Me First

November 19, 2013

Rocking the Hospital Garb

I had an MRI.

The results arrived today: Normal. Nada. Nothing unusual shows up in my head, to explain the troubles I’ve been having with my cognition.

Back in April I started in earnest to try to get beneath this addled, foggy functioning of mine. After a few years of exploring this and that, I finally agreed to drop two thousand dollars out of pocket on a battery of tests which I hoped would help me and my doctor pinpoint the roots of my memory loss. Perhaps we would find something to work with to alleviate my ever-increasing struggle to function normally.

Two thousand dollars and a full day of testing later, we had nothing to go on. We did not hone in on the type of cognitive struggle I was experiencing. In fact, I pretty much excelled at all the tests. I’m a super genius, or something. At least on paper.

But not in daily life.

However, the very expensive testing did lead to a referral to a psychiatrist. Do you know how long it takes to get an appointment with a psychiatrist? At least 90 days. In my case (for an array of stupid reasons), it took six months.

In that six months, I continued to keep my health my most important priority. Frequently this meant looking bad in front of other people. It meant admitting that I am unreliable, never knowing when my energy, or strength, or mental fitness would fail me and I would have to cancel plans. I finally mostly quit making plans that involved anyone else.

I learned that stress—physical or mental—really sets me back. I essentially quit the very part time job I had; I never felt confident that I would feel well enough to show up for work and I fretted.

I began to see more and more clearly that putting myself at the forefront is absolutely necessary to my health. Even if I look bad. Even if I disappoint someone. Even if I cannot explain why I feel lousy or why I am making the choices I make.

Coming to grips with all this, well, it’s required an un-doing of who I’ve been for fifty years. I’ve always put other people first. I’ve always had to be perfect.

I don’t know what is next. We await one more set of test results, and then I meet with my psychiatrist to talk things through.



Rescue Attempt

June 18, 2013

Such a persistent peep coming from the vent box on the camper. The sticks of the nest were poking out the wall. Peep. Peep.

Yesterday the camper was moved from a spot in the woods a mile away, so pretty obviously Mama has no idea of where her wee ones got off too.

Removed the vent cover, pulled the nest out, and then tried to interest our hens in raising a nest of strange Peep Peep Peep machines.

No. Go.

Tried feeding them with a dropper, but as is the way of human intervention, things were just not good. One wee one quickly perished, then another was weak, dropping out.

I had previously scouted a robin’s nest, which was occupied with four little ones. But I initially decided not to over-burden Mom. But now, down to only three Peep Peep Peepers I opted to “arrange” an adoption and put them into the robin’s nest–it’s sort of what cowbirds do.

Two hours later, one remaining Peep Peep Peeper, one more lifeless Peeper, and one meek one. We’ll see what morning brings.


In With the Good

November 16, 2012

healthful stir fry

My doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammation diet. She wants me to try it out. Rumoured results are pretty amazing–people getting off pain meds, insulin, oxygen …

This diet seems to be how I already eat, but pump up the fruits and vegetables and cut out the pasta and sugar. Obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables is a challenge here in the rural area where I live, but I’m making more of an effort. I’m also striving to break my pasta habit, and I actually think I can feel a difference, although it’s hard to describe.

I have a stack of cookbooks that I brought home from the library–you have no idea how strange that is; I don’t cook. And, I am a challenge to feed–no gluten, no onions, no garlic, no beans, scant dairy, no soy. Great material for a dinner date, right?

But this is all part of my quest to figure out what is next in my life. I’ve found a few dreams that I want to pursue–including traveling about Europe and visiting my many friends who live there. But these dreams require decent health and energy, and I don’t have those right now.

Buckling down and taking care of myself is hard to do. I am ashamed of my invisible disease with its invisible demands–I feel weak, and as if if I tried a little harder I could just push through. Sometimes I do push through, especially when I’m lagging from fatigue but I’m not in pain. But generally, I think I’m better off to rest, to submit to the demands of my body and take care of myself.

Giving more attention to my diet, including supplements, is one thing I have identified to choose to focus on. In the midst of so many things that grab my attention, I am very clear that I’ve nothing if I don’t have my health.

Photo of today’s lunch: steamed carrots, celery, cauliflower, rice, and fresh eggs.




November 11, 2012

"Paris, 2008 : a door is open" by     Hugo Clément,

Tonight something prompted me to think about my ex-husband and our marriage, and after a moment I thought, “I am glad we are not together.”

This is the first time I can remember when I’ve had that thought in such a clear and unbidden fashion. I mean, I have rationalized that I am better off without my ex, but tonight was different. Tonight’s thought was unequivocal.

I think I heard the sound of one door closing, and another opening.

Photo: “Paris, 2008 : a door is open” by Hugo Clément and used with Creative Commons license

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The Survival Library

I’ve decided to re-read the books that I read in the days after my marriage crumbled. At that time, each of the books in this photograph was instrumental in keeping me sane, hopeful, or believing in myself. But I was a different person then, and–no question–my mind and heart were addled. So, I’d like to re-read each of these books to re-fresh the messages they lent me, and to see what I might glean anew.

This is part of my concerted effort to forge ahead. I am quite curious to see what I might take from this.

(These, as well as other books that were important to me back then, are available for perusal via my “shop” page.)


A Walk to My Place

November 7, 2012

This morning, the resident dog and I took a walk up to my place. I took one hundred or so photographs along the way. Over a distance of about one mile, these photos show a bit of how the terrain and scenery changes along the way. I haven’t added captions, but if you mouse-over each photo a bit of descriptive text will appear.

good morning

rusty steel

No Hunting

Big rocks and yellow grass

Big trees and sky

country road

Hunk of grass and big rocks

rocks and baby pine trees

grumpy stump

caw caw


aspen sky

aspen sky

country road with dog

forest debris

my sister's woods

storm damage

tenactious tree

old roots

country road

sky over weeds

washed by rain


fork in the road

road to mom and dad's

pig sty

abandoned trough

pig sty

look into the sun

classic rusty farm implement shot

aspen and storm brewing

bush apple tree storm

old apple and pine trees

gnarly storm

classic rose hip shot with storm

ancient apple trees with storm

classic apple tree shot

yellow hills

skid trail

I spy with my little eye, the box in the woods

the view from the box, baby

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If a Tree Snaps in the Woods Can You Stop It?

November 5, 2012

Four months ago a strange wind roared through our woods, snapping gigantic trees in half and uprooting them whole. Hundreds of miles and thousands of acres were tormented by a coup of nature. Perfectly healthy stands of trees were blown over, truly, like toothpicks. There was no possible way to foresee this. There was no [...]

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Let’s See the Life

November 4, 2012

I cannot continue like this, in this limbo, this purgatory. It has been three years, and while my hell has abated, my wounds have not healed sufficiently that I am moving on with life. Three years ago, my marriage was clearly kaput, and I was deeply immersed in dealing with all that comes with the [...]

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A Box in the Woods – groundbreaking day

September 1, 2012

My brother, making room for the 12″ Sonotubes that will hold up the beams for the base of my Box. Me, having dug out a bit more of the dirt and rocks, and then standing in the hole just for the helluvit. And that’s about all I’m going to say about this for now, because [...]

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A Box in the Woods – What do we need and how much?

August 29, 2012

Last night we worked up the first round of take-offs. Initially, I did not know what “take-offs” were, not in this context anyway. In the end, it’s just a 3D “story problem” to determine how much material of what sort will be required to build. If two walls are 14 foot high and 24 foot [...]

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