My favorite folks ! :)

29 April 2010

Clumsy sort of day

I don't know what is going on with me.

Yesterday i walked into the edge of a (metal) doorway & scraped my arm.  Happy to say that the moisturizer i use did a good job with it & today it is almost undetectable.  

Today i drove to Long Beach; the drive was just awful.  Lots of tailgating, people cutting me off, then coming to a complete standstill from 70 MPH.  Heart attack city.  I came within inches a couple of times of hitting someone or being hit.  

The migraine was back full force today, too.  

Then we stopped for food before going "up the mountain."  I stepped off a curb & fell, scraping up my feet & knees.  This is more than yesterday's mishap.  I applied the moisturizer, but when i got home i applied myrrh oil too.  Tonight i may utilize the Manuka honey, as well.  

We stopped for gas.  Duane needed something from the driver's side (i was riding passenger) & i whacked myself in the eye on the turn signal.  It was then i decided to continue being a passenger (i usually do the mountain driving).  Duane has let me know, too, that when i go to town tomorrow, i'm welcome to take the Trooper (which finally has current tags) rather than his new Subaru.  !

I've got a lot on my mind, skipping here, there, & everywhere.  

It is cold, now that we're home.  When we crossed the pass from the valley south of us the temp dropped about 8 degrees, down to about 35 F.  I don't think we had snow here at home, but we could see where it had fallen on Sugarloaf & the ridge.  I'm ready for some warmer weather at home!  It doesn't have to be as hot as OC, but lows in the upper 30s & consistent highs in the 60s would be welcome.  

I've had this page - CFS & Fibromyalgia Rating Scale - open for some time now.  I wanted to record it.  Up until three years ago, i've fluxuated between the 60-70-80 rating.  In the past three years, i would say that i've been consistently at 40, but in the past 3+ months i've been running between 20-30-40.  Twenty isn't that common for me, but 40 is not consistent thru the week.  To claim it is to be overly optimistic.  

That site also has an interesting article called "Finding Your Energy Envelope" under the Library section.  I think i would be most likely to "pay" out my energy in coins for a visual.  I think the article presents it as a virtual/visual tool, but, in the beginning at least, i think i need it concrete enough to do it in actuality/reality.  

Part of the reason, i think, i'm having a harder time today is that i had my lovely "high" of passion/love of life yesterday.  I'm so happy that it came naturally for me (as opposed to the past when i would refuse to allow myself to love life unreservedly).  But it does exact a high price from me in energy used, & also, i hesitate to say it, but in internal (or external ?) opposition.  Part of it may just be that it has not been natural for me before & so to balance it i have a day a bit more like today when i'm struggling.  (Yes, i'm feeling very lonely & longing for more human contact, to be encouraged, & feeling sorry for myself or something.)  But it is possible - i'm not big on "spiritual warfare" or devil stuff - but i'm simply saying that it is possible that what i'm experiencing is an attack from "the enemy." 

I don't know, i just know i'm struggling a bit more today with more than being clumsy.  


28 April 2010

Critique, criticism, & complaint

I'm actually writing this the old fashioned way - with pen & paper.  I usually leave my computer at work Tuesday night, but i've things to say now!  As i won't be at the office until early afternoon due to other commitments, i don't have it here to write.  I can check my email via iPod, but it's too time consuming to write a blog post with the iPod. 

I've been reading a Janette Oke (JO) book.  Okay, i'll admit right off - i've never cared for her stuff.  Why do i read it?  Because from time to time i get curious to know if she's improved her skills at writing.

JO stepped into the "Christian Novelist" place in the early 80s when essentially no one was doing that.  She had no competition & there are lots of women who love her books.  I read that first one & maybe a sequel too, but i found them almost unreadable.

Her first protagonists were uneducated people, so 80% of the book was written in a "vernacular dialect" - mostly created by poor grammar/spelling to simulate the uneducated speech.  I found myself rewording nearly every sentence, which was burdensome & made the story creak.  I found her characters to be pasteboard & unengaging.  

She later did another series which seemed to be a poor bastardization of the excellent Mrs Mike.  I hated that series because of the similarities which were done so substandard to the original.

Since that time, i've picked up one of her books about every 7 - 8 years (often when visiting Montana Mom, who loves her writing).  I do it just to see if she's improved.  While she no longer writes unintelligible "dialect" -  do find her grammar lacking at times.  I also still find her characterizations to be pasteboard & shallow.  She also is very preachy & somewhat condescending.  Okay, that's opinion.

However - i found it difficult to "date" this book.  She writes of times long ago, but the timeline is muddy.  Maybe i struggle with this because i've not read the rest of these connecting books.  Supposedly this is a new series, but it is the continuation of a family from a previous series.  

Her first book, Love Comes Softly, was the story of a young widow, Marty, who did a marriage of convenience in the pioneering days when she was left alone on the prairie after her husband died in an accident.  She is pregnant at the time, & a young widower with a young daughter needs help & so they marry.  They eventually fall in love & have more family.  The series (i think, not having read all of it) is about that family.  One of the last of that series is about their youngest daughter, Belinda.

I think i struggled to "date" those books too, as she did things out of sequence with the inventions & customs of those days.  Roughly it was probably 1870.  Marty was about 18.  If Belinda was her youngest daughter, she was probably was born about 1880.  The book i just read is about Belinda's teenage/young adult daughter Virginia, so Belinda is probably at least 40, which dates this book 1920.  But if i'm off on time, maybe this books is set about 1910.  

It can't be much earlier than 1910 because cars/autos are not uncommon.  However, Virginia's attorney father doesn't own one, which wouldn't make much sense.  A friend of Virginia's mentioned "showing her ankles" as an example of "short skirts" so it certainly can't be the 20s.  However, said friend gets in an auto accident & is on "beeping machines," wires, & an IV drip!

Also, words frequently used in our society now, like "fellows," & "kids," were considered rather crass & not commonly used in the early 20th century.  It feels she is writing something contemporary but trying to set it in a previous century.

All in all i've probably read about 6 of her 39+ adult books.  I guess i keep thinking to to publish so much there must be something in them (tho Lillian Jackson Braun of "The Cat Who . . . " series kills that theory).  I guess if i could turn my brain off, i could read JO's stuff . . . but no.

All that said, again, i know lots of folks who love what she writes.  I guess it is, "to each his own."  

I don't know just why i had to get that out.  I suppose because the charge has been leveled at Christians that most of what they produce is simply mediocre.  Frankly, there are times when it is a justified argument.  Of course, we have lots of examples where this is NOT true (Lewis, Sayers, Tolkien, Chesterton).  Still, over all, in my opinion JO fits the charge.

My complaint originally was about the migraine i'd had off & on since Saturday.  Partly my fault because i'd cancelled the April appointment for CranioSacral work, wanting to save money.  Problem is, i had to cancel May as well due to a conflict.  However, i did some CS work on myself as well as trigger point.  While it didn't help at the time, i'm better now.  Very thankful.

This was a lovely day.  One of those days where i feel the "passion" of which i'd spoken before.  Love of life.  However, i forgot that in our society passion tends to have other meanings & i was misunderstood when i spoke of it.  

No matter.  I've not the energy for that intense love of life to continue for long, but it is lovely when i have it.  :)


26 April 2010

Promised pics - i guess spring is here

The pics of my transplanted, indoor kitchen garden didn't come out so well. I have tomatoes & lettuce in the little starter thingy.  Today i bought carrots, zuccini, & some others to try to start, too.

This is the garlic & onions planted/transplanted.  I put rocks around the garlic, hoping it will discourage the squirrels from digging in the planter.  The onions don't seem to be handling the transplant very well.  If they don't look better on Friday, i'll get more & not separate them. 

This is the peach tree that didn't produce anything last year.  The tree that was loaded with peaches doesn't have any blooms yet.

Some of my roses are putting out leaves.

The largest buds on the apple tree so far.

This is the tree we think is a crabapple, but it never has fruit.

This is a self-polinating cherry.  We just planted it last year, so it is very small.

These are the largest buds on the self-polinating Bartlett pear.
Also just planted last year so it is only about 3-1/2 feet high.

This is the non-fruit "ornamental" plum that neither Duane nor i like, 
but it blooms pretty in the spring.

I was shocked when Sis & i went into the back yard.  You can't see these from the house.  The tulips are blooming!  For the past 2 years i've been meaning to transplant them to where they can be seen,  but when i go to do it, i can't find them.  My very smart Sis said, "Let's mark them with a ring of rocks so that you'll know where to dig for them."  ! ! !  It helps to have such intelligent relatives.  :)

These are the tulips in the front by the road.  They always bloom much later than the ones planted where you can't see them.  Less sun by the road maybe?

I had Duane take out one of the juniper bushes.  I'm going to put raspberry canes here.  If it works well, we'll take out the other one later & put a berry there too. I mentioned at the nursery how much trouble we have getting up roots & digging holes for planting trees, etc.  They suggested renting a jackhammer.  !  Yes, we have VERY rocky ground here.

The poor little trillium almost got buried under the juniper brush that was cut.

 The ground under where the juniper was is quite soft & should do well with new plants.

 The yard has tons of sticks & branches broken off this last winter.  It will be my job to go collect them.  I'll do it a little bit at a time.

I guess spring has arrived.  The days have been in the 60s, tho the nights are in the 20s.  The last ski hill open shut down this last weekend, more due to poor ticket sales than to lack of snow.  There is still quite a lot of snow on the mountain.  However, they said that if this storm coming drops "significant" snow, they will open back up.

I hope we are done with the freezes, but it's not likely.  We lost all our fruit 2 years ago over Memorial Day weekend. 


On blogging, church, gardening, & a visit

I've got the knitting group in about an hour, so i'll see how quickly i can do this!

A dear friend of mine, Jessica, has begun a blog.  You can go encourage her at His Scribe & give her some support as a new blogger.  She has such an interesting story to tell.  When she was a child, her family sailed around the world to protest the bombings in Japan.  They did that as the result of the aftermath they witnessed first hand.   She is also a published author, with her book that is best known carried by Dobson.

She asked a couple questions about blogging & i answered extensively (probably much more than she desired).  Doing so helped me to define a bit better what i want & desire of my own writing.  One thing that came more clear to me is that i really like it when other folks respond to my comments on their blogs.  It makes me feel heard, & that i'm appreciated when i speak.  

Honestly, when i comment i often feel a bit stupid - thus my tendency not to comment much.  If i comment at a blog that doesn't respond to those comments ultimately in time i begin to feel that i'm not being heard or (this comes from my background - & believe me i fight with this feeling, but it seems to be innate & so i have to counter it) that they'd really prefer me to just shut up & go somewhere else.  

I have decided i'm going to make a greater effort to respond to comments in my blog.  Early on, i thought this was just kind of fake 'cause i didn't feel i've words to respond well.  Also i thought it kind of conceited of me to think that anyone would want to know my response (again - my background & yes i'm fighting it).  But i have found that the blogs that really draw me to go back again & again are ones who respond to my comments & create some dialogue.  

So, i'm going to make a greater effort to respond!  (I'll probably feel rather stupid doing it, however, & you'll have to forgive me if i sound banal & trite.)

On a housekeeping thing, i don't have comment moderation set up until a post is 4 or 5 days old.  Then it will require me to "approve" the comment.  I haven't gotten spam on new comments, but i find i get a lot of it on old ones.  The post on "colds & flu" have an average of 4 drugs in Canada/viagra/junk - selling stuff a week.  So, if you do as i do & get behind on reading, your comment may not show up right away. 

We attended a new church yesterday.  It is a Baptist church so (no offense anyone) i didn't expect much from it.  The last Baptist church we attended (there are two up here) really set off the radar for both Duane & i & i found that doctrine makes a huge difference.  I was pretty discouraged last week after visiting a Presbyterian church (there are two up here) & had been looking at the background, history, & philosophy/theology of several of these churches.  I find that man-made doctrines make me sad & discouraged.  

So we were pleasantly surprised by this particular church.  Not that we'll immediately make major changes.  We joined the Lutheran church (there are two up here - we joined the more conservative one) rather quickly & didn't note the problems with which we now struggle until we had been attending 18 months or more.  Based on that history we won't be jumping too quickly to make permanent changes.  But Duane found this new church rather exciting as a possibility (as did i) & it is much more than we expected.  I'll probably write on that more extensively at the other blog.

I'd been planning to transplant my herb garden for a while now.  My sis is a much more accomplished gardener than am i.  I took advantage of her being here this weekend to help me.  If i get real ambitious, i'll do a second post with pics later today.  

We transplanted the lettuce (which is much too straggly & the arugula died), sage, rosemary, thyme (parsley didn't need to be moved), oregano, & mint.  We seeded some tomatoes & lettuce.  We planted garlic, some of which had sprouted, & transplanted some wild onion growing in our "lawn."    She had given me some peppermint a while ago.  It was doing ok but not great.  We put it in a different pot.  She also brought me some spearmint & we potted it.  I'd repotted some sweet basil last week (tho it isn't doing very well - i seem to kill basil easily) & so i sent home with her some other basil i'd bought but not planted yet.  

I left both the onions & garlic outside, but brought the rest of the things inside.  The temps are still in the 20s at night, so my delicate herbs wouldn't survive outside.  The onions were already thriving outdoors.  Also i've heard that garlic likes cool weather.  I know from reading that garlic should have been planted months ago, but i thought i'd give it a try anyway.  I just learned from reading that garlic tends to sprout at temps from 40 - 50 F (which is usually the temp of our kitchen, so most of what i have does tend to sprout).  So some of what i planted had already begun to sprout.  It is worth a try, anyway.

I also, by accident, did something that might be good.  I had so old bay leaves here.  I forgot i had them & bought some more.  So rather than throw them out, i saved them to use in my replanting, just thinking they'd be some extra "compost."  However, my sis said that's probably a good idea as they might help fight off bugs.  I looked it up & bay leaves have anti-viral & anti-bacterial properties as well as being something that some bugs don't like.  I've been having trouble with lots of little nasty gnat-like insects in my aloe vera plant.  Sis had said neem oil was suppose to help, & also a trap with vinegar in it.  The vinegar trap had drowned lots of them (& i need to throw them away & set another) & i finally remembered to buy neem oil this week.  We used some in all the plants we repotted.  I can't say if it helps, yet.  

I may learn how to garden, yet!

We so enjoyed our visit with Sis #2 & her friend, F.  (We didn't take pics of them.)  Duane said this AM when he woke, "That was a fun weekend."  It was.  

I've quite a bit to do today, laundry & clean up that i didn't do, but we had such a good time.  The ravoli that Rebecca made was absolutely delicious!  She also made an apple pie, because that is F's favorite, & it was wonderful.  They brought pumpkin pie (Duane's favorite) & we also did sasprilla floats & coffee floats.  Everyone had their favorite.  :)  For dinner Saturday i made brisket & veggies in the crockpot & they said it tasted good.  

Hope she comes back again soon!

Gotta run for my knitting group & other errands. 


23 April 2010

People are so different!

About once a week i check my "blog counter."  I get an average of maybe 10 folks a day who pop in here to see what i'm doing.  And i might get a couple of comments.  (Jo, someone i follow who has a large number of folks who read her, considers less than 20 comments "not many."  I'm not sure i've ever had 20 comments.)  It doesn't really matter to me, but i am curious to see where folks are coming from, etc.  I write the blog for my own pleasure & to keep a record so that i can remember later.

Anyway, today i was checking & found that someone had come to visit me from a rather mundane comment i'd made on another blog almost a year ago.  I followed that blog for a while.  Some blogs i follow for a while & then "move on."  Others are a permanent part of my reading.  (This is why i tend not to be a public follower - i like the freedom to say, "This doesn't work for me any more" & move on without publicly removing myself from some list.)

This blog was interesting.  She is an eclectic blogger.  She writes about her family life, etc.  But largely she writes about decorating & home projects.  

So today i went back & perused for a while again.  I appreciate her work & how it comes together, but i have to say, it is so so different from my own tastes.  Probably the reason i followed for a while is that she is so different, & probably why i tired of it eventually.  

I tend to not use a lot of color in my home.  I prefer white/cream walls & then use color for accent.  Of course, in this house our walls are mostly the brown of the wood used to build the house.  (I actually really dislike the stain that was used on the walls.  It looks "muddy" to me.  I'd prefer them to be the natural color of the wood, but i can't do anything about it now.)

I also prefer a more simplistic decorating scheme, as does Duane.  I have found that the cute things that stand around need dusting (!) & if they are not well placed, that my house simply looks cluttered.  

Now i enjoy visiting places & seeing pics of which the decorator style is not like mine, but then i'm happy to come home.  My place is feeling cluttered to me today, & i need to work on it because my sis & her friend F are coming tomorrow to stay until Sunday PM.  :)

 Jazz & Mac keeping warm on our bed.  I'm glad they get along so well.  

These pics were taken a couple of weeks ago on our drive down the hill.  There is more snow now as we've had at least a foot of snow drop (on the higher peaks) since these were taken.

These were driving home yesterday, on the same road as above.  It is in the valley on the other side of Sugarloaf.  There was much more smow over there than in Bear Valley.  We got to the pass (Onyx summit, 8443 ft above sea level) & the road was clear & dry.  

These were a couple i took when we got home.  Most of the snow has melted, but it was heavy.  Or juniper bushes were quite flattened by this snow, but they bounce back quickly.  The trillium has a bloom on it that is try to open, & the lilacs have tiny leaves on the end of the branches.  We still have 3 inches of snow on the upstairs deck, however. 

Mac, checking out the snow, back in February. 


20 April 2010

Hard to believe . . .

They are predicting 3-6 inches of snow for this week.  The mountain tops may get up to a foot.  The snow level will be down to 3500 ft, which is highly usual for springtime.

The local paper, which is published weekly, had a big block on the front page this last week, begging "Mother Nature" for the snow to stop & to let spring arrive for us.  I guess "she" didn't hear.  I think the ski slopes are pleased.  No talk of the ski hills closing for the summer.

We do have tulips up, but they are a long way from blooming.  Trillium is up as well.  And wild onions.  The fruitless plum has tiny bits of buds on the end of the branches.  If i remember from other years, it will be the first to blossom.  I hope the peaches & apples hold off as long as possible.  I don't want the fruit killed.

Spring can't be too far away, but i think we are all tired of winter.   

Don't get me wrong, we have been having some lovely days with weather that feels quite nice, especially in the sun.  But the lows at night are still in the 20s or even the teens, & colder weather is being predicted, again.

Ah, well.  The joys of living at altitude.  :)


16 April 2010

This week

There is a lot going on in my head.

I had some tests done recently that "prove" that i'm unremittingly tired.  

I'm really struggling with this severe fatigue that continues day after day.

The first time this fatigue hit me like this was the year i was 16, tho i had some signs of this before.  I had a job that summer & was working as a waitress at a lunch counter.  One morning before work i had to go to the dentist for teeth cleaning.  I don't know what concentration of fluoride they used, but i was very, very sick for the rest of that day.  (Fluoride poisoning symptoms & amounts.)  

Not that i placed any importance on the event then, (except to hate that particular dentist even more) but in looking back at my history, it was from that point that i began seriously dealing with chronic fatigue.  When the school year started, i went to school from 7.35 until 11 in the AM.  I then went & worked at the lunch counter from noon until 6.  (I also ate what was served at the counter - not the highest quality nutrition.)  At the end of the day i'd drag myself home, try to do homework, & go to bed.  But i began having insomnia that interfered with sleep, & it became a never-ending round of fatigue.  The litany became, "I'm tired," day after day after day.

My mother's interpretation was not support.  After a couple of months of listening to it, her response was, "It's not fair for you to be tired all the time."

She didn't mean that in a "Oh, sucks for you" or "Wow, you're really struggling with this, it isn't fair, is it?" manner.  

She meant, "People do get tired.  We all get tired.  It isn't fair to this family & the obligations you have to this family to be tired all the time.  You need to do what you can to STOP being tired & start pulling your weight around here."  It didn't help that her response implied (to me) that i was being lazy as well.  Being lazy in that house was the worst sin possible.

Her response made me tired.  

In her defense, however, she didn't know i was dealing with the start of chronic illness; i didn't know that either.  No one had ever heard of Chronic Fatigue at that time.  There is hardly any treatment for it now, there certainly wasn't then.  If i was tired then i simply needed to do what i could to stop being tired !

My dad gave me a response, too, by saying, "What is wrong with you?  You're young.  You should have lots of energy & strength to keep going.  At your age i was milking cows at 5.30 in the morning & then went to school & then to an afternoon job.  You can't be tired - you're young enough you should have lots of energy."   

"Should have" doesn't help much when "don't have" is reality.

There is plenty more i could say about this, but not much point.  I stopped working after school at the end of the fall semester (which ended in January).  The fatigue didn't go away, & within about 11 months (total of 16 months of unrelenting fatigue) i was suicidal.  But obviously i kept plugging away, because here i am.

So why talk about this now?  

Well, every day, whether i voice it or not, my thought is "I'm tired."  The same litany.  And, after a certain number of days of this occurring, there is an answering voice that says, "It's not fair for you to be tired all the time."  

I'm feeling guilty about it.  

In my head, i hear the voice that says, "Nobody wants to hear how you are tired again today."  And, "Poor Duane, what a wife to have who can't do anything at all."  "So, he has to pay for the household help because you can't get out of bed."  Even, "What must Rebecca think of you when you're too tired to do much work, again?"  I could go on, but i'll just leave it at i've had an evil voice in my head.  I haven't much tolerance with my own self pity, & tend to come down on myself harder because of it.

But i will say that this self talk isn't as negative as it has been in the past. 

I guess that deep within me is the belief that people will eventually lose patience with me if all they hear is "I'm tired" day after day.  I sometimes struggle with the "Are you better yet?" concern i get from people (at church particularly) because it is hard to have to keep saying, "No."  And i feel that people want to hear that i'm better, not an unrelenting illness, & i feel badly about that.  

It hasn't helped that i sometimes feel this in odd places.  

I worked with a naturopath for about 9 months a while ago.  She was rather rigid in treatment & i struggled with the things she wanted me to do.  Thus, when i didn't get better, it was "my fault" for not following her protocol.  (Interesting, someone i know & trust recently recommended her to me, not knowing i'd already seen her.  When i explained some of my issues with her treatment, the person paused, thought about it, & responded, "You know, i got the feeling from her that my struggle in sticking to her program was my fault, too.  Hmmm."  I hope that my input means that my trusted souce won't blame herself anymore.  :)

The doc i work with ran the tests i got back this week.  He now knows how severely tired i am.  I worried about that a little, thinking that he might question having me work there.  I did ask him if the volume of work i'm doing is ok, & he said it was.  But part of me thinks that if his recommended supplements don't bounce me back before long, that he'll give up on me too.  

I showed John the test results yesterday, too.  The thing is, i know they are only a "snapshot" of one day in my life.  I did the test on a day after i'd been resting for 3-1/2 days.  If they had been done when we first get home from OC, or on a day where the insomnia had been worse, or a day when i woke up truly exhausted with my eyes in pain - which happens not unregularly - the results would likely have been much worse.  John's response to these tests reflected this reality.  He said, "These results are from a day when you weren't stressed, you had rested?  I hate to think what the results would be like on a stressed day." 

I probably need to find an endocrinologist who can "think outside the box" & can help me make some choices in my options.  I'm a bit overwhelmed by trying to do that, however, because this tends to be expensive & the ones who don't follow standard conventional protocol tend not to accept insurance. 

It is hard for me to post this.  But here it is.  This is where i live.


15 April 2010

Sigh. Random photos

I'm very tired.  I've lots to say, but no energy to do it.  So, some random photos taken recently (after spring cleaning).  :)

 Big Bear native rock.


09 April 2010

This is the house that Jack built

This is the cheese that lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat that killed the rat
That ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the horse and the hound and the horn
That belonged to the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

                            Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

Our "main" bathroom is on the ground floor.  It is very small.  The upstairs bath is currently only a half bath.  It is our intent to expand it eventually, but that won't be happening soon.

We don't plan anything big for the downstairs bath because we won't use it much once we've remodeled upstairs.  I would like to put a new vanity, sink, & counter top in there, eventually, but we don't plan a complete overhaul (taking out the very old tub/shower).

It is our main bath now & it has very little room in it.

In thinking about how i might be able to add some storage space in there, i was thinking we could build some narrow shelves behind the door.  Duane does a great job with shelves.

But then i thought that if i do that, i'll want to paint first.  But, of course, if we paint first, we have to repair a few cracks in the drywall.

And if we repair & paint drywall, i'd really like to replace the molding/trim in there.

But if i replace the molding/trim, i'd want to put a new floor down, too.  As the floor space is only about 15 square feet, it wouldn't be too much.

But then, we'd want under the tile floor heater, & for only 15 square feet, that won't be too much, either.

But if we're replacing the floor, the toilet has to come up, & so while we are doing that, we might as well replace the vanity, sink, & counter at the same time.

If we're doing that, then a new medicine cabinet with a bit more storage makes sense too . . .

And we can't have all that done without giving it new lighting (what is in there now is quite old & dim).

All so that i could have a few shelves for a little bit more storage.

It wouldn't have to be too expensive.  I figure we could do it for about $1000, maybe less if i kept an eye on Craigslist.  Still . . . that is a lot of money for a few shelves!


08 April 2010

Pics !

Took a walk around the neighborhood to see how much snow is left.

Our back yard.  This is melting off fast.  A week ago this was up to the top of this metal storage box.

 What is left in the front of the house.  This is melting off fast, too.  :)
The west end of the valley has much more than this, still.

Around the neighbors' houses.

Sugarloaf Mountain & surrounding ridge.  This was taken near our mailbox, which is about one city block east of our house.  In the bottom picture at the far right you can see the top of the ski slope of one of the runs at Bear Mountain.  We are only about 2-3 miles away, but by road it is about 8 miles. 

This was waiting for me today when i got home.  :)  But it is hard to find a place the cats won't get to it.  

 This was waiting for me when i got home from my walk.  :(  It is hard to find a place the cats won't get to it. 


06 April 2010

Oh, he's gone . . .

. . . he's gone away,
for to stay a little while;
but he's comin' back
if he goes ten thousand miles

look away, look away, look away over Yandro.

Traditional folk song

Fortunately he's not going ten thousand miles, only about 100.  

Duane had thought to go down W/Th/F this week instead of our regular T/W/Th.  But when he talked to his work earlier they were having a lot of problems he needed to fix.  

He's feeling better however.  The head cold thing only lasted Saturday & Sunday & was gone by Monday.  I've talked to him about taking some supplements regularly to see if that won't help build his immune system.  The ones i want him to take are the Juice Plus (because he doesn't eat much in the way of fruits/veggies), Vitamin D3 (6,000 IU a day) & a Calcium/Magnesium supplement.  He's not much better at discipline than am i, so while he agreed, i don't know how long it will last.  

I made his Sunday chicken soup  with some of my herbs - parsley, sage, & thyme.  I didn't do the rosemary!  He liked the second bowl, after it had sat for a long time, better than the first.  He said the chicken had soaked in the broth & spices better.  

You're right, Mrs. Mac, i have some romaine lettuce growing in my kitchen.  And a tiny arugula plant, too.  I think i'd like to grow the butter lettuce, but didn't find any at the farmer's market.

We've got wild onions coming up in the yard.  I didn't recognize them as anything but grass/weeds last year.  A neighbor told me what they are.  What i find funny, is that i like them.  I've never been someone who cares much for onions, especially raw.  I've learned to use onions in cooking quite a bit, but still don't care for raw onions.  But these are good!  

They don't last very long.  Because of fire concerns here & other issues, weed abatement policies are very strict.  (There is the possibility of a large fine if they are not followed.)   I thought/hoped that the wild onions would come back last year, but we never had any more rain to encourage them.  So this year i think i'll dig some of them up & see if i can't grow them in garden conditions, which is allowed. 

I finished a baby blanket & a couple of hats.  I'll take a pic & post it soon.  I don't really like it all that much, tho, & will probably make a different one for my niece.  

There are cats yowling outside.  They have Mac & Jazz quite worked up.  Amazing how loud they can be.  (Outside cats, not M&J.)

This is going to be an expensive month for us.  The car insurance was due, plus property tax, the Fit's license renewal, & income taxes.  Yeah.  What fun.  I am having Rebecca come an extra day & help with cleaning/organizing.  But the money is already set aside for that.  

Having her come is saving us some $$ honestly.  I was spending quite a lot on groceries, then not having the energy to use them.  They often would go bad (fresh stuff) & we ate out anyway.  With Rebecca cooking, we are eating at home much more often & healthy stuff, too.  The money i spend on groceries isn't wasted & it goes farther.  I'm finding i'm buying less but it gets utilized better.  

I did do some organizing yesterday.  I think i'm going to try to do a little each day this week.  Although, just keeping up with the laundry that needs to be folded & the dishes that need to be done may take up all of today.  That is the problem with my limited energy, just keeping up with the very basics seems to take all that i have.  There is not much left for other things.  

But . . . one step at a time, one day at a time!  :)

Seems like i had much more to say, but i can't think of it now.  Maybe later.  I need to go into town for some errands.  

 Jazz wishes he could get outside again.  He is convinced he is a true wild cat!


05 April 2010


Duane wasn't feeling well yesterday (head cold/sinus) & so we didn't go down the hill.  Round trip just to OC for the baptism would have been 4 hours, rt just to San Diego to my sister's would have been 6.  But Duane was more concerned about the pressure in his head if we went down to sea level from 7,000 ft.  It isn't comfortable, i can say that first hand.  We also were concerned about him possibly being contagious.  We were disappointed, but ok.  I made him chicken soup.

We had a skiff of snow last night & the wind is blowing fiercely.

We also felt yesterday's earthquake, centered some 200 miles south of us.  It lasted a long time, but it wasn't like any other i'd felt.  Most seem to jerk, bump, or roll.  This felt like i was on a railroad car that was smoothly being rocked up & back on its rails.  No damage for us.  I've not heard of what it was for them, but it was a stronger earthquake than the Hati one.  

Last year a dear friend of mine took me to task for frequently calling myself lazy.  I think she was correct in that i needed to address my attitude about this.

I've known for some time that i've issues about this.  Being lazy was a serious offense in my family.  My memory was that this was more my dad's issue.  In my recent conversation with my mother i realized it was a driving force with both my parents.  Also, i became more aware of some of the implications of using this term.  If my mother felt she was “lazy” because she wasn't pushing herself while recovering from illness, there is the implication of laziness in other people, especially me.  I doubt if she is aware of this implication, she doesn't have that kind of awareness.

(My mother is of the self-depreciating type of person who will deny complements to the point of saying, “No i don't” when told “You look nice today.”  She doesn't realize the insult she is giving the person when she does this, she is simply trying to deny any good thing in herself.  Christian values, from her point of view.  Now that i've said that, she may not do it any more, but she was still doing it when i was a young adult & able to recognize the insult i didn't see when i was a child.)

When my friend brought “lazy” to my attention, i stopped using it in speech & writing (or at least i made a conscious effort to do so).  But my attitude about it – in myself - didn't change.

This dear friend, & another, struggle also with CFS/CFIDS.  I do not consider them lazy at all.  I think they work harder at fighting this pervasive chronic illness than anyone i know.  I think they both work much harder than the most Type A personality on earth.  But i've come to realize that by using the term about myself it could have the implication that i think folks with fatigue, especially chronic fatigue, lazy.  Which is far from the truth.

However, i believe that i am lazy, but almost a different definition than that used by my friend.

I do not consider myself lazy because i am tired all the time.  That is a physical reality over which i have no control.  I term myself lazy because i tend to take the easy way out, the point of least resistance.  I term myself lazy because i lack discipline.  This was true before i became so disabled.  

I love organization!  The feeling of accomplishment in creating a system where everything has a place & everything is in that place is heady.  But the discipline to continue that system is sadly lacking.  When i was doing office work, i loved creating organizational systems or even just creating forms, but i hated doing the work that kept the organization going.  I hated filling in the forms & then filing them.  I am an accomplished procrastinator who works (worked) well under pressure.

This is a fact about me that has nothing to do with chronic fatigue.  But these days with chronic fatigue, I can't work under pressure, it is too exhausting.  Dealing with chronic fatigue requires discipline, & the fact is that i'm sadly lacking in that department.  These days, allowing something to go until it requires fast-paced, under pressure response when i have no energy to respond in this manner means i simply feel overwhelmed all the time.

I need to learn discipline.

The fact is, i'm very fortunate.  I do have some energy to use.  I'm still able to drive.  I'm able to do some shopping.  I'm able to work, tho admittedly, very restricted hours.  I pay for it afterwards in needing more rest, but i'm still able.  I do appreciate it - no, i am deeply grateful i'm still able to do these things.

However, when i'm at home i'm often lazy.  I take the path of least resistance.

I do have energy to accomplish a number of things.  However, in order not to do too much, i have to do it in small increments.  That means 10 or 20 minutes up & an hour down.  I hate – i mean i really HATE – working this way.  It is antithetical to my “procrastinate until i have to push” mentality.  So i tend not to do much at all.  Or i get up & work for an hour or more – until i'm blown & have to spend the rest of the day in bed.  If i would limit myself to 15 or 20 minutes & then rest, i could accomplish so much more thru the day.  

This needs to be my focus now, to help this become a habit, part of my thinking, part of my new way of doing things.  I've had the tendency to do too much (& usually don't know it until i've hit that point, so i need to literally set a timer) & then when i find i've used all my day's energy allotment, feel sorry for myself.  It is hard to create new habits.  I've a long history of procrastination & then "blitzing" thru the work.  I was like the hare when i need to be more like the rabbit.  (I meant tortoise.)

My goal to work toward.  New thinking, new habits.  :)