Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Belated Christmas!

I'm sorry I've been MIA...have been fighting a bad cold for over a week and before that Christmas festivities, etc. just pulled all my time and attention. The latest micro-blogs to catch y'all up:

Dec. 17: [post Adam show] He killed it...and a sweetheart to boot.
Dec. 17: Two (school) nights in a row up past 1...not a bad thing.
Dec. 18: Eek ..Tonite past midnight and oh so worth it. Thanks Jay for a fun time!!
Dec. 18: Time to bake the gingerbread for Yule celebration tonight.
Dec. 19: Finished shopping for my loved ones on this snuggly rainy addicted to vintage eyeglass frames shopping on ebay...shhhhh, don't tell present to me...ho ho ho!
Dec. 19: My poor sweetie is so under-the-weather...and this is some pretty harsh weather to be under! Super unlike.
Dec. 19: Frankincense, pine, nose is happy.
Dec. 22: I am sick of being sick.
Dec. 24: Presents are wrapped and I think I'm getting better...all I want for Christmas is for my sweetie to feel better too.
Dec. 24: Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad...I revel in the bounty with which I am graced during this beautiful season. Friends and family, YOU are the bounty.
Dec. 25: St. Nick [with photo of Doglet -- whose real name is Nick 'cause I got him 13 years ago on Boxing Day].
Dec. 26: Christmas with kids and grandkids rescheduled til next week due to illness.
Dec. 26: In line with 100 other people at Nordstrom Rack...the ancient Boxing Day shopping tradition is baaaack. Hoping this is the cure for lingering cold...

Still have very yukky cold with lots of green stuff coming out of my nose daily. YUCK. DB has been sick for ages and is headed to the doc again this afternoon. I am at work this week, but it is very very quiet. And my weight is SUCK. I ate like the bad-old-days over the weekend -- carborama -- and the scale shows it. Cracking down today to get in shape for skiing in three weeks -- at my current weight, I am afraid my ski pants won't fit! I have not been exercising for six months and it shows.

Looking forward to Black and White Ball for a gorgeous gown yesterday (DB is wearing a tux)...I hope we are both better by then...

Merry Christmas to all and HAPPY NEW YEAR (if I don't get back here before then)!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I keep forgetting to post micro-blogs here...

...when I do on Facebook, so here are my latest statuses from FB:

December 10: Heading out for groupie duty...and gorillas.
December 12: ‎80 degrees at Venice holiday-wear for this weather! Maybe shorts and Santa hat...
December 15: Theatre Date Night!
Today: Tonight: Adam Lambert at Club Nokia...yippeee!

I'll try to remember to pop in here to do these...wish there was a way to link.

Hope everyone is hangin' in... :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The wheel turns

We had the memorial for Sheila last Saturday. Ended up not camping because it's been really cold (well, California cold!) recently. It was beautiful and moving. Starting late in the afternoon, we burned sage and incense around the shell holding her ashes, then had a champagne toast, then scattered many rose petals on the sand at the edge of the ocean at her favorite beach. We scattered her ashes on top. The tide was coming in to send her all over the it should be...she was an adventurous world traveller.

After we scattered the ashes, some of us spoke. I read part of an e-mail I wrote to her the day she died and read a poem from a book of Rumi that she had given to me. Others shared their memories and love of our dear friend.

After sunset, we headed for drinks and appetizers (funded by her estate) in a beautiful location at the end of a pier to celebrate an extraordinary life.

Most of last week, we had two of her NYC friends staying with us and it was wonderful to get to know them. Sheila kept her friends kind of compartmentalized so many of us did not know each other well or at all. I had only briefly met this friend on a visit she made to Sheila here, then she and her husband drove us to see Sheila the last time we were in NYC (and the last time we saw the hospital). Well, it turns out that this woman and I have A LOT of weird things in common. I feel like Sheila left me a new friend. Thank you, Sheila! :-)

The other big thing going on (except for extreme "oh my God I have hardly gotten any gifts yet" stress) is that I'm going to have to have a D&C...trying to get it by the end of the month. I'm not sure if I wrote about it, but I had an interminable period in August, had an ultrasound and they found the lining slightly thickened. My doc and I decided to wait a few months to see if my body would slough it off. Had another ultrasound last Monday and it's the same...and a little bit thicker. There's also a small fibroid and they think there may be a polyp in there that needs to come out.

Sooo...I have to have another test next Monday and meet the doc who will do the procedure. They hopefully get it scheduled and done by the end of the month because I've met my insurance deductible for the year. I don't think I'm REALLY worried, but do want to get this done. Being on hormones, there is always an increased risk of problems.

Weight is steady...higher than I'd like, but...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I actually THINK about blogging all the time...

...and if I could THINK or talk my blog entries into being while I drive to and from work (like I use the voice recognition software on my Droid to send e-mail and texts without typing), there would probably be at least one entry a day! I hope someone gets on developing that capability soon... ;-)

Today I weigh exactly 10 pounds more than I did last Thanksgiving. That is not great, but I guess it could be worse considering I can put on 5 pounds in a DAY. As I have said before, I am sure that it's all about exercise. I am eating identically to the way I ate last year, but I am not exercising much. I know this, but I am not doing it. I don't know why.

Tomorrow we are headed to Nearby Town for Thanksgiving and we will be with PD1 and PD2 and their families along with some of DB's siblings and their families. I love cooking for Thanksgiving and it's wonderful to have so many pitching in. We will be there until Saturday.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I enjoy reveling in my thankfulness. This year, the thoughts going through my head go something like this:

For many years, Thanksgiving for me was a friend holiday, not a family one. I lived in NYC and my parents were in Indiana -- I could only afford to go home for one holiday and I chose Christmas. I started to love Thanksgiving during those Friend Thanksgiving years. No family pressure, just fun with friends. Every Thanksgiving was different although if I ended up cooking I usually made the same menu. It was a relaxing and wonderful time of year. I was thankful.

As I got older (and moved to LA where I had more space to entertain), I always invited a bunch of people over to eat the feast with me. The most people I ever had was, I think, 20...and all but one were friends, not family. I was and am blessed with some truly great friends. I was thankful.

I never seemed to have a boyfriend on Thanksgiving and, as I moved through my 30s, I came to terms with the fact that I might be "alone" (i.e., without a mate/partner) for the rest of my life. I came to terms with not having kids (even though I loved them so) because I recognized how difficult it would be to have some (or one) on my own and I didn't want to cheat a kid out of a dad from the get-go (and none of my boyfriends were daddy material). While these may seem to be sad or depressing thoughts, they weren't. They were realistic and I was a very happy woman. My life was happy happy happy and fun and fabulous. I had a home of my own, a great job, great family, great friends. I was thankful.

Then DB showed up in my life. And I got happier than I ever imagined I could be. Having accepted that I might not find a partner (even while still hoping that I might...and working toward that), he was (and is) a huge treat. I started to give thanks for having been lucky enough to find him. And, if that wasn't enough, with this amazing man, the love of my life, I got a huge bonus: I got children and grandchildren to love too! I got EVERYTHING I ever wanted...

"Thankful", at this point, almost doesn't seem a big enough word to say how I feel:

I feel Thankfulfilled!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone...may you all be thankfulfilled.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our new mural

Thought you all might like to see this...painted during our local monthly art event last night. This is the wall in front of our house. I love it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I know I'm a slacker blogger...

...but I seem to be doing ok with micro-blogging on Facebook. Need to research how to link the two so when I post on FB it shows up here too so at least SOMETHING appears more often than every two weeks.

Life is still busy. DB is playing with 3 musical projects so we have rehearsals here in the studio many nights and performances many others. As I said on FB last night: "being a groupie is tiring, but rewarding". ;-)

We had a fun night last Wednesday going to a premiere for a film featuring one of our good friends. She had a fantastic role and I had not seen her act, she was great!! So absolutely cool to see your friends excel! She was actually the LEAD female in the film with a lot of famous/good actors. Too bad the film wasn't very good...lots of good performances though (including our friend).

I still am working toward weight-loss -- yesterday I weighed less than I have in a long time. And today I gained 5 pounds from yesterday morning! (I know why -- CHIPS and beer during a day-long child's/parent's birthday party then DB gig.) Oh well...I am working on it still...need more exercise mostly...the food remains pretty good most every day. But it sure is interesting how FAST the weight comes (and goes) on the scale. My sensitivity to carbs is really astonishing.

This Thursday during a monthly event we have in our neighborhood where there is tons of art exhibited, we are having an artist do a live mural painting on our front wall. I am so excited. We live in a kind of compound and our front wall has been so boring and white. Now it will have a whimsical painting of a gorilla family walking to the an up-and-coming artist in our community. There are a lot of murals in public places in Venice...I am happy to think of us contributing to that. :-)

In addition to DB gigs all over the place (usually at least once a week), our next three weekends are booked. Friends and pre-Thanksgiving prep next weekend, Thanksgiving in Nearby Town at DB's family's house (may be the last year the house is in the family so we and PD1 and PD2's families are going up for some fun family time), then memorial weekend for my friend Sheila who died in July (we are camping out near the beach and doing ash-scattering/memorial on Saturday afternoon -- people coming from near and far).

I have been doing daily meditations/chanting for a better more-positive future for the much negativity everywhere I see...I blame the media A LOT...I believe we can create a POSITIVE future and we all need to work toward that. Concentrating on this makes me and my world happier...micro to macro. Om.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

There's a lot to say and too little time in a day

But here are some of the topics that are in my consciousness right some point, I hope to have a chance to expand on this:

- Learning cannot be forced, but can be encouraged.
- Habits vs. addictions
- Exercise vs. perfect food (there really is no've gotta have both)
- Abstinence/moderation/overindulgence
- Approaching life as full of abundance or frightening because of scarcity

Work is too busy to blog even at lunchtime. Evenings and weekends have been the same.

I am still coughing. Went to pulmonologist last week and got Xrays and 8 vials of blood taken. Everything was negative. He gave me something for acid reflux to try over the weekend (although how that could be what is going on with my wheezing I fail to understand). It did not help...unsurprisingly. Had CT scans of chest and sinus on Tuesday. Still haven't heard results (doc was out yesterday), but I'm betting on sinus infection (although I am not really stuffy...I read on-line that the foul taste from my cough might be caused by that). All I really want is to STOP COUGHING (and wheezing and crackling in lungs).

Tonight DB has a gig (fun to go be a groupie). Tomorrow another friend has one. Saturday is PD2's birthday and we're going to see all the grandkids and have fun. There will be lots of costumes all weekend -- I'm going to be a rockabilly witch (had to work the crinoline in somehow)! ;-)

Weight is still stable, but a few pounds down from the last stable point. 12 more pounds to be where I was last year at this time.

Will catch up with everything...someday...

Friday, October 15, 2010

OMG, yes two posts in one week!

I'm between assistants right now so my work productivity is so low that I kind of don't even bother except for emergencies so here I am...

Didn't do great this week on weight loss, but am down two pounds from last Friday so I'm not miserable. When I'm yo-yoing like I am now, it's hard to really call that a "loss", but I'll take it...particularly with almost zero exercise all week and more social activities than I had planned.

Like Sharla said, it's back to dark and drizzly here in "sunny" Southern California. YUCK. This weather makes me want to stay in bed every morning. But I drag myself out for the Coffee Walk... (P.S. to Sharla -- Doglet is a Jack Russell mix -- the cutest dog of all time -- he's lived with me now for almost 12 years.)

I still have days when my cough is pretty bad. Then I have days where it's almost gone. I'm not sure if or when I should call my doc...I can't imagine there is much he could do. But I can't get my flu shot until I'm totally healthy so I would like this to GO AWAY.

My mom is staying over with us tonight because tomorrow morning we are going to the wedding of one of her friends...who is 86!! I love that.

Other than that wedding, we have no plans this weekend. I doubt that will continue, but a girl can hope. ;-) Maybe a couple of long beach walks or biking if my lungs can take it.

Next week I really REALLY have to get back to yoga...even a little bit will help...because I am not doing badly on what is going into my mouth...just almost no exercise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giving in to peer pressure

Well, I haven't been posting because there's really not a lot to say, but I'm giving in to Vickie's and Sharla's peer pressure to sign in and say that! ;-)

My weight is still up and down, but maintaining in the 15-pounds-above-my-lowest range and I do NOT like this. But I have not buckled down to fix it yet. Each Monday I vow that week will be different and, while I made the vow again today, so far I haven't followed through. As usual, I have lots of excuses -- still coughing and low lung capacity keeps me from really exercising (although I got in some long walks this weekend) and jumping back into social life has meant drinking too many calories.

This week I probably won't get back to exercise other than walks, but I hope to get back to yoga next week. I really need to lose these lbs before ski season starts so my ski pants aren't too tight! I also have few social plans so will be easier to avoid drinking.

I am still doing well with food -- sticking to low-carb as much as possible. DB has been talking about doing "Bill Clinton's diet", but I don't think he really knows what that will mean practically so he hasn't given me any real instructions about what to buy/not buy/cook differently. I have decided, though, that I need to eat less red meat (it's been crazy with the bacon and beef -- even low fat -- since before Burning Man -- as a friend said "bacon is like meat candy") and so will implement that this week. I have also cut way back on dairy -- with the cough, that seemed wise and I will maintain that for now.

Social life the weekend before last was crammed even though we went into Friday with no plans. I was happy to be back to seeing friends, but I need a little BALANCE. This past weekend was better: dinner with a friend on Friday but home by 8:30, dinner and drinks with some friends on Saturday and cooked at home last night.

I had to get my car serviced on Saturday so, rather than sitting around waiting for two hours, I walked a mile to the local Goodwill store (which is GREAT) and got 4 pairs of pants, 8 shirts and 2 dresses for $61!!! That satisfied my "I want to shop" jonesing that I've felt lately (seems that when my cash situation is a little low, all I want to do is SHOP). AND I got a good 2-mile walk out of it on a very hot and sweaty day.

Saturday night, DB and I did probably another 2 miles on the beach before dinner and yesterday we did similar in the morning (although at a stroll pace) and I did another walk with Doglet in the late afternoon.

It's now too dark when I get home from work to do beach walks during the that's not something I can rely on again until spring. Back to home yoga practice!! :-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quickly squeaking in another post before September ends

Not that I have much to say! I am still trying to take it easy because I still have a teeny cough...

Monday night it was so hot here that DB decided to organize our local friends to go down to the beach for a nighttime picnic and music fest. Everyone brought snacks and drinks and their instruments. We brought candles and incense and blankets. And we had a blast! My last hurrah of fun after doing way too much fun last weekend (I dove back into my usual social life -- including dinner out on Friday night, coffee and breakfast with friends on Sat., Muse concert on Saturday night, art exhibition on the beach until 3 am Sat. night and a festival in 106 weather on Sunday. I very nearly relapsed big after that weekend!

This week I have been good and yucky lbs are coming off. I've still been lurking 10-15 lbs. above my lowest and that does not feel good. :-(

My assistant came back from vacation on Wednesday and gave notice -- she got a job in her field (film) so is leaving me for HBO. Oh well. I like her, but realize this is a good move for her. I sure wish I didn't have to look for someone new after only a year though! The good news is that I've gotten a TON of resumes after putting the word out to my business contacts yesterday. There are SO many good people out of work and willing to work cheap. It's very sad and scary...but good for me...hopefully I'll get someone who stays for a while. I have interviews all day tomorrow. Wish me luck!

This weekend, I'm doing a 2-hour volunteer shift at the Burning Man "decompression" event in downtown L.A. I hope this gives me some of that Burner joy that I missed a lot of this year.

Other than that, I am planning to REST. We'll see if I follow through with that... ;-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not a "lost" blogger...

...just a very sick one!

As mentioned in comments for my last post, I got pneumonia on vacation and it was very bad. I have not been that sick probably ever. It took me over three weeks, two courses of antibiotics, narcotic cough medicine, an inhaler, Mucinex and LOTS of rest to START to feel like myself again a little bit. I still (now almost 4 weeks later) have a cough with colorful phlegm. But I am much much better and am finally, this week, back to work for full days (could only work less than full days all last week -- would get very out-of-breath and tired before full day was over).

Thank God for Netflix instant...I watched a ton of movies and one full 8-hour-long miniseries. Movie recommendations: Doubt, The Men Who Stare At Goats (first half) and Zombieland (had to close my eyes on the real zombie parts, but otherwise was a hoot).

DB was an amazing caretaker...I am a lucky woman. So much of the last three weeks seems like a daze...I am sure it would have taken me longer to get better if he wasn't around to take care of me.

OK, so how was Burning Man, you ask? Worst ever. Only because I was so so sick the entire time. :-( There were a few shining moments, but mostly just a lot of sick, dazed yuck.

I started getting sick the Saturday night before we left on Sunday morning. By the time we got to Reno on Sunday night, I had a full-on fever and cough. DB was also feverish and feeling sick...luckily his only lasted that night and a little of the next day. My first mistake was not staying at the hotel in Reno until my fever went away. But I didn't want to send DB out there to Burning Man to set everything up all alone...and I didn't really have any idea how sick I was.

Monday, driving onto the "playa", it took us three hours in line (that is after 2 hours' drive from Reno). Needless to say, by the time we got to our camping spot, we were both pretty tired and I was getting sicker. It was an unseasonably cool day which was the only bonus. As we were setting up, a huge rainstorm came through (the worst I've ever experienced out there). As our shelter was not yet set up, the only thing we could do was huddle in the van until it stopped...then hurry to get at least our tent up before dark. There was an amazing technicolor double rainbow after the rain though...gorgeous.

Monday night I did NOT go out with the rest of my campmates (we were with 7 other people from Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas and Wyoming...the best camp we've ever had!) to explore. I stayed home in bed and had a slumber party with one of my campmates who was just too tired to go out.

That night when DB came home, he found me in bed feverish and shivering. No matter how much he held me, I couldn't get warm or stop shaking. I knew I was very very sick, but it was just too cold for me to consider getting on my bike and going a few blocks to the med tent. I was miserable, but finally slept some.

You may remember that I do tours of the alternative energy projects in our village every day during the event. My first one was at 11 am on Tuesday. I don't know how I got through it...I actually don't even remember doing that one, but I did with a smile on my face. I'm not sure anyone even knew I was sick...except for the hacking...which wasn't that bad yet.

After the tour that day (and every other day), I just mostly rested in camp. I think on Tuesday I tried to take a little ride with DB out to the "playa" to see art, but I didn't last long. That night I stayed home while all my campmates went out to have fun. :-(

Wednesday morning (like every morning there), DB whipped up breakfast burritos for everyone (he wants to make sure I have nutrition before I do my tours and the protein was very smart), then I did my tour. I felt like I had a little more energy after that so we went out to the Temple...I had a project to do...a memorial for my friend Sheila.

First of all, some background: it was very beautiful this year, best weather ever. The theme for the event was "Metropolis" so much of the art was very "urban" looking. The temple, as a counterbalance, was designed to look like canyons, formations of nature -- it was called The Temple of Flux. The idea was that the temple represented the first places humans gathered...for community, worship, etc. It is a tradition at Burning Man for people to attach things to the temple, things they want to release, things they want to remember.

On Wednesday, DB and I biked out to the temple. We took the shirt that I had gotten for Sheila for her birthday this year (she died before it happened -- the shirt said "re-create yourself"). In anticipation of this memorial,many of her friends had written notes on the shirt. We rigged the shirt up on a small part of the wall of the temple and it was free to blow in the breeze. The view from that point was very beautiful...the wild "playa", empty and full at the same time.

As we put up her shirt with all our messages, DB and I both cried a lot. We miss her so. We always wanted her to be there with us. And now she was...even if not in a way that we would have preferred or imagined.

(A side story: after we had finished putting up Sheila's shirt, a man came over to me. He was looking at me like he couldn't say what he needed maybe he didn't even speak English. Finally he said "I brought a stapler, but it's not the right kind." I offered him our heavy-duty one to borrow and he took it to put up his own memorial. When he brought it back to me, he was crying. We hugged for a very long time and both cried. And then he sat by his memorial and cried some more. I think it was for his dad.)

We didn't go back to the temple until the night of the Temple Burn (the last night of the event -- Sunday, September 5)...

Wednesday night I actually felt good enough to shower and go out after dinner with DB to see the city at night. I lasted, oh, maybe two hours. I was so tired and sick. We went home and just chilled at a "cuddle puddle" that some of our neighbors had. That was a nice night for me because I got to be with DB and some of our campmates and DB got to play his hang drum (google if you are interested in what that is...very lovely sound). :-)

Thursday was super sick day. On my tour, I realized that the reason I wasn't able to talk as much as I usually do was that I was losing my breath...I had very little lung capacity. That afternoon, a friend of mine who is a nurse and works for medical out there came by and told me she suspected I had pneumonia -- she told me to go to the hospital (yes, they have one) and get some antibiotic. That night I was SO SO sick. I was also SO SO sad because all my friends were having so much fun and I was having NONE. I went to sleep on a cot under the stars after they all went out for another fun night. Crawled into our yurt later to sleep...

Friday (after my best tour of the whole week) was time to go to the hospital. So, that afternoon, after running to see a friend whose son I had offered to babysit pre-Burn to tell her that NO WAY should I watch her kid, I was off to the hospital. DB went with me but as soon as they took me out of the first waiting room I told him to go home...I had no idea how long the wait would be and it was clear it would be boring. So he went. I waited about 2 hours to see a doctor. In the meantime, all the nurses were saying they thought I had a lung infection. When the doctor finally saw me, he gave me this rave about how "if it's a virus, an antibiotic won't help it". Um, right, but I've had a fever every night for 6 nights and am coughing up a lung and have no lung've got to do SOMEthing!! I asked him if I had pneumonia and he said he couldn't hear it because it was "too noisy". Grrrrrrrr. He agreed to get me an antibiotic from Reno (said they didn't have anything for lungs on-playa) and that it would be in the next night!! I tried to get him to give me something there and then, but no luck. :-( I can't believe they didn't have Z-paks out there but, oh well...

Got home Friday night and DB had arranged for some of our village-mates to drive me out to the playa on their art car to see one of the art pieces burn. This was so sweet because I had NO energy to bike and no vehicles are allowed to drive except art cars.

So we headed out to the burn on Friday with lots of water and Mucinex...par-tay! ;-) The burn was really beautiful...the fire artists outdid themselves with cascading colorful firefalls and other special effects. I was thrilled that I didn't miss it. But, when it was over about 10 pm, a dust storm came up. This was the first one of the whole week (which is pretty amazing since it's usually dust storms ALL the time), but it was a bad couldn't see 5 feet in front of you so you couldn't walk or drive since you had no idea where you were going. We were very lucky that the art car we were on had shelter in the back so I didn't get the dust in my lungs too much.

It took us 2 hours to get home that night...during which we sat still waiting for the dust to clear, welcomed a scared little girl (22) from NYC into our car to protect her as she was so frightened (we got her "home" safe and sound), drove a little, stopped a lot (our battery was also dying), and just tried to have a good attitude about it because there was nothing we could do.

We finally got within sight of the city and finally FINALLY limped into camp about midnight. Whew.

Saturday was the big Burn Day and everyone in the city is excited. Except me. I am sicker and sicker and have to go pick up my antibiotic at the hospital at 8 pm...when everyone else will be heading out to the Burn. :-( I did my last tour and one of my work colleagues showed up to visit (his first Burn). At this point, I was so feverish that I was just sitting around with ice water scarves all over my head and neck -- my body wasn't able both fight the germs and regulate my body temp. I sat around chatting all afternoon...and one of our village-mates asked me and DB if we would like to sit on his scaffold for the Burn later (which was really nice for me...I wouldn't have to stand and would be able to see well).

That afternoon, a friend gave me some tea tree oil for my nose and it helped some. Then, later, another friend came by and asked me if I would like him to do Reiki on me -- why not?! So he did a short treatment and OMG I got a wave of energy! I felt better than I had all week! It was a miracle. I don't know how it works (and it didn't heal me, just made me have enough energy to enjoy my evening), but it did. Amazing. I need to learn more about this...

So, that evening, DB went off pushing the scaffold with our friends as I biked over to the hospital for my antibiotic. When I got there: no antibiotic. The car was not back from Reno. They told me to come back at 11 pm. :-(

I biked over to meet everyone at the scaffold and it was the best view I've ever had of the Man Burn. Very fun for me.

Afterwards, I went back to the hospital...still no antibiotic. So they gave me a Keflex (which, turns out, was really the WRONG thing for them to do) and told me to come back in 12 hours for another one. Seriously? What was I going to do? Sell antibiotics?! Oy...

(Funny side story: after the Burn, you can imagine how busy the hospital was. Lots of people who had indulged too much. One guy sitting in the waiting room was clearly way out of it. The nurse said to him "how old are you?". "Uhhhhhh....ssss...ssss...thhhhhh...thirty." "Do you know your name?". "Uhhhhhh....Ssssssss...sssss...sssss...ebastian." "Do you know your birthday?" "Uhhhhh...sssss...sssss....ssssss........eptember 7." "Do you know where you are?"
[eyes open, light up and instant answer:] "BURNING MAN!")

When we got "home" to our camp, all our campmates were home too and we had a really nice time all just sitting around camp and chatting. This was one of my favorite nights (I missed them all so much when they went out...having fun I couldn't have!).

Sunday morning...slept in for the first time all week...yay! After coffee, I headed to the hospital for my next Keflex. I asked them if I could just please have the prescription for the RIGHT antibiotic (doxycycline) and that I would get it in Reno the next morning. Happily, they gave it to me so I didn't have to go back there again.

DB and campmates forbid me from helping them much in taking down camp on Sunday and packing up. So I sat around like a lump and felt both sick and bad that I wasn't helping. But I took it easy...and everything but our yurt got taken down and packed before 6 pm.

We showered and got ready for the Temple Burn. I was very very sick at that point ...I dressed in a salwar kameez (Indian outfit) that I thought Sheila would like. We took incense and champagne with us and biked out to the temple with several of our campmates. We got a great spot to watch right by the wall where Sheila's shirt was.

Unlike the burn of the Man the night before, the temple burn is a solemn occasion and the crowd, though huge, was very quiet. We lit our incense, toasted Sheila (and the grandparents of one of our friends who also died last year), then the fire started...and burned. We all were was very beautiful...

As the temple burns, parts of it fall...this year, the part that stayed standing the longest was the little wall where Sheila's shirt was. That seemed very right to me.

And then we biked home and went to bed so we could get up at 4 am, take down the yurt and hit the road asap (getting out can take HOURS and this is the best time to leave to minimize the wait in line).

I think I was totally delirious when I got up on Monday. I hadn't taken my clothes off the night before so still was in the salwar kameez. We took the yurt down (it's very quick) and threw all our remaining things in our trailer to head out. We left camp about 4:30 and got to the pavement by 5:30 (then it's at least another 2 hours to Reno). That was actually very good time so we were happy.

Got to the pharmacy in Reno about 8:30 and got the good antibiotic and other supplies. Then we went to have some breakfast and headed to our friend's ranch where we planned to spend that day and night...I had texted him that morning to make sure it was ok that we came since I was SO sick and he, very sweetly, said of course.

His ranch is right south of Reno in the mountains and it's beautiful. Very near Lake Tahoe. He was hoping we could go out on his boat on the lake and play on his ATV, etc. No such luck. After showering, we hit the bed to sleep...I slept for three hours! Basically spent the whole time there sleeping, lying on his couch and chatting. It was a nice oasis, but I was ready to be home in my own bed...

We left about 9 am the next day to start the LONG drive home by 8 pm and crashed.

I tried to go to work the next day, but had to leave to go to my doctor and get an Xray (when the pneumonia diagnosis was confirmed). After that I was in bed for five days before trying to go back to work (last week's partial days).

So that brings you up-to-date. We haven't uploaded our photos yet...I'm just not that excited about it since it was such a horrible time for me this year. But I will post when we do.

The good news is that I came back having lost a few pounds...and continued to while I was sick despite eating soup for pretty much literally every meal. I know I'm getting better because this week I had to stop those noodle-carbs since the lbs started adding back up again! I'm now back on plan and on my way down the scale...again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NO time to write but...'s my hair for Burning Man this year! We leave on Sunday and are back after Labor Day. I am excited...and look forward to some rest after all the pre-trip work, setting up, etc. I am 10 lbs. heavier than I was last year at this time. Not happy about it, but that's the truth. At least all my tutus still fit. ;-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crazy busy time of year

We are now in the "my sister and her family from NYC are spending the two weeks before Burning Man at our house" period of the summer. In addition to that, the other paralegal in our department (my former assistant who I trained to do the stuff I hate...and has been doing it for the past 15 years) just had twins two weeks ago so I am stuck doing both her and my jobs for the foreseeable future. The result of this is very little to no time for blogging. :-( I do so appreciate your all still checking in with me nudges me to try to write at least a little bit about what is going on.

I am doing better with exercise. I have been taking long hard beach walks and still doing my yoga practice at home to the point of next-day-(good)-soreness. I feel good that I have gotten back on that wagon even a little bit. It will be dodgy the next couple of weeks with the NYC family in town and with pre-BM prep, but I will keep trying...just like I said in my last post.

The result of the increased exercise is that the lbs are coming off...very slowly, but surely. It is a relief to see that happening again. I won't be at my low weight before we leave for BM (on August 29), but at least I won't be as heavy as I was a few weeks ago. And maybe my favorite tutu/crinoline will still fit! ;-)

My NYC family is sensitive to my food issues so they don't offer me the vacationy carbs that they have lying around the house and that is great! :-) It's really fun to have them with us...even though I can't take any days off work while they are here. My niece is now a full 2 inches taller than me at 13! She is beautiful, sweet, smart, artistic and, to use her favorite word, AMAZING. ;-) My nephew (8) is hilariously funny and clever, adorably cuddly and just a total sweetheart. It totally sucks that I see them a max of two times a year.

We have SO MUCH to get done's not as bad as the past years because we have a system and most of our reusable supplies...but it will still be hectic next week (the NYC Fam is leaving for 4 days to another part of Cali and we will use those days to get ready!).

Tomorrow night DB is playing drums with a band at a bar in our 'hood (on the beach)...I have actually never seen him play out like this so I am very excited! Then, on Thursday, our neighborhood is having an "art crawl" (lots of "pop-up" galleries and events within walking distance). One of our friends is opening his huge loft on the boardwalk as a gallery and DB will be playing a new instrument that is kind of a drum/bell thingee for that. This is all after he and my brother-in-law rocked out in the studio last night...a big music week! :-)

So, anyway, I am doing better. And the sun has even been out the past two mornings when I walked down the beach to get my coffee early! Ahhhhh...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Exercise and The Weight

Vickie's comment nudged me to write this post that has been percolating for a few (maybe several) days. Like many of Us, I find it hard to write when I am struggling...putting words to what is going on can be painful. Of course, I know that from pain comes growth...

I've been doing badly with The Weight. I have gained back quite a bit of what I lost last year pre-St. John vacation...I still am about 9 pounds below where I started last year and 19 below THN (The Horrible Number), but what I see on the scale each day is NOT GOOD.

I still weigh every matter how bad it is. And that probably has kept me from completely going off the deep end. I have many excuses, but there is, I think, one big reason and one small reason for why this has happened:

Small reason: Not eating perfectly on plan. No perfect days anymore although most are very good.

BIG REASON: No real exercise since ski season stopped for us in May.

For some reason, once I let the exercise slack off, it is extremely hard for me to get back in that good rut. I do take a small walk each morning to get coffee (about a mile round trip) but, while that is a very good habit, it is not enough.

I have been beating myself up about this for several weeks...and this week I finally really made an effort to DO something about it.

Monday night, DB and I took a very long beach walk (probably about 3+ miles). Beach walking is hard on my knees so I always am concerned. This has made our recent beach walks (we still have done one or two a week through this HORRIBLY GRAY summer) slower than they should be for real exercise. We stroll. Monday we didn't stroll...we walked hard enough to break a sweat. This meant no's easier to really stride when you are not physically connected. We could use more of our bodies (arms) while we walked. We walked a lot farther than we have in a long time. And it felt good. My knees were fine. The next day I felt a teeny bit sore in my legs and butt and that was good.

Tuesday night I had resolved to do yoga. I miss yoga. My thumb/wrist has been better enough for at least a few weeks to have gone. But I still am struggling with the studio...the vibe there is just, I don't know, TOO MUCH. The teacher/owner is so very peppy and everyone is so chatty before and after class and the studio is too small to really get away from all that SCATTERED energy.

I spent most of Tuesday thinking about what to do off-and-on. I was determined to practice my yoga...checked out a website that does streaming on demand classes, but it seemed to be all ashtanga/power yoga. NOT what I need. Thought about The Studio. Even e-mailed the teacher and told her I might be back. But something kept me from totally committing to this. I thought about practicing at home, but I have never been truly successful with a home practice...never push myself enough...never get really peaceful...monkey-mind working overtime...never able to just feel what I need and do it.

On the drive home from work, I was still undecided. I put some bhajans into the cd player and chanted. It became clear to me that The Studio was not going to make me least not that day. I reminded myself that I know yoga very very well and that after all these years of study I certainly should be able to put what I know into practice. MY PERSONAL PRACTICE. The final sign was a guy about 3 blocks from my home that I saw wearing a hoodie that said "guru". Yes, I said to myself, you are your own guru...remember that.

So I went home. Got DB to agree to leave the living room/kitchen area to me for an hour (he was happy to) because the ceiling upstairs in my office is not high enough for me to really stretch UP. I got all my props downstairs, got my "yoga" playlist going on my iTunes on the computer, lit incense, turned off most of the lights and sat down on my bolster to begin.

I took my time. I really waited to begin asana until my breath was calmer. I did alternate nostril breathing to balance. I cleared my head. Even sitting on the bolster hurt my hips...I am so out of yoga-shape.

When I started to move (still seated on the bolster), I moved slowly and with intention. I paid attention to the parts of me that felt sore. I moved instinctively into more asana from there...

I warmed up my body with variations on sun salutations and standing poses. I saved my favorites (trikonasana and half moon) for last as a treat. My body remembers the poses...even if it can't do them the way it used to. It felt good. I held poses for just as long as I should...if I felt too much physical discomfort or pain, I moved on to the next. (None of this is possible for me in a class...there is always some point where you are doing what the teacher says, not what your body does.)

After the standing poses, I worked my way down and did some intense ab work, bridge and bow. Then stretches, twists, headstand and shoulder stand. I finished off in my favorite way with fish pose, then savasana. I took my time with savasana...I've never been able to do that before in home practice.

Throughout the practice when the spirit moved me I chanted along with the music...and when I sat up after savasana, I chanted while I sat and thanked the universe for a truly spectacular home practice...I thanked ME.

I felt so great and empowered by this practice the other night. I can't wait to try again tonight (last night we had to do shopping for Grandbaby's belated birthday celebration on Friday).

My body is still sore in a good way today. And a few pounds have come off this week.

I will keep trying.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The -versary week (-end)

As DB says, we celebrate a lot of "-versaries" -- Winkaversary (the day I winked at him on Match), E-mailaversary (the day we first exchanged e-mails), Talkaversary (the day we first talked on the phone), Anniversary (the day we first met) and Smoochaversary (self-explanatory). Then, yesterday was my "Emaversary" -- the first day I met my granddaughter, Emily (then 4 1/2). So, that's the week between July 19 and July 26 every year! One day in there (7/22) is our littlest grandson's birthday (he was just one last week) too. Seven "holidays" in one week is my kinda week! ;-)

Our trip last weekend was fantastic:

We left my office around 5:30 and drove to Madonna Inn (google it, it's worth looking at the site...sorry, I forget how to add clean links here). What an adventure! I had wanted to stay there forever and never had. We reserved one of the rooms (they're all themed) with rock walls and rock was kitschy, but kind of luxurious at the same time.

When we arrived about 9 pm, they had a bottle of champagne and a "Happy Anniversary" balloon in our room -- nice touch! Then we went to "the pink restaurant" (see steakhouse on website) for dinner...I just wanted to sit in that gaudy room, but we ended up having a fantastic meal -- the best steak and blue cheese dressing (not together) that I ever had. DB and I think they must put some kind of yummy additive in there that makes it taste just amazing, but we have no idea what...bacon extract maybe? ;-)

The bathroom in our room had not only a heated toilet seat (which was a lot nicer than it sounds), but also a bidet feature -- that washed and dried! LOL It was silly and fun.

Friday morning we got up early because we were only staying there one night and I was determined to enjoy as much of the place as possible. We headed to the pool and hot tub area...the path up the hill was planted with some of the most fragrant plants I've ever smelled. It was a cloudy and cool morning (like every one in Cali this summer) but the pool (which had no edge...never saw one of those before) was heated enough that we could jump back and forth between it and the hot tub. They also have a waterfall and "lagoon" in the pool area. Yes, this is Disneyland for adults.

After our hot tub/pool adventure, my ex-assistant (one of the good ones who lives up there now) met us for brunch before we took off up the coast. She gave us some great tips about our trip from the local perspective.

On the way up Route 1 to Big Sur, they have an "elephant seal viewing area". Ex-Assistant said we should definitely stop. When we got there, it was so crowded that we almost didn't but I am SO happy we did!! I had never seen these creatures (they are only there at certain times of the year) and to see them in their natural environment? Wild. My first view was two of them sparring in the shallow water of the ocean...they looked like dinosaurs...seriously! They are HUGE. We stayed and watched them for a very long time. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me!

Then we kept going up Route 1...which has got to be one of the most beautiful drives in North America...and, for me, who is really REALLY afraid of windy roads, one of the most unnerving. I have to drive the windy parts or I get really sick at my stomach.

We stopped when we got close to Big Sur at a restaurant called Nepenthe (famous -- you can google it too) and had some wine and cheese to enjoy the view. Finally we arrived at our cabin in the redwoods around was SPECTACULAR. Very very remote...set in amongst a redwood grove on the edge of a canyon with a stream below that you heard all the time. The most fun part of the place was that the bathroom was out on the you went to the bathroom and showered and took bubble baths in the claw-foot tub under the redwoods! Wow. It was remote so not one could see you.

When we got there, we were sorry not to have shopped for the whole weekend because we didn't want to leave at all! But we hadn't, so we dressed to head down to the coast (about 4 miles from where we were) to get some dinner. The food at the restaurant was not good, but the view was and the waitress was great and we had a good time. That's the Anniversary night above.

Saturday we got up and headed into Carmel for groceries so we wouldn't have to leave the cabin again until Sunday...and we didn't. We lazed around all day...napping in the hammock, reading on the deck, and even trying the hike down to the stream (big mistake on my knees...still paying the price...trail was way too slippery, steep and narrow). For dinner, we snacked and I cooked some salmon. Then we had a long bubble bath. Niiiiice.

It was so chilly there that we had to have the propane fireplace on most of the time, but that was cozy. The whole place was just beyond our wildest dreams. We can't wait to go back.

The drive back on Sunday was less took us something like 7 hours even though we went the "faster" way. DB got a horrible allergy attack (something is wrong with the air-conditioner in his car) and felt really sick by the time we got home. But we both agreed that it was yet another fantastic -versary weekend!

I am a lucky woman...he is a special man.

(Today is Sheila's birthday. We are going out with some friends to celebrate at one of her favorite restaurants.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life goes on...

...but the planet seems a little empty without Sheila on it.

I want to write the full story here so I have it to remember. We are headed out of town tonight for our 6th anniversary celebration...going to Big Sur. I am excited for this. Bad news is that my weight is really bad. I am certain it is from NO exercise and I am going to try hard to get back on that wagon when we get home. I know that grief is no excuse, but it's been very hard to focus on being "good" the past 2 weeks.

Here's what happened:

Friday, July 9, at 12:30 I got a call from a friend of Sheila's, Patty. Sheila (who had been fighting AML -- leukemia) for almost two years is probably nearing the end. Of course, I totally lose it. They think she has maybe a couple of days. I talk with Patty and another friend of Sheila's who lives in SoCal. We all agree that it is stupid to try to go back to NY to see her...she is surrounded by lifelong friends who have been taking care of her so well. I, inadvertently, start a snowball of e-mails by sending a quick one to the friends I know just so we have each other's e-mail addresses...everyone starts chiming in with memories of Sheila,
prayers, love...

I cry most of the afternoon on Friday, but I still go out to see Eclipse on Friday night as planned with a friend. Right before the movie, I get an e-mail from another of Sheila's nearest and dearest LA people. I tell him what I know: Sheila tried to drive herself to the hospital on Tuesday, July 6 (stubborn woman!) and collapsed in her parking lot. Her landlady had to call a friend to come take her. They say she is in and out of consciousness. They have stopped treatments and are giving her morphine to keep her comfortable. We cry.

Saturday there are many more emails from the Circle of Sheila Friends (as we are calling ourselves). I drink three Bloody Marys at breakfast to try to be able to sleep the horrible afternoon away, but all I end up doing is lying in bed crying. So many many tears. Late in the day, with no bad news, some of us dare to hope that she will make it through. I bought her a birthday present (her birthday is
7/27). DB and I went out to a fun show for the 16th b-day of the daughter of some friends and we go to bed very late, very drunk and very hopeful.

We wake up Sunday morning to the dreaded e-mail. Sheila passed away that morning. I can't stop crying and saying "nonononononononono". DB is crying too. We ultimately pull ourselves together and head out for coffee and breakfast. We decide to go to Sheila's favorite beach restaurant where we never go because the service sucks so bad. I'm crying off and on the whole time. I can't believe it. Sheila was only 63, always watched what she ate, always exercised, very into yoga, etc.

We get to the restaurant and, for the first time EVER, we get great service. We thank Sheila. :-) Walking home, DB says how much he wishes that he had some sidewalk chalk. Literally THIRTY SECONDS after he said that, we find a box of it, completely full, on the boardwalk. We thank Sheila again. Her spirit is SO powerful. It always was. All I keep thinking is that I can't believe this horrible thing has happened...I feel like nothing is real...but I go back home to bed with Bloody Marys. Same result as sleep, just tears.

We watched Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (movie) on Netflix instant to try to kill some of the horrible day. Then it was time for sunset. I opened a bottle of wine that I had been keeping to have with Sheila when she came "home" to was bottled the year I met her at the winery where we met at a yoga retreat. DB and I took our cocktails down to the beach to watch the sunset of Sheila's last day. Our hearts were breaking.

Thank God for the Circle of Sheila Friends. By e-mails, we had a community to go through this with and it was a blessing. Sheila created this Circle for her...and for us.

I know (and I know she believed/believes this too) that her spirit lives on. In fact, I actually wrote her an e-mail on Sunday night (the day she died)...I needed to talk with her. It made me cry, but it made me feel better too.

We had a get-together last Thursday (7/15) night with some of her L.A. friends...a wake of sorts. Last week I edited the obituary that ran in the Woodstock (NY) paper and submitted it to the entertainment trades (she was in the business). On her birthday next week, several of us will go to her favorite Mexican. Finally, her NY friends will be sending us some of her ashes...they will sprinkle some in their ocean and we will in ours.

I miss her so much. I love her so much.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I love you, Sheila

I will miss you forever.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I wrote a blog yesterday about my weekend and saved it in Word. Every time I trIed to post it, I got a message that says "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: META". WHAT?! :-(

Anyway, this morning I googled and found what I hope works...we'll see...I'll never type in Word first again! Here goes:

Yes, I made it home safe and sound...whew! This pre-trip was the WORST. I've got to figure out how to deal with flying better. The Valium did actually help, I think. I had 1 1/2 martinis before I got on the plane, then 1/4 pill before take-off, then 2 glasses of wine in flight. It was a smooth one, so I felt fact, for the first time in AGES, I actually looked out the window for the last 1/2 hour! Wow. On the way back, I didn't have as much time at the airport so had to slam a glass of wine and 1/4 pill. It was stormy so bumpy and no alcohol service during the bumps. I was NOT happy...took another 1/4 pill. Made it through until wine came. But I am SO HAPPY that I don't have to fly again for a while!!! :-)

The stay in St. Paul was really fantastic. Got in on time on Friday night (midnight their time). Friend picked me up in her VW Bug convertible and we were home by 12:30. We had a glass of wine on her dock out in the middle of her lake then to bed (sounds like a lot of booze, but this was over several hours...and time zones!). Saturday I woke up and just put my bathing suit and shorts on...and that's all I wore for the rest of the weekend!!! She lives directly on the lake and it was so hot and humid...she lives in her suit too. I literally didn't put on any kind of clothes other than that until I was getting ready to get on the plane back home! ;-) Now THAT is relaxing. :-) We joked that her hubby and granddaughter (who was with us all weekend) hadn't seen me in clothes at all since they were asleep when I arrived...

In the morning on Sat., we just sat in her yard by the lake and on the dock, having coffee, reading, chatting. In the afternoon we headed to Trader Joes for groceries so we didn't have to go out the rest of the weekend. The location is gorgeous...smells much green...lake is spring-fed so cool and clean. For dinner on Sat. we went to her sister-in-law's on the other side of the lake for a BBQ with a bunch of friends and family...all the same people came to her place on Sunday evening for BBQ. Fun and relaxing!

Sunday I made breakfast with her granddaughter (adorable 9-year-old who calls me Auntie Helen), then we just lounged, swam, etc. until people came for BBQ. I learned to "tube" (get towed behind a speed boat on a blow-up thingee) which was super-fun. They were going to teach me how to water ski, but we ran out of time. When it got dark (after 9 pm -- a lot later than here), all the fireworks started. It was wild – several people around the lake have their own shows and they are BIG. It went on for over an hour and we were constantly surrounded 360 degrees with shows. So fun to watch from the dock in the lake!

When I woke up on Monday, I realized I should have planned to stay went so fast and was so relaxing. Oh well. I did miss DB a lot. ;-)

We had pedis on Monday with Friend's sister-in-law for her b-day. Then it was time to head to the airport.

Friend definitely has slowed down. She sleeps until at least 10:30 every morning and gets out of breath really easily. Her heart is working at about 30%...when it gets to 20%, they will need to think transplant. They've got her on meds that keep her pulse at 44/minute and BP at like 75/40 to try to preserve the muscle as long as they can. She is very upbeat and mostly worried about the money – it costs them $9800 each time she goes to Mayo AFTER what the insurance pays. :-(

Oh yeah, I only gained less than a pound!! That is an amazing result for a vacation weekend...especially considering that I had Dairy Queen all three days. ;-) Otherwise I ate well and swam and played a lot. Guess that worked. was great to see Friend and fun fun fun. And now it's time to look forward to Big Sur in two weeks for our anniversary!! :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

June Gloom is leaving just as I leave for the weekend

It was sunny when we took our beach walk this morning! So nice not to have to put on a jacket or get droplets of moisture on my glasses. :-) The weekend is supposed to be sunny and nice here which will be good since DB is having a big BBQ/party on Sunday.

And I am going to Minnesota to rainy/cloudy/HOT. Oh joy. One reason I moved to California was to not have to suffer through the humid summers Back East. Oh well...

I am excited to see my friend and to BE there. Not excited to have to fly to get there. I think I will try the Valium. ;-) I'll be back Monday night.

Weight is at the high end of where it should be (10 lbs over my lowest). I clearly do not want to lose weight enough to actually DO something to make it happen. I will try to be careful with Midwest food this weekend...I'm hoping my friend eats better than she used to due to her heart condition.

Happy 4th to everyone! :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June Gloom and Rash

It's been gray gray gray for days and weeks (with a tiny tiny bit of sun last Sunday). They call it June Gloom in coastal California and this year I'm hating it with a passion. I feel completely gray on days like today. And that is pretty unlike me. I feel unmotivated to kick my exercise and diet up the notch that needs to happen.


I've had a rash on my inner arms for the past three days. I have wracked my brain and have no idea what might have caused this -- no new laundry detergent, clothes or anything like that. No new food that I never ate before. Benedryl doesn't seem to help it and cortisone cream only helps for a short time. It itches and it's hugely bumpy. I have no known allergies so this is really a pain...


I'm dealing with The Rash while stressing (yes, maybe it's a stress rash, but I've never had that happen before) over flying this weekend. Yuck, I hate to fly so much. And this weekend I'm going solo to Minnesota to visit a friend who is very sick (idiopathic cardiomyopathy -- which basically means her heart is dying, they don't know why and nothing they are doing to help it is working -- and she's 6 months older than me). I am hating to fly MORE as I get older...I've been feeling nauseous about it this time for almost 3 weeks. :-(


I'll be missing DB...we haven't been apart for three days in a while.


I'll be having a lot of fun with Minnesota Friend (even though it's in the 80s and and supposed to rain all weekend there...). :-)

(With so little sunshiney stuff to say, is it any wonder I don't want to blog?)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Slippery grip

For the first time, I am sympathizing with those bloggers who say they don't want to write when they aren't doing so well. I tend to look on the positive side of most things and weight is no exception, but I've been struggling for months now and am not really making any headway, except to mitigate damage done by overdoing.

Lately my downfall has definitely been eating out. And this is a hard one for me to remove from my life...I like to eat out and we do it pretty often. And I almost always order very well. Last night, for example, I went to Indian food with a friend. I didn't order a fatty curry full of ghee. I didn't order rice or nan. I ordered a mixed salad (picked out the carrots and didn't eat them) and chicken tikka (grilled boneless chicken with grilled onions and peppers). I ate the whole salad and about 2/3 of the chicken (which was, admittedly, a lot). I had a little pappadam (lentil cracker) and pumpkin/garlic chutney. I had a glass of wine. I think this is a reasonable dinner. The scale didn't.

I still eat very well during the week -- in fact, I have a huge rut and eat virtually the same thing every single day until dinner. Weekends, like Vickie noted in her comment on my last post, are a problem since, while I order well, we eat out. A lot.

I'm not doing a lot of exercise even though I am still walking every morning and a few nights a week. This could be the problem. I'm finding it very hard to motivate myself to get back to's June Gloom time here in Cali and it does affect my mood/energy. I'm full of excuses. And this is why I don't want to blog. :-(

Friday, June 11, 2010

Got a grip

Thanks to writing my blog, a lot of thoughtful consideration, some teeth-gritting and some VERY APPRECIATED comments from Vickie that I kept running through my mind at tough times, I have gotten my groove back this week. Whew!

I have been perfect on the Crack and have gotten rid of the terrible 8 pounds from last weekend plus another pound for good measure. It goes to show how "easy" it is to get those first lbs off...mine are generally mostly water...when I stop the bad carbs and start drinking lots of water, the first few days are really rewarding. But now it's time to get back into the business of losing and maintaining.

I am happy that I weigh every day and write down every day (since last year). This means that I can go back and see where I was last year, where the weight starts edging up...this gives me clues as to what things are challenging for me, i.e., what I need to work on.

From looking at this record (I've actually been writing down my weight for three years at least weekly), I can see my progress (I weigh substantially less than three years ago), my trends and tendencies (I settle into a 10-pound range where it seems pretty "easy" for me to maintain even when not being perfect), and when I tend to fall (VACATION).

That 10-pound range is something I've been thinking about a lot. The bottom of it is the lowest I have been in the past several years (right before Halloween last year) and the highest is where I am today. I maintained in the lower 5 pounds of that range from last summer until January. When we started skiing (lots of mini-vacations), I drifted to the higher 5 pounds of the range. The weight I am today is the HIGHEST I can really let myself weigh without damaging my knees and without feeling truly awful. Even one pound above this weight feels bad.

The other thing is that I want to edge this "maintenance" range down 10 pounds so that my upper limit is 10 pounds less than I am today. That is my next little step...and it seems that I've been doing this the past three years...each year I'm about 10 pounds less than the year hopefully I will be successful and, next year, will be in the range I want to be.

I'm doing very little exercise since we quit skiing...a couple of beach walks a week with DB (3-4 miles round trip) are pretty much it. I am still struggling with my thumb, but I NEED to get back to yoga. Easier said than done. I'm not sure why it's so hard for me to do things for me that make me feel better!

I guess this is all part of the journey...I've been thinking a lot this week about how I will always have these struggles to some extent...and how I need to get myself back in the healthy ruts that make the struggles less.

Thanks to everyone for your really really helps.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Completely out of control

I realized this morning that yesterday I did not make ONE good food choice all day. I can't even remember the last time that happened. It has been MANY years since I ate just what I "wanted" for an entire day and damn the consequences. And, boy oh boy, were there consequences. I am not a happy girl. I am a very FAT girl.

Yesterday was just the culmination of 5 days of vacation...during which I was totally good for maybe 12 hours at a stretch on the first day only. 8 pounds in 5 days has to be some kind of a record. And I wasn't at a low weight when I started this vacation so the damage is very very bad.

So many things are running around in my head about me and my food on this vacation. I lost it. I totally lost it. And I've been trying to figure out why. I think it has to do with not being in control of my environment AT ALL. We went somewhere where there were no real cooking facilities. We ate meals at lots of restaurants (SALT and FAT...and I made BAD choices). We did quite a bit of physical activity (hiking, building, hiking some more)...if I had been eating my "normal" way, I would have LOST weight. But I didn't.

So, today, in addition to a truly horrifying number on the scale (which I totally deserve), I am facing knees that feel worse than they have in months (I think I have realized at just what weight my knees can be happy and this ain't it). My whole body is bloated from fat, salt and MASSIVE carbs. I am lucky that anything fit me this morning.

So. I am very disappointed in me. VERY. It's terrifying how I have lost it the past few weeks. I heard a teeny bit of a segment with Al Roker on the Today Show yesterday where he was talking about his weight loss journey. He talked about how he doesn't see a very different person in the mirror than he did when he was much heavier (I think many of Us have talked about the same weird body image problem) and about how he is "one quarter-pounder" away from being fat again. He is so right. My actions this weekend were the actions of an addict. A mindless addict. I bought Ben & Jerrys ICE CREAM last night after dinner (out), for God's sake. And this was after a huge "country" breakfast in the morning, Taco Bell (not the good stuff) lunch and sushi dinner...and NO exercise...just sitting in the car for 8 1/2 hours. I had to write that down to try to get myself to SEE just how horrible it was.

What do I learn here (or HOPEFULLY learn here)?
1. I am now over the weight where my knees are in good shape. I cannot weigh this much, period.
2. When we go away, I need to think long and hard about the situations I will be faced with and have a plan about how to deal with them.
3. I have to take control...again.

Today I started on the carb deplete of the Crack program...again. DB (who has also gained back a lot of the weight he lost last year) is with me...I think. I really need his support on this...and I need to support him (even though I know he'll lose faster than me...and maybe not be as strict as me...and that makes me jealous).

Oh yeah...and in addition to the fun of our weekend (which, other than overdoing it, was REALLY fun and in a totally beautiful part of California that I had never visited before) second uncle in two weeks died while we were gone. No more aunts or uncles left. And this last one really hit me hard...I knew him better than my other aunts and uncles...he was my dad's only brother. Uncle G loved my dad so much that he still cried when he talked about him almost 20 years after my dad died. He had the greatest smile and laugh. Like my dad, he was a truly good-hearted man. He had a good long life and he missed my aunt (who died about a year and a half ago) a lot...they had been married for 60 years or something like that and he told me when I last saw him that he would be ready to go when she did. I am getting all teary again writing this...goodbye, Uncle G, I was so lucky to have you in my life. You probably never knew how much I felt that.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Off to camping...

...feeling VERY fat. I need exercise and to seriously STOP salt.

It's supposed to rain where we are going until Saturday so we'll be staying in a motel for the first two nights. Back on Tuesday...hopefully having not gained MORE. :-(

Friday, May 28, 2010

Still here (thanks, Vickie, for jiggling me to write)

It's been a nice busy week. No real progress on LOSING because I had three beers last Sunday while I had one of the BEST Sundays ever lolling on our futon bed in our front yard, snuggling with DB and reading my Kindle (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -- I'm late to the party, I know, but I'm into it!) and it took me until Wednesday to lose those 4 pounds. But I'm maintaining comfortably and having fun COOKING dinner again:

Monday I made trout with thyme and lemon (baked) and we had that stir-fry cabbage yummy for a side dish.

Tuesday was hamburger on our "usual" salad.

Wednesday, I did baked boneless chicken breasts stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, brussels sprouts sauteed with shallots and a tomato salad with feta dressing (last one was for DB and our dinner guest, not me...I'm still not eating tomatoes).

Last night I went out, but was pretty good: cheeseburger with no bun, romaine salad with bacon bits and blue cheese dressing and a couple of glasses of champagne (no carbs).

I also skipped my bread every morning this week. Had to get those beer lbs. OFF. NO MORE BEER, HELEN. Much as it's yummy and perfect for summer. :-(

We do have big plans for the weekend -- tonight, after work, I'm shopping for our "End-of-Ski-Season-Welcome-Home" party that we are having Sunday night. A simple beach day, BBQ and music evening for about 50 people. ;-) Tomorrow PD1 and her family (including her 4 kids) are coming over and will spend the night so we'll have them with use for at least 24 hours...yay! (PD2 and her family are coming to the party on Sunday too.) Tomorrow night we are going to see the premier of an opera that was composed by one of our best friends. Monday we are RECOVERING. ;-) And packing for our camping trip next weekend (leaving on Thursday).

So, I'm still plodding along. Not back to yoga yet (although I finally went to a hand doctor and now am in a brace for my thumb for 8 weeks...and he gave me some good tips so I may be able to practice before then). I am walking my mile every morning and at least two evenings a week am walking a lot more on the beach. My doctor (had my annual physical last Monday) says this is good. I can't wait to get some more tone back into my arms. But I will be patient.

Wishing everyone a fun Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boredom is the mother of invention

As I mentioned last post, I have been getting tired of our go-to dinner salad. I love to cook and I have been missing doing that. It was also cold and rainy on Monday when I went grocery shopping this week so I went a little wacky and bought new ingredients to try new dinners this week. So far the results have been yummy, if I do say so myself (DB says so too, by the way)!!

Here's what we've had so far (all of these dinners took 1/2 hour or less of work):

Monday night: As I mentioned in comments on my last post, I made a tri-tip roast on Monday night. Rather than just putting it in the oven, I seasoned it with chili powder and cinnamon (my new obsession). It turned out perfectly medium rare after cooking for just about 40 minutes. I also roasted veggies (brussels sprouts, zucchini and asparagus) in 1/4 cup of balsamic and 1/4 cup of olive oil. I put that in the oven at the same temp as I was cooking the tri-tip (425) for about 20 minutes.

Tuesday night: Bought some pollo asado from Trader Joes (pre-seasoned/marinated/very thinly sliced/not too much sodium). Grilled it in a pan while I made our usual salad and put the warm chicken on top. Spicy and warm with the cold salad is oh-so-good.

Wednesday night (I am most proud of this one as I have literally NEVER cooked pork before in my life except bacon): I had bought a pork tenderloin on Monday carbs, low fat...but I had no idea what to do with it. Found a recipe on-line that I modified: 1 T olive oil, cumin, crushed garlic, cinnamon and (sparse) ground cloves. Mixed all that up and put it on the pork. Baked at 450 for 20 minutes, then sliced into medallions. While that was cooking, I also put in a casserole of simply sliced zucchini with parmesan cheese. By the time the pork was done, so was the zucchini. While that was in the oven, I cooked up some onions and cabbage on the stove -- with 1 T butter, some horseradish and spicy mustard. This was the most delish meal yet! :-)

I have never really cooked with meat so this week has been a big far, so good!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some recipe ideas that I think are yummy

I have come up with a couple of dishes that are making it easier to "Crack" down again and thought I would share:

Salad: Our go-to dinner on this program is a big yummy salad, but I was getting kind of bored with the same old, same old (even though I am a person who can eat the same thing for every meal 5 days a week usually and be ok). I needed to shake up our usual nighttime salad to get myself not to want to go out to eat every night (see prior post about how I have been reminded that eating out a lot is really hard on the scale). The other night, DB had some friends over to play music with him in his studio and so I was on my own for dinner. I went to make my usual salad and saw that the mushrooms we had were a teeny bit I took them, chopped up some red onion and put them in to saute. While they cooked, I made the usual rest of the salad (some yummy lettuce, cucumbers and celery) and added some vinaigrette (full fat, no carb, red wine/oil vinaigrette from Trader Joes). When the onions and mushrooms were hot and soft, I put them on top of the salad and topped it all off with some blue cheese crumbles. The cheese melts into the hot veggies...delish! I like a sharp cheese to get more bang for my calories. This salad is a quick and easy variation on another one we like to make for special occasions and it is very very satisfying to the tummy and the taste buds. :-)

Cinnamon and cottage cheese "dessert": This morning I read in Prevention magazine about how cinnamon can really help your body process glucose (great for us on low-carb, watching to keep from developing diabetes programs). I use cinnamon in my coffee every morning. DB and I were talking about how to get this into our diet more and I thought of adding it to cottage we tried it (we use full fat cottage cheese)! Yum yum yum. Very cheesecake/desserty tasting. I will do this when I need something sweet. Very low-carb. I would add about 1/2 teaspoon to 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and maybe toss in some stevia if it's not sweet enough for you without.

I happily got on the scale this morning and it's down lower than it has been in a month. THAT is what eating at home for two days can do for me. Of course, we're going out tonight, but the end of the "up" is in sight. I've been maintaining at about 5 lbs over my lowest weight pretty much the whole ski season...sometimes the scale would show me up to 12 lbs over the lowest (ok, that was just one day, but it was a SUCKY day). I'm ready to get down to my lowest...and 10 lbs more...before our anniversary trip in July (or sooner). :-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hey, self!

Remember when you wrote last week about salt? Well, hey, SOY SAUCE IS SALT! I swear sometimes I have to yell at myself...and it still doesn't get through!

DB has been very sick this week so I got him some hot & sour soup from our local Chinese food emporium on Monday night. I also got myself some veggies and protein. BIG MISTAKE. My weight sky-rocketed up over two pounds overnight. And there was NO other reason other than the soy sauce in the dish. (It's back down today, thank goodness.)

I love Chinese food. I love soy sauce. But I don't think I can eat it anymore.

Other than this, I am saying "hey, self!" and trying to motivate to get back on the Crack program full-on. DB needs to as well. We have both been very lax over the winter/ski season. Time to get serious again...bathing suit season is right around the corner.

I don't like this up-and-down, but I realized yesterday that this will probably be life forever for me. I will constantly have to be vigilant...if I ever eat what I really WANT to, I gain. This realization is ok...I'd rather be careful than fat. And logging my weight every single day makes me accountable...I absolutely HATE putting in higher numbers. But I do it.

I'm also looking for exercises that will mimic the benefit I got from skiing this year. My knees are in better shape than in a long time. DB thinks I need to work on the muscles around the quads (on both sides) as well as the quads...those are harder to get to. But I'm talking to my teachers and researching. I want to keep this good leg/core tone. I think I need to really buckle down and learn to rollerblade...that action is probably the closest I'm going to get to skiing until next winter. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Busy should not be an excuse for not eating right

I'm feeling "as-salted" as Vickie would say.

I've been eating out WAY too much and, as of this morning, I realize why I keep gaining lbs -- it's the salt, stupid! I am weight is not going down, it is going up...not a lot, but still too much. And I am not really trying very hard. We are busy and eating out A LOT. It's fun and I do eat better than most people I see but I have no idea what is really going in the food I am eating.

Last night was the piece de resistance: we went out for dinner pre-theatre (our bimonthly Theatre Date Night). I ate a pretty good dinner -- fish and salad appetizer, steak and salad entree, sparkling wine, vodka cocktail -- the only "bad" thing was some crackers. The portions were not too big and I had eaten very carefully all day (less than usual). I felt like I navigated the Cinco de Mayo Mexican food thing pretty well. But nooooo...I got on the scale this morning and it showed 2.5 pounds up. Very not happy was I.

And then I realized that both DB and I were VERY thirsty after dinner...unusually so...and we are used to going to this restaurant pre-theatre all the time. We had to drink and drink and drink from the water fountain at the theatre. Wham! It occurred to me that we were as-salted. WAY too much salt in our meals for some reason. No idea why, but I am SURE that is it.

So, after our last ski weekend of the year this weekend, I plan to rededicate myself to our better habits and first among those is eating at home A LOT more. There's only so much you can control at a restaurant no matter how careful you are.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Getting tired of maintaining

I guess that's a good thing...I'm getting tired of maintaining in this range so hopefully will be motivated to get going DOWN the scale again soon. I hate waking up and wondering which of my pants will fit (there are subtle fit differences even though they're all the same size these days).

Photo above is me in another salwar kameez...this is the dressy one that I wore for the black tie event on Wednesday. Super comfy and I got lots of compliments (this photos is at the end of the evening so I'm not so fresh looking but you get the idea).

We're headed up north again tonight for a three-day ski weekend -- this will probably be the last 3-dayer of the season (although we're going up for two days over Mother's Day weekend -- taking my mom so she can see the scenery). We are a "well-oiled ski machine" (DB's term) at this point -- it takes me 15 minutes to pack for the three days and us about 10 minutes to pack the car with everything including skis and gear. :-) They got another foot of snow this week so conditions will hopefully be good...and not too slushy too early in the day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Superiorly fun at-home weekend

Yes, we actually stayed home this weekend and had a ball!

Friday night, we planned to have dinner with a friend and that got rescheduled because her aunt died the day before. We decided not to cram another friend into that "spot" at the last minute and just planned to have an evening with us. We took a long beach walk (we've been doing this a lot that it's spring and lighter later I can do it after's working for me better than yoga at the moment), then went to dinner and early to bed.

Saturday, we did our morning Coffee Beach Walk, then went out for breakfast at a cheap place nearby. I was raring to go because a friend of ours who just got back from a trip to India was going to take me shopping in the afternoon to "Little India" (a 4-block stretch in a town nearby). We left about 11:30 and I got home at 7!!!! What fun! It was really like being in India for the afternoon (although cleaner according to my friend)...lots of shops...everyone was Indian and wearing Indian garb. It has been ages since I went shopping (which I love to do), so I went a little bananas. ;-) Bought five salwar cameez outfits (see photo of me above)...I'll probably give at least one away, but they were such a bargain at $25/each (including pants, tunic and lovely scarf). They are so cool, comfy and flattering. One of the ones I bought is so beautiful that I will wear it to a black-tie event I am attending this Wednesday.

We also had lunch at a Indian buffet where we were the only non-Indians there. I stuck with the meat and veggie dishes, had no rice and only one small thin piece of nan (bread). It was delicious. Oh yeah, I did have a couple of bites of the desserts (which were yummy and not too sweet -- which I why I probably liked them): halwa (made from carrots and almonds, I think) and kheer (made from rice and cream). It was worth the carbs, believe me. ;-)

I bought some pillow covers for throw pillows on our bed, an outfit for DB, four cds (yoga/mantra music that I love), Om and Ganesh stickers for my car and ski helmet, Indian groceries (WAY cheaper there than in my neighborhood) AND I got my eyebrows threaded for $4.99!!!! (I usually pay over $10 for waxing.) So many fun new experiences!

Saturday evening, DB and I did a little beach walk again and then dinner (burger and salad is my new favorite "treat" dinner).

Yesterday we were going to sleep in, but noooooooo. About 8:30 we heard a huge bang. Our electricity went off so DB went out back to investigate and found that it was a transformer that blew when a mylar balloon got into the electric wires. Yikes. We and all our neighbors called 911 and DWP to get service. Then we got back into bed and BANG! again. Louder this time. One of the wires out back had now broken, was lying across our tenant's apartment roof in the back and was on fire! I got dressed at this point to go see myself. The fire was incredibly hot but, luckily, landed on concrete (which it burned). Of course, we all were calling 911 again and now the fire department came...

By the time they arrived, the fire was out (until they touched the wire again). VERY hot (4800 watts going through this wire). The fire dept cut the wire so it wasn't a danger to anyone and DWP came soon after to fix it all. Whew. But a huge part of our neighborhood was without electricity all morning.

While they were fixing the power, we walked to coffee and breakfast at a new place. We were celebrating the 50th anniversary of my parents' first date. :-)

In the afternoon, we had our new petsitter come see the lay of the land before our next ski weekend (three days this coming weekend)...she got a ticket for talking on the phone with me as I "talked her in" to our parking spot. :-( But she seems nice and, luckily, doesn't have a puppy like our last, beloved sitter...after we took care of the puppy twice recently (including last week) and realized that she is (a) not house-trained, (b) chews everything including our antique sofa, and (c) most importantly, terrorizes my elderly gentleman Doglet, we realized we can't have her stay anymore.

After that meeting, I went to buy some work pants (I only had two pairs and am liking pants more than skirts right now). It was fun because everything I tried on fit! So I got to choose what looked good on me. Got two pairs for $25 total. Then went for a pedicure which I hadn't had in ages.

Last night I went to dinner with a good friend...just girls...and I wore a salwar cameez (above). Fun!

Today it's kind of interesting in my work neighborhood because the President is going to be staying at the hotel next door tonight. The 'hood is on lock-down as you can imagine. I wish I could see him! :-)

I'm feeling better physically...either it's the acupuncture or hormonal rebalancing or both. Either way, I'm so happy that episode seems to be OVER. :-)

Friday, April 9, 2010

More more more

We're going this weekend for yet more skiing...will be a two-day weekend instead of three so, while less skiing, it will also be less stress since I won't have to take any time off work.

I've been having more "symptoms" this week...emotionality (very very stressed out feeling) on Tuesday and hot flashes (which I almost never have) the next two days. One of my breasts is also feeling very achy in the mornings. I have been in contact with my gyne and she suggested upping some of my supplement that I take to help metabolize the hormones. It feels better today. But that could be because of the ibuprofen I'm taking to make my back feel better (something jogged it out of whack last night and I woke up in quite a lot of pain). I've been icing today and keeping on the feels a lot better...hopefully will be ok to ski.

I have not been perfect in eating, but I am being good. Weight is maintaining.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

More pieces of the puzzle

I went to see my gyne today and more pieces of the puzzle fell into place: since November my estrogen level has plummeted. She says that this OFTEN causes her patients to call with horrible debilitating anxiety attacks that they have never had before. Aha! While we are not sure what caused this (onset of REAL menopause or maybe a supplement I started taking in November to help metabolize my bioidentical hormones properly), we can work to fix it by adjusting my hormone intake. Yay! :-)

I am feeling better but not great. Have really been looking forward to this weekend at home (i.e., not away skiing) to rest. Unfortunately, it looks like PD1 is heading to the emergency room tonight with horrible gallbladder attack...we are actually hoping that they send her to emergency surgery because this has been bothering her for a long time. She has no insurance so I am not sure how that all works. I wish we had universal health care so we wouldn't have to worry about costs. Anyway, DB will head up there tonight to watch the kids. I really can't miss work tomorrow so I won't be going with him. :-( And I think this means our quiet, relaxing weekend at home is shot. I am happy that PD1 is getting this done but, selfishly, really bummed about losing my much-needed weekend.

We have been planning not to go back skiing for another 3 weeks but, with it snowing in the Sierras, I am getting more and more tempted to try to work another 3-day weekend a week from tomorrow. Selfish to take time to do this and not to take time to help DB with the kids tomorrow, I know.

I had a great lesson last weekend and I really feel like I am becoming a good (NOT great) skier. I am so proud of myself for being tenacious with this when it looked like I would never get off the beginner slopes. :-)

My yoga studio changed the description of its 7:30 Tuesday and Thursday classes to "gentle flow" (possibly because of some things I said to the teacher). I went on Tuesday and it was good (not great). The teacher, while a sweetheart and really trying to help me, is not really a TEACHER. She's a pose-caller-outer. It's frustrating to me. I will work with it for a while longer though...we'll see what happens.

I'm still maintaining. I read something that Vickie wrote to someone (Cindy, I think) saying that catching yourself at the 5 lb. up mark is so important and that that is part of maintenance. I've been doing that for months now. ;-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Figuring some things out

I went back to my acupuncture/Chinese medicine doctor last Thursday. As I suspected, I felt better immediately. He knows me very well and treats very holistically, taking both Western and Eastern medicine principles into account -- he treats the whole me -- mind, body and spirit. He is a great teacher in my life...not to mention a partial psychiatrist, therapist, physical therapist, general practitioner, yoga teacher, etc. I am lucky to have him.

The insights and treatment he gave me got me started in figuring this whole anxiety/physical symptom thing out. He agrees there is probably something not healed right in my right wrist that gives me pain when I practice yoga. For that, he is sending me for an MRI. In the meantime, he is treating me for the pain...and offers me good suggestions as to how to mitigate the pain while practicing my yoga. The pains in my left arm and chest are probably stress/anxiety that I'm holding in my body. The acupuncture treatment he gave me last week started to release some of what I've been holding in my body.

I went back today for my next treatment and, while on the table, some real revelations started to crystallize for me.

I told him about my yoga experience last night...again, I came home crying afterwards. SO frustrated that the class is NOT giving me what I need and am craving. "And what is that?" he asked. "Peace." That slid out of my mouth easily. And that's what is missing. The yoga classes are so "ashtanga" -- one breath per pose, no time to really get into the pose and get the benefit. It sucks. And I go looking for something that I am not getting...always hopeful, always disappointed. No wonder I end up crying.

I also told him that I think I am actually stressed about work -- I'm trying to do all of my work in 9/10 of the time when we are going away skiing for 3-day weekends every two weeks. I appreciate my firm being so nice in letting me take this time and I am hyper-aware of not making them regret it...because I have more time off that I want to take to come!

I'm also stressed about my "life" work -- I'm trying to do all of it in 11/14 of the time. That's a lot.

Finally, it occurs to me that I have had "doom" feelings before when my hormones were out of balance...they weren't like this horrible anxiety I've had lately, but I am really wondering if it is related. I had blood drawn yesterday for my appointment with my gyne next week...I'll meet with acupuncture Doctor after that.

So Doctor says to me that it is clear that I have got a lot of "yang" (male, active, stressy) energy in my life and what I need (desperately) is "yin" (female, nurturing, relaxed). My yoga class is super-yang and that's why I am hating it and it's making me cry. Even my skiing is very yang. I need something else right now to BALANCE me out. He mentioned that a day in bed just relaxing might not be such a bad idea...but we Westerners have a hard time doing that. I know I do.

With that, he inserted the needles (the ones for the "sad" area in my left shoulder, my hurt right hand and top of my head -- wisdom area -- were particularly active today) and left me for my 25 or so minutes to percolate and meditate. It's a quiet room, warm massage table with heating pads and lamp, fountain and soft music running. I have been very emotional there lately so it takes me a minute to calm my mind and ponder while the needles do their work.

What Doctor said to me rang VERY true. I have gotten signs of this need for balance a lot lately...most recently at our Ostara (pagan spring equinox thing) that we went to at our "church of the backyard" on Sunday. We hunted for Ostara eggs and the token inside was something for each of us to mediate on. I instantly loved mine (these were not chosen for us individually by the people who set it was luck...or I like to think it was the Universe sending me a message). It is a ceramic bead with a moon and sun on it. The moon (which I always relate more to than the sun) is in front of the sun and has a happy face on one side and a sad/perplexed face on the other. When you look CLOSELY, you can hardly tell which brushstrokes of the brush are different on the two faces...interesting. Balance between the two sides. The moon is also a symbol of the feminine (sun is masculine)...thus, the yin is in front of the yang on my bead. I didn't relate this to my current situation until this morning.

In addition, in our Ostara ceremony, one of the participants was talking about bunnies...bunny ears in particular. She was saying that she was wondering what made the Mad Hatter mad...and she thought it was his ears. But was it because he was trying with his big ears to hear things he couldn't? Or because he heard things with his big ears that he didn't want to? Hmmmm...there's a nugget in there that I need to hear (word-use intended).

All of this is very resonant for me. I left my treatment feeling very very happy. (It's later in the day now and the yang-stress of the day has really gotten to me...but I was feeling good THEN.) I will meditate more on all this. And I will keep working to get what I need to feel better.

(And, yes, we are going skiing this weekend! I do love it and this weekend will be the first one we've had this year that is just DB and ROMANTIC ski weekend...even better!) :-)