Monthly Archives: April 2010

Just Keep Swimming…

No… it actually was probably warm enough today to swim (I know it was the last couple days) but it is more the “Finding Nemo” version of just keep swimming… just keep swimming… What do we do?  We Swim…

Never been quite sure if Dory was just too dumb to stop swimming or if she was the eternal optimist…

I keep singing the song (sometimes in my head… sometimes… much to Squirrel Girl’s embarrassment… out loud… ) because I’m trying to remind myself to just keep on keeping on.

I’m so over having infected “ingrown toenails”… I just get one healed and another one gets going… It started on my big toe… first right one… then left one (never gets into my left one…)… now it is back to right foot and it is my next toe over (the equivalent of the pointer finger on your foot).

I’m so getting tired of all of this.

And I so know that it is something I’m going to have to keep swimming to deal with (I wonder if the pool water would actually help it… hmmm).

It was a wonderful walk today… Bear’s blood pressure is starting to normalize.  He’s still pretty gung-ho on loosing weight and cutting fat (and Pepsi) from his diet… He is even feeling guilty for eating some of my birthday cake Friday night and the accompanying ice cream (Bryers Neapolitan… YUM… It’s official… I’m old


Just Be (from my mom)

We lead such busy lives, sometimes its hard to slow down, take a deep breathe and, as they say, “be in the moment.”  I ran across this the other day and thought it was worth sharing.  So, please take a moment, read and just “be”.
A Dog’s Purpose

A veterinarian had been called to examine a 10 year old dog, Belker.  The dog’s owners, Ron and his wife, Lisa and their little boy, Shane, were very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. The vet examined Belker and found the dog was dying of cancer.  He told the family there was nothing that could be done and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As arrangements were made, Ron and Lisa told the vet they thought it would be good for 6 year old Sharon to observe the procedure.  They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, as Belker’s family surrounded him, Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, the vet wondered if he understood what was going on.  Within a few minutes Belker slipped away peacefully. The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.  As they sat together for a while after Belker’s death, they wondered aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, everyone turned to him. What came out of his mouth was the most comforting explanation the vet had ever heard.
He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six year old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When a loved one comes home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face be pure ecstasy.
Take naps.  Stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass
On hot days drink lots of water and lie under a shade tree
When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simply joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you are not.
If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Enjoy every moment of every day.

My hope for you this week is that you that you Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,  Speak Kindly and just “be”.

A Stitch in Time

When I was growing up, I watched my great aunt crochet.  She made some of the most beautiful doilies.  She could look at a doily and tell you if it is the “right” side or the “wrong” side of the doily.

I’m not that good.  I can tell you, usually, the stitches that were used in the doily and sometimes even the pattern that was used… if I really work at it, I can usually copy a pattern by looking at the piece… usually.

Grandma Deniker, Aunt Bea and my mommy taught me how to work with fiber.  It is something that I really enjoy.  It is calming.  I have made dog jackets, shawls, blankets, scarves, gloves (mittens too) and a TRUCK load of head band/wrist band sets… (these are because my ears hurt when they get cold and my wrists/hands have ached for YEARS when they get cold).

One thing that mom told me when I was diagnosed was about my great great aunt and how she loved to crochet and, when she had sever RA how she had to come up with creative ways to hold the work and hold the hooks to keep doing the work she enjoyed.

Needless to say I was worried.  I love to work with fiber.  Some days I enjoy cotton thread… some days yarn… some days really thin yarn (half way between normal yarn and thread).  I even took up hookless crochet for a little while (which isn’t easy but is fun).

When I work with yarn, I can usually work with a big enough project that I can cover up my cold achey fingers and hands with the work on occasion, to make them feel better.  I carry a couple wrist warmers just about all the time because they are great.  I can put on topical pain cream (I love tiger balm) and it keeps the cream on my body and it adds the “hold the heat in” factor too… and keeps the slime from getting all over everything.

There are days when it hurts an awful lot to work with anything… the inflammation just makes it hard to hold the yarn/thread and the hook… and making everything move the right way is difficult.  But I’m working on a couple of comfort/ghans… and knowing what I’m doing makes it all worth the trying.

I’m working on Amandya one for when she is feeling put upon by the seizures (like today… she had another one this morning) … it will be many different colors of granny squares… This is the one that I’m working on the hardest because it is for my squirrel girl and it makes me feel good that I will be able to always be there wrapping her in love.

I’m working on one (not quite as hard) for Adam so he always knows that he is loved, too.  Again… granny squares (because I can weave pieces of yarn that I love into bigger pieces of love to them.

I’m also making some spare squares for one that I want to make for me.  Mine might not get quite so big… maybe more of a shawl because it is smaller and not as hard to get the squares for… but I’m working on it anyway… so I can curl up and feel warm and covered up.

I curl up now with my mile-a-min lace throw… the one my mommy made me… it is one of the things that I have that I treasure dearly… that throw and my friendship block quilt that dutchy made me…

it is the small things.

I wish Amandya were interested in learning to crochet so I could pass this on to her… but it is something I treasure anyway…

Suddenly Sunday Again

It’s been quite a week… again… sorry… life is getting ahead of me a lot…

This week was StonyPoint Orchestra Concertthe Pre-UIL orchestra concert… which wiped out Tuesday night.  Don’t they look cute all gussied up?  She hates wearing her gown… he actually likes wearing a tux (go figure).

It was a damp and rainy week and that caused me to ache in marvelous new ways… so I watched their concert but went out into the school hallway to lay on the bench and listen to the rest of the concert.  My knuckles and wrists and ankles have been poking at me and it was not always fun.

BUT… This is a picture from laying on the bench….

It was really interesting to lay there and look up at the flags.  I’m not sure what the criteria is for making it into the roof… because there are lots of flags that I would have thought would be there but that aren’t.  China isn’t there… but Japan is.  Mexico is (duh) but not Australia… it was an interesting study in trying to figure out what is going on with the school.

Apollo is a wonderfully happy dogWednesday was the day that bear went to get put on high blood pressure meds.  Thursday I worried all day because his BP went from 183/107 to 90/58… whoah… big change.  He is getting used to the meds but feeling generally crappy.

Friday was work from home…. I was totally freaking out because I was running out of time to get my MTX script called in and (like it or not) I”m kind of hooked on the chemotherapy drugs that are pushing the ouchies back.  BUT Sean came through and called in the meds… which I took.

I actually didn’t feel as crappy when I got up Saturday morning (which is good since I volunteered to work at Vern’s No Frills 5K) and even though I ached a LOT I went and learned and had a wonderful time.  The brindle puppy is such a wonderful dog… cute… chuck full of personality…

In case there was any doubt… the park where Vern’s is held is in Texas.  This is a part of the sidewalk where I was directing the racers.  I thought the inlay is really pretty.  I have never seen anywhere as prod of where they are as Texas is…

I loved being out in the park.  I was SO worried I wouldn’t be able to find the place… it is kind of… over the river and through the woods but it is a wonderful park.  It has two really cool inhabitants…

Not sure of their names, but they know when the caretakers is on her way with their carrots.

Vern’s No Frills 5k is an awesome race… it costs $1 for anyone not under 18 (free for 18 and under).  It was started by a really cool guy who I would have loved to have known who worked to get people to realize that running and walking is fun… thus the race….  It was wonderful to watch the runners (Vern’s has a facebook page where I posted a link to all of the pictures if you want to see them…

The people who ran are wonderful and I think (given what I’ve heard about Vern) he would approve.

The people who run the race (Georgetown Running Club) are awesome supportive people who run a non-profit geared to teaching people that running or walking can just be fun.  And they are right… and this was a lot of fun.

Got home in time to walk to HEB.. 2 Oranges and BP taken… 7 miles…

Today was our Sunday walk.  I love our Sunday walk… The wild flowers are holding on… and they are still stunning.  If I can’t have October in Western PA at least spring in Central Texas are pretty and colorful too.


It is the season for ants to come back out.

Fire ants suck.  Plain and simple.  I wear size 8 shoes… that tell you how big this hill is?  Ankle high… eesh.  And there were hundreds of them all along the walk.  Happy spring.

Walmart had stainless steel water bottle (my Aluminum ones have been starting to make the water taste funny and I did some digging… apparently they can leach out chemicals into the water as well as making it taste weird… ) which I got and we drink lots of water on our walks now (which is good).  It is still as damp day… so I’m achy… my ankles have been really bothering me… and my wrists and knuckles… all week this week.  I have been (stupidly) trying to tough out the stiffness and the ouchies by not taking Aleve… which I rectified today and it made the 21800 steps easier…. still a bit stiff but not nearly so bad…


A week of reality checks

It’s been an interesting week.   I had good news on Monday… my thyroid test was normal.  Guess that shoots that whole deal on blaming my not being able to loose weight on THAT… ah well… was worth a shot. … Continue reading


Clickity Clickity Click

Today we got shiny new pedometers (the first 100 people through the conference room door) to help track the number of steps we take a day… so we would all go sign up for the 10000 step deal… Now people … Continue reading


It’s Sunday (Walmart, Donuts and 19,147 steps)

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Today is Sunday.  Sunday we do an 8 to 8.5 mile walk (usually to Walmart) and back through the park… past the donut shop (Yeah!!!!) and back home. Today was overcast (actually it tried really hard to rain… even if … Continue reading

5 mile jaunt (10000 steps)

Walked to the grocery store today.  5 miles there and back (even got 87 cent a pint blackberries for the walk home).  It was a great walk.  I SO miss western PA in October… because I miss fall leaves… but I really love central Texas in April.  The bluebonnets are breathtaking… and because of the rain they are even more beautiful than usual.

People here are really great to watch, too.  Everyone gets their pictures taken in the flowers.  People… dogs… pictures and pictures and pictures of the posies.  These are a few of mine.

I signed up for 10000 steps (work is encouraging wellness… visa-ve Yoga… 10000 steps… even giving us a discounted rate on Weight Watchers) and today was a good day… made my 10000 steps.  Tomorrow is the Walk to Walmart (for scripts) and that is a nine mile walk…. more flower pictures…

I love spring.

I love colors.

I love days when I don’t feel like I got hit by a truck.

Breathing is Important… Who Knew! (Another day in the yoga adventure)

Okay, I will admit, I’m probably taking this yoga thing to extremes… well… maybe not extremes, but way further than anyone thought I would… eventually I’m going to (if it KILLS me) be as good as the guy with the amazingly long hair or the guy who drinks his tea out of a stainless steel cup (you KNOW who you are!!!).  I want to be able to be as flexible as they are.  It may take years and I may never actually get there… but that is my dream.

I’ve been looking at the “art” of breathing and it is really cool (and it works… )… AND it is best practiced laying down with your head (and knees if it is more comfortable)  on a pillow.  What could be better… Yoga where you don’t actually have to move!

It is relearning how to breathe deeply, the way you breathe when you are little.

Breathe not only into your chest… all the way into your stomach… deeeeeeeeeply…. the goal (stupid as it sounds in today’s society) is to make your stomach look like you are pregnant…. chest stick out… stomach stick out… slowly in…. slowly out… relax your whole body and just think about breathing…

put one hand on your stomach… one hand on your chest…

make the stomach one rise first…. then your chest….

it really feels good when you breathe like this… relaxed…

who knew breathing could feel good!!!

New Book for an Early Birthday Present

I don’t usually take the money to buy new books from the regular book store.  I have gotten three, I think, in the last year… One on RA, one on Epilepsy and the one that Larry bought me last night.

Yoga for Arthritis The Complete Guide…

Yeah… let’s face it, I’m hooked… I had to smile during the last class at her saying that “this pose” (can’t remember for the life of me now… but I have the audio of it so I should be able to figure it out… ) will get the synovial fluid moving.  I actually laughed at the comment… that is WHY I’m there… to try to get the synovial fluid moving… I got an early birthday present last night when he got me this book… I really like that

1. it tells me how to modify to meet the arthritis needs and what props I can use until (if ever) I can do them without the props… and most of the props are… a towel… the wall… a chair… nothing wild…

2. it tells me under what conditions NOT to do the poses

3. it tells me the purpose of the pose

4. it tells me how to avoid pitfalls (things like… remembering to breathe, open up your shoulders, start slowly… all kinds of things I would probably ignore if I weren’t deliberately reading them…

I absolutely love the chapter on the wrists and hands…

Ever since I fell roller blading (WEAR WRIST GUARDS for anyone who doesn’t know) and broke my arm (radius compound, ulna greenstick… pretty sure that is what started this mess… ten years ago) and my right wrist not working at all right… my wrists and hands have given me issues.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse… Rheumy told me that is why RA settled there so well… it likes boo-boo places like that…

ANYWAY… I love the book… I think I’m going to modify some of the poses and work up my own ideas on them… see where I can make them hurt less when I do them.

Sitting here now, enjoying the reading, the practice and the wonderful smelling breeze coming in through the windows…