Thursday, May 14, 2009
OK, I never really went anywhere, but feel as though I've been on the road for 3 weeks straight.
Worked to get the Spark Tucson Rally going - What a wonderful time! It was so nice to meet everyone who showed up. Those who did participate in the Rally - THANK YOU for everything you did to help make the day a huge SUCCESS! AWESOME group of people!
As for those of you who told me you'd be there and didn't show, your public floggings will commence at high noon. Kidding. Maybe you'll be able to make it next time. :)
Think I need to get the recipes I made up somewhere - didn't I tell someone that I would? Sorry to be so late.
Once the Rally was done, got out there and hauled enough dirt to get two beds going. Have missed enough planting time! Last week, we planted green beans, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cantaloupe, green chile (anaheims), red bell peppers, green bell peppers, cucumbers, okra, yellow pear tomatoes, mortgage lifter tomatoes, cherokee purple tomatoes and sioux tomatoes (yes, I have a THING for heirloom vegetables and am so happy to have gotten seeds for them), potatoes, sweet basil, cumin, lemon basil, lemon balm. Oh, and a slow bolt lettuce (fingers crossed since it's so dang hot already) called Santa Fe.
Been working on this garden on and off (off because of dental disasters and simply not having time to get to it because of other obligations) since late January, early Feb. It was kind of late to be planting many of these in early May, but most are right on time according to our extension service. Better late than never. WOOHOO! The green beans, zucchini, summer squash, okra, cucumber, cantaloupe and anaheim are already peeking up out of the ground.
Have hauled 49 loads of dirt from the 20 ton pile and have to get busy hauling more so a place can be made for planting white shoepeg corn in July. That's not the only thing going in during July, but to me it's the most important. Like my corns.... LOL :)
Also during last week, we got a flyer in our mailbox informing us that there was a mountain lion in the neighborhood and it was suspected of having killed a dog. Well, we've found mountain lion tracks in our front yard during winter, but never this late in the year, so OH CRAP.
Just a couple of days later, a bobcat came over the fence into the yard and attacked one of our feral cats. We've had bobs in the yard before, but they haven't attacked anyone - they usually come in to drink & steal a bite of cat food if they can find it and leave. This one had Cute Kazoo by the neck. Kate ran out there, the bob turned Kazoo loose, but did not go over the fence and leave - when I caught up, it looked to me like the bob was sizing Kate up. It left when I roared toward it. I am NOT appetizing.... LOL Bobs can take out critters 2 to 3 times their size, so Kate got her skinny little 80 lb butt chewed just a little for rushing right into the situation - she could have gotten hurt. Kazoo came in for a few days - no deep wounds, mostly scratched up. Had some big bob cat prints in one of the garden beds.
This week has been whirlwind-ish (again). Mom had cataract surgery in her right eye. Had to go pick her up Monday, take her to surgery Tuesday, then a follow-up visit & home again (small town 100 miles away) Wednesday. She will have to do this again in a few weeks for the other eye. It was fun having her here, but it was also more tiring than I expected. There was a lot more running around & doing than I planned for. Didn't even really have time to eat some days let alone track as I went along. Tracked at night before I went to bed. Had a couple of days - one I ate poorly AND went over in cals, the other just ate quite poorly. No good food. I THOUGHT I planned well and covered the bases, but had more than few curves thrown, so next time, I will have this thing in hand - know what to expect now. :)
On a very bright note, my dear little family got me some REALLY cool parts for my Harley for my Mother's Day. New lights. They're hooded & have flames on the CHROME. Yes, there is a little chrome tramp in me who catches a little case of Springer fever every time we go to the Harley dealership. But I always remain faithful to Bucephalus and just bring new jewels home to him when it's possible. Will have this Harley always, my children will beg me to let them ride him. Maybe. I don't know. LOL
Now to do battle with the ferocious leaf cutter ants who are surrounding our little baby garden. My gardening goal from the beginning was to do this as organically as possible. The old way - my great grandfather always put a fish in the soil before he planted his corn and that is what I'm going to do. But I'm pretty sure he never dealt with leaf cutter ants. They are subtropical critters. We didn't have these where I grew up. They don't take baits that other ants will, they chew leaves and blossoms off of plants, take them home and grow a fungus to feed the colony. Their dens can spread to about 5000 square feet and can be occupied by well over 1,000,000 workers. They have killed several of my ornamental plants by stripping the leaves off and then doing it again just as the plant was trying to come back.
Have done some experimenting with cedar oil to try and stop them. Doesn't work. Have looked and looked for an organic solution to these ants. As much as I do not want to poison, it appears to be my only recourse to stop them from consuming the vegetable garden. They literally have den openings on 3 sides of the yard and one little one inside the fence that I wash in every day. Oh what fun. Have bought the poison recommended for these - supposed to wash a diluted form down the holes as you find them. Haven't even mixed it up yet and am feeling twinges of guilt. It doesn't take much more than imagining one of the baby food plants leafless to stir up my wrath tho. Luckily, none of the den openings are near the beds. They will not get the food crops.
Today is back in the saddle day big time. Going to get in some good cardio and then battle the ants....
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Not very long ago, a very smart person here on Spark People wrote in her blog about taking the self outside the 'comfort zone'. As I read it, I cheered her on, admiring her ability to see that in herself (and others) as well as her strengths - both physical and intellectual - to go outside of her comfort zone. Being that I had just challenged my own physical comfort zone myself, I thought I was right on track with her. Yeah!
Just RECENTLY (like yesterday) realized that I've been slipping out of for small slivers of time and then back into a very odd place that I found comfort in when I was extremely ill. It isn't a good or healthy place to be. Apparently it is safe, though, under my rock.
As a kid, my favorite section of the library was the reference section. I know... NERD. At any rate, things weren't quite right even as a kid and I did a LOT of reading. At 16, found out about body temp being related to the thyroid - believe it was an article in a medical journal, but don't remember exactly. Recorded my body temp every day for 3 months and took it to our family doctor. He laughed at me. My average body temp at that time was 96.7. Obviously during a hypo phase - had gained incredible amounts of weight during those three months, too. Went hyper a year later and it melted away.
Years ago, I was a confident, outgoing person with a sunny disposition. Loved life. Did a lot - never said to myself "I CAN'T". Met up with my soul mate, we married and soon after found out we were expecting. I was 32.
During the pregnancy with our daughter, my thoughts started turning dark. Had to fight them back almost daily during the last trimester. My sleep was disrupted and my body felt exhausted a lot of the time. Morning sickness was my constant companion - all the way through. Same with our son only the morning sickness was much, much worse. Had to take meds for it. Had to have both with c-section.
Quit working outside the home to stay with our kids. By the time our son was one, I was beyond exhausted all the time. KNEW deep inside that something was wrong with me. Friends said "Oh, you had two kids in 3 years, you're tired!" Doctors said "you're getting older. By the way, your cholesterol is up, let's get you a pill for that." All the wrong tests, all the wrong drugs. By 2003, was barely functioning at all. Did what I had to do, but did not do anything really well. In November of that year, a pulmonary embolism almost took my life. My children stayed with my mother for over a month. WHAT is going on with this body I'm caged in?
Sank into a different world - one colored by my perceptions (or lack thereof) and it was psychedelic, man. Too tired to function, yet couldn't sleep. My brain changed COMPLETELY. Became a published artist during this time and taught myself how to use some pretty sophisticated software. The grouchiness that was a rarity in my former existence was now the norm and the sunny disposition had all but disappeared.
I was mad. Paranoia brought on by exhaustion was part of my daily existence. Was still with it enough to shield my children from most of it, but it was there. To be fair, my ex had stalked me for over 6 years just prior to my getting married. I feared for my children because that guy would hurt the most helpless things I loved. So, maybe the fear wasn't completely unwarranted.
It was excessive, though.
Most everything my friends & family said to me was a problem. I took it all wrong. Of course, at the time, in my madness, I thought that I was right! I eliminated almost all my friends from my life. In retrospect, I see how they may have been refusing to see my weakness and pretty much expecting me to perform as before. I did not have it in me to perform as before. Couldn't even cook a decent meal for my family. How on earth would I be able to cater a wedding???? I'd done it before, so no biggie, right? Wrong. After my friend asked me to do it, I got so angry - went out to all my equipment and just started throwing it. Angry at me, angry at her, angry at my weakness.
My husband intervened, took it upon himself and told her that he couldn't let me do it. My health was too fragile. She quit speaking to me. That hurt. Then she committed a very deep betrayal against me. That cut. Still miss her some days.
My last friend kept telling me that 'you should just get on with life'. How the hell do you get on with anything when you're EXHAUSTED all the time, have maybe one hour of lucidity in the morning and everything hurts like some little jackass is running all over your body with knives? She booked.
To be fair, maybe I masked my weaknesses better than I thought. It should have been a clue when every time anyone called, they woke me from a cat-nap on the couch. No, my days and nights were not turned around. Never got any more than 3 hours at a time by this point - my disease had caused massive inflammation and everything HURT so bad. The Hashimoto's/Hypothyroidism on it's own doesn't allow for much sleep when untreated, but this had gone on for YEARS now, it was exacerbated by extreme anemia.
Had a couple of people enter my life calling me friend, but it was really to get me to work for them for little or nothing. See that very clearly now - how easily I was preyed upon in the name of friendship. When it came time that I needed a little help, they were just too busy or worse, just blew me off.
Seriously bit some of my most beloved family members HARD on the butt. Took big bites - it was very ugly with a couple of them- it was such a weird place to be in - saw myself saying and doing these mean things and didn't think it was right, yet seemed powerless to stop this monster I'd become.
Started hiding out in my studio(a room with my computer, my weight bench & weights and all my art supplies) when those feelings came up - this way my children and husband were spared from the monster. An hour or two plus a cup of strong coffee and it would pass for a while. When I make jokes about coming out from under my rock, you really don't know just how big that rock is and how long I've been under it.
All these years after my children were born are pictures in my head - see very clearly now how different I was. My children were cheated out of the Mommy they deserved when they were small. Wasn't horrible to them, but wasn't there for them as much as I wish I was. They are smart and truly beautiful people to be around. They more than anyone deserve the best that I can be.
Find myself so excited about having friends and wanting to have friends. At the same time, I am so afraid to have friends. I don't want to hurt anyone again. Or get hurt. My old outgoing, jovial self is coming out again. And every time some new potential friend starts getting close, I'm truly thrilled!
And then I find myself automatically withdrawing, without even realizing it. I draw myself away, create safe distance. Don't bite, don't get bit. How the hell is that going to work? It doesn't. The withdrawal can be destructive.
How did I realize it? It wasn't through some deep introspective trip - think those have been avoided lately, too. Talking to my mother yesterday, she made a remark about how I hold everyone, including family members, at a safe distance and when did I think it was going to be OK to hang out with people I loved again? Really? I do that? Have come so far, after all.....
She reminded me that I'd rather email people than telephone them and forget a personal visit. She wanted a time frame. I cried and told her sorry. Didn't realize. Maybe I wasn't OK to hang out with. Seriously. Had bitten everyone so bad on the butt that it seemed safer to stay away and not inflict me on them. She laughed at me and told me to knock the BS off - how long has it been since you really went nuts and bit anyone?
hmmmm...... A while. Measure every word to every person - email is delightful, can't screw up too bad or sound too mean or dumb. REALLY? Geez, where have I been?
Safe under that damn rock. Afraid to come out. Hence the quote posted yesterday after the big conversation. Thought I was all big and tough and in truth, am the biggest weiner around.
I've got some fences to (hopefully) mend and some practicing to do with this going out of the comfort zone thing. Small steps, no biting.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.
~ Clementine Paddleford
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I recently discovered that my physician was OK keeping my TSH at 5.45. No wonder I was tired all the time - I honestly thought it was my teeth hurting so much just wiping me out. Previous doc kept me around 2. When I asked him what he was going to raise my meds to, he laughed, stated that he wasn't and 'see you next year'. I know that one of my things when I'm very hypo & undermedicated (LOVE how that sounds) is I get TOO emotional about things. When he said that so flippantly, I sat down and cried. This upset my children. Which upset me further.
Made an appointment with a different doc who is in another town, gathered up my kids and we went on a very nice road trip. What a refreshing change - to speak to an intelligent person who actually CARES about whether or not you're feeling like kaka, and doesn't have a problem with herbs and vitamins! We stopped at McDonald's, then hit the road home.
The next day, my mother came to town for an appointment. She is getting ready for cataract surgery - she's not blind, but it's time to do this. She offered to take the kids for a couple of days. OK - they always want to go to her house, DH had to work the entire weekend and I was wiped out.
We are feral cat community managers. We trap, neuter and release. Several years ago, we had over twenty cats running around here and it was a real job to get everyone taken care of.
The then-Queen of the community is named Girrell and when we finally caught her and got her fixed, she crashed on the table, was revived and we were told we needed to keep her inside for one or two weeks. A WILD cat. She and I had encountered each other often during her tenure as Queen. I would try like crazy to handle her babies every time she had a litter so they'd be somewhat social and she would grouch me. She hurt me once, but I did not quit. I fed her really well (scrambled eggs, broths and stews) especially when she was pregnant so that her babies would be healthy and smart. She started to trust me over time. I swear I saw a look of relief cross her face the day we went to pick her up at the Humane Society after she was fixed. It was almost like "you really came back for me". Once her two weeks inside the house were up, she didn't want to go out. She is so loving now - we would catch her watching us interact. She kisses on the lips now (it doesn't matter if we do not want to kiss - she is the Queen, remember) and she sleeps with me every night. A devoted friend.
Most cats have gone their own way after TNR, some have stayed. We have four outside cats and two inside. The two inside are Girrell (the QUEEN - she still thinks so) and Toes (cute and fun - talks to the TV).
Toes and Girrell clash some - not big fights, but Girrell is jealous of Toes. We caught Toes when she was a lot younger than Girrell so she's never had a litter, she's more playful and people-friendly. Her mama and all the other babies were probably massacred by coyotes - Toesey has a slightly deformed nose and lower jaw from where some big mouth chomped down on her face when her bones were still soft. She was a tiny bag of bones when I found her - tricked her into getting close to me and scooped her up. She bit me, but couldn't break the skin. She still had her 1st set of teeth, don't know how she survived and managed to get to us.
Toes likes to go outside in the back yard some days to play and take a break from Girrell.
Saturday, she did just that. I couldn't find her for a few hours. Not a big deal, she's a cat, right? I know. But she'd never been gone this long.
I freaked - my kids are going to KILL me if I lost Toes! She can open the back door if it isn't latched tight, so I leave it so she can get in. After a while, she came in. WHEW - what a relief!
Decided to let the ferrets (both rescues as well) out to play and they're running around and playing chase with Toes. I went to lay down for a bit - my new meds are taking, but was still very tired at this point. I didn't even hear it when Toes opened the door again. She LET THE FERRETS OUT! Oh Crap. Thought the door was closed tight and locked. Guess not.
Toes was out running around and so were Snaggle and Sophie. My mind was racing. HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN GONE??? I ran outside - there was Sophie, in the outside cats' water bowl. Lovely - she hates baths, but there she was, swimming in the water bowl. One down.
Ran around looking for Snaggle. He's a LOT bigger than Sophie but couldn't find him anywhere! I called and called (yes, he actually comes to you when you call - most of the time) and was looking in the bushes and everywhere. No Snaggle. No Toes. Horrible waves of infirmity swept over me - how could I LOSE beloved pets like this? How could I be so irresponsible?
I called my mommy in a panic - I lost Toes again and she let Snaggle out and they're nowhere to be found! She is trying not to let on to my children what is going on and at the same time not let me devour myself with my self-berating over this. I had looked for over an hour - they were not anywhere around the house. Not inside the fence, not outside the fence.
Then I heard a scratching on the door to the carport. Opened that door and there was Snaggle, wanting back in. YAY! Just as Snaggle was reunited with Sophie in their house, Toes opened the back door and marched in. Everyone was safe.
Do I tell the kids that I almost lost half of their pets in one big swoop or just keep this comedy of errors to myself?
I told them. "Wow, Mom. I guess we can't trust you with the animals anymore, huh? Is my bird OK?" Kate was just a little snide.
And what does the bird have to do with all this? Well, she and Toes have a THING - they sit and talk some days. She's the only animal in this house that isn't a rescue - I guess she knew Toes was out of pocket or something - she was screeching the entire time (both times) Toes was out and about. Silly, nerve wrackingly noisy bird.
Got DH out the door to his evening shift and watched the 3rd Rock from the Sun marathon on the couch & finished the Professor Layton game my brother & sister in law gave me for bday.
What a day.
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