Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ten on Tuesday . . .

So . . . you'll recall that I said I wasn't receiving the weekly email prompts, so I wrote to Carole, the woman behind Ten on Tuesday, to ask if she had stopped doing them.

She was on vacation for two weeks.


Alrighty then . . .

Today's Ten on Tuesday top is:  10 Things You Miss About Your Home When You're Away.

Many of these things depend upon where I happen to be, but here goes.

  1. My own bed.
  2. My own space.
  3. My routine.
I can't think of 10 things I miss when I'm away!  I do love to travel, and part of its allure is abandoning my everyday life and stepping in to the unknown.  Meeting new people, learning new things, visiting new places (and old places :-) ) - exciting!!

Although I love to travel, I haven't done much of it in the past couple of years - really since the car accident in November 2014.  I went to Cape Cod in January 2014, and again in September 2015, and I went to Kripalu in May of this year to study yoga for a week.  But I haven't been overseas for quite awhile - and believe me I have the itch!

I've stayed closer to home because I'm still recouping from the money spent last year on the construction in my home.  That's keeping me tethered, and will for some time to come, I'm afraid - but I'm hopeful for at least some domestic travel in 2017.  We shall see . . . 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ted Yoder . . .

It's been a very eventful week and I have lots to share, but I think it will be a Monday wrap-up, because I have to share some amazing and wonderful news with you about my friend and former teacher, Ted Yoder.  If you are on Facebook, you could scarcely avoid seeing his video this week.  He broke the Internet with it and Huffpost wrote about him! 

Why We Love the Dulcimer-Playing Dad, His Pet Raccoon and that Tears for Fears Song

 At this writing - he's had more than 42 MILLION views of his Tears for Fears Everybody Wants to Rule the World post on Facebook, and close to 1 million shares.  Here's his Facebook Page if you'd like to follow him - and here's his blog, and here's his wife Donna's blog (she doesn't post all that often, but she always has good things to say).

Here's his YouTube Channel.

Believe me, this could not happen to a nicer guy.

In 2011, I decided that I wanted to learn to play the hammered dulcimer.  Here is what I wrote back then:
And, as has happened many times before for me, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This time, it's Ted Yoder . . . Do you want to hear some dulcimer like you've never heard before? Click on the bottom of that page and click the forward arrow until you see All Creatures of Our God and King. Click Play and prepare to be amazed. I would lay money that it's unlike anything you have ever heard before. Go on, CLICK. Trust me :-)
Long story short, learning the dulcimer didn't work out so well for me - it was an instrument that I had trouble with even though Ted is a wonderful teacher (I think my brain couldn't wrap itself around playing melody with the left hand).  I ultimately decided to go back to my pipes, but have followed Ted and his music ever since. 

If you were a viewer of my former podcast, All About African Violets, you heard Ted every single week.  He was the musical sponsor of my podcast and graciously allowed me to use his Moon on the Water as my show's theme.  Here he is playing it live:

I hope that more really wonderful things happen for Ted (and his family).  Seriously, it could not happen to nicer guy  :-)

You can buy his CDs on his website and his music is also available on iTunes.

So thrilled that I can say, "I knew him when." 

Go Ted!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer . . .

It's been so brutally hot here for the past month that I haven't felt like doing much of anything - but it finally cooled off yesterday - and here I am  :-)

I have been meaning to give you an update on my shoulder.  I went to the surgeon for my second post-op visit last week, and he said that I was right where I should be six weeks after surgery.  That was good to hear  :-)   I have six more weeks of PT and then I see him again in October.

That's right - PT is nearly finished.  I still go 3x a week until after Labor day, when I will drop down to 2x a week for the duration.  I really don't know what I'm going to do with myself not going to PT all the time  :-D  Of course PT continues at home - it feels like I'm going to be doing it forever on my own.

My stomach - it took two weeks, but my stomach is finally back to normal.  And, I'm taking only one diclofenac (my regular anti-inflammatory) a day - it's definitely keeping the creakiness at bay  :-)

Somehow I'm no longer getting the 10 on Tuesday emails - I've written in to see if I can find out why.  I am, however, getting closer to one of the goals I set earlier this summer.  It was #4:  Delete 12 pounds from my frame by September 1st.  I weigh myself on Thursdays - so from June 9th when that first post was, I'm now down 11 (only one more to go!!).  Not sure how this week will shake out on the scale - I was really hungry yesterday and ate much more than usual - but I keep on tracking and keep moving forward the best I can.  If you're keeping score at home, I'm down a total of 17.2 since May 26th, when I really got serious again.

I have also continued to chip away at the Big List of WIPs.  I created this list on August 12, 2015 - a little more than a year ago.  It was part of my plan to finish what I had started.  I noticed this unattractive trait in myself in a number of areas and I wanted to take action.  A few projects just needed to be blocked, and several more needed to be frogged, but I have plowed on through with the rest of them (as well as knitting assorted pairs of socks for the Year of Stash Socks group) - and now I'm down to two things left.

I finished (FINALLY) The Big Easy Gansey on Monday, when I washed it and laid it out on the Sunroom floor to block - and dry - but it's done and I'm taking it OFF the Big List.  I started this sweater in October 2014 . . .  This first photo is of it done.

And this one is of it blocking on the sunroom floor.  The shadow on the left side is from a plant pedestal.

I immediately picked up my Quick Sand sweater, figured out where I was with it, and proceeded to start knitting on it again.  I started this sweater in July 2015 - so, only a year sitting around for this one, but still, way too long.  After I finish this, I will have one thing left to finish - a pair of socks - the Rhiannon Socks - which were cast on in July 2013 (geez).  These were started as kilt hose for me, and when I stopped piping, I stopped working on them.  I will be finishing them however - and I'm hoping they might inspire me to pick my pipes back up. Although multiple people sent me a Facebook post today about some guy getting a fungus in his lungs from his pipes . . . my sheepskin bag has been sitting for more than a year . . . I'm kinda worried to play it again.

I continue to love my Tai Chi class -  I'm learning the Yang Short Form.  If you want to see it - here is my teacher doing the form.  (Ignore the phone ringing at the end! :-D )

So, that's the news from The Third Coast tonight - I'm home from Tai Chi, and I've just iced my shoulder, and now it's time for me to sleep  :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tolerance for Physical Pain . . .

I am a fan of Dr. Christiane Northrup.  You've likely seen her on PBS or on Oprah.

Today in her e-newsletter, she was talking about sugar.  I went out on to her site to read more, and she said this:
"Sugar—whether in white foods, candy, or alcohol—acts like an opiate in the body. Eating foods that quickly turn to sugar quite literally medicates pain—both emotional and physical. But beware. Sugar is eight times more addictive than heroin in susceptible individuals. If you use sugar to boost your mood, to hold at bay feelings of longing or loneliness, or to improve your tolerance for physical pain, you’ll find yourself in a vicious cycle that makes it very difficult to stop eating sugar. This is not about willpower or your being “bad.” It’s about understanding the chemistry that fuels cravings and then doing something about it." [emphasis mine]
The bit about physical pain is something I've intuitively known for a very long time, yet I've never seen any doctor actually say it - until now.  There's always talk about emotional eating, but never about eating to ease physical pain.

It feels really good to be validated.  Thanks Dr. Northrup!

I've wondered about my pain tolerance throughout this entire shoulder journey.  When I was first in PT in April and May, the pain was sometimes intolerable.  I know my physical therapist was extremely frustrated with me, but what could I do?  Moving my arm in certain ways was excruciating.  Then, right after surgery, the surgeon's physician's assistant led me to believe I was going to be in a lot of pain once the nerve block wore off and that I would need to "keep ahead of the pain."  This never really happened for me.  I did take the pain pills initially - but never more than one at a time and I quickly transitioned to only taking one about an hour before PT.  The pain I experienced after surgery was not even a patch on what I was feeling before surgery.  

As soon as surgery removed the nearly constant physical pain with my shoulder, I've been able to steadily get smaller.  I still have some inflammatory pain in my knees and heel due to the current anti-inflammatory ban because of my wonky stomach - and I've definitely eaten more this last week trying to ease the physical pain in my stomach.

Oh - and I have to say - I'm so done with white rice and those other foods.  I ate white rice yesterday and the day before - and right after I cooked it on Monday night, there was this odd smell in the kitchen.  Seriously - it smelled like farts.  I knew I hadn't passed gas and wondered what it could be.  Then, yesterday, when I opened the ziploc bag with the cooked rice in it, the smell was there.  Ick.

I guess the good news is that I'm really used to eating in a more healthy way now - so much so that going back to old choices no longer is tempting in the least.  Except for ice cream/gelato - I mean, who doesn't like that cold in their stomach?  ;-)

And speaking of my stomach - the update is that my stomach is still unhappy.  The Pepto works - but I'm having to take to it at least three times a day and I have to supplement with chewables in between.  The pain of it woke me early this morning, but turning on to my left side was very helpful and I was able to get it to stop by doing that.  Hopefully just a few more days of this and it will settle itself.  Still crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ten on Tuesday . . .

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is to: Write a list of 10 words that describe you. The catch is that all the words should begin with the same letter as your first name. Use nouns or adjectives or a mix of both - whatever floats your boat!

Hmmmmm . . . I had to pull out the dictionary for this one because there aren't that many descriptive words for this letter.

  1. Jovial
  2. Jaunty
  3. Jocund
  4. Jazzy
  5. Judicious
  6. Joyful
  7. Joyous
  8. Just
  9. Jolly
  10. Jubilant
I like these because so many of them are about joy - like my late mom, I strive to live every day of my life with joy and purpose  :-)

It was easier using the initial of the name I actually go by.
  1. Active
  2. Awesome (yes, yes I am  :-D)
  3. Accepting
  4. Able
  5. Ageless
  6. Affectionate
  7. Amazing
  8. Animated
  9. Articulate
  10. Authentic
Sounds like I have a pretty high opinion of myself.  I guess I do - and there's a reason for that.  I go with the positive, because what we dwell on is what we manifest into our lives.  Meditate and affirm all the positive things that you want to manifest into your life  :-)

Finally - a quick stomach update:  Pepto Bismol is gross.  However, it is, apparently, doing its job.  No pain since I started it last night.  It's weird eating white rice and stuff that is so easy to digest, but I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying the gelato  :-D  (and counting the calories).  Who knows what this week is going to look like on the scale, but I'm not going horribly overboard - just eating very differently.  In any case - this wonky stomach is just a bump in the road.  :-)  I see white rice and instant oatmeal in my future  :-D

Monday, August 8, 2016

If It's Not One Thing . . .

Alrighty then.

Thursday night brought me very unpleasant stomach pain.  Not the rumbly in the tumbly kind - the Jesus, this hurts kind.

Apparently my body has rebelled against the giant, horse-pill Advil I've had to take since surgery.  I tried cutting the dose, but that didn't work.  I then switched back to my normal anti-inflammatory, but although I physically feel WAY better on it, it didn't work either and my stomach is still quite painful.

I called in to the doc today and I'm to stop ALL ibuprofen (the horse-pill Advil, AND my normal anti-inflammatory), take liquid Pepto Bismol  twice a day for a week and see how I feel in a week.  One of my friends told me I'm going to need a stick of dynamite (Pepto is also an anti-diarrheal).  So it goes.  I'm happy to take the Pepto and see how it works for me.  I'm crossing my fingers, and if I'm stopped up beyond belief, it can't be any worse than it was when I was taking the Norco (that's one of the side-effects).

Today was a great PT day because I was back on diclofenac - my regular anti-inflammatory - and I didn't hurt anywhere  :-D  I hate to give it up for a week, but I need to get my stomach back to normal and then I'm sure I can start it again because it's never bothered my stomach before.  I will be looking forward to taking it again.

Saturday was Stitches Midwest.  I had a wonderful day with quite a few of my knitting friends!  It was a smaller market this year - I think some of the vendors who usually come were at Convergence instead.  I did get some yarn - sweater quantities for three sweaters.  I haven't purchased that much yarn in a VERY long time.  I'd show you the photos, but it's all being dyed and will be sent to me.  The photos I took with my phone didn't turn out all that great.  But the yarns will all be here in a couple three weeks.  It's not like I'm in ANY danger of running out in the meantime :-D

These are the Naked Ladies in bloom out in front of my house.  There are a ton of them this year!

And inside the house my two orchids are blooming.  Finally.  After YEARS!  I guess they finally got enough light  :-)

I'm stalling for some reason on finishing the last sleeve of my Big Easy Gansey.  Seriously - I just need to do ONE SLEEVE.  :-D  I think I'm bored with it now.  Still, I want it to be done so I was going to see about picking up those stitches tonight.  But as soon as I got home from Walgreens with the Pepto, I had to make some white rice.  I also bought some tapioca pudding, and white bread English muffins, as well as some gelato.  I will likely have some pain from the sugar in some of these things, but I'm trying to go as bland as possible with my food this week to see if that helps my stomach heal.

It's an early night for me tonight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ten on Tuesday . . .

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is:  go back to the post you wrote on June 14, 2016 - the topic was 10 Things On Your Summer Bucket List - and update the list and see how you're doing regarding those things you want to do this summer.

Here's the list I wrote for summer:

As for this summer of 2016 . . . it's just a regular list  :-)
  1. Get successfully through my shoulder surgery
  2. Heal well and quickly
  3. Become the Queen of PT and regain full mobility in my right shoulder
  4. Delete 12 pounds from my frame by September 1st
  5. Enjoy time spent with friends and family
  6. Set aside enough time to physically take care of myself - i.e., cook more, walk more, sleep more, create more, love more, laugh more . . .
  7. Spend some quality time in my hammock in the shade
  8. Finish The Big Easy Gansey sweater
  9. Listen to all of Outlander on Audible
  10. Get started listening to Dragonfly in Amber on Audible
And here's how I'm doing:
  1. Get successfully through my shoulder surgery.  Done!  Yay!
  2. Heal well and quickly.  In terms of my incisions, done and dusted!
  3. Become the Queen of PT and regain full mobility in my right shoulder - Well, I am the Queen of PT (both at Athletico and at home) - there's no doubt.  I went every workday for three weeks, and am on my third week of going only 3x/week now.  Unfortunately I do not have full mobility back yet, but I'm making progress and I suppose that's what counts :-)
  4. Delete 12 pounds from my frame by September 1st.  I weigh myself on Thursdays - so from June 9th, I'm down 4.8, but from May 26th, which is when I really got focused, I'm down 11.
  5. Enjoy time spent with friends and family. - I could do better in this area and will be spending some time with friends on Saturday at Stitches Midwest.  I am also likely going to drive up to the Michigan Fiber Festival mid-month for a day and will see friends there, too.
  6. Set aside enough time to physically take care of myself  i.e., cook more, walk more, sleep more, create more, love more, laugh more . . . - I'm giving myself this one because I'm definitely doing better in this area!  I'm putting myself first and I've cooked more.  I've been getting 10,000 steps every weekday for a few weeks now, and I'm very good about my home PT program and icing and those things take time.  The steps in particular are a very good improvement for me.  Creating, loving. and laughing - I can always do more  :-)
  7. Spend some quality time in my hammock in the shade - Not yet.  Sleeping is still a challenge with my shoulder and I've felt like the curve of the hammock would not be comfortable on it yet.  Plus, every time I think I'm going to try it - it rains.  :-D  We'll see how I do in the next few weeks ;-)
  8. Finish The Big Easy Gansey sweater - I have made a valiant effort here - One sleeve done and the neckline done.  I plan to do some finish work soon and then pick up the stitches for the remaining sleeve.  I discovered that knitting too much aggravates my shoulder, so I have had to cut back a bit or I would have been done by now.
  9. Listen to all of Outlander on Audible.  Done!  And I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the story by listening to it - something I never thought I would enjoy.
  10. Get started listening to Dragonfly in Amber on Audible.  Yup!  I'm about halfway through, I think.
So - five and half out of 10.  I think that's admirable  :-)  In addition, it's been interesting - I've been forced to do less as I have been healing, and although there are still plenty of weekend days spent in jams just resting, I feel like I'm making progress in many areas this summer. I've also started a Tai Chi class, and I love it!