Sunday, March 07, 2010

More and more time

More time passes between blog posts, and it makes me sad. Not Heidi-Klum-looking-at-a-dreary-dress sad, but almost.

As you've probably guessed, I haven't blogged because of what seems to be a fully blown fibro flare up. I have no idea what triggered it; I've been keeping pretty serious records of what I eat, what I do, but all that data is absolutely no help so far.

I was so troubled by this whole return-of-the-painful-fog episode that on Friday Gerry & I saw my rhematologist again. He didn't have much in the way of new suggestions, but he wants me to see a neurologist to check my brain and then with a clean brain-scan I can begin visiting a fibro clinic near my home (I can ride my bike!)

He also suggested "seeing someone" to deal with the stress involved in this whole new [unwanted] chapter of my life, which is not a bad idea.

Much of my current stress comes from the fact that I am not just riding the bus, I'm also the one who is driving it. Unfortunately, many days I'm asleep at the wheel.

Almost as annoying as the pain and my inability to remember words, numbers - so many things - is the constant tinnitus that squeals through my head. Worse when I'm tired, it's so loud by bedtime that I fall asleep with the TV on to drown out the high pitched whine.

[a side note - I do appreciate all the comments and private emails I receive, but please don't email me any more about sleep heath. That's been checked, my sleep is dandy.]

This week I turned down 3 teaching jobs for 2010, I just don't think I can do them. I think many days I can just sit.

Just getting through the appearances I've already set up will be a bit of a push, I don't see how I can add any more. This is the point when I fear falling even farther behind in everything.

Which is when it's good to remember that Gerry went through similar mental difficulties when he was diagnosed 3 years ago. I know I'm not alone.

I've felt guilty about how little physical effect I've had on the family - not able to clean very much, not able to cook meals, not able to talk on the phone. Happily, Atticus has been with me every non-step of the way.

To assuage my guilt I went with Max on his class ski field trip (I drove my own car so I could rest or cut out early if necessary - it wasn't) The day was pretty much just sitting and watching kids come roaring down a hill at breakneck speeds, the slope was a mere 40 minutes from our house - all in all, a wonderful day.

But just driving there, showing my face, then sitting and crocheting for 4 hours absolutely WIPED ME OUT. I couldn't believe how exhausted I was later that day.

This is my new reality.

Slowly - very, very slowly - I did some sewing yesterday that has been crying out for completion for about 3 years. I finished a slipcover for our sofa-bed (the upholstery was ripped and cat-shredded) and a matching foot stool cover. You can see part of the sofa in the photo above, under the dog.

Making a slipcover for this particular sofa is something that I've done twice in the past in 3 hours. Yesterday it took me all day, from morning into the evening, moving very slowly. Don't even get me started on how slowly I'm knitting these days.

But I felt such a drive to finish it - to have SOMETHING concrete to show that I'm still contributing to the comfort of our home - that I'm helping us keep it together. And with every stitch I understood how pathetic that would sound, but it didn't make it any less true.

However, the seeds Hannah and I planted are coming up much faster than we anticipated. Very nice to see. Does anyone know if the Topsy Turvy planter will work for beans?
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Am I Even Here?

Once again, a long, long period of time has transpired between my last blog post and this one. I'm not usually so foot-draggy, and it's not intentional (or for lack of thought - I think about my blog quite a lot!)

No, I've been MIA for a simple reason: Exhaustion. Pain. Just feeling - blah.

And also feeling scared and blue and sad.

It's that feeling o' fear (fact: not as scary when I add the apostrophe) that overwhelms me when I realize our insurance will be running out in June.

Perhaps it's the second o' outright terror when I realize (after looking over several insurance applications) that I'm pretty much un-insurable.

Fibromyalgia patient with serious asthma & pre-cancerous hysto 8 years ago? Yeah, right.

It's unnerving, but I try not to let it become too overwhelming. I think about how lucky I am that we actually HAVE insurance now - when I needed it to be diagnosed - and even though I've hit a bit of a back-slide, I DO feel light years better than I did in November, December and part of January.

So imagine how surprised I was to read that darned Twitterscope (it's SO consistently on the money that I've just accepted that Astrologist Rick Levine must be an avid blog reader of mine and tailors the forecast to me, personally)

Here's what today's scope said;
Your self-image might be a bit distorted today, especially if you are experiencing physical symptoms that are hard to diagnose.

You are so sensitive now that subtle disturbances in your environment can manifest as inflammation or pain. Instead of covering up the discomfort, find the source and eliminate it.

Maintaining a positive attitude is currently your best strategy to feeling better.
So perhaps that's it - distorted self perception - seeing myself as weaker and sicker than I really am? Or, is it that I'm foolishly seeing myself as healthier than I am? My mind is a confused mess.

Yes, I am painfully sensitive now - physically, mentally and emotionally, that's for darned sure.

And I do look for the source of this - thing. Look, look, look. And I try to maintain a positive attitude. Really, I do.

Oh, good heavens, why am I trying to justify myself to an online horoscope?

But I am feeling a little too sensitive. When someone writes to tell me I should meditate, I want to scream, "But I DO!"

And then I ask myself, "How would they know that, I don't talk about it on my blog..."
So, just know that I do, and that I prefer not to write about it, okay? And that I appreciate your thoughtfulness and care - I appreciate it VERY much.

Just when you thought you'd NEVER see another History on Two Needles project, I've been working up a nice one for old Queen Bess. It's my Grispholm Jacket, based on a painting thought to be of QE1.

I love this piece; I love the mannish look of it, and the interesting lower arms and collar detail.

I will work the collar in the same fabric as the lower sleeves, not in fur, and I'm making the body a bit more fitted. It looks more fitted than it will ultimately be on the mannequin, it hasn't been blocked yet, and this is a fabric that REALLY loosens up when blocked


It's turning out to be a fun knit, the hip shaping takes place evenly across the work, but the bust shaping is located in one point, which forces the fabric to move in interesting ways. I love to shape like this, it's the same way I think about dress patterns (and costumes!)

The armholes are a cross between a raglan and a set in sleeve, it's a shape I really like because it creates a very easy armscye (easy to wear), and the shaping is simpler than a traditional armhole shaping.

I'm just moving into the collar now, it will be worked as short rows and I hope to capture the nice shape of the collar in the photo. I'm still puzzling over the best way to attack the sleeves. I'd LOVE to work them from the top down, but I need to think hard about that.

So, all in all I'm fortunate to have a job that I can do in a semi-prone position. Now if only it carried benefits...
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Friday, February 19, 2010


I'm feeling like I'm going through so many changes that it's hard to know which end is up. I swear, I have to write notes on my hand to change my underwear most days.

Life is better than it was in December when I was writhing in agony most days. So don't take this post as a complaining holler. It's more along the lines of a complaining whine.

I just feel - unsettled - confused - unsettled (did I already say that?) and I'm struggling to find my emotional and mental balance right now.

(However, according to the Wii, my physical balance is sensational, I'm only .07% off. Yay!)

That's part of why I haven't blogged.

We've also had a hell of a week.
  1. Our health insurance is expiring in June, which sucks. Gerry and the kids will be okay (G's on SSI, so he'll be on Medicare and the kids are covered in the same manner with MN care) but I won't be covered, so we're looking for something in that realm.

  2. Our roof has a leak and the wall in Hannah's room looks like it has a crawling skin disease with the water damage.

  3. We've learned this week that Hannah needs some orthodontia which is not covered by our very basic dental insurance, so we've made an appointment to take her to the U of MN Orthodontia for a screening - first opening in late March.

  4. We just had a knock at the door from the gas company. Apparently there's a leak in front of our house. (YAY!)
    They're coming back later to fix it.

  5. I just haven't felt "present" at my online class chats this week. I've left a few early because of pain, and my focus is bad. It puts a cloud over many other things I'm currently doing.
I swear, if the 2 round trip airline tickets to Ireland weren't already paid for (Max & I are traveling on Frequent Flier miles, Gerry & Hannah's cost $800 each), and the entire trip planned out, I might consider canceling it. Naah.

However, in my heart of hearts I know that life is short and the opportunity to take the family to Donegal for 3 weeks for $2,000 doesn't happen every day.

See, I can rationalize anything - it's a gift.

Fibro Now, Fibro Tomorrow, Fibro Forever
The truth is, as much as I'd love to think that Vit D3, a wheat-free diet, regular exercise and the other good stuff I've been doing to/for my body is a panacea for my new friend, fibromyalgia, I'm finding that the pain continues to come by and hang out for a day or so each week.

The brain confusion lingers, too, and there are some afternoons when the best I can manage are a few games of Tetris. (I wonder if anyone's considered using Tetris as a diagnostic tool.)
This slow realization that I'm dealing with a chronic condition (dur...) and not just a brief excursion into Fibro-Land (it's about 10 miles from Lego-land), has been very difficult for my brain to process.

And very difficult emotionally, too. I feel like I'm supposed to be the strength, the constant, the rock here in the family. But many evenings it's my daughter who brings me tea and my husband-with-cancer who brings me dinner. Okay, every evening he fixes dinner - it's what he does...
Then there's always the chance that I might be using the whole thing as a bit of an excuse for not getting more work done.

Can these all be true? Probably a teeny bit of each of the above points is valid.

Online Class Mention
(avert your eyes)
I'm busy right now managing the three classes I have going on, monitoring the free class I just set up, and creating more.
WAIT - did I say FREE CLASS?

Yes, the class that I offered last week to 20 folks went quite well, so I've opened it up to an unlimited number of class members.

What the class is
  • FREE
  • 6 Videos
  • 4 Handouts
  • A chance to go from non-knitter to NEW knitter in 2 weeks (or so...)
What the class is NOT
  • An advanced Combination Class
  • A chance to ask me detailed questions about Combination Knitting*
  • A never-ending online knitting group
*If you want to learn more about Combination Knitting, check out my website and if you're inclined sign up for my Online Combination Class.

To join the class you'll have to click on the button below and go through the check out process, but that's just to keep the whole thing manageable for me.

Add to Cart
Click here to add the
FREE knitting class
to your cart

After 2 weeks I'll kick you out of the class unless you ask for more time. I'll be happy to give you as much time as you need, but you'll have to re-ask every 2 weeks (this keeps the class clear of folks who have moved on, but haven't 'left' the class)

I'm working on several new online classes not moving as quickly as I'd like, but when they're ready I'll let you guys know!

Other Knitting
I'm working on a very frustrating, yet very rewarding piece for Interweave Knits. It's worked up in Lion Brand stainles steel & wool yarn - it's the weight of heavy thread - and the knitting can be IMPOSSIBLE in bad light.

The beauty part is that the lacework puts me in mind of the hoarfrost that covered the trees this past week. I know some folks have a knee jerk reaction against cold, but I LOVE living here in Minnesota, it's so beautiful!

So I'm limited to working on this during daylight hours, which is fine with me because it keeps me from obsessing about it deep into the night. The progress is going pretty quickly, but the shape of the piece is a leap of faith so until it's finished and put together I'll be a little anxious about it.

I just finished a crocheted hat for Inside Crochet (a new UK magazine)

I'm in LOVE with this project - it's just the type of hat I adore (a 1930's cloche-esque chapeau which should be worn with a slant over one eye) It's got lots of ribbon embroidery, which I also love. I'm sad to be sending the little fellow off...

I haven't done a THING on History On Two Needles for weeks, and the guilt is wracking. I'm committing myself to getting schematics created for TWO pieces by Sunday, with skeleton patterns written so I can send them off to knitters. Yes, I will.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Learn to Knit for Free!

I'm opening up a free "Learn To Knit" class, but it will be limited to 20 folks.

If you've always wanted to learn, here's your chance knit like the wind!

This is a new class format I want to try out. If it goes well, it will be an ongoing free class that will (hopefully) get more folks knitting like the maniacs I know you can be!

The class will be offered through the Ning network, where I teach my other online classes. It's free to register for Ning, you can do that right before class starts if you're not already a ning member.

Or you could do it now.

Here's the nitty gritty:
Class Starts THIS SUNDAY, Feb 14th
Class Ends NEXT SUNDAY, Feb 21th
(Yes I said 28th earlier - evidently I can't count - sorry!)

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know it's short notice. But you'll have 7 beautiful days with the materials!

I've been asked, "How basic IS this class?" To answer that, I'm offering the first PDF handout and the accompanying video here for you to watch. You'll get a good sense from that on how basic the class is. I think it's pretty darned basic...

There are 5 videos total, this one is an overview, and then each subsequent video deals with the techniques discussed in this overview.


All the materials (videos and pdf files) will be in the online classroom, you'll have 24 hour access during the week of class. I will participate in a live text chat on Thursday at 8pm US Central time, and I may hang around the discussion forums sometimes.

Click on the button below, when 20 folks are in, the class is full and closed!

Okay - GO!
Annie Modesitt
How To Knit
1 Week Class

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Kiva's Thought for the Day

"Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
about things that matter."

Martin Luther King Jr.
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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Moving, Birthday and a Rant

I'm moving my blog over to Word Press. It's going to take a while, I have until March (when Blogger turns off my ability to publish via FTP, the main reason I stick with Blogger) and I'm pretty excited about it.

Two folks whose blogs I love and respect, Margaret Roach and Adria Richards, both use and love Word Press. That's good enough for me! (I love name dropping these two brilliant women, I so respect their work, I feel fortunate to know them both!)

I will miss Blogger - I've been with them since I started in 2002 - but the time has come to take a bit more control of my blog, and I'm happy to do it.

I've been non-blogging because I've been rather ill again this week. Two episodes where a backslide into wheat (one semi-intentional, one absolutely innocently) caught me up and wore me out SO much that I was blindsided by how rotten I felt.

In one way, it's very good. I was able to bounce back rather quickly with some Vitamin D, a LOT of water and some aerobic Wii bicycling. Work that poison (to me) out of my system, baby!

And it also points out to me that my suspicions are valid - the wheat really is one culprit in my muscle and joint aches and my overal malaise/fogginess of brain. I'm also beginning to think that one of the reasons I got so sick around Christmas was the amount of holiday cookies I was digesting.

So I start this week rededicating myself to a wheat-free existence, with a bit more emphasis on eating less sugar, too. We'll see...

That's the main reason I've been so quiet on my blog and in Twitter. It's astounding to me how little I feel like doing when I'm down and out, but there it is!

While all this rolling around in the bed in agony was going on, I was approached by Interweave Knits and IK Crochet to do a project for each, which is wonderful. I love working with them, such a great company!

I'm also working on a flowered cloche for Crochet Insider (the hat CAN be worn outside, too...) and it's more fun that should be legal. Alls I'll say is that I LOVE ribbon embroidery!

The online classes are going beautifully, I've got a LOT of students in my classes this month, and I'm working up a free "How To Knit" class which I thought would be finished by now. More's the pity that it's not, but with any luck I'll have it done by the end of the weekend.

However, when it's done you'll have a place to send your non-knitting friends where they can learn both Western AND basic Combination knitting. Or, in the off chance that you don't knit, you can visit and hone your mad knit chops.

More info when it's ready to go, stay tuned!

Gerry turned 51 yesterday and we're pretty stoked. We were going to go to Pizza Luce where I can get a gluten free slice and a gluten free beer, but I was feeling SO under the weather we stayed at home and had some gluten free birthday cake (courtesy of Betty Crocker and Hannah)

I love that ad from the American Cancer Society where they say they're the Official Sponsor of Birthdays. Obviously this really resonates with us - we are VERY lucky.

But the truth remains that with so many Americans uninsured and under-insured, many folks can't get the help they need without going into bankruptcy (and even then getting the correct health care is an iffy proposition.)

I'm amazed and astounded at how the anti-health care folks who are fighting against a Public Option in DC have been able to paint their position as even slightly humanitarian.

Through fear, a LOT of expensive ads, lobbyists cash to Congress and a successful campaign to polarize the American Congress (if not the American people), they've convinced some naive folks that a majority of citizens is against a public option, but an interesting ABC / Washington Post Poll refutes this.

I'm sick to death of hearing the twin lies that:

1) Insurance Portability Across State Lines Will Save Us and
2) Tort Reform Will Save Us.

The only people these two strategies will help are the insurance companies. They'll be able to charge what they want with very little regulation, and patients won't be able to sue to overturn bad insurance company decisions (usually based on raising profits) which cause severe injury or even death.

Lie #1
The state by state portability issue would allow states with good regulatory laws (like Minnesota and California) to be brought down to the lowest common denominator - to the level of states with BAD consumer protection laws.

Jerry Flanagan, a patient advocate for Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, is quoted in an article in the LA Times, "The insurance companies will all run to Wyoming to issue policies, and Wyoming laws would rule in California."

Think of what's happened to consumers under the thumb of credit card companies who all flocked to states with very bad regulatory laws. 30% interest rates and crushing, hidden "fees" are NOT uncommon. This usurious situation has flourished because the banks issuing the cards are able to base themselves in states which allow these practices.

Lie #2
Right wingers like to use the Bar Association as a whipping boy because - well - everyone has heard some story of folks being screwed by a lawyer. Even Shakespeare wasn't fond of them.

But the deeper reason is that many attorneys actually fight FOR the rights of citizens who are all but powerless against large entites, and this is anathema to the multi-billion dollar corporations.

It can be expensive, but anyone has the right to seek council and sue a company which has caused damage. To take away this right is to further reduce the strength of the average American against the monied large corporations.

Now that Corporations - masquerading as people - have been sanctioned by the Supreme Court to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of political campaigns, my own fear is that more and more Americans will be convinced by expensive ad campaigns to vote against their own best interests.

No one, no group, has the kind of money the corporations control to work against the multi-million dollar ad campaigns that are on their way.

What's the cure? Education and information. Don't take my word for any of this, but don't take anyone else's word for it, either. Use your brain, educate yourself, make yourself informed.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

... Just keeps pulling me back...

We had our Mayo day yesterday for Gerry's Multiple Myeloma check up. Let me just say, Gerry's pretty damned amazing. There was just a slight increase in protein and calcium in his test numbers, but otherwise he remain steady. YAY!

We got a HUGE thumbs up from the docs on our planned trip to Ireland. One of our docs, who's had her own cancer adventure, was positively giddy for us. (Extra bonus - with just a small amount of begging I was complimented for my weight loss.)

The trip just about took it OUT of me entirely, though.

I'd been feeling so hotsy-totsy, feeling SO much better than a month ago, sticking my face up in fibromyalgia's face and staring it down.

However, doing something like our round of tests and doctors visits at Mayo that I've done a dozen times before really highlights how diminished my strength is.

I'm getting stronger, getting better, but realism is a virtue as long as it's married with hope. Days like yesterday keep me honest about the effects of the fibromyalgia on my daily energy and pain levels.

When I got home I was SO exhausted (I do the driving, Gerry's concentration for long periods to drive isn't as good as mine is - we're a real pair!) and dear Hannah, who woman-ed the fort by getting Max up and ready for school (we'd left at 6:30 am), left a sink full of dishes, bowls and pans (she made pancakes for Max) which had to be cleaned up.

It seemed churlish to demand that she clean up the mess, especially when she'd been very responsible and had done exactly what we'd asked. (Besides, as any mom knows, we clean the pots and pans better...)

So a clean up of the dishes, a quick bite for dinner, then to my hour-long chat for the January Online Combo Class, which went beautifully. Sometimes we talk a lot about knitting, sometimes we just build our cohesion as a class, but it's always fun.

Then the Prez's speech (which I feel was exceptional - exactly what we needed to hear, with a masterful amount of push, stroke, admonishment and praise) and then to bed.

My reward? This morning I woke up with a clear idea for a new hat pattern and ideas for some other stuff. I was explaining to Gerry that sometimes taking a break from the designing is so good because then stuff will come to me without being forced. I can't blog about the hat pattern because it's for a magazine, but it's crocheted and will involve embroidered flowers.

Part of today will also be dedicated to creating a FREE online "how to knit" class, covering the basics of knit and purl (from a Western and Combination perspective) AND casting on and binding off.

It will be free for 2 reasons: 1) to get more folks knitting, and 2) to give folks a chance to take one of my online classes and see if it would be right for them.

So stay tuned. If all goes well I may have the class up by the end of the weekend, then those of you whose interest has been piqued can sign up, take the class, and decide if my online style works for you.

And we could always use more knitters, right?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guilt Has Kept Me Away

I've been feeling guilty for not blogging more frequently. I hate guilt - useless, numbing, soul-sucking guilt - and it's been doing it's dirty work on my psyche. [idle thought: if you have a really bad psyche, would that be a psuche?]

I've been working on my online classes - no big surprise there - and they're doing REALLY well [I have to admit, I'm a little suprised, happily, that they've been filling up so well!]


I've just added a class on making my Universal Mitered Handbag (I'm starting one up in Feb, it's VERY soon, but it will give me a chance to try out a project-class with a smaller group.)

I've also added a self guided Combination Knitting class for folks who don't want to stick to a schedule or don't care for online chats. The self guided class is also $10 cheaper...

Registration for both these new classes and the original Combo class is through my Ning networks. And there's even more information on the classes here.

And, just for fun, here's my overview video from the Universal Mitered Handbag class. Watching it is a great way to find out if my voice or teaching style will make you nuts before you sign up for the class!


And, for even MORE fun, here's a link to a video I made on Blocking with Steam. (The videos are a lot of fun to make, but I really should buy stock in Scunci...)

Every day I'm feeling so much better! It's amazing when I think of how low I was in December (this is when it's good to have to blog, to remind me of how painful it was and how far I've come!)

The acupuncture/massage and chiro have been miraculous in my healing, but the Vitamin D is the big boost. I'm still going gluten free, and I DO feel very good, so I'm thinking no wheat may have something to do with it. As always, thank you so much for your kind wishes and suggestions.

As great as I'm feeling, I still tire very easily. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and it almost wiped me out. Today I went to Target, came home and dyed my hair (another sign I'm feeling better, I've noticed my roots) and I'm just about out for the count.

THIS is when I'm tremendously grateful that I have work I can do in my bed, on my laptop, editing videos for the online classes and writing new patterns. Overall the last few days I've been off; tired and wheezy.

I figure this is all part of the process of working my way out of a fibro flare up. It seems to be a lot like losing weight. Up a little one day, down a bit the next, but at the end of the week if all goes well (and if I pay attention) I'm better off than I was a week earlier.

The hard part is paying attention to the small victories. Remembering how just the thought of driving to Target - let alone walking in and shopping for a half hour - exhausted me completely.

I've said over and over how lucky we are. Through Gerry's union [thank you, IATSE] we've been able to keep our insurance, and in addition to the doctors it covers the non-traditional practitioners I'm seeing for the Fibro.

They're been helping SO much. I can't imagine feeling any better had I stuck to mainstream medicine only. I feel I have a good blend of traditional and non-traditional going on right now.

However, a lot of fibro sufferers don't have this option. Many insurance companies won't cover "new" treatment options (my own insurance won't cover acupuncture for asthma, but they will for fibro - go figure...) We have a long way to go as a nation to marry common sense with medical availability.

So - not in a gloating way - I'm very lucky. Reaching the point where I'd trust acupuncture / massage / chiro so completely wasn't an overnight journey. I think it's easier to travel this route here in Minnesota, where I've noticed a marrying of traditional and non-traditional therapies.

Speaking of traditional, we're traveling down to Rochester tomorrow for Gerry's checkup. We missed the last one because of the December blizzard, but the weather looks good for tomorrow so all systems are GO. He's been having more pain than usual, more tiredness, but at the same time he's been energized by his online classes through St. Paul college.

I'm interested in hearing what the doctors say about his current test numbers. And I'll also ask them if they think some Vitamin D might be beneficial to his mood and pain.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Taking The Frozen (sky blue) Waters

I feel like a partially new woman. Yay!

On Friday I drove up with my friend to her cottage on Lake Ida, where others from our knitting group joined us for some very low-key and loving conversation, wonderful food - just some nice down time.

I didn't do much - well, not much compared to what I would have done a few months ago - but it was MILES more than I've been doing. I carried in bags from the car (yay me!) and when everyone else went cross country skiing I went for a long walk across the lake.

I didn't make it all the way, but Emma the dog and I went pretty far.

Here's a video I shot of the frozen landscape. It's so beautiful - and I was coat-less, just my hat and sweater and was very warm*


Now I'm home after so much relaxation and peace. And also more activity (mental and physical) than I've had in a long time. And EXCELLENT food! I'm almost afraid to hop on the wii...

I'm getting the feeling that rest is a very good idea for the balance of this active day, so this afternoon I'm surrounded by half finished projects from HoTN, finally trying to get some knitting and swatching done that I've put off for many weeks.

I'm firmly planted on my bottom, watching The Heiress and knitting. Who knew the frozen Minnesota waters could be so salubrious?

*yes, and pants and socks and shoes, too. Good grief.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Housewives of MN

I realized today that I'm living a dream. I watched those silly women on the Real Housewives of Orange County and - even though they wouldn't agree - my life is SO much FULLER than theirs seem to be. They don't have any pretty snow, for one thing...

With all the physical pain of the past few months, the unwanted drama (actually, it's been pretty drama free...) and other life events that have 'enriched' my life in the past few years, I am SO damned lucky.

But yesterday was a hard day physically.

I had planned to take my driving test. Then I thought I couldn't. Then I wanted to. Then I didn't want to. You see, I've failed it twice since we moved here from NJ. I allowed myself to psyche myself out. I kept seeing THIS

And Here was my horoscope for yesterday (Mr. Levine, are you watching me...?):
You can't decide whether or not to go ahead with your plans because the pros and cons seem pretty evenly balanced. But even if you finally choose against pushing forward today, you might surprise yourself and suddenly take the next step anyhow. Be careful; if you make a false start, you may just have to begin anew next week.
And damned if I didn't drive to Eagan, take the test, and score 100%!

But damn if I also didn't forget my 2 forms if ID... So back home I drove, picked up my passport, then returned and waited in line AGAIN.

The drive(s) to Eagan, the waiting in line(s), the test itself, it all just exhausted me.

When I got in the car to drive home I realized how tired I was. Across the street was a movie theater, so I figured I'd see ANYTHING just to sit down for an hour or two.

Happily, I saw most of The Young Victoria - it was lovely. I'm afraid I didn't like the bonnets as much as I'd hoped, but the dresses and men's clothing were brilliant. Sandy Powell continues to be my heroine. I am proud to have worked with her once upon a time (I knitted a sweater for Dennis Quaid for Far From Heaven back in 2002, she was the designer.)

Then I drove home and rolled into a little, tiny ball and wept in pain until I slept. A rich and full day. And that's the price we pay for 100% scores on driving tests in Minnesota.

I started the day with a wonderful session with my acupuncturist at Crocus Hill Acupuncture.

The woman is a genius. She cupped me - which my father-in-law would call toten bahnks - and oddly enough much of the continuing pain in my shoulders and neck was beautifully reduced. Huzzah!

Before I left, she put little 'beads' on points in my ears, stuck with clear plastic, so I can self-pressure -point myself to help with my breathing (she said one client kept them on for a month!) AND my breathing is so much better today.

Then home to work a bit - polishing up videos for my next online class, The Mitered Handbag - and then continuing my day of leisure for a massage in the afternoon.

Several years ago I got a pretty 'severe' haircut at a local salon. To apologize, the manager gave me a gift certificate for a massage, but their massage guy left soon after. The gift certificate sat unused for 3 years.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia this past Christmas I dug up the certificate, saw that it had NO expiration date, and was gratified to learn that they now have TWO massage therapists on staff!

Let me tell you, aside from a massage I got from a friend in Colorado a few years ago (my first - thanks Ruth!) this was the BEST I'd ever had.

This, joined with the acupuncture, created the PERFECT day for a woman with Fibro!

I miss travel. I don't miss the pain, the exhaustion, and I don't miss missing my family (what a dream it is to be able to hug them, kiss them, whenever I want...)

But I miss being on the road, and I miss seeing friends. So guess what Mr. Levine had to say to me TODAY?
You may be frustrated by the lack of fun in your life now. Even if you have attempted to make time for some pleasure, it's been hard to make much progress these last couple of weeks. Don't lose faith; things are going to loosen up very soon. In the meantime, try to get your ducks in a row so you are ready to fly when given clearance for takeoff.
My local knitting group is going away for the weekend, women who are good enough friends that I can just sit on the sofa and rest - they'll let me be a piece of broccoli and stare out the window. But it will be insanely good to be with friends all weekend. I miss seeing friends.

I'm going up tomorrow, back on Sunday, and I'm taking my gluten free snacks with me.

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posted by Annie at 8 Comments Links to this post

Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf

Hannah's Poncho
Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho


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