My favorite folks ! :)

29 August 2010

Not much going on

I've been looking at different blogs done by folks listed in the Big Bear area.  Kind of fun.  Also rather surprising at times.  I wrote a bit more about that at I Looked For Love, if you've any interest.  First couple of paragraphs. 

The Grizzly says that the lightening that came thru with the rain started 13 different fires, all contained.  

Yesterday there was a fire between Hatchery & Lake Williams.  This is the road we use to go down the hill every week.  It was closed while they were getting the fire contained.  We live about 2 miles north (the direction the truck is headed) of where this pic was taken.  See the motorcycle?  There is a road to the right of where he is.  There is a road on the left right there, hidden by the truck.  When we first moved to Big Bear we lived about 1 mile down that road on the left.  

Duane called to tell me about the fire because his SAR group had been put on "standby" in case the fire grew.  But by the time i checked it out, the fire had been contained after consuming 1.25 acres.  We are very fortunate that it wasn't much worse, for the winds where very strong yesterday & that has continued today, too, although not as much.  It is feeling very chilly with that wind blowing.  I closed our bedroom sliding glass door!  That hadn't been closed since mid-June, & i didn't want to close it again for a few weeks.  (I CAN still open it of course, but it is a matter of pride to me to leave it open - don't ask why!)  I'm not fond of wind.  Between long hair, contacts, & being bothered by the sound, wind is not my friend.  A small breeze, fine, but not real wind.  

I've bought more yarn to make more baby blankets.  The first i made i don't like at all, but was still going to give to my friend's daughter for her coming girl baby, until i learned she doesn't like pink.  Huh.  The second i started, & while i like it . . . Well.  It is of very fine yarn & so is knit on small needles.  It is a simple pattern, but a pattern none the less.  I can tell that making that blanket will be hours & hours of work, & frankly, i don't believe my niece will appreciate it at all.  I'm not willing to put in the time on something that she won't recognize as quality.  

So, i'm working on a beautiful, multi-colored blanket made of very chunky (soft) yarn.  It should knit up quickly.  But it is too heavy for my niece in Florida, so i'll give it to my friend's daughter.  For my niece i bought a bamboo that should knit nicely, not be too heavy, & go rather quickly.  The only color option i had was a yellow, so that's what she'll get.  It is in 2 dye lots that are very different, but they didn't have enough of one to make it all & they've stopped making this particular brand.  So i bought all 5 skeins.  Two of one shade, 3 of another.  I figure i'll alternate the skeins & it will have to do.  When i'm farther i'll post a pic.  

One last paragraph.  See if i can do this.  I'm quite dyslexic & each & every post i have to crooect about one word in each sentence as i reverse the letters.  So i sowre to myself that i'd do one paragraph where i didn't correct the senences.  Except, i find that i'm typing slowly & not making the sme meitakes.  I've found it itneresting that being dyslexic isn't primarily reading for me.  I reverse left & girht & i reverse the letters each hand has to type.  Kiss becomes kill.  For some reason, with directions, i do better with north & souht, or starboard & prot.  Don't know why.  So, anyway, here is a small smaple of what my writing tould look like if i didn't correct as much as i do.  It was hard to write this & NOT go back & correct.  I think i did less mistakes here than normal because i must have been concentrating harder.

Have a lovely Sunday.  :)


26 August 2010

Different complaint

When i first began working as a massage therapist in Costa Mesa right out of massage school, there was a loophole in working so that if you were working for a chiropractor you were not required to obtain your own license to work.  Costa Mesa eventually made that illegal & required for all MTs working to obtain their own license regardless of where they were doing the work.. 

I freaked out a bit about this because i'd heard really awful things about the licensing process & was afraid of it (i don't test very well anyway).  The test had been written by my former teacher & she was rabid on making massage a "medical" profession.  She believed that no one with less than 1,000 hours of training should be licensed & i heard she wrote the test with that in mind to try to eliminate folks with less training.  Current standards usually require 500 hours, & some require even less.  I have 1,300 hours currently, but still was afraid of the test.  So, i went to work in other cities that didn't have this requirement.

A couple of years later i met Dr. Ketner.  I liked her work very much & eventually she offered me a place in her office to do massage.  But that meant i had to do the dreaded Costa Mesa license.  I doubt i would have done it for anyone else but i bit the bullet & went thru it.  

The fact is, many people doing work other than massage use the term "Massage Therapist" to hide what they are (illegally) doing.  It has to do with pleasuring men in a way that can land you in jail.  So everyone doing massage is under quite a lot of scrutiny & suspicion.  In fact, most cities license MTs thru their vice department at the police station.  

But i did it.  And i think that the test my teacher had originally written had been re-written by the time i took the test 6 years later.  It was entirely fair & not a mess written for someone working on a doctorate in physical therapy.  

But my point in all this was that i began working with Dr. Ketner.  The room was entirely set up by her.  All the furniture, linens & equipment in the room were hers, also the pictures.  I provided a blanket, some towels, & a tiny table on which to put my supplies.  

I didn't run a very busy practice.  Those were the days when i had more energy & i did do some marketing, but nothing was very successful.  Still, i had people coming in to see me.  Then Dr. Ketner told me that Dr. Geske was looking for someone in his office & i might want to split my time & that i could pick up some additional people.  So i began working two offices.  This was no additional stress as Dr. Geske is in Costa Mesa too, & i already had that license.  

At some point in time, as i wasn't covering many hours, Dr. Ketner invited another MT, (i'll call her "Dee") to work out of the office.  As i wasn't paying for the room/office but only an hourly % & none of the equipment was mine, there was nothing i could say about this.  It wasn't a problem at first, except that i didn't like how Dee would set up the table.  I did think it a bit odd that she never contacted me or tried in any way to coordinate.  Maybe i should have made the effort as i was there first, but it seemed to me that it would be more natural for her to call me & say "Hi, i know you've been working the room, but i'm going to be there a few hours now too & wanted to let you know."  Oh well.  It was a problem at the end of my time there, because Dee scheduled herself with a client at the same time i had someone & we had only the one room.  I wasn't very happy about that, but i transferred my person to Dr. Geske's office (Dr. Ketner was in the process of moving in with Dr. Geske then anyway).  

So we made the move to Dr. Geske's.  I was pleased about that because now i could work with both doctors without splitting my time between offices.  It took some adjusting, but it worked out well, especially as we were living in Big Bear by then & i was driving down to work.  (Before i'd lived within 2 miles of both places.)  I bought the sheets & equipment from Dr. Ketner she had left from her office.  (Since i was already established at Dr. Geske's, i already had the whole room set up, but i was pleased to be able to buy the towel warmer & some other items.  Unlike Dr. Ketner's, at Dr. Geske's office i started with an empty room.  One hundred percent of what is there belongs to me.)  

About a week after Dr. Ketner moved, Lori (office manager) & i were quite shocked when Dee walked in one day & began looking around to see what the office was like.  Lori didn't know her & didn't know what she was doing.  She said, "I'm the new MT & have come to check out the office."  BUT, it was no longer "Dr. Ketner's office."  Dr. Geske was who she needed to talk to & make arrangements.  AND, the massage room was no longer set up by the doctor.  All the items belonged to me.  

Long & short, Dee never made the transition to our office.  Her license was expired & she didn't make a good impression with Dr. Geske at all.  He didn't care for her attitude of entitlement.  

He has talked about bringing in another MT a couple of times.  Neither has worked out, but the first time he approached me about it, he did say, "You're not going to get weird about sharing the room, are you?"  Um, yes & no.  I told him it depended upon the person & how we would be able to divide things.  As it never hit reality, we've not had to work that out.  

But i am a bit "weird" about this because all of the items are mine.  I purchased them.  I set them up.  And the room isn't very big.  There is not a lot of space to share with someone else for storage.  And while we can work out the using of my equipment, i guess, i will not share linens.  Which means things could get weird.  It also doesn't seem equitable to me for someone to come in & use my equipment.  THEY don't have the cost of setting it up, nor does the doctor.  

And this comes up now?  Dr. Geske interviewed a MT yesterday.  

That is his right.  I'm not working very much at all (i average maybe 3 hours a week).  I very much wish i could do more, but reality is right now i can't.  So i understand him wanting to do this.  But he didn't mention it to me so i was shocked & rather upset when it happened.  And he's not discussed it with me, so i don't know if he is interviewing her for the room he has empty (& she could set up herself) or for the room i currently utilize & contains all my belongings.  He didn't discuss it with me after wards, either, so i don't know what is going on.  I asked Lori, & she told me, a bit sharply, that she doesn't know, she wasn't informed either.  

I'm "over it" now, although a little anxious.  I wish he would tell me what he has in mind.  A long time ago i worked for a couple of different chiropractors & i was never able to store anything at their office.  Two of them i had to bring my table with me every time i went there, & all my linens & oils for the day.  Since i no longer live in OC, that really isn't an option for me.  I've nowhere to store the linens if i couldn't leave them there.  Oils & lotions go bad stored in a car. Shlepping all my stuff around would make massage impossible for me.  The reason i've been able to continue is that the room is set up & i don't have to do a lot of work each time i go there to prepare.  I've essentially given up doing massage in BB because i don't have a room set up to do it, & taking all my stuff each time was wearing me out, even when Duane went along & did most of the carting. 

I don't like surprises & i don't like changes.  I certainly recognize his right to do as he wishes with his office, especially in the light of the fact that i'm there so little & not bringing  in many clients or income.  I wish it was otherwise.  

But in my experiences in the past, a new MT is usually "vetted" by someone already there.  When i worked a spa, no one was hired without one of the established MTs checking out the work the new MT did.  That meant that part of an interview process was that the interviewed MT gave someone a free massage.  Standard.  Instead, i feel like i'm in the dark & don't know what is going on.  

All images free, provided by Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals website as a benefit to their members. 


23 August 2010

Do i have anything to say?

It seems i've gone thru phases of having lots to say, but not doing it.  Now that i'm doing it, i doubt i have much to say.

Hard to believe i've not written in a week.  These pics are just random from my file as i've not taken many pics lately either.

We have done things.  We had Nina & her family here to dinner on Friday & i very much enjoyed it.

However, i'm faced with the fact that i'm in more pain, constant but not severe pain, & i can't do as much as i was doing even a couple of months ago.  I was listening to a video by Dr. Cheney who has done a lot of research with CFS/CFIDS.  I didn't find it very reassuring, but it is good to know there is a physical cause for this & i'm not just creating it in my brain.  I don't even know why i'm getting worse as i'm doing all the right things with bad food out, diet of good food, & using supplements.  

But i don't WANT to lose any more functioning & i WANT to be able to socialize, so i'm feeling rather desperate.  It seems to me that life would be very dark if i couldn't go with Duane to OC any more or if i couldn't work any more.  I am NOT Gitz, much as i admire her. 

I DID tell my MIL Jeanet about the CFS/CFIDS last week, tho i put it in terms of Diastolic Dysfunction rather than fatigue, because everyone gets tired & so they often don't understand the level of fatigue i'm experiencing.  I had to do it because 1. I was afraid she would think me just lazy & 2. I cannot do a weekend like the last one again.  She seemed to understand at some level, although she probably still does not.  But now if i return to the house & have to lie down right away, we can say, "This is what Kathryn was telling you about her limitations."  I also need to stop pushing myself so hard in OC so that i will "look normal."

I also had a conversation with Duane telling him that i have gotten worse & that we need to find something to do about this.  He didn't want to hear it, i know, & i feel badly that he has to live with this every day.  But i also can't keep pushing even tho i want to.  Of course, that brings up some real questions as we have been entertaining more, because i WANT to & i deeply desire to build more relationships with people.  Facebook, & blogging & email just don't seem to be doing that.  Maybe i'm going about it in the wrong way.  

I also don't want to become a constant complainer.  I hate to think that i am.

  In the past couple of years i've tried a Naturopathic Doctor, a Concierge Doctor, & a Wellness Clinic.  Each time $200 or more out of pocket.  I've also done acupuncture regularly for a year or more, & i still get CranioSacral regularly (usually once a month).  I've kind of been spinning my wheels because there are several alternative or integrative medicine docs or clinics in OC, but just to simply see the doctor to try & figure out if they understand the problems & can address them can be $200-400 out of pocket.  I don't mind that if the doc is someone i can work with & who will help, but imagine doing that 10 times trying to find someone!  I get overwhelmed just thinking about it & trying to make a decision based on their web-site.  

Although, now that i think about it, my beginning to swirl downward seemed to start back when i stopped doing regular acupuncture.  

So, i've bit the bullet & made an appointment  with a doc a friend of mine sees.  Dear friend Cindy has had a lot of success with an integrative medicine group in OC.  I had tried one before that just didn't seem to "get it."  I may need to return to acupuncture too.  

So, i guess i had plenty to say but none of it very pleasant or uplifting.  I'd prefer to write happy, funny posts.  I think that i'm grieving & trying to accept my life (& childlessness continues to be part of that grief).  So, i've not had much to say 'cause i'd prefer not to be so negative.  I like to think of myself as a realistic optimist, but i've struggled with the "optimistic" part recently.

There it is.  Such as it is.  

It is hot in OC.  I'm dreading it, but down we go tomorrow.  :)


16 August 2010

The pics . . . some commentary

 A small sample of the cars that were at the car show.

Question - now that some of these "antiques" are much older than my parents & not much older than me, are my parents "antiques"?  Am i?

 My FIL Tom didn't bring his car up for the show.  But this looks a lot like his 57 Chevy.  Well, in my memory it did.  Now that i compare the two, maybe not quite so much.

Tom's 57 Chevy at our wedding 6 (almost) years ago.

 Just some pretty shots.  I think the green trees against the blue, blue, blue sky here is simply beautiful & i never get tired of looking at it. 

My cats are relieved my ILs are gone as well.  Tom likes to tease them & they don't appreciate it.  Jazz, in particular, gives him a wide berth.  About 3 years ago he was visiting & threw a shoe at Jazz (long story) & Jazz has never forgotten it.  

We are getting some sprinkles this afternoon.  I can smell the ozone.  Mostly it has just raised our humidity.  It is up to 37%.  I thought we were on the slide to the fall, but the slide seems to have a bit of a bump in it.  Yesterday's high was 81F, & today was almost 80.  The low last night was 51 & i didn't sleep but with a sheet all night long.  The winter weight duvet now seems ridiculous, but after a week of temps in the low 30s it seemed the thing to do!

Seems like i had more to say, but i've forgotten.  ;)


The weekend

The visit with my ILs was fine, tho i was exhausted when they left.  We went in separate cars to church (i'll post about church at the other blog) and then breakfast.  They left for home directly after breakfast because of another obligation they had.  

I spent the rest of the day resting.

They arrived before 1 on Friday and N was still there.  The house was cleaned and the meals planned.  Duane and Tom, his step-dad, left to go golfing.  Jeanet, his mom, chatted with us in the kitchen while we finished cookies and made apple crisp.  When N left, Jeanet said, "So she comes over here and hangs out on her day off?"  I simply said, not knowing what else to say, "Well, i pay her some."  Hours later i realized i could have just said, "Well, it works that we help each other out."  Thinking on my feet is not a strength of mine.  

That day had its ups and downs.  I realized that i didn't really know what to do with Jeanet while the guys were off golfing.  She doesn't knit or quilt, or do any other crafts as far as i know, so going to one of those stores was out.  When we are at her house, she will be on the computer playing card games, or reading the paper, or watching TV.  She also is quite active in her yard and some with gardening.  With her family she will play card games when they come.  But none of those things translate well for just the two of us together. 

We ran into town to get a couple of items i needed from the grocery, but when i asked if she'd like to stop somewhere her response was, "No, i don't like to shop."  So we just sat and chatted for the afternoon.  

I did make one huge mistake that afternoon.  My front door (sliding glass window) is dirty.  I notice it sometimes, and have meant to have N clean it.  Jeanet noticed and then i simply couldn't sit still once i was very aware of it.  But cleaning that door was not a good choice.  It is much too much work for me to manage.  I kept saying to myself as i did it and Jeanet watched, "Why am i doing this?  I should not be doing this!  I don't have the energy for this."  But i couldn't stop with it half done.  Well i did.  I only did the sliding part of the door, not the immobile part, but even that was far too much.

I made 3 meals while they were there.  Duane helped me Friday night with blackened chicken breasts, pasta, Alfredo, broccoli (mostly for me), bread, and apple crisp with ice cream.  Saturday AM i just cooked some oatmeal that i'd soaked from the night before.  Saturday evening we had chicken breast sandwiches with green beans and some potatoes i'd cut in wedges and put olive oil and (homemade) seasoning salt on them.  I had salad.  

Saturday we went to the car show.  This was the hairy one for me, because i knew that going really was not a good idea, but there was no half-choice i could make.  I couldn't let them go ahead and meet them later because of parking issues.  I didn't want to stay home the whole day.  

We took backstreets the whole way there and missed most of the awful traffic.  We also came at the area from behind and found parking really close.  The whole Village was blocked off with the show cars lining the blocked off streets and the public parking lot.  On our way home we drove around the lake rather than fight the traffic going the way we wanted to go. 

We didn't walk much of the car show, probably only half-mile all total.  I took the option of sitting where i could and waited while they walked it.  It had occurred to me to wonder if we could get a wheel chair for while we were there, but that would certainly raise a lot of questions.  We were there from about 10-2, and stopped for lunch at 12.  I wanted to do this, i like to be out, and we saw some people we don't see often anymore.  I enjoy being out, i do, but by the time we left i was exhausted almost to the point of tears. 

When we came back, i simply went and laid down and rested for most of the rest of that afternoon.  They were watching golf on TV (which i personally think is one of the most boring things in the world) and i think they fell asleep in front of the TV.

At the car show we did go into a couple of the Village shops.  "Shopping" with Tom is an experience.  He doesn't get the idea of "simple life" whatsoever, and if we tried to explain it he wouldn't begin to comprehend it.  His idea of living is to spend the most money you can on items and show them off to whoever comes to see you.  (Often mentioning the price of the item, too.)  He made lots of "suggestions" for improving our house.  He does this somewhat facetiously, knowing that we can't afford to spend money that way and probably wouldn't anyway.  The couches he suggested were thousands of dollars.  I took one look and said, "If i had them money for them, i'd put that money into remodeling our kitchen and bath."  

I don't think he was running us down by doing this, and i don't think he was seriously suggesting that we should buy them.  It is just his way of a diversion i think.  But seeing the things he admires and the prices of what he admires is interesting.  Our values are so very, very different from his.  

When Jeanet and i went to the grocery on Friday, i asked Jeanet what kind of bread they like.  I needed to get buns for the chicken sandwiches.  Her response was, "The cheapest."  I think she was a bit put out with me that i didn't buy the cheapest bread on the shelf.  I chose a whole grain instead.  I did not read the labels on any of them, because frankly i know that any commercially made bread (whole grain or not) is going to be filled with all kinds of things i think are horrible.  I do not believe that "whole grain" makes it healthy.  I believe the whole grain is maybe .02% better than the other stuff.  But Duane prefers it.  I also balk at my MIL's view on "cheap" food.  

They don't need to buy cheap food.  I don't believe my FIL's ostentatious way of living is simply off credit cards.  They have money.  Sometimes i think Jeanet goes for the cheap food as an off-set to Tom's over-the-top way of doing things.  Or it is habit from when she didn't have money.  Or it is the only way she feels like she's much control in their relationship.  Or a combination of all of those things.  I do feel she is short-changing herself.  Buying the cheapest chicken or beef on the market is buying animal flesh that is the result of factory farming and the poorest, sickest animals available.  They are loaded with antibiotics, hormones, and toxins and are not good for anyone in the long term.  

That is the problem, however, with our food system.  Long term.  Most people only look at short term and if it doesn't make you sick or kill you quickly then it is okay.  The fact that the "food" is loaded with carcinogens and other things that will create a problem in 5, 10, 20 or more years isn't given consideration. 

We bought the movie Food, Inc. not long ago and my ILs watched it.  But it isn't going to make a difference to the choices they make.  

My MIL kept trying to give me chicken over the weekend.  I kept saying "I don't eat chicken."  (The stuff i bought was good quality, organic chicken.  I try to buy the best to feed to Duane.)  

Jeanet said, "But when you were first married you used to eat chicken.  Why don't you eat it now?"  

I responded, "Did you see the way those animals are raised? (In Food, Inc.)  I'm not going to consume that.  It isn't healthy."  (I did not go into the issues of organic vs. commercially raised.  What i provided here is healthy, but what she serves is not.  If i ate the healthy stuff here at home she wouldn't understand why i won't eat the stuff she serves at her house.)

She said, "But that movie wasn't out when you quit eating meat."

"No, but i already knew most of that information before the movie came out.  There was very little in that movie i didn't already know."  

I'm not sure that she understands that the factory farming has been going on for years and years.  She talked as if it just started when the movie came out.  Part of the problem, too, is that she was raised on a farm in Wisconsin, in the 40s and 50s.  I don't think that she realizes how much production has changed.  She doesn't see it when she goes back for a visit.  I think she believes that most of the farms are like where she grew up and that the factory farming is just a small part of the production.  I doubt she believed much of that movie.

I'm not going to change her mind.  I'm not going to try, except on the rare occasion where the opportunity comes up.  There is no use in beating someone up with concepts if they are not open to hearing/changing.  But i really wish she wouldn't work at trying to change me, either.  

It wasn't a bad weekend.  But it wasn't a comfortable weekend, either.  It wasn't a bad weekend, but it just wasn't very comfortableIf they come for a visit like this again, we are going to have to tell them about my limitations because i can't do another one like this.  I have tried to be someone that i'm not in their presence & this can't continue.

We got lots of good pics from the car show.  I don't have them loaded in my computer yet, tho.  I took a lot at first, and then when i stopped looking at them and was resting, Duane took a lot.  

Anyway, that was the weekend.  I am going to the knitting group this week (i missed last week with a migraine) and so i need to leave.  I'll spend most of today resting, too, so that we can go to OC tomorrow.


13 August 2010

Quick Note

This has been a very hard week.  I never really recovered from the weekend & then we went down the hill.  My schedule this week never allowed any real "down time" & so i'm pretty well spent.  Migraine & exhaustion have ruled the week, but i've still had to be up & functioning.

My ILs are due to arrive in the next hour.  Nina is here helping me.  I've spent the AM resting while she cleans.  I will HAVE to limit what i do this week or i will have to cancel going down the hill next week.  I'm rather anxious about this weekend, for i know i've not much more to give.  My ILs have never seen how i struggle with disability & i've worked hard at that because i don't think they will understand.  This weekend may change their view of me.  

I never responded to comments in the last post.  Please know that i read them & appreciated them, but i've just not had any extra this week to give.  I so appreciate when you take the time to let me know you were here.  :)

Hope y'all have a great weekend.  If you are praying people, you can keep me in your prayers.  I'm hoping we can still have some fun!  I'm only planning on making 2 meals.  The rest we will eat out.


09 August 2010

Grrr . . . arrr . . . wha?

(Only because my head is weird.)

Duane is off the mountain today with a SAR in Needles.  I'm concerned, of course, because it is the desert and hot and all those things.  He was excited to be able to go, however.  It is an ATV search and he just completed that training.  Technically he isn't free to go because he is suppose to do more hours with an instructor, but they cleared him to do it because the folks he is going with have so many hours themselves.  

But this meant that he had to get up at 2.30 this morning, guess who wakes him?  Yup.  Tho even if i didn't, his leaving (unless he slept on the couch) would have woken me.  I did get back to sleep about 4.30, but i've a headache because of this sleep disturbance, so i've not done much of anything today.  Mac is beside me purring like mad.  

We had N and her family to dinner last night.  Of course, she ended up doing a lot of the cooking and clean up, but we provided the food and worked along side her.  We enjoyed it very much and especially enjoyed visiting some with the kids.  Her two older children are delightful.  Her 3 year old is a handful.  But he didn't bother me and he wasn't destructive (we do have a few things on shelves that an out-of-control kid could make a mess of).  Duane made blackened salmon (fish that desperately needed to be cooked) and even tho we didn't have huge portions, i'd bought enough that we all got some.  She and i made the GF pasta (this is the best ! made by Andeanand Alfredo sauce.  She really liked the Alfredo (i do use more cheese than the recipe calls for) and i sent the left over home with her.  We also had salad and some biscuits (not GF).   

We will probably plan to do this together once or twice a month.  I enjoyed it alot, tho i was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day.  When i asked Duane he enjoyed it too.

Duane's parents are planning to come up this weekend.  I'm a bit stressed over that.  Mostly that i won't be able to keep up physically.  Also we don't really know when they will arrive.  It wouldn't be out of character for his dad to wake up at 6.30 and decide to leave then (which means they'd be at our house about 8.30).  They actually called last Friday and wanted to come up then, but we had company and Duane had weekend plans and he tried to (nicely) suggest that the planned weekend would work better for us.  I'm planning to have N come on Friday, but she may not be able to come as early as she normally does, so that could get dicey. 

It is interesting that they are doing more research with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also called Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome & also possibly related to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).  One of the things that is becoming clear is that CFS has physical differences that can be differentiated from "normal" or "depressed" populations.  (Because many of us who have had this for many years have been told by medical authorities that it is "all in your head" or "you're just depressed.")  Blood flow is one of the issues, tho it apparently is hard to diagnose in a PWC (person with Chronic Fatigue), because it is not the normal restriction of blood flow most commonly seen.  Also a big part of CFS is "Post-Exertional Malaise" (PEM) which is the utter exhaustion (including some cognitive problems) that comes after any sort of physical activity, and in some cases also mental activity or stress.  In the first of these two reports, they found physical differences in the muscles of folks with CFS.  Also, i just want to mention, one of the differences between CFS and depression is that folks with CFS want to do things, they just can't.  Anyway, i simply mention it here because i want to have a place where i've got these reports.  You're welcome to check it out, however.  If you know anyone with CFS, it might help you understand it better. 

Post-Exertional Malaise: Perceptioand Reality
Post-Exertional Malaise: Causand Effect

I know i've mentioned before that in August i can always feel "fall in the air."  This is our 4th August living here, tho we had come up to visit other years.  The past 4 days the low at night has been below 40F.  Last night the low was 30.  We won't have plants living too much longer.  And we won't be able to sleep with the doors open much longer.  I think i've said before, we don't have many windows.  We have 4 sliding glass doors and 2 windows (one in a bathroom, one in the guest room) that open.  Then we have 3 windows that are like skylights in the living-room which were added when the roof was replaced. Strange to have a house with almost no windows!  I hate having to close the doors at night. 

Yesterday we found a nice eiderdown duvet at a garage sale.  It had a lot of pillow shams and 2 covers with it.  One is flannel, and Duane will be very happy for a month or so this winter when we use it.  I got all of that for $25, the duvet alone would cost upward of $250 new.  We had been using a duvet from Ikea, but they size their duvets based on European sizing which is more square and not as wide as we like.  I had one duvet already the size we like, but it is very lightweight.  So i went ahead and put both (new and old) in the duvet cover and we are now at winter weight.  Duane is happy with that; it is a bit too much for me, but i hope it means we can sleep with the door open for another few weeks.  The Ikea duvet i will save for company.  Since it is king-size (but smaller than the one we just got) it will be perfect for our double/queen guest bed.  

I finished one of the baby blankets i'm working on.  I need to get pics.  The other is a very lacy, lightweight blanket & it may be a long time before i have that finished.   

I've been needing to get the CA license for massage done and have been planning on it for a while.  I meant to do it early July, but got distracted.  Just looked it up and it could take up to 90 days plus whatever time it takes to do the testing.  Arrg!  I'm going to be stressed because i don't have that much time.  I need to get on it so i can get it ASAP.

Jazz has joined Mac on the bed and they are now snuggled down into the softness of the double duvet!  


04 August 2010

High Desert

 (Image by - requires credit given!)

In the previous post Lisa commented about how dry it looks at our house.  That is true.  We are technically "high desert" & it is quite dry.  When i was a kid, i assumed that "desert" was mostly like this image:  largely flat, sand, dry.  In college ecology, i learned that designations of different regions are based on annual rainfall.  

We get quite a lot of snow, but we rarely if ever have significant rain in the summer, which makes it very dry.  Also, humidity is quite low.  On occasion the humidity will reach in 50-60% but that is uncommon.  Usually our humidity is 10-15%.  This makes us high desert. 

Where i grew up in Montana was not quite the same.  They get much more rainfall during the summers, but it also has the possibility of being very dry if it is a dry summer.  Humidity there is similar to Big Bear.  I'm coming to think that the greenness that is so common on the East Coast of this country is directly  a result of the humidity which is responsible for all the green deciduous trees that populate that green land.  On much of the West Coast, pine trees are the norm.  Any deciduous trees we have are either scrub, or have adapted (aspen & cottonwood) or are ones that are watered by people.  Much of the Western part of the country needs individual watering to keep it green.  

Yes, it is dry where we live.  But right now Sugarbear is looking quite green!  We will never have grass/a lawn, however.

I can tell August has arrived.  The lows at night, which never were over 52F for July, are back to the low to mid 40s again.  The days are still warm - usually mid-70s, but it won't be long before it is cool.  Summer is on its way out.  We kept the duvet on the bed all summer, a light one.  I usually didn't need it, but Duane likes to sleep very warm.  I change the duvet covers for the season, think i have about 6 of them.  It is time to change from the yellow-flowered summer one to a one that is rather more like fall.  (Duane will be happy to see the flowers go.  He's not fond of flowered stuff.)  He will probably soon be asking for winter sheets again, too!

We still have about 6 weeks before the trees start to turn, too. 


03 August 2010

I had so much in my head this morning . . .

. . . i'm sure i had a lot to say, but now it is all gone.  I miss my brain!  I wonder if it will ever come back?

So, a few pics from around Sugarbear.  :)


This is our wood pile now that it's all stacked.  Only a small part of this is the right size for us to burn.  The rest will have to be cut.  It doesn't look as large in this pic as it looks to me when i peer out our window.

This is our new peach tree that we've just planted.  So far it seems to be fine.

This is the rose bush that i cleaned out around the base on Saturday.  I paid for that gardening the rest of the weekend, but i'm looking forward to having the place look a little neater.  As you can see in this pic in the foreground, there is still a lot of grass needing to be pulled.

This is the rosebush i've not done anything with as of yet.  Much cleaning to be done.  This is a darker color than my other roses & is beautiful, but it gets its leaves & blooms much later than the others.

This is the non-fruit plum that neither Duane nor i like.  I've considered cutting it down & letting the suckers (which come up green) create a bush instead of this tree.  Even tho these are used a lot as ornamental, neither of us like it.  Duane, being color-blind, tends to see it as black.

This is the same fruit tree, but with the sun showing thru the branches.  It isn't black, of course, but somehow i still don't care for the color, although in the pics it can look stunning.

This is our apple tree.  It looks healthy, doesn't it?  It is, except the late freeze killed all the blossoms.  

This is the only apple we have found on the tree. ONE.  The tree did blossom out more after the freeze, but i don't think any of the honeybees came back & pollinated the blossoms.  Maybe next year.

This is one view of Sugarbear.  Everything is so green right now.  That pine is in our back yard & is enormous!

This is another view of Sugarbear, with the mountains (Sugarloaf) in the background.


These are views of a type of blogger comment form.  If you have these on your computer, i cannot comment.  I've tried a few times.  Even the ones that allow Anonymous or "Name/URL" 95% of the time will send my comments into the ether.  I've given up.  I don't know if anyone that visits me here has this type of "Post a Comment," but if you do, i'm not commenting there.  I don't know that anyone cares, just letting you know, i've been to your blog, i've tried to comment.  It doesn't like me!

Duane & i are a lot alike in many ways.  That is very good for our marriage in most areas.  In other ways it has its challenges.  Neither of us care about food that much.  Duane, when i asked him said he cares about 1. taste 2. not being hungry & 3. that it is somewhat healthy.  (I think 3 would be 10 if there were more things on the list.)  I guess i care more about healthy than does he, because at least some of my problems are related to a horrible diet (fast food, largely) for so long.  Also, i find it really challenging that many of the things i like & could eat over & over he won't touch (& vice versa).  Also, i am really fighting the feeling of resentment that if we are going to eat a home cooked meal, i have to do it.  Since neither of us like to cook or care that much about food, default has fallen to me & i'm having a hard time not being angry about that.  And i'm struggling with the fact that there are more & more things i can't eat.  Being that limited is frustrating, especially when trying to create something for us both.

We talked about it today & came up with a compromise.  We are, for the next 8 weeks, going to commit to making one meal together every week.  What (he) we would like to eat & would like to cook.  After 8 weeks we will re-assess the situation & make adjustments based upon the results.  (I'm hoping that we will do more than one meal a week, but we will see.)  Also we discussed stuff that can be cooked (by him, or by me, or by Nina) that can then be frozen & he can eat that will be simple but he can do it himself.  We did not discuss, but we should, of setting a time to eat a first meal, probably 11.30.  We both have the tendency to wait until 2 or 3 to eat at all, & by then we are starving & not choosing good, healthy, or otherwise, only quick.

I know to anyone who is used to a schedule & eats regularly this would seem very strange & a no-brainer, but, well, that is not us.  Duane ate either frozen, microwaved stuff, or his mother cooked.  That she expects me to cook ("Kathryn, Duane's home, make him a sandwich") is starting to really bug me.  I could say lots about this, but it simply comes down to this:  Something has to change.  

Whether that change becomes not caring about the health of the food & simply eating convenience, microwave stuff (not likely to happen) or we begin to eat 90% of our meals out (also probably not likely), something has got to give.  Hopefully our experiment will work.

Sunday night i made the pasta/broccoli/Alfredo sauce again.  But i tried a new recipe.  It was made with cream cheese & it was much easier, but it didn't have the flavor the first one (over which i was so frustrated & nearly threw the pot across the room).  If i had made the easy one first, i would have said, "This doesn't taste like much, i might as well buy it pre-made (organic) from the store."  But the first one was so good, i think we are likely to try it again - BUT with cooperation in taking turns stirring it because it takes a long time. 

It's been a long day.  I still have the migraine that started Sunday.  The doc i work with adjusted me today, but it hasn't helped much.  I used to do Pepsi for a migraine, but i've stopped doing conventional soda 100%.  Then i tried Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino, (Starbucks in cans has horrible, awful stuff in it but the one in the glass jar surprisingly has pretty good stuff - i.e. sugar instead of HFCS & actual milk but minimal chemicals) but i decided that was not a good choice either.  So i've been trying to "tough it out" but it isn't helping much.  I may break down & get the Starbucks tonight.  

I'm ready for the day to end!