Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 Years . . .

Today is the 10-year anniversary of this blog.  Linda the Chicken Lady was the one who suggested I start one.  Blogs were the hot thing in the knitting world a decade ago, and I've always been a writer, so I decided to give it try . . .

A decade.  A lot of the blogs that were around then, aren't anymore.  A lot of people have moved completely to Facebook, Twitter, and more recently, Instagram.  I've curated my Facebook feed to show me positive and helpful things; hardly anyone follows me there anymore because I will not stop Resisting the current political administration here in the U.S.  I've tried Pinterest, but I haven't truly found the allure of it.  I have a few boards, but they are rarely added to.  Rather, I am inspired by this board . . .

 I do post photos on Instagram from time to time.  This is my current favorite:

And I do have a Twitter account . . . but somehow I don't seem well able to limit my thoughts to 140 characters . . .  and so, Knit and Run - the Everyday Life of a Wild and Wacky Woman goes on and gives me a place to get things down on the page and to share what's going on in my world, and what books I've read (usually from my book club), and what music I'm listening to (usually old  :-D ). 

My blog is not world-famous.  That doesn't matter.  Over the years it's been a life-line for me more times than I can count.  I've always written it for myself - to help move me through passages in my life and chronicle stuff that's going on.  That anyone else has come along on the journey or been helped by anything I've shared is amazing to me, and very humbling.

Some readers comment, some don't.  Some left when the political waters got hot last year.  Here's what I have to say about that:

But, after all this time, you are still here.

And so am I.


I've chronicled a decade of my life and experiences here.  Knitting.  Spinning.  African Violets.  Ravelry.  Bagpiping.  Women's Issues.  Construction.  Chicago.  My own health and wellness.  The Path to Myself.  365 Project.  Politics.  Life in General.  Endings and Beginnings.  I seem to have a LOT of tags over on the sidebar  :-D

I thought a few times that I would let it go - but I find that I cannot.  So, to those of you still out there - still reading - thank you for bearing witness and holding space for me.

Who knows what the next 10 years will hold?  I certainly don't, but I'm reasonably sure I'll be chronicling it here, and - whatever comes - my hands are open . . .

Onward  :-)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Food for the Soul . . .

Something else I've been doing the past month, is beginning to making music again.  I really cannot go too very long without it.  In fact, if you know me in real life, you likely know that I've been a musician since before anything else.  I've stepped away from it for a few years again because I just haven't had the wherewithal to do it.  But I was inspired to open my eyes . . . I tuned my guitar and have been playing a bit.  And I re-seasoned my pipe bag and at least blew some air through them a few times.  Not pretty, but something.

I am absolutely stunned by the muscle memory retained in my hands.  I am very, very lucky, and that's all that I can say about that.

Quick update on my 24-hour urine collection.  I am happy to say that I have been successful on my "output."  They wanted me at the very least to be peeing out 2.5 liters daily.  To do that, you have to drink a LOT of water.  I was instructed to drink 3 - 4 liters of water every day.  This is actually getting easier, believe it or not.  When you don't drink things like pop, coffee, or tea, it's way easier.   So, I was shooting for at least 2.5, and I was at 3.6.  So, I've been successful with my first directive of drink more water.  I'll have to wait for my test results in mid-July to see if I've been fully successful with my second, which was eat less salt.

With the health issues I've had for the past few years, I am continually looking for ways to inspire myself and keep myself going.

A few weeks ago, with with my friend, D., to a Body, Soul, Spirit festival.  We had a great time!  I spent some money to talk with a Shaman named Matthew.  He was pretty amazing and knew a lot of stuff that he really shouldn't have . . . I do believe some people have gifts that they've been able to tap into better than the rest of us.  It was money and time well spent - he  was very clear that he didn't understand why I wasn't making music since it runs through the very core of who I am and how I define myself.  He could never know this.  Other stuff, too, but this was compelling and helped me see what I might be missing.

While at the fair I found these two Raku-fired medallions, the Hand of Fatima, and the Celtic Trinity Knot. 

I love what the little card that came with these says:

"Not everyone survives their trial by fire.  The ones that do cultivate strength & beauty."

Yup . . .

I don't think the Trinity Knot requires much explanation - you can interpret it as any trinity you need it to be . . .  But The Hand of Fatima might not be as familiar to you.  It is an ancient symbol of feminine protection.  Mostly found in Middle Eastern and North African cultures, I first encountered it in Morocco and learned about it from our Berber guide.  It's called Hamsa in Jewish culture.  When I say ancient - it pre-dates all modern religions.  I think it's very, very beautiful.  On the back of the medallion it says, "I am Protected."  On the back of the Trinity Knot medallion, it says: "I am Connected."


And on my wrist, more reminders and inspirations:

The silver bracelets are all from Alex and Ani.  An Om, Liberty Copper, the Hand of Fatima, the Number 3 (Creativity, Wholeness, Intuition),  and somewhere, my initial, A.  I have more - I wear them a lot.

The red leather wrist wrap is from Brian Andreas, of Story People fame.  I first encountered his work years ago in a little shop on North Clybourn in Chicagoland.  Linda the Chicken Lady and I both got multiple matted prints of his work.  I know I had mine framed and they've hung on various walls of my life over the years. 

Anyway. he was having a moving sale and this wrap was on sale.  The site said that the clasps of the wraps were tarnished (no big deal) and they were selling them quite inexpensively.  I think that the only reason I was able to get this one is that it was a size Small.  That's right.  My wrists are less than 6" around.  Smallest part of my body.  :-D  I worried a bit that it might not fit, but it fits beautifully.  I know you can't see the whole story on it. Here's what it says:

"Trust Love.  That's pretty much it.  Except, maybe, drink more water."

So, yeah - you know I had to get that.  Funny, isn't is, that I keep the wrist wrap so I can read it, and wear the bracelets the opposite?  That's just the way that they seem to go best  :-)

I was finally to get out this past weekend and walk.  It finally cooled off enough to get an early walk in both days.  In the spirit of gorgeous photos my friend, Michelle from Boulderneigh, posts, here are a few reminders of my steps . . .

Busy muskrat in the Retention Pond . . .

Robin in the Pine (click to biggify) . . .

Wild Roses in the Wetland . . .

Until the next time  . . .

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Catching Up . . .

Again - large chunks of time between posts. Time continues to slip through my fingers.

Feeling pretty good and am very hopeful about the follow up tests regarding The Kidney Stone Incident.  I haven't been perfect - which I know I've said already - but most days I have a good handle on my salt intake and my water.  I'm doing another 24-hour urine collection test today, and then I have to have another CT scan on Thursday.  Then, I'll see my urologist again on the 10th of July.

The 24-hour urine collection test will tell the tale.  It is my hope that my "output" number will be way up, and my sodium number way down.  I'm reasonably sure that if I'm successful with these two items, that all my other wonky numbers will fall into place.  Crossing my fingers  :-)

The CT Scan is to make sure that there are no other stone hanging around in my kidneys.  I don't think there are, and - based on the ultrasound I had in March - my urologist did not see any shadows.  However, apparently someone took another look at my March ultrasound and decided that I might or might not have some cysts hanging around inside of me.  For this, the CT scan will tell the tale.  I don't think it's anything serious.

I'm also down 15 pounds since the end of February, so that's a big plus, as well.

Then, a couple of weeks ago I saw my OB/GYN for my annual.  He's been my doctor for more than two decades (hard to believe!) and I can't even tell you the number of people I've referred to him.  I mention him and this visit because of what the urologist who performed my surgery said to me - in passing:  Oh, BTW, your bladder has fallen, I can fix it if you want."

Seriously, that's what he said.

I spoke to my current urologist about this back in March and he said that yes, he could fix it, but to check with my OB/GYN when next I saw him because my OB/GYN has never said that I needed any kind of surgery.  And sure enough, when I spoke to him, he said that unless it was really really bothering me that he didn't want to perform surgery on me, saying, "A, you've already had enough surgery this year."  He also said that there were many other options to be explored before surgical repair, including pelvic floor physical therapy, and, possibly a pessary.  I feel better about the whole thing.  I've had the same OB/GYN for a really long time.  Whatever he tells me, is what I'm going to go with.  :-)

I have a follow up with my Retina Guy in early July, as well.  All seems to be well except for the flashing that doesn't go away.  I also had another ocular migraine - yesterday.  It's so odd when it happens, and always in my left eye over to the outside.  It's gone now - only lasted about 30 minutes or so.  It's very hard to describe, but this photo is from Medical Treasure and it's a very good approximation of what I usually see:

It's jagged, and usually multicolored.  Mine is usually all the way to outside of my field of vision, and it's only ever been in my left eye, but unlike this photo, they do not affect the clarity of the rest of my vision.  They never last long, and usually my eye feels warm/hot after it's over.  So, I guess I'll be telling the Retina Guy about it when I see him.

Enough about weird health stuff  :-D

In the time that has passed since last I blogged, I have started to work with my plants again.  I actually bought a few more.  Some have arrived, some are still on their way.  When all is said and done, I will have gone from 16 to 33 varieties again.  Most of the new plants are semis and minis.  Only time will tell how I do with them  :-)  My state organization is having a show in mid-November, and I wanted to be ready to hopefully have a few things to show.  I also am already planning for national in 2018, which will be in Buffalo, New York.

Nearly all the plants were very neglected for the past year, but everything has been potted up now and I have a LOT of leaves down, this latter also in prep for the fall show.  Hopefully some will be sold, and some will likely be used for table favors at the fall event.

Here's my Jersey Snowflakes before:

Here is it after grooming and repotting:

And here are all the leaves I took from it . . .  I actually took more - but they weren't good to propagate.  And yes, that's my hand.  Really big leaves  :-)

Here is a look at the stands.  Stand 1:

Stand 2:
and Stand 3:

Here's a closer look at the current new babies:

I have to say, it was really nice to have my hands in the dirt again  :-)

These days I can't stop listening to Dougie MacLean . . .