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30 May 2010

Almost worse

Ok, i bit the bullet & talked to the pastor about what happened Friday.  It didn't go very well, in my opinion.  I thought i could be brief about it, but i can't, so i moved that part over to my other blog.  

We did do a little garage sale-ing yesterday, we went in that Jeep.  Yup, after about 5 stops it didn't want to start.  It took Duane about 20 minutes to locate the problem & fix it.  (We ARE fortunate that way; he's good.)  I'm not sure he is likely to get me out in that Thing again.  Not until he has a complete set of tools to fix it, anyway.  

Duane took a tumble yesterday on his climb.  Or, actually, on his descent.  He called himself "stupid" & said he was kind of showing off.  He had been the fastest to make the ascent, & was coming back down - partially running to pass some other folks, & lost his footing on a rock & scree.  He scraped the heel of his L hand, & jarred his L & R wrists & mildly scraped his R elbow.  

We washed it & dressed the wounds (myrrh oil & manuka honey).  His L wrist didn't bother him much at first.  But later it began aching.  We tried icing it & i gave him some aspirin, but the pain increased & kept doing so.  Finally, near 7 PM he decided that he needed to get it checked.  

BUT, he carries Kaiser insurance.  The nearest Kaiser facility that would be open by the time we arrived was 1-1/2 hours away.  So, down the hill we went.  He's had Kaiser insurance since Feb 2009, but this is the first time he's used it.  (We may revisit the whole idea of Kaiser because of the distance, except, i don't think there are any BB docs on the other insurance he could get, & we still might not be able to use BB UrgentCare or ER.)

I will say, i was dreading going there on a holiday weekend, but they were very efficient & not too many folks were there.  We were in & out in just under 2 hours, so we arrived home not too long after midnight. 

It is strained, not broken.  (Broken = bone; sprain = ligament; strain = muscle/tendon)  We are thankful.  They gave him a wrist brace to prevent him from overusing it for a while.  He also got Vicoden (he'd never had it before).  The Kaiser doc told him he shouldn't do aspirin.  (Sorry, Tylenol & Ibuprofen are horrible too, in my opinion.)   He took one last night & hasn't seemed to need it since.  Also, now that i know that the problem is muscle/tendon (tho i'll make sure he sees the chiropractor this week to check that everything is in place) i can do massage & use my favorite pain cream on him:  Boswellin Cream by Nature's Herbs (you can find this at a much better price elsewhere).  Good stuff!

These are the pics Duane took from the top of Bertha Peak.  More to follow, i'm sure, as he does six more summits in the area.  One will be Sugarloaf, the tallest peak around Big Bear Valley, & at least one will be in the mountain range seen in pics 3, 4, & 5 - the ones in the background with snow still on them. 


29 May 2010

Chicken or the egg?

I've been rather discouraged this week.  Tired.  Not felt like "fighting."  

As is a common thing for me when i feel this way, i've not been eating very well.  Usually when we're in OC, i eat really good stuff:  Organic meals at Mother's (health food store); salads; organic, vegetarian, gluten-free pizza.  Usually.

This week i ate junk.  And i felt like junk.  I was overly emotional & cranky.  By Thursday when we were to drive home i was utterly exhausted.  Thursdays i'm usually very tired, but this was beyond that.  

I doubt i've ever felt quite as much connection to what i'm eating & how i'm feeling.  It was good, actually, because i often feel that what i'm doing makes no difference.  I often feel too, that i couldn't be "worse" in functioning.  This made it clear that what i'm doing DOES make a difference, & that my functioning, poor as it is, could be worse.  

So, was i tired, cranky, & unable to "deal" because i was eating poorly, or did i eat poorly because i was tired, cranky, & unable to "deal"?

I was suppose to do massage as fund raising at our church's rummage sale this weekend.  I did it last year.  

We went early Friday AM to drop off our donations of extraneous clothes, appliances, etc.  I told them i'd be back around 10 to do the massage.  I rushed home, walked Rebecca through what i needed her to do, packed up all the supplies i would need, made a sign, loaded it all in the car, & went to the church.  Rebecca was worried about me, for she could see how tired i was already at 9.30 AM.  I didn't worry too much, tho i was very tired, because i knew doing massage would make me feel a bit better.

I arrived at the church & the lady in charge said, "Stop!  Don't unload!"  She told me that the pastor had checked their insurance & it wouldn't cover me working & so i couldn't do it.  (They didn't do this last year?)

Ok, fine, except i have my own insurance that covers that.  They are far more likely to be sued for someone tripping on the cracks in the pavement than for the things i do (the incidence of a massage therapist getting sued is something like 1 in 200,000).  If i had been called to discuss this, we could have worked it out.  Even if they didn't want me to do it, did they have to wait until i was there ready to work to be told not to do it?  

In short, i was pretty angry.  I tend to get very cold & silent when i'm angry.  I have a hard time having an appropriate response at the appropriate time.  The pastor was there & spoke with me briefly a couple of times, but said not one word to me on this.  

I do have compassion for the lady running this.  She is elderly, & has been in charge of this for many years now.  She doesn't want to be, but there has been no one to step into this place.  She gets stressed & i'm sure it would be easy to overlook something like this.  But frankly, i feel disrespected.  

I've written extensively about this church thing at my other blog, if you are interested in that.  (I'm still writing that post, but it should be up soon.)

We had several people ask where the "masseuse" was & if she would be here this year.  We explained that i wouldn't be allowed to do it do to insurance issues.  People understood that, but were disappointed.  We did talk of me doing it just for the church folks in the office, but i said the pastor would have to be asked.  I didn't say but my intent was "If YOU want it, then YOU ask.  I've no intention of discussing this with him."

Boy, i sound cranky today!  But something good came out of this!

There is a program called "The Seven Summits of Big Bear."  There is a young man, resident of Big Bear, who has just completed climbing the seven highest peaks in the world (Everest).  A couple of years ago someone came up with the idea of climbing seven of the summits around Big Bear.  I think last year was the first year they did this.  

Today is the first of the 7 Summits. 

Duane felt committed to helping with this rummage sale.  We have helped for the past 3 years.  Frankly, the men don't do much but sit around & talk, unless someone needs something loaded on a truck.  Duane is not like that.  He walks around & talks to folks & is friendly.  He helps wherever needed without being asked (or searched for!)  

I'd encouraged him to do the 7 Summits anyway, but he was going to do the rummage sale.  Except after yesterday he lost any enthusiasm for it.  So he left early this AM to do the Bertha Peak.  I'm glad he is going to do this.  He will probably return around noon, or even earlier, if he still wants to go to the church sale.


24 May 2010

Mostly pics

This is the "path" we took Saturday evening in that Jeep.  All the way to the X where we found we couldn't get out & then back again.  We then got onto the road at the bottom of this pic, headed W (left) & back down to the main road.  As you can see from this pic, we were surrounded by town roads all around.  I can honestly tell you, however, it felt like we were out in the middle of nowhere, those hills were steep, & if we'd had to walk out i would have had a hard time with it.  And it was cold! The snow storm was moving in.

This is the placemat i took for a pattern.  My MIL likes the size & shape, but they are getting worn & the color isn't quite right for her dining table.  

This is what i've completed so far on one placemat.  It will never be finished.  

  • I can clearly see that these won't be done until Christmas or so, & i just don't want to devote that much time to them.  
  • It is a simple pattern, but needing constant counting & if i mess it up, the mistake is very apparent to me & i don't want to pull out a lot of rows to fix it.  Others might not notice the mistake, but every time i sat at the table i would.  
  • The only yarn i could find that matches well is 20% wool.  I'm allergic to wool.  I thought with only 20% i could manage.  My hands have been fine, but my eyes itch the whole time i'm working with this.  
  • Time, again.  I just don't want to devote this much time to something i just don't think that important. 
So i bought some fabric & figure i'll do a simple quilting pattern.  I'm not 100% sure about the colors (the green might be a bit bluer in her dining chairs), but i think it will work.  I cut some of the pieces to try out how it will work. 

This pattern is called "around the world."  There is a "simple" way to do it, but for the first one i went ahead & cut all the squares to lay it out to see how it looks.  I learned i didn't have enough fabric, & i don't want to do this pattern.  I probably will do one of these as a thingy for the center of the table, or i might do a runner with the pieces.  But i'm not going to do this for the placemats.

I didn't like the way the top two came out with wider strips.  So i tried doing narrower strips, moving out from a center line.  I think i like this bottom one best.  The strips will be 1 inch wide.  This is just a general layout for an idea of what the finished project will look like.  

Mac was being silly yesterday.  He jumped up on the hamper thingy, then on top of the gas heater to get up on one of the beams.  Nowhere to go from there.   

I checked the trees today.  The pear tree doesn't look like it was much effected by the snow.  The apple still looks hopeful that we might get some fruit anyway.  Neither of the peach trees is doing anything, but that was true before the snow.


23 May 2010

They are lucky . . .

That the race was Friday 

not today.

We woke to just a skiff of snow & i thought it would soon melt off.  But it snowed off & on all thru church.  Still, not too much was sticking.

The top is that Jeep when we went into Mountain Munchies - one of our favorite places for lunch.  The bottom is that Jeep when we came out.  Duane nearly got us kicked out of the restaurant, however.  He is so happy that he gets to drive that Jeep in the snow - he thought he'd have to wait until next winter.  He kept saying, "Oh, I love the snow!"  and singing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."  He wasn't real popular with the folks.  Gary, the owner told him he was lucky he'd already eaten, 'cause he just might not get served. 

The bottom two are Duane in his "summer hat" first in bed, to keep warm, & later using Mac as a "cat warmer" in his office.  

We took that Jeep off road yesterday.  In the evening we started to take a "road" (not much more than a trail) between the Sugarloaf area & Moonridge.  But we took a "side road" & ended up on top of a hill with nothing but junk some irresponsible folks had dumped instead of taking it where it should have been properly disposed of.  Came across plenty of downed trees across the road.  We went around - once with mirrors in & three INCHES of clearance on either side.  Then, discovered that we couldn't get out at the bottom & had to go back up.  This time Duane leveraged the tree out of the way.  

We need to take a chainsaw with us next time.  Also a repair kit with sockets.  He said that had not the starter gone out in town the other day, it certainly would have with all the bouncing the starter would have come loose - & we would have been stuck.  There was town all the way around us on all sides, tho it felt as though we were out in the middle of nowhere.  BUT we would have had quite a walk & i'd not known we were going to do this so i was in sandals & short sleeves.  Fortunately Duane had two extra jackets in that Jeep for i was cold.  

(Duane said his "summer hat" looks like he used the squirrels in the above pics.  He says "there were no squirrels injured in the making of this hat.)

He's gone from singing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" to "Summertime, & the living is easy."  I think that would get us kicked out of Mountain Munchies, too.


22 May 2010


I searched what i could find online today.  Most of the pics showed the winner, or a pack of bikes & not much of the scenery here.  But i did find this one:

You can see we still have snow from the mountains in the background.  

Found this pic at Steephill TV



Duane has an off the hill event today.  Had to be up at 3.15 to leave for it.  Because waking in the middle of the night disturbs my sleeping, i went to bed quite late, thinking i'd go back to sleep easier.  Not so.  Laid awake for over an hour before i gave up & got the computer out.  So, i've slept maybe an hour & a half at this point.  Will probably fall asleep again sometime near 6. 

I took that Jeep into town Wednesday for the fundraiser.  It was good.  Not too many people & i wasn't too uncomfortable.  People there made me feel welcome.  At one point that Jeep didn't want to start, but then it did & i forgot about it.  

Thursday Rebecca came.  I had a meeting & then went to get groceries.  Came out with said groceries & that Jeep wouldn't start.  This could be a long story, but let's just cut it short.  I kept myself busy for 1-3/4 hours until Duane got up the hill.  I was quite stressed by then, tho i tried to distract myself.  (I was lucky the groceries were largely not things effected by heat, 'cause it was a warm day for BB.)

It wasn't the battery.  I didn't leave it in "park" (since i'm not used to automatics, this is something i've done in the past).  Duane fooled around with it some.  I went home (in the Honda) & got tools.  Then he said the starter was bad.  So how do we fix that in Vons parking lot?  But he worked with it some more & the starter was just loose.  He fixed it & he drove it home.  He tightened everything down & promises me it won't happen again.

Think it will be a while before i want to drive that Jeep anywhere.  Except, it is probably like falling off a horse.  I need to get right back in the saddle.  I'm really fortunate it happened Thursday when Duane was on his way home & not on Wednesday.

The AmGen Bike Tour had one of its legs from Palmdale to Big Bear.  You can read about it here or here, if you're interested.  Lance Armstrong wasn't in that part as he'd had an accident the day before & dropped out.  Duane was helping & i had no intention of going into town.  An extra 25,000 folks doesn't help traffic much.  But then Duane forgot his phone.  We arranged for me to drop it somewhere & someone pick it up for him.  I took back streets into & around town to miss most of the traffic.  The bikers were still a couple of hours away when i was in town.  Traffic wasn't too bad going home.  

Hoping i can sleep now.  :)  If i get ambitious, i'll post post pics later of my current craft projects. 


19 May 2010

Dreams/The Cats/What do you think?/A link

Last night i dreampt that Duane & i were living in an old farmhouse-type home in a small town.  Duane sent out a wide invitation for folks to come to a fish-fry/bake, but didn't expect many to show.  We were mobbed, & didn't have enough fish, so i went out to buy more.  Some people brought their own, but i said, "I won't eat that.  It is breaded."  Simply meaning there would be more for others, but i realized my comment probably sounded rude.

Duane's sister H came, but as the house was full, she & a lot of her friends (she has 269 on FB) went to a small park kitty-corner to our house.  Edward from Twilight was hanging out with them.  It got weirder.  Enough said.

It seemed profound at the time.  Huh.

This is what we had after shaving the cats yesterday.  This is only about half of what we got the first time we sheared them, but before we got off the mats.  Still, this filled the vacuum canister.  I don't have pics of the cats yet.  Camera battery gave out yesterday.  They don't look great, but a little more even.  Not much worse than the job done on Jazz last time (i wasn't impressed).  It will look better as it grows out, & by the time the weather gets cooler/cold in the fall they should be back to normal.  

I notice they've been cuddling together much more than normal.  They are probably missing their sweaters!

The class i re-took this weekend was CranioSacral (CSR = CranioSacral Rhythm) work.  It does have a physical component in moving the bones of the head & effecting the vertebra (especially the head & tailbone thus "Cranio Sacral") with very gentle pressure.  But this also has a huge energy component with it as well.  

The CSR is the circulation of the fluid that nourishes & protects the spinal column & brain.  Every animal with a skeletal system has this rhythm, tho at varying speeds.  It can be done on horses, dogs, cats, rats, etc.  

I've had some skepticism of energy work in the past, but even when i didn't "believe" in it, i've found it to be effective.

One of my limitations in using this work is that i haven't practiced it in various positions.  I pretty much only do it supine.  I think that it will just take practice to do it in other positions, but i haven't looked for practice often.

After being gone for almost a week, the cats were very cuddly on Monday.  So i used a small amount of that time to find their CSR & follow it for about a minute.  I also "gave the suggestion" to Mac that he didn't hurt below his shoulders & it would be ok for me to pet & brush him there.  I gave the suggestion to Jazz that it would be ok for him to be closer to me & allow me to hold & pet him.  

Mac usually cries or gets angry when he is petted anywhere but his head.  Even a light touch will elicit a cry.  Jazz didn't let us pet him when we first got him, tho he has gotten better at that in the past year.  Duane said that he has even let him pick him up & hold him on his lap & pet him.  I can pick him up & pet him some, but he has never let me hold him on my lap.  He will sometimes sit next to us, but doesn't like to be petted when he does.

That was Monday.  Yesterday we shaved them & i brushed them some.  Every time Mac came to me after that, i petted him on his head, but also lightly on his back.  Not once did he cry, although a couple of times he indicated some impatience.  Last night when we were watching TV, Jazz jumped up on my lap, settled himself, & stayed for half an hour, even allowing me to pet him some.  

What do you think?  Did the "suggestions" make a difference, or am i only noticing what i think i want to see?

I did get my days mixed up, even tho i was trying.  I missed the Farmer's Market yesterday.  

Duane had a SAR fund-raiser yesterday.  He worked & i went for a while.  Nothing i could eat, so i ate before going.  A friend from church who works at the Sheriff's dept invited me to another fund raiser today.  I'm going, but it is a little harder for me.  To support Duane was a good thing.  This one i'm simply forcing myself to go to because i feel i "should be more social."  I want to be more social, but am uncomfortable with large groups.  

I need to go get ready for it, tho, as it is at noon.  (Of course, this means i have to drive that Jeep.  He left this AM.)

I like the blog Oh Me of Little Faith.  His post today, Is Doubt an Eraser?, is definitely worth reading. 


18 May 2010

I'm so confused!

Normally we come home on Thursday afternoon.  So that made yesterday Friday, & today Saturday.  But it is not.  Yesterday i tried to do "Monday things" - like the knitting group at 9 . . . but i took the Jeep for smog too, planning to do errands.  Then i forgot the knitting, so just went to breakfast while the Jeep was being worked on.  Got ready to pay & discovered my wallet was gone.  ! ! !  Duane came & rescued me & we found my wallet had fallen out & was in the Jeep.  Profound relief.

So, today is not Saturday, it is Tuesday.  Normally we go down the hill on Tuesday mornings.  Duane worked extra hours on-site last week.  He also has a SAR event tonight he wanted to be here for, so he's not going down the hill until tomorrow.  I'm staying home this week.  I don't know if he'll come on on Thursday or Friday.  I think it is going to be a while before i know what day it really is.  

More pics from the weekend.  The run was sponsored by the Navy, or something.  This last pic is of my sis (on the right) & her friends D & S who drove down from LA county to join the walk.  

I'm thankful Mac won't have to go to the vet.  

Both our cats are long haired.  We believe that Mac is some mix with largely Maine Coon, although he could also have Norwegian Forest Cat in him.  But he is definitely a mix as neither of those long haired cats tend to mat; Mac mats severely - if not taken care of.  Not quite as bad as a Persian, but close.  Jazz is of Turkish Angora extraction (we got him from the folks who raised him & know more of his parentage & history than Mac).  He doesn't mat a lot, but will have some eventually if not taken care of. 

It had been our pattern to take them in once a year in the spring & have them shaved.  Then it was always my goal to be "better" at brushing them & avoiding the shaving.  I've not done so well with this.  

The last time we took them for grooming, however, Mac wouldn't allow himself to be messed with.  The groomer said he tried to "eat her."  As he is a big, imposing cat, i'm sure it seemed so.  We had trimmed his nails prior to this, but he can use his teeth.  At that point we bought an animal shaving thingy & tried to do it ourselves.  We did, kind-of/sorta.  

By January this year, he was heavily matted.  I was afraid we would end up having to take him to the vet & have him anesthetized in order to do the work on him.  From shoulders to hindquarters seemed to be on big, solid piece, also quite a lot on his tummy & around under his tail.  I was worried to shave him then, however, for we keep the house at 53 F most of the time.  It just seemed too cold to have him shaved in January.

Mac acts as though it hurts him to be petted or brushed below his shoulders.  He also HATES scissors.  But he doesn't mind the shaver thingy, however.  About a month ago we got it out & did some shearing of both the cats.  (Rebecca asked Jazz if he had walked in front of a weed whacker.)  It was a mess & they looked a mess.  The shaver thingy doesn't work on mats very well.  But it cleared out enough of the extraneous hair that we could see the mats we needed to work on.

So, i was stealthy.  Here & there once in a while i'd get the scissors & just work at cutting out some of a mat at a time.  If i was very gentle, i could get 1/4 of one done before Mac got impatient & upset & moved on.  He is now 100% mat free!  I think i have all of them off Jazz too.  They both are very patchy.  We need to get out the shaver & clean them up.  That shouldn't be too difficult now that the mats are gone.  

But i'm thankful to avoid the stress & medical intervention & expense of taking Mac to the vet.

Jazz, pre- & post-shave a couple of years ago.

Mac, just being Mac.


I posted a while back about home-made deodorant.  Because it is so cool in our house, it works well to have it in the stick dispenser, but in OC it didn't work at all.  I came upon the brilliant idea of putting it into the gel dispenser.  Wrote i was going to give it a try.

Ok.  Not worth it.  So not worth it.  

First of all, the top of the gel container is a solid piece with a mesh at the top.  I hoped that the mesh thing would snap off, but it does not.  Duane removed the bottom of the dispenser for me, which is the only way to get into it.  It was a real pain to clean inside.  I then covered the mesh at the top with tape, inverted it & filled it with the deodorant & let it cool.  When it was partway cooled, we put back on the bottom piece.

Except the bottom piece doesn't really snap back on.  So when i turn the wheel to push up the "gel" the bottom piece instead pushes itself off & i have to hold it down on something firm to keep it in place.  So, it works ok, but it is definitely not worth the effort.

Also, as things get warmer in OC, it may just leak out all over the place.

My motel room in San Diego was really warm this weekend.  Much warmer than i'm used to.  When i got back in i would run the air conditioning long enough for it to cool some, but i hate the sound of the thing & didn't want to waste too much energy.  The deodorant i took down was in a jar.  The type i spread on with my fingers.  At home, it is a solid cake & works well.  In San Diego & the heat it totally melted.  Very liquid; well, not like water, but oil with the solid making it gooey.  Also the baking soda/corn starch which was blended into it settled to the bottom.  That's not an issue i've ever had before.  If my "gel" container does that when it gets warmer in OC, i will have a mess of blended oil & other junk leaking everywhere.  

Duane says the cats are being antsy because they want him to leave.  "Leave?"  

He thinks they know it is Tuesday & we are suppose to leave so that they get the treats we give them as we are going out the door.  

I don't think they're that intuitive, but Duane swears that they're going by the calendar.  :)


17 May 2010

Mostly Pics

Some of the things we had blooming last week.  The second pic is of peach blossoms.

It was a grey day in San Diego yesterday.  I don't know what i was expecting could be seen from the Coronado Bridge, but these just weren't as spectacular as i'd hoped for.

It's a grey day today in Big Bear, too.  Also much cooler.  The top of these two is pear blossoms from the tiny tree we planted last fall.  The bottom one is the apple blossoms near to blooming.

And, finally . . . tah dah!

Duane's Jeep.  It definitely is Duane's.  I hate it.  Drove it into town to be smogged today, & it is simply awful.  I hate driving automatic transmission vehicles.  It is sluggish (like all automatics)  & we should have a 6 cylinder not a 4.  But, as i said, it is a "good enough" solution for now.  (I LIKE the style, however, so Kathryn is definitely making plans for moving up to a Jeep that will drive faster than a slug!  Start saving now . . . )

Duane is over the moon about having a Jeep.  He's been trying to educate me on all things Jeep, CJs & TJs & Willy's.  The only ones i'm really sure about are the KSs.  Don't know those?  They are my own creation.  See, unless the Jeep in question is the Wrangler body style, Duane doesn't consider  them "real" Jeeps.  So if it is a Liberty, or a Cherokee or something like an SUV & not the square, he-man style, it just falls into "KS."  I came up with the term.  It is a "Kind-of/Sorta" Jeep.  I can identify those really well.  

Get to stay home today & rest.  The migraine persisted all day yesterday, but i think it was stress & fatigue, for it was largely gone by the time we got home.