that we really consider that we have one, but we danced to "The Glory of Love" at our reception.

I was thinking about this just the other day, as i was listening to that song.
I am a man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero you're dreaming of
We'll live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love
I think most relationships start out with this high ideal, then often find that life degrades them. But, if you are really lucky & work hard at it, i believe that something real can be built under this castle of clouds & the dream continues. And, i've been blessed with that.


16 October 2009

I've decided . . .

that there is plenty of color in Big Bear. I just have to search it out and have eyes for it. Color in the west is subtle, & often hidden. It isn't in your face like it is in the South, East, Mid-west.

For some of those pics, check out this one by Linda. Actually, i don't know if it is her pic, but she has a gorgeous one posted. She's headed to Missouri to take pics of the trees & promises to post them.

And there are these by Lisa. The first one, actually,
fits my memory from my childhood. That is what my heart longs for.

Isn't digital wonderful? I've taken about 100 pics in the last couple of days. I don't have to wait for them to be printed. I don't have to worry about wasting film. I don't have to get them back & be disappointed at the quality or the color. I just plug into my computer, load the, & adjust the color as needed. (For some reason our camera tends to "grey" the pics.) I can crop them as i like & highlight.

Duane keeps promising to get photoshop for me. I had it before but it crashed or something. I really need it back for it has a number of things i need (like the file i created to make gift certificates). I'd like to play with some of these things a bit. Pioneer Woman is currently doing a post where you "texture" pics & submit them. Iphoto, great as it is, doesn't have a texture option.

What is really funny is that Duane brought home a "draw" pad for me. I had one years ago but it eventually quit working. It is an electronic mouse pad & a "mouse" shaped like a pen that you can use to draw on the pad.

"Oh cool!" I said. "Does it have software with it?" He looked at me funny & then checked the box. No software. It is compatible with photoshop - which i don't have! Have had the drawpad for several months now. Waiting on the software. :) Duane & i are so very much alike - procrastinators.

Which brings another issue. I may end up
driving the Trooper all weekend. Duane planned to take it to his Search & Rescue (SAR) weekend. Until yesterday i realized i'd forgotten to pay the tags. They are late. Like really late. I turned a cheap renewal into an expensive one by forgetting it. I was afraid he'd be angry with me, but he just laughed. Because, you see, SAR is filled with police & sheriffs. He said it's better than going to a CHP convention, anyway.

We often laugh at our timing. "Our timing sucks" is our most frequent thing to say. However, when we're talking about that we're usually talking about things we don't have control of (like meeting each other so late in life) or things that are random (like one of us going to kiss the other & getting smacked in the face as the "to be kissed" decides to stretch as the other makes his/her move). This, however, is simply Kathryn's procrastination & being stupid. (Being stupid sucks, too.)

So we checked into his being able to go to DMV & take care
of that on his way down the hill. As a cost-cutting measure, the State of CA has been closing all the DMV offices a couple of extra days a month. Today, 16 October, all the DMV offices in the state are closed. So, i paid the thing online. But it still has to be smogged. AND we won't have the new sticker to add. So Duane may choose to take the Honda.

Correction, Duane will take the Honda. I took the Trooper in & it didn't pass smog & we have to make some decisions about it. It is old & wasn't too bad on smog, but there were some other issues. We'll have to make some decisions about whether it is worth it to keep the old behemoth.

Duane is going to be gone, but my sis & her friend, (male friend, guy, beau) are coming (probably) Saturday late afternoon. She may stay a couple of days & go back down with us on Tuesday. Also, the doc with whom i work is coming up with his family & some other friends (not staying with us) but i might see them.

I've kind of gotten used to folks coming to So Cal or (recently) to
Big Bear & not seeing us. In my family growing up we traveled across country numerous times & we always stopped to visit everyone we knew along the way. When i first moved to CA & would hear folks were coming i'd be so excited - & often disappointed later when i found they didn't bother even to call. I learned that a lot of folks consider vacation "vacation" & don't want to be bothered with seeing people. I learned not to get disappointed, well that is hard to do. But i learned not to get excited that i might see people. If they show up, they show up.

We ran into Duane's cousins in The Village a while back. They were surprised to see us - usually only tourists/flatlanders there on weekends. But The Village also has the only movie theaters in town & we'd gone to see a movie.

So, i was surprised when the doc called me a while ago. They planned to come up last night but got delayed
& arrived about 2 PM. The (probably) will come out here later this afternoon. I'm going to give them some firewood. I don't know if Duane will be gone by then or not.

Since i'm driving the boat - i mean Trooper - this weekend, i think i'll delay more picture hunting until Monday & take Sis #3 with me.

Off to try to straighten the house some before i (maybe) get company.


15 October 2009


Do you know it is difficult to find a synonym for "this 'n that"?

If you came for the give away the post is here.

I headed to town yesterday. It had rained in the night & there were puddles on the deck (it is still damp in places today) but it was passing. I grabbed the camera in case i saw things i wanted to stop & take pics. And, i found that there were clouds coming down over the mountain that were delightful. Instead of going toward town, i took a 2 mile detour away from town to get a few of these pics.

I was glad i'd taken the camera.

I must say, however, the camera never quite captures what my eye sees. In the pics the sky is never quite as blue, the colors never quite as bright. It is that way with my art or with crafts i do, too. What i produce, while possibly quite nice, is never what i had in my mind.

Today the sky (what i can see from my window) is brilliant blue without a cloud to be seen. I may get more pics today, too. :)

I didn't take as many pics as i would have liked. I was scheduled to do a massage at 4 PM & so didn't have much time. And, i was driving the Trooper. The Trooper is the car we got so that we would:
  1. have a 4WD when we needed it (snow)
  2. the person staying at home (usually me) would have transport
  3. we'd have a vehicle to take on the mountain roads & trails

It doesn't get driven a lot. I started it Tuesday AM before Duane left to be sure the battery still had a charge. I don't mind driving it, but it drives like a boat & is BIG. I didn't want to be pulling it over & trying to find a place for it. I'll wait for a multi-stop picture hunt when i have the little Honda to drive.

Folks from back east have posted a few pics of the wonderful colors there. They take my breath away! We lived in East Tennessee until i was 8. I remember those colors in the fall so vividly. While i love Montana very much & am often homesick for it, i always felt the loss of the fall colors. Aspen & birch would turn there, & i've lovely memories of those colors too, but somehow it just couldn't compare to the Appalachian mountains all aflame.

Big Bear is more like Montana in climate. It is far too
dry here to have vividly colored trees. We do have them around town, planted as ornamentals & carefully watered. But they never reach the size or glory of the trees from the East & South & Midwest.

We do have one bit of color (i'm sorry, i don't really count yellow as "color" even tho it is very pretty) in our yard. My mother told me it is oak, & i had taken it for a weed because it is coming up voluntary in the junipers. I've no idea where it came from for i've seen no others in the neighborhood tho i've seen some in town. No one in their right mind would plant it where it is at. One of the squirrels must have gotten ahold of a nut & planted it for me, but i don't know where it would have come from originally.

Still, when i got home yesterday
the sun was shining & Sugarbear was glowing. I really didn't have time, but i pulled over & jumped out of the Trooper & took pics. Even the yellow can be glorious! (And again, these pics just don't show how pretty i thought it was.)

Sorry, i went a little crazy with the pics. :)

TMI - you don't have to keep reading.

Yesterday i was in a bit of the kind of mood feeling that God is cruel. You see, yesterday was day 1 of the new cycle. The last cycle had been 50 days. Yes, i'd done 2 pregnancy tests during that time & while i had a faint hope i didn't think i was pregnant. I've never been that late before without being pregnant. I suppose menopause/perimenopause is frustrating or irritating for a lot of people. When you haven't had a child & want one, however, it is . . . i don't have a word.

Then in reading blogs i learned that it was "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remebrance Day." I had had an awareness of this day in the past. Now, please don't misunderstand me. I think it is good that there is such a day to remember. But i find it very hard. AND, on Friday it will have been 4 years since we lost Kaylee. Again, please don't misunderstand me, but Duane & i have never had such joy since. We are very content, even joyful, in our lives & so very thankful for all that we have been given. But we have never had that sense of utter joy & hope since that time.

And, i can't write more about it without sounding very bitter. Also, in my bitterness i might say things that would be unkind to others who have been thru this loss, too. I know we are not unique in the world, but that doesn't always help to manage "this cup from which i drink."

While i could give my arguments i give myself to fight this feeling, it is easier to simply state i'm passing thru the place where God seems very cruel.