Thursday, September 24, 2009

I miss the fun......

I feel like it's been a long time since my blog has been fun. Things at my homestead have not been fun in a few weeks. I'm flying out in the morning to be with my family as we bury my Uncle. My Dad is devastated. I've never seen him like this before. He's not a man to hide his emotions, in fact, he's not at all ashamed to cry, but, last night when I drove out to console him about his brother's death, his devastation scared me. He's a big man and a strong man, but, this, this was crushing.

I am very close to my Aunt and my surviving Grandmother lives with her. She has been doing her best to care for my Grandmother and my Uncle....her devastation, I imagine is also crushing.....I am desparate to be by her side and hold her up, just as she has held me up the MANY times I've leaned on her. My Cousins and I are close also, and I feel an intense pull to get to them all, as quickly as possible.

I feel numb about my Uncle's death. The pain I am identifying with is that of the others, my Dad, my Aunt and my Grandmother....I do not want to watch them go through bury him.

Again, it seems as though the fun has been missing for awhile. Perhaps when I return from Georgia, I will emerge from this icky cloud that has been hanging around......

Please, if you visit something....for me, for yourself, for those you love....TELL THEM.....

Tell them;
That you love them
That you are proud of them
That they make you smile
That they are beautiful
That they are amazing
That they are important
That they inspire you
That they are smart
That they deserve every happiness in the world
That you cannot live without them.....

Pay attention to them, listen to them, hold them.....

And, do not forget to tell God, the Universe, the Divine, and them, how grateful you are that they are in your life.......

Peace ♥

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In Memoriam......

For my Uncle Ron, who died today:
May you be free my friend
May you be free of your body and the pain it caused you
May your heart be free from the pain you lived with
May your soul be free to soar with the angels

May you walk with my Grandmother who died two years ago today

May you both be truly free

All my love,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Writing is the new praying.....

Some gratitude for right now:

I am grateful for newly ripe tomatoes
I am grateful for almost ready to harvest pumpkins
I am grateful for a speedy recovery
I am grateful for my roomie
I am grateful for my sisters
I am grateful for a purpose
I am grateful for blogging
I am grateful for my Texas, the heartbeat at my feet
I am grateful for books, a way to get away for a few hours (or minutes if that's all I have)
I am grateful for COBRA which I was able to take advantage of in the nick of time
I am grateful for the people who sent their good energy to shore me up during my crisis
I am grateful for my home
I am grateful for my friends, who love and accept me just as I am, warts and all
I am grateful for cool breezes at night and in the early hours of the morning
I am grateful for the sliver of moon I can see out my window
I am grateful for the opporutinity to change my life with school
I am grateful for the love I have in my life
I am grateful to be alive

Peace ♥

Check it out.......

We're playing a game with Bonnie come on over and play along.....especially if you like to Write....maybe I'll see you over there!


Monday, September 21, 2009

All I can move on that can come off the 'things to do list'....whew! get new defibrillator.

And away we go! Okay, so, a few days of rest and I'm on my way. School starts October 12th and I cannot wait.

Surgery went off without a hitch and I was even released to go home an hour earlier than they said I would......cake walk


Sunday, September 20, 2009

"This ain't my first rodeo"......(attributed to Vern Gosden)

So, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but, I used to be a rodeo photographer.....I have boxes of photos of cowboys and their rides. It's amazing to just sit and listen to them talk about their rides....they can remember every second of an 8 second ride they made 5 years in the past, longer for some cowboys. This simply amazes me, especially if they are bull riders, because most days they get the sense and memory knocked right out of them. I love is my weakness. I could go on and on about their virtues, but, I'll save that for another post.

This photo inspired me tonight because of what lies ahead of me for tomorrow. I like the thought of having a couple of bull fighters on my side....more politically correct, "Cowboy protection". I used to hang out at a ranch in Galt, CA, where an old retired rodeo cowboy used to preach the Gospel and teach bull riding. It was pretty cool because you could be right there, over the chute or in the arena (at your own risk of course), but, I would go out there with my camera and shoot pics of young up and comers and get up close to the action. I usually stood right outside the chute gate, facing the bull and the rider as they shot out of the chute.....many times I had to run and jump a fence in order to escape one point I even had my own bull fighter, who, most times just yelled at me to run.....but, he was there to keep an eye on me....and he did a good job. I loved hanging out at the ranch and listening to the boys recount their adventures and near misses. It was always an adrenaline rush, whether I was in the arena or standing over the chute.

I guess I'm looking for the inspiration to get back to that place where I didn't really worry about the danger I was courting in the arena. As danger goes, tomorrow is going to be extremely controlled, unlike bull riding and I'm not worried about the outcome, only wondering if I can find a way, after going under the knife again to extend the warranty, so to speak, to let go of my fear and challenge my heart and it's capacity. It's time I started making my own rides (blue girl)and regaling y'all with every second of the ride.....


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Roller Derby....not sure what we were thinking....

So, long story, short....Roomie and I, based on interest a friend expressed, went to watch Roller Derby at the little skating rink by our house.....Hmmm....what were we thinking? Our team was getting killed, based on the little info we had on how the scoring worked, someting like 170 to, we decided it was time to skeedaddle and we headed home.....some of the fans were colorful characters, but, we'll leave them out of this post, I'm afraid their essence might linger.....eewwww.

Just a quickie.....(snigger, snigger, giggle, snort.....)

A peek at the band! Yes, we were at least 20 or more years older than just about everyone in the bar....the Band's lead was the SON of Roomie's friend....yes, we were old enough to be those boy's mothers.......BUT WE WEREN'T!

Yes, we had the music wasn't quite my type of music and yes, it was LOUD....but, WE HAD FUN.....AND, they played THEIR version of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues!

I stayed up way past my bedtime.....(gasp!), I know, it's hard to believe for me, too!

Nite, nite......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Good Day......really.....♥

Say a little prayer with me.....hallelujah and amen!

Surgery is set for Monday the 21st...yep, this next monday. I am happy about this...I wanted to do this as soon as possible so that any school plans would not be disrupted...and it worked out the way it was supposed to. We had a great consultation with the EP Guy, addressed my concerns and made me feel very comfortable about the procedure. It will be an outpatient procedure, scheduled at 10:30, it takes about 20 minutes to replace the ICD, I spend a couple of hours in recovery and I'm home by mid afternoon....piece of cake!

Another update....nursing school is not an option anymore. I received a call today from the school and I was NOT accepted into the program, I've been offered an alternate slot, in the event someone doesn't make it through the first week, then, I get their my surprise I was not devastated by this news, in fact, I felt relief, which tells me that my other option was always the one I should have taken, medical assisting.

When I lost my job in June, I took it as a sign to go out and get some education in some other field, as mortgage banking was all but done for me. Not to mention it was killing me and my soul, so, I immediately went over to the local vocational school and signed up for their medical assisting program. Things came together like a well oiled machine, almost too easily and except that I had a hard time confirming that unemployment would continue benefits through the entire program, I was set to go and excited about this opportunity. I began looking into nursing because I was given information that led me to believe unemployment would support that program.....subsequently, I've confirmed that differently, so, either program would be a viable option. The admissions process and the financing did not go as smoothly at the vocational school where the nursing program was available and all the while I was questioning whether or not it was the right choice. It just didn't come together like the medical assisting option did and this always kept me doubting the choice to go through with the nursing. As of this date, I still do not have the tuition for the nursing program in place, this may have influenced the decision about accepting me into the program, I am not sure as the admissions advisor and I played phone tag for almost the entire day. (it's not like I didn't have something else on my plate today.....).

I am not inclined to accept the alternate option within the nursing program, all signs seem to be pointing to the M.A. program and I am happy with this. Originally, the concept of where I want to end up, began with only the M.A. program and this feels like the right door, so, Monty, I'll take door number 1, please......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments." -- Janet Kilburn Phillips

Ah, but the garden does make me feel good. It is a place I can go and unthink. I can accomplish something without having to make one decision....mundane or life altering...I only have to gather. This is the bounty I scored on Monday...I needed to just dwell in a place of grace and the garden afforded me that.
We had a small storm on Sunday night and as late in the season as we are, I figured I better clean out as much ripe fruit as possible.....all of the pepper plants were completely loaded with gifts....ready for salsa, pepper jelly and the like. The tomatoes, while still slow to ripen, did yeild quite a few jewels I garnered. There were serranos, jalapenos, wax bananas, habaneros, sweet bells and blue boy bells. A diverse variety of tomatoes, I am unable to name, as the little plant sticks are missing on most of them....significant in my bounty, though, were my very favorite, the cherry 100's....mmmmmmmmm....Texas was sneaking them out of the basket as fast as I could collect them.

It's true, every year I consider my garden an experiment. Some things are staples, zucchini, tomatoes, lemon cucumbers and peppers, this year's experiments.....pumpkins, watermelon and herbs; basil, sage, rosemary and texas tarragon and some beans, which I sort of didn't pay attention to and cannot decide whether or not they turned out okay...there were some beans, however, I forgot to pick them and now, they are just these brown pods on the plants, (next year will be the year for beans). I love the adventure the garden creates because I always approach it as an experiment, I'm not too disappointed if something doesn't work out...fortunately, I am always pleasantly surprised by my bounty!

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Stars......



So, I guess my appointment isn't until tomorrow.....I checked the piece of paper I wrote the appointment down on, yep, it says, Tuesday the 15th......but, according to the little girl in the doctor's office....

"Doctor is NEVER in on Tuesday, I can't imagine why YOU would think he'd be here".....

Umm, I don't actually work here, so, I only have the word of the people calling me on the phone and scheduling the appointments.....maybe that person doesn't REALLY work here and it was just may imagination when we spoke, not just once, but, TWICE, confirming both times, TUESDAY the 15TH.....
(just sayin')

Monday, September 14, 2009

Something to think about.

Last night's post was huge....and it felt good to write the story down. I thought it might come across humorous, as I like to think that I have given the story some levity, at least in my mind that's what I'm doing. Roomie felt maybe I was bitter and angry and asked if I could let it go, the anger, or rather why I don't let it go? And, this is a valid question. The bigger questions are, why am I really angry about having to have the device? why, If I'm so sure the device was not necessary did I agree to have it implanted? And, if I'm so sure it isn't necessary why don't I have the device removed and not have a new one implanted? AND, if I feel like maybe the original diagnosis was not a good one, did I not get a second opinion?

All good questions. The answer to all of them is fear. And, the anger, is really anger at myself for not being strong enough to question the situation further when the device was originally implanted. The evidence, or rather gut feeling I have about the situation did not form until I looked back on multiple situations occurring over the last couple of years, piecing together my hypothesis. Regardless of my hypothesis or feelings, I am not a medical doctor, much less a specialist in the electrophysiology of the heart, therefore, I have to decide to respect the diagnosis and find a way to let go of my bitterness and anger.

The situation I find myself in now, is like getting a do, what do I do? Do I change my mind and just have them remove the ICD or do I trust that the doctors have my best interest at heart (pun, total pun intended)and get a new and improved ICD and move on with my life, leaving my fear behind? I'm not ready to die, so, taking a risk by having the ICD removed with no replacement, could in essence be a death wish.....

I see the "EP Guy" tomorrow, we will be discussing my options. Stay tuned, please.

To the Divine, please take away the fear, anger and bitterness, replace it with forgiveness for myself, recognizing that I did the best I could and if I could have done better I would have. Give me peace for the journey ahead......


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Afraid of my own heart......

I do not know how this rock sculpture got where it is below a cliff I was standing on. on Saturday, I cropped the photo to isolate the sculpture because that is how I feel, sort of isolated, in the ocean.

All the time I was growing up I just lived my life like I was a normal know, not one of the kids who was sick...because, by all accounts, I wasn't, I was repaired, therefore, not sick anymore. My folks were assured I would not have any more heart problems, therefore, they did not treat me as a sick kid, which I appreciate beyond measure. I was never self conscious about my scar, which runs from the center of my collarbone to 4 inches below the bottom of my sternum, even as a teenager wearing a string bikini. It just never occurred to me to be self conscious of it or view it as some kind of flaw. Those brave enough to ask were given the truth and then we moved one, not even me, ever dwelled on it. It of course took a retrospective look at my situation to see all of this, but, I am grateful that my young life was not colored by the situation.

Now, as a middle-aged woman, I have some different feelings. From the time that the defibrillator was implanted, moving forward, I became afraid of my own heart. Not because I was truly afraid that my heart might rebel on me, but, because if it did, a device surgically implanted inside my body would shock the shit out of me. Now, seriously, that is no way to treat a person's heart, especially since all my little heart has been trying to do my whole life, is WORK! As a middle-aged woman, I have to take responsibility for allowing the device to be implanted, but, I did that out of fear, not out of prudence. All of that aside, I'd like to tell the story of the day the defibrillator did actually shock my poor little heart.

The defibrillator, which for the sake of brevity we will call the ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), was implanted to protect me from sudden death due to ventricular tachycardia or a racing heart. Now without making this whole post about the technicalities of my heart issues, I'll just briefly explain that my normal heart rhythm does not look like your basic, ordinary heart rhythm, I have some extra beats every few beats or so. Because of this, I believe that my exerted heart rate looks like V-Tach, but, that it isn't true V-Tach. I feel strongly that this is what was discovered when they tested my heart for the necessity of the ICD, but, since I'm not an "Electrophysiology Cardiologist" or for short "the EP Guy", I cannot in all good sense (IE; fear and the look of total devastation on my parents' faces) skip his recommendation on the OFF chance he might have actually seen V-Tach, right? Right. So, assuming that I am not at risk for true V-Tach, the ICD is like having a shock button in my chest for entertainment purposes. Which is why I was able to find the humor in the attack the ICD made one day while I was mowing the lawn - a chore, NO ONE said I couldn't do anymore.......

So, Memorial Day weekend, 2006, mowing the the backyard, alone....SLOWLY mowing the lawn, with a self propelled mower...I am not an athletic person and for me mowing the lawn was more a zen exercise than a chore, I could completely tune out, and plod along behind the mower accomplishing one of my favorite things, a cut lawn, in my own backyard where I planned to spend the weekend enjoying the beauty of what would be my cut I'm mowing along, (excuse me a moment while I count the beeps from my ICD - it's the 6:30 beeping time) suddenly there is the feeling of something hitting me in the chest...I look down, expecting to see perhaps a muddy spot on the front of me, as I assume the lawn mower has kicked something up into me...nothing there....and then I realize I am hearing a low, slow, whining noise, like the amping up of BAM!!!!!!! a shock from a cardiac defibrillator, just like you hear on those hospital t.v. shows.......I freak out, panic and realize, I am home alone and if my heart is in distress, I will probably pass out in the backyard and no one will know where I am and I won't get the medical help I need in time to save my life, so, I run into the house, grab the portable phone and dial 911 and BAM!!!!! I'm hit again....the phone goes dead, so, again, my mind begins racing, oh, no, now I'm in the house alone and if my heart is in distress, I will probably pass out and no one will find me in time to get me the medical help I need, so, I run out of the front of the house and start screaming "help, someone, please help me, I'm having a cardiac event, help me, call 911".....and then BAM!!!!!!! it hits me again, HARDER this time, knocking the wind out of me....the neighbor comes running out of his house with his cell phone, dials 911 and while he's trying to tell them where we are, his phone, I try to redial my portable phone, and right about the time I decide I should probably just lie down, BAM!!!!!! I get hit again, hard enough to put me on my knees, so, I just lie down and wait for the EMTs.

The emergency medical people were awesome, they had to contend with my dog chasing them around the yard, or rather, chasing my dog around the yard to catch him to put him back in the house, before they hauled me off to the hospital, they kept asking me why I was sweating, which was really funny to me, because it was almost 100 degrees outside and I was mowing the lawn, but, regardless, they kept asking me....

At the hospital, they ascertained that I did NOT have a cardiac event and they called in an ICD tech who used a fancy computer to interrogate the ICD (they place a computerized wand on my chest over the ICD and can download all kinds of information about what my heart is up to) and he determined that I did NOT have a cardiac event. So, what really happened? Guess........

On Tuesday, following the weekend, I go in to see the "EP Guy" to discuss what happened over the weekend and you'll love was determined that the heart rhythm setting on the ICD was set too low. Yep, because my heart rate LOOKS like V-Tach when it is exerted, the setting on the ICD was too low.

I'm sure the whole incident for a fly on the wall must have been like watching the stooges get medical attention for a possessed scarecrow, but, it was not a true cardiac event. The thing is, the whole time it was happening to me, I KNEW I was not in trouble, I was clear minded, I was worried about passing out alone, cognizant of my surroundings, making sure to relocate myself where I'd be found if I did in fact lose consciousness or die, I was able to make outgoing calls, even if they didn't make it out, I was aware enough to finally decide I should just lie down and alert enough to know that the neighbor's phone died while the 911 call was trying to go through....I knew I was not really in trouble, but, the ICD scared me soooo much that I completely freaked out.

Ultimately, it is the device that has made me afraid, but, at the base of that is the fear that my own special heart rhythm can look so WRONG that it would trigger the device to go off and shock the shit out of me. This has kept me from doing things I used to do and has also made me question what my limits REALLY are and kept me from doing things I've never done before, from experiencing new things that might just be fun and exciting, in a normal rhythm know?

I have been really thinking about how the attack affected me, now that I am to have the ICD replaced and I realized how much I limit myself based on that incident and how afraid I allow myself to be. You know, I have not ridden Blue Girl since the first ride the weekend I brought her home, because after I got all geared up to ride her I wondered, 'what if my heart rate gets up to it's exerted rate and the ICD goes off while I"m riding around the neighborhood....' and more stuff like that....the mind can really take you places if you let it, but, that's another post.

This is why I find myself afraid of my own heart.....physically and metaphorically, because who wants to go through the shock of it all ever again, eh?


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The fog comes on little cat feet.

It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.
Carl Sandburg missed it by a little....the fog that we saw today....did not move on.

The fog shrouded the day.....roomie and i were both on a personal quest....mine, for the feeling of the pull of the tide, the power of the waves, I just needed some ocean energy, roomie, too, but, for different reasons. I love the smell of the ocean in the air, even pacific coast fog has a certain kind of appeal for me.

At our first beach stop we encountered Jake, a kid who just took a tumble through a wave and dislocated his knee - we called 911 for him and waited for the E.M.T.s to arrive....

We moved on....heading for the wildlife preserve I had it in my head would net us some fabulous pictures of starfish and sea urchins, shells and the like...but, first we stopped at the Pt. Montara Lighthouse...

We enjoyed the overlook

and then headed to the preserve - we arrived long after low tide and missed our opportunity, but, I did get some fun photos......

I'll be calling this one, "Pacific Ocean Salad"......the delightful seaweed we have and I managed to get a shot of this little guy....(I'm not sure he was really little)

And, then, later, this little guy (teee heeee heeee)

It felt like melancholy followed us all day....I guess the fog can do that. My purpose for going to the ocean was to harness some of her energy and I feel like I did, however, I also feel like maybe I brought some fog home with's not like I can't create my own fog.....sheesh.....maybe I hoped for too much.....I'm SURE the ocean and the SUN would have infused me differently. Ironically, the sound of our weather turning is wafting through my bedroom window tonight and if I close my eyes I can almost make the sound of the trees rustling sound like the ocean waves breaking the shore. Ah, how much I long for the beach and the ocean....


Goin' to the beach....yeah, the great Pacific Ocean....see ya!

Here she is....Pacific Ocean at Pt. Montara Lighthouse....yep, going there in the a.m..........I'll share NEW photos when I get home.....
Update to difibrillator issue, I was able to activate my COBRA insurance, at a 65% discount.....seems Prez Obama enacted something (remember, I don't watch the news, so, I'm in the dark about some of these things....) that gives the unemployed who had medical insurance a break for 9 months of the 18 you can draw COBRA, on their premiums...Yahooooo ! So, at least that hurdle has been eliminated.....I will get my surgery paid for....without having to sell everything I own.....mostly. Yay!
So, I will be off to the coast for the day, celebrating of last trip before all hell breaks, surgery, you know, the busy season, etc.....
Happy Saturday, y'all!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where were you when the world stopped turning......

I don't remember where, exactly I was on September 11, 2001, when our world stopped turning......and, I have not in past years observed this anniversary.....but, I am for some reason, keenly aware of this one. I have to confess, I do not watch the news or read the paper....after spending hours and hours watching the war in it's early days, (I was glued to the t.v. to the point of distraction), I eventually had to break away and, honestly, I don't miss it. I know this probably makes me relatively ignorant of the world outside of my bubble, but, seriously, I like my bubble. However, I am aware enough to know that we have a new president and he's made promises about bringing home our military.....and, I guess what has me aware of this, the eighth anniversary of 9/11, is that as of yet, Osama Bin Laden has not been found and dealt with. And, I could go into a huge diatribe here about how our country is supposed to be the biggest super power in the world and you would think that by now WE should have found the bastard and swiftly dispatched him and his disciples.....but, all I can think about is this Alan Jackson song and that I am really not political and I barely know the difference between Iraq and, I leave you with the lyrics and a prayer for those who lost a dear loved one...or two or more.....

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wishcasting Wednedsay on 09-09-09

It is easy to find inspiration out in the ether....blogs are amazing windows in which to peer....seeing people in their own light. As I did my morning reading today I was inspired to participate in Wishcasting with The Fragrant Muse and noting the most auspicious date, 09-09-09 with Julochka. Because my blog is about exploring and well, wishcasting for the life I feel like I've maybe let slip by me, this seems like a good way to manifest just that, my life's purpose, my life's direction.....

In Numerology 9 is the perfect number - this number gives us infinite possibility, it is also the number of 'letting go and letting God', it rules the principle of surrender. This is supremely what wishcasting or manifesting is....put out there what you want and then let it go, surrender to the Divine and your wish will come. The number 9 is also about loving, caring, completing, ending, releasing, transforming and forgetting. Ultimately about letting go....not letting things drag us down. The number 9 vibrates at the highest of energies, magnetizing to us all great possibility. This truly is an auspicious day that we would do well to harness the energy and use for good.

Wishcasting Wednesday's question: What do you wish to learn?
(I have learned over the years that you must be prepared to receive your wish, therefore, wish carefully, as you may just get what you wish for)

I wish to learn how be a nurse - to have all of the resources I need at my finger tips in order for this wish to come true. (visualizing my cupped hands throwing my wish out into the ether.....scattering my cares about it to the winds, watching as the particals of my wish ascend to the higher plane, releasing the energy of the wish that I might receive it back in completion).

Just a simple, little wish, that's all......


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rocking the Nikon.......

At Blog Camp I took my new camera out for a field test....experimenting a little, but, mostly just running it on auto pilot, you know, to get a feel for how it runs....and, I must say, it runs like champ. I was so impressed with the clarity and colors that my Baby put out. After I got home and was able to download my photos and review them, I was just sooooo pleased with the results.....the Fairy Blogmother was right, Nikon brings it, every time.

I was sooo please with sooo many of my photos, I've been dying to post them...but, part of me wants to hold some back for future posts....alas, my excitement has gotten the better of me and as a mood booster, I think I will just toss a few out tonight!

This guy was LOUD and soooo cool with his mohawk type plummage, I had to capture him twice....just for good measure:

Isn't the color amazing? Whhooooo, man!

Okay, I think that's all for now.....don't want to give away the farm.....hope you enjoyed the show.....come back and see us again tomorrow.....


“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone-we find it with another.” Thomas Merton

(whilst in the middle of a mini meltdown earlier today, I wrote a post....blogger provided me with yet another set of challenges and I kept trying to edit my post and it only got worse and, I deleted it in order to start again....but, then my web browser shut down and all of my steam was lost in the, this will be a rebuild of that post, I think.....)

I was having a hard time today dealing with my medical situation.....I felt utterly alone. Although, I am not alone in the world by any stretch of the imagination, it is in these times that I feel most alone, that I feel the aloneness that I have built around myself. It is in these times that I wish there was that 'someone' who I could lean on, really lean on, who would do the digging for the old paperwork from my last surgery, do the research on the internet regarding the recall of my device, contact the doctors and set up the appointments and then, go with me to the appointments and hold my hand while I listen to the doctors, yet again, explain how the procedure is going to go....(My Dad usually accompanies me to the appointments and he's a champ about it, but, I'm talking about a 'someone' entirely different then him, you know, THAT someone). It is this 'someone' whom I miss when I am alone, at night, when I cry myself to sleep, I wish for that someone to be there, to hold me and comfort me as I release all of the emotion I keep in check trying to be strong, who would tell me, "go ahead and cry, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere". I wear my independence like a badge of honor, always saying, "I don't need a man to take care of me", (I like that I can and do take care of myself) but, really, I WANT a strong arm to hold me up on the days when I just don't want to hold myself doesn't happen very often, but, this is one of those times. This isn't something I usually verbalize, a secret of sorts and today, I felt vulnerable.

It didn't help that both of my doctors were unavailable and that I was not getting any satisfaction on the information front. I hate hitting a brick wall, usually I just scale the wall and get what I want by going over it, however, I wasn't my usual self today, so, I just crumbled a little. I felt like the dog in the photo, alone in a vast body of water, paddling for my life......

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

....and, so it begins. I have been mulling over the weekend and all that happened, with me and at blog camp. We had a BBQ today with family and friends (the friends, are really just the family we choose to include in our own personal chaos and who choose to stick around to find out how each little events turns out...kind of like watching a train wreck)and I was acutely aware that I wished my blog camp friends were there. I could totally picture them there amongst my RWP's, harrassing each of them, as they reciprocated and giving as good as they got. I was warmed by this thought and wondered what they were doing right then, when I was thinking about them. I was really able to imagine them hanging out with my peeps....and this is the epitome of what Blog Camp was for me.

I was concerned that truly I would have only blogging in common with these women, as I do not have any children, nor do I have a husband, nor have I ever and well, their lives are pretty full with these very things. I know that those things do not make up a person, but, they certainly fill up a large part of them and this seemed like it might be a stumbling block for me. I thought I might feel left out as the others would be able to chat easily among themselves about their spouses and children. Let's face it, those things would certainly be easy ice breakers and would help conversations start, because that is an immediate and obvious connection each of them shared. Further, I was the oldest camper there....I seriously have never felt that age plays a part in who we connect with, I have many friends in many age groups, but, those relationships were formed over tangible (ie; things that were not in cyberspace) experiences and I just wondered if the age difference would add a degree of complexity to making any connections. I was just really struck by how eaily I was able to connect with the ladies at blog camp and that I could and did picture them as part of my reality, not just my blogality.

Having the day with my reality was a great way to give perspective to my experience at blog really seemed an easy segue from a person who I only know from their words to a person who I can completely see loading up a plate in line at the counter, nudging my brother and making crass jokes about the size of the chicken thighs (Ali). I could see each of them, with their cameras and hear each of them with their two cents participating in the easy banter that these familial events have, holding their own and I couldn't help but giggle, knowing how much richer the party would have been with them there.

yep, that's what blog camp was like for me....I became richer this weekend because of them.......

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blog Camp - (continued)

I returned to Blog Camp fact I was sooooo ready to return to Blog Camp today that I was up early....well, that might have had to do with the beeping, but, nonetheless, I was up early and rarin' to go.....up the hill I went. I returned to Blog Camp on another route from my home, so, I was able to enjoy two different scenic views over the course of the three days....a bonus for me, I think.

Because of the minor hiccup in my weekend, the adventure has taken on additional meaning for me......and I suspect there will be a mulititude of epiphanies for me as the days pass by and I reflect on Blog Camp and what I have gained because of it.

When I returned home today and downloaded all of my photos and reviewed them I felt a huge swell of emotions and, well, pride.....(my photos were great, but....)my pride was in myself for going out on a limb...for trusting....something I do not do very easily. For putting myself out know, recovering from a life not lived.

When my heart problems pop up I sort of get lost for a short time, revert to my kid self and then the warrior in me starts building the fortress to protect that little kid and then I withdraw.....just a little....and it would have been super easy for me to back out of my return to Blog Camp today and use that as an excuse....but, I didn't. I stepped out of my fortress and returned to a place that felt amazing.

My head and my heart are swimming right now. This adventure was a beautiful gift and I am so profoundly grateful.....

As I process these emotions and my photos I'm sure more revelations will appear.....for now, Thank you to Sara at Turning Stones for hosting Blog Camp - Reno....

McGillicuty, rxBambi and ladies rock the beach....and the cameras!

More in the days to follow.....for now, Peace

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blog Campis interruptis......

So, I figure, this is my blog and I can cry if I want to....this, of course is a different type of crying from my usual, crying, whining and generally acting like a baby when it seems my life isn't exactly, well, perfect....but, again, since this is my blog, I can cry if I want to and right now, I do..........................................

I had to leave Blog Camp - Reno early. Why? Well, I had to attend to a little beeping sound.....I'll explain - If you're new here, you might not know, but, I've had open heart surgery three times and I have a cardiac difibrillator to cover me in the event of a cardiac event, I gave some details here, so, the story is ongoing........

A few days ago, I heard a little beeping sound as I was blogging away on my laptop, I cocked my head this way and that and it seemed as though the beep was coming from the computer, so, I shut it down and restarted it and the beeping quit. The next day, I could hear the beep again, however, it seemed to be coming from the ceiling fan in my bedroom, where I usually sit to blog, so, I turned the fan off and the beep stopped, so, again, by process of elimination, I assumed the beep was related to the fan.......clearly, there was a beep, close by.....closer than I thought.

So, at my first night of Blog Camp - Reno, I nestle down after our rousing evening of airport, dinner, prezzies and some blogging, to sleep......mind you this is late, midnight or so, (late for me) and the house is very silent, V E R Y Q U I E T......and again with the beeping......which is when I realize it's coming from my very own chest, yep, beeping is coming from me, not the appliances (yes, I consider my laptop an appliance, happy to debate that later in another post if it's necessary). I know that I cannot just ignore the beeping nor can I blame it on something else, it is in fact my chest and now, I'm at Blog Camp and I don't know what to do.
Well, I knew what to do, call the doctor and likely go to the emergency room to have the situation assessed. I did not sleep very well the rest of the night, hoping beyond hope that maybe my mind made up the beeps and in fact my chest was not beeping, however, around 5:30 a.m., again, with the beeping, so, now I think, 'Hummm, seems the beeps are occurring more often, now that I've identified them for what they are, better call doctor and manufacturer.'

So, I wait until almost 7:00 and look up the manufacturer of my difibrillator and review the FAQ's, which tell me, "Call your doctor right away if your ICD beeps." Call Doctor, he tells me to go to the ER, NOW........I wrestle with this, sort of argue with the doctor.....debate calling home, try different tactic with doctor, piss him off and determine I should probably go to the emergency room.....but, not in Reno....because, although I KNOW THERE IS NOTHING WRONG, it would be my luck that, if I go to the hospital in Reno, there will in fact be something wrong and I will wish I had my doctor and family with, I departed blog camp early this morning to visit my 'home' ER.....where I can have my Doctor, if I want or need him, not to mention my family and the rest of the usual suspects that hold my hand when I'm scared.....yes, I was scared.

Much to my amazement, there was NO ONE in the ER waiting room at 10:30 a.m., this Saturday on Labor Day, first come, first served.....FIRST TIME EVER.....yep, we usually wait and wait and wait, but, not today.
They hooked me up to all the appropriate monitors, Pops and I educated Roomie on all of the squiggly lines, beeps (no pun intended), cords, numbers related to beeps and squiggly lines, just like we were describing some kind of auto mechanics diagnostics, because, well, we've been here before and we can recite these things by rote. After all of the numbers were recorded and some calls were made it was determined that I was not experiencing any cardiac event and that the difibrillator was beeping because it is expiring.....yep, it's battery is wearing out and it has to be replaced! Within the next three months........

This is upsetting and frustrating on so many levels, but, I have to accept that science is not perfect - try to tell me it is and I'll tell you the story about my twice replaced pulmonary valve that they assured me I would NEVER, EVER have to have it replaced after the first replacement....but, I digress.....I just saw my Doc and had my ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) interrogated (computer wand reads device and tells doc what status is) and I was assured at that time the device had at least another year on it before I would need to have it replaced. In 2005, when they insisted that I needed the device, they advised me it would last around 10 years and probably not even need a battery change for 7 years......(I'm sorry, A BATTERY CHANGE?)

The device is installed surgically, they create a little pocket above your breast in the muscle wall of your chest and park the little bugger in there, then sew up the little pocket and then you carry around serious voltage in your chest, JUST IN CASE.... you know, your heart decides to drag race around for awhile and well, kill you.......

Okay, so, back to the crying part - FUCK......I have other things to do besides have my little pocket cut open and a new shocker put in, you know, like start school....oh and then there's the part about where I am unemployed and don't have any medical insurance.....yeah, that part, that part sucks, too......(if you're new, I'm not a slacker, I was laid off from the mortgage banking industry and am enrolled in school to, wait for it, become a NURSE.....) Yes, I cried....I'm crying....not because I'm a cry baby.....really, if you'd had three open heart surgeries and an ICD installed in your chest, you'd be a little tired of it, too, so, yes, I'm crying......I'll get over it and I'll do what I always do, check into the hospital on the appointed day, let them hook me up to monitors, IV's, wear a bad hospital gown, harrass the medical staff mercilessly, bitch to my doctor that I never wanted the damn difibrillator anyway and walk out in a day or two and have a new 'shocker' in my chest.....probably the newest technology, with a written warranty for another 10 (four) years.......and, get on with my life........

I am going to join blog camp again tomorrow, but, for today, I'm feeling sorry for myself and I think I can afford one day of wallowing......but, tomorrow, Blog Camp for me......

And, yes, I know I am lucky to just be alive......
*****update: after some internet research, I've found that the device I have was recalled in 2007 and I may have a case for getting the device!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Prezzies...prezzies, prezzies....we want prezzies

We are here a blog camp and we've already opened our presents and it was just like Christmas....lot's of ooooh's and ahhhhh's and paper.....

But, this afternoon, when I arrived I came upon some, you guessed it, AXES!
and I did NOT have one of my prezzies, one that I really NEEDED:

but, no worries, there were no axings this evening.......just a forking....see that over at Blog Camp - Reno!
More to come tomorrow....we'll be meeting Blog Camp in Denmark by video chat....can't wait!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oooohhh, I'm so excited I can't even stand it....won't be sleeping tonight....

.....Cause why? You ask.....well, if you've been paying any attention it's because I'm going to BLOG CAMP - RENO tomorrow!!!!!!! There's going to be a FULL MOON and well, I hope no axes and I suspect there will be some 'consumption' of food and various kinds of beverages......and blogging and a visit with BLOG CAMP 2.0 in Denmark via video chat and perhaps a lap around Lake Tahoe (with picture taking, of course) and I hear there is a Rib Cook off competition that we will be partaking of....(with more picture taking, of course)....more than anything, connecting with some of the bleeps I share my story with....and who share their story with me.....

Oh, and I believe there will be prezzies.........
So, I'm having little flashes of that disneyland commercial where the kids are too excited to sleep and they sort of get in trouble with the mom because they're giggling when they should be sleeping, but, then after mom and dad go to bed they can't sleep either, because they're too excited.....yeah, that's what I feel like.....'s going to be a long day tomorrow, I better paint my toe nails 1966 Mustang Blue tonight, don't want to forget to honor my friend Marinik.....she has the best blue toe me.....check her blog banner out.....
Okay, nighty, night.....sleep tight......

10 More things about me that you may not know or even want to know.....

This is me with my new baby....isn't she purty? I'm still learning how to make her purr, so, I used myself as a guinea pig.....Anyhooooooo....I was tagged today by Liz at The Fragrant Muse to participate in a meme - (I still do not understand how a list of silly things about myself translates to a meme, but, hey, I'm game to play along). This list will be an addendum to a list published earlier in August (for those of you just discovering my blog). So, here goes:
1) I studied Shotokan Karate for a year and a half, I earned an orange belt.
2) I did not pass my driver's license test the first time - I did not obtain my driver's license until I was 17 (instead of 16).
3) At the ripe old age of 22 I drove all the way across the country and back.
4) I have 25 pairs of cowboy boots - 8 cowboy hats - two fancy belt buckles.
5) I used to line dance 3-4 times a week - I wore size 5 Wrangler's (yes, I had a great ass back then).
6) I've had breast reduction surgery.
7) I collect stuff - lots of stuff: frogs, horses, elephants, books, cd's, dogs, stationary, picture frames, hearts, well, you get the picture.......(I'm NOT a horder, just a collector, seriously).
8) I LOVE Christmas - I haven't forgotten the reason for the season, but, I sort of over-decorate, sort of.
9) ....kind of like Halloween, too.
10) I am CPR certified, did that this summer when trying to figure out how to find my way into the medical field.

And, one last one for good measure;
11) I have a magic wand - seriously, not one of those plastic ones you buy in the toy section, a reall magic wand that came to me from nature - I'll tell the story one day in a post......

So, now I guess I'm supposed to tag 10 people to continue the meme (I looked it up), but, since everytime I get sucked drawn into one of these, all the people I want to tag are already tagged, I've decided, I'm only going to tag two new bloggers, here they are by blog title:

I'll notify them of their fate and then, PLEASE show them some love and make it worth their while and visit them, eh?

So, off to finish my packing for Blog Camp - Reno !!!!!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they've come up with so far." Neil Simon

I have to put a shout out to all of those who shared in my last post....thank you for your kind words.....they made all the difference!

You know, it's already fall....I know, the calendar doesn't say it's fall yet, but, let me tell you, the sun is already arrives at a different angle every morning and it departs a little earlier every evening....and the lighting, oh, the lighting is magnificent! I am but an infant in my photography knowledge and skill, but, I do understand lighting, and the lighting nature gives us is ethereal in fall.

Feeling that fall is already here may have added to my restlessness, fall does that to nature's notification that our world is dying in preparation of being reborn again and maybe I feel a little like that right now.

Because I've been really noticing that fall is creeping in I went out to the garden tonight to capture some of the wonderful gifts mother nature has given me this year, in their best light.....reveling in their best light, I captured one of the gigantic pumpkins (above) my garden has given me. I took several photos, editing them a little each and savoring their beauty. This field trip was as much an exercise in photography as it was an exericise in stopping and looking, reviewing what is right in front of me.
Each of the pumkins is like a morsel of happiness I want to can one not be happy when playing in a pumpkin patch....just look at the color - orange that only mother nature can produce. I got down low and tried to get different angles on my subjects taking pleasure in their uniqueness, luxuriating in their massiveness.....(there are three pumpkins out in the garden that I think are going to have to be lifted out with some piece of heavy equiptment).
I realized after my little field trip that my life is a good life....and, like Neil said, living is the best thing they've come up with so, I just have to remind myself to go out and get some perspective when I'm feeling restless and regretful, because, seriously, living life one second at a time really is the best thing you can do.

Voyuerism....of another kind.......................

(peaking in on life in San Francisco - cool housing)

I've been reading a lot of blogs this week. I've been finding all kinds of inspiration and perspective. I've talked about living with regret a few times on this blog and although I keep promising myself I will let go of the regret, I continure to find myself wondering what my life would have been like if I had done things differently when I was a young person. You know, picked a different door.....

I guess this is what they call a mid-life crisis, only in my case, no one is going to get hurt......I'll just continue to be confused and unsettled, restless and regretful. I made a couple of statements in passing about wishing I had the guts to move to San Francisco and live.....those that 'heard' me, encouraged it....asked me, "why not?" I can come up with all kinds of excuses, but, no real reason for why not. I love that city, I really do, but, something about it seems lonely and as much as I like being alone, sometimes, I get lonely and San Francisco is a place that being alone, just might get lonely, more often than not. Again, I can come up with all kinds of excuses why I shouldn't/couldn't/ won't move least right now I can.

I feel like I spend my life in a series of episodes, where I'm waiting for the next part of my life to start. When I moved in to care for my grandmother I knew that 'another' part of my life would start once she was gone and after she was gone and I was handling the estate's business, I would start my life once that was done and then, once that was done, I went to jeweler's school and when that was done I would start my you see the pattern? And I think I have lived my whole life this way, waiting for my life to start. And, I keep getting these cosmic notices that I should be paying attention to life everyday as I live it, but, do I listen? Hell NO, I just keep stumbling through trying to keep my head above water....maybe that's what is going on with me, I always feel like I'm just barely keeping my head above water and I'm just so damn tired of doing that.

I'm a smart girl, everyone says so and really, I know I'm a smart girl, but, I am also a small town girl....not small town, like actually living in a small town, I mean a small town mentality. I have been places, like England, France, Belgium, Holland, Texas and Georgia and Upstate New York , Pennsylvania and I've even been to the Jersey shore, but, I have mostly been unaware, except for Georgia, I was young when I went to these other places and couldn't really appreciate what I was experiencing, but, I digress, small town mentality, I don't venture out too far from my little neighborhood and the blogosphere has made me painfully aware of my small-townness and produced restlessness in me. Although I mask it, most of the time with false cynicism, I still get hurt and surprised when things don't turn out like I thought they would and alot of times I take people at their word, even when it sounds too good to be, I stay where I am, because at least I KNOW where I am and there is no risk in it. Moving to San Francisco would be a HUGE risk and therefore, a possible disappointment and these kinds of thoughts are what hold me back, keep me restless for something MORE.

This is what this blog is for, discussing how to recover from a life not lived. Someone who was my friend for a time threw the name of my blog in my face....she said, "I would NEVER have a blog named recovery from a life not lived because I'm not afraid to go out and look for what I want even if it goes against convention." (or something to that effect). And, although it hurt and pissed me off, she was right. In other words, she was fearless and I am a chicken shit.....

I keep telling myself going to nursing school is going to open sooooo many doors for me, that moving to San Francisco would actually become a very real possibility for me and I think that scares me. I won't have any excuses for holding back, I will have the means to go virtually anywhere I want and have a marketable skill. I won't be small-town anymore.

This stuff is very real for me, living with the fear of stepping out and not believing that I deserve to have a big life. One time a few years back my Aunt and I were having a serious talk, (my Aunt is my go to person when I'm really trying to figure things out) and I was sharing with her that I thought I was meant for something big, something more than what I was doing and that I was feeling like my life was suffocating me and she told me that she always thought that God had bigger plans for me, that I was meant for something great and as she was saying it, it felt real, like she knew something I didn't. This was an very important conversation for me, because I respect her immensely and she always seems to have the inside track on life and it's mysteries. From that point on, I really believed that there was something big out there waiting for me.....but, sometimes I wonder if that didn't contribute to my thought that 'someday my life will begin' rather than knowing that the stuff I was doing everyday was the stuff LIFE is made up of.

I love the blogosphere, it has actually drawn me out of myself, perhaps the irony won't be lost here, as I don't actually ever have to leave my bedroom to go out into the blogoshpere, but, it has pulled me out into 'the world', where I am seeing what the possibilities are. The fact that I can read about Denmark where Julochka at Moments of perfect clarity shares stories of her life and adventures and Extranjera at What will I ever do with my life shares with us about her expat life globetrotting all over the place and Violet dear at Madness and Beauty shows us how to backpack through Asia and Spud and Bee share with us about their lives in England (where I am sure I was actually meant to be born because I totally LOVE England in a very ancient kind of way) and of course, Tangobaby showing us how beautiful and enticing San Francisco is. All of these blogs inspire me to want more to want to be more to quit 'waiting for my life to start'.