Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vaycayshun Day 2

I would have posted something yesterday on my first day of Vacation, but I spent it sleeping. I took a 2-hour nap in the morning, then took another 2-hour nap in the afternoon. Spent the rest of the day bonding with Esmerelda the Couch and the television.

It was bliss, I tell you. BLISS.

I never double-nap. I think the last time I did that I was either a baby or had the flu. One more piece of evidence toward the fact that this vacation is WAY overdue. It's only day two and I'm already thinking one week won't be enough. But I'm trying hard not to think about that.

Today is Day 2, and my plan is to leave the house. I need to go to the bank and deposit a bunch of checks (how lovely to say that), I need to stop at the pharmacy and also trade a sweater I bought at Old Navy for the next size up. Or two sizes up. It fits now, but the problem is it fits. Like, I can't wear much but a cami underneath it, which defeats the purpose of a sweater in Vermont in February. I want to be able to wear an actual shirt under it and still have it be baggy. I also have dance tonight and I'm actually going to go. My range of motion still isn't the best but overall my back is feeling loads better. But the only way the range of motion is going to improve if for me to start using it again. So... dance class.

But I'm taking my time. I mean, I didn't get out of bed until 9:30.

LUXURY.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Two Things That Have Absolutely Nothing to do with Each Other

1. My back is feeling better even though it still hurts. It is no longer a random deep ache over my entire low back. It's gotten to be a pretty specific discomfort on just my right side. So I'm considering it an improvement. I was able to actually get relatively comfortable last night and got a decent night's sleep. Yay! I've suspected from the beginning that I either pulled my Psoas or Quadratus Lumborum, but now that the general pain has gone away, I'm almost positive I pulled my Psoas:
<i>Psoas major and psoas minor</i>
Click here to visit the site from which I borrow this image.


I'm feeling it down into my legs in the front, and I'm getting residual pulling down my iliotibial band and piriformis muscles, which makes sense because the psoas is pretty much pulling everything that those two muscles attach to (ie, my humerus) out of whack.

Fun!

See... the nice thing about being a massage therapist is you can look at all the fun books and see EXACTLY what you can't do much about except gentle stretching and simply giving it the time to heal. I probably shouldn't have had that deep massage while it was still in the acute state, but honestly I do think it helped some. Those muscles were already super tight before this happened so there was some relief. And the super-tightness was probably one of the reasons this was able to happen in the first place.

2. I'm thinking about starting a container garden this year. I have a lovely porch out front that is all mine and it gets some nice morning sun:


It is well-protected from the elements, and the perfect space for something like this. I'm running into two problems at the moment. The first is that I have no idea how to go about doing it. Which is easily fixed. Hellooo.... internet! The second is that I'm not very good about keeping plants alive. I can manage my christmas cacti because, helloooo... cactus. But it seems like the perfect opportunity to maybe see if I can grow some of my own tomatoes, peppers, or even peas. 


In the past, I've been in a too-urban community and I worried that what success I might have would be ruined by bored youths who can't stand to see nice things. But I'm far enough off the beaten path now where I really wouldn't have to worry about that.

So I may be looking into that this spring. It would be nice to grow some of my own vegetables. It's really the most cost-effective way to consume them in the quantity I do. Granted I wouldn't get a lot from a few containers, but it would be a nice way to augment my meals in between farmer's market visits in the summer. For which, by the way, I am super excited. The farmer's market in my new town is held Friday afternoons (my day off!), and is within an easy walking distance. I cannot wait to start patronizing!

Friday, January 27, 2012

T -3 Days...

...until vacation!!!! Squee! I'm on my "weekend" now, working Sunday, then off for six glorious days. My original plan had been to sleep, but as my back will barely tolerate my bed for 8 hours, my new goal is just to lounge carefully posed for as much of the week as possible.

I was so happy this morning. I managed - with a variety of pillows, winches, pulleys and black magic - to lay on my side for like an hour. BLISS.

I really think I pulled one of my super-deep muscles, and there is simply nothing I can do but give it time to heal. So of course, doing massages all week probably didn't help. I've got a full schedule on Sunday, but after that I'm not doing anything. I'm tentatively planning on going up to my Mom's for a couple days, but I'm unsure if I can sit in the car for an hour.

We shall see.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Of Course.

Last night I was warming up a frozen pizza in the oven. Which I know totally goes against my "I'll make it all myself!" statement of like two posts ago but whatever. It was an organic pizza, okay? And I was hungry, and tired and in pain.

So, I was warming the pizza up when I look over and there are all these pretty flames in the the oven.

W.T.F?!?!?!?!?!?

So yeah, freak all the hell out. Turn off the stove, didn't open it, let it die down. Scared the crap out of me, but figured something had just dripped on the bottom heating element and was burning off. Anyway, took a look at it last night before I went to bed. Yeah, nothing had dripped on it. Everything was burned out from the bottom of the element. Which means that it was the thing itself that erupted in flames.

GREAAAATTTT....

At some point today I need to call the landlord and tell him the bottom heating element in the brand-spanking new stove he bought erupted into pyrotechnics last night and now the oven isn't working. Looking forward to that. Somehow I feel guilty for this, despite the fact that woah nelly not my fault. This landlord is really so nice and I really like him and I think he kinda reminds me of my Dad so I just don't want to disappoint him and holy moly can you say transference?

In other news, the back in not much better. A little, in that I can now sit on certain surfaces, but not for long. My car seat kills my back. I'm getting a massage tonight, and I'm hoping that she can get whatever it is that's seizing up to let go. Otherwise, I'll be making a chiropractic appointment for next week. Ow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yeouch!

As I type this, I am standing straight as a rod, with the computer resting on the top shelf of my desk. You see, I can't sit. Sitting hurts.

Lying on my side hurts.

Anything other than completely upright or completely flat hurts.

I am not used to dealing with back pain. This doesn't generally happen to me. Sure I'll get tweaks here and there, but nothing that isn't walked or twisted or popped out in an hour or so. This happened after my second-to-last massage YESTERDAY. I'm waking up with it this morning. I know it's coming from the put-together-yourself end tables I put together myself on Friday. I felt a little stiff on Saturday, but nothing that I haven't felt a million times before and easily worked out with some stretching.

I've already called off work because I can't bend. There is no way I can do five massages. I'd be out for weeks if I tried. I am hoping taking it easy today will work out whatever needs working out. But I may have to visit a chiropractor for the first time in my life.

I do not find the irony in this happening the week before my vacation. I have obviously burnt myself out to the point where an injury like this could happen. I also do not find it ironic that it's happening right around my sacral chakra - the one I'm always working on. I quite literally need to let a few things go in order to move forward. Or, you know, move.

But there's not going to be a lot of moving for me today. I'm already making myself a nice nest on the floor, replete with sleeping bag and bolstering pillows. Which, because I can't bend, are being put in place by subtle kicks and jabs with my foot. At some point there's going to be a steaming hot bath, and I'm seriously considering breaking out my massage table heating pad, laying it on the floor and cranking it up.

Yeah, it's gonna be an interesting day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Happened?

Way back in the old days (meaning 2009), I was a cooking fanatic. Every Friday night, I'd comb through my cookbooks and my back issues of Vegetarian Times, looking for a couple recipes to make on Sunday. I'd eat one for lunch that week, the other for dinner. If I was feeling particularly cook-y, I'd even make a couple of my own loaves of bread. I'd write out my shopping list, wincing a little at the cost (I was buying 100% organic at the time). If it was summer, the list would be split into two categories: grocery store and farmer's market.

On Saturday, I'd do the shopping. I'd make a morning of it. I'd often start the day off with a yoga class. If t were summer, I'd go from there to the farmer's market, then off to the grocery store. If I didn't do yoga, I'd head off to Barnes and Nobles and spend the morning browsing books before heading off to one of the local natural foods stores.

Yeah... don't do that anymore.

After I quit my cushy but soul-killing job, I simply didn't have the funds to spend so much money on one person per week. As I was also going to school and working, my 70-hour weeks didn't allow me much time to pour over magazines or cookbooks, much less spend a Sunday morning puttering about the kitchen. During those nine months, I pretty much lived off bulk lentils (which were organic), rice, and conventional frozen vegetables. I'd put them in the crock pot before leaving for work Monday evenings, and come back to a soup I could eat for the rest of the week. If I bought organic anything (save the lentils), its because I found it at the local dented-can shop. I ate a lot of processed foods; I didn't have time for anything else.

But now? Now, I have the time. I have a weekend again. Which actually includes a weekend day. I have money again. Granted, not what I was making at hell job but enough for me to buy local and organic if I'm careful about it.

But mostly, I have time to cook again.

I've simply fallen out of the habit. And lord knows I'm usually too exhausted after a day of work to do much beyond turning the stove on and shoving some fries and a morning star farm chik patty in for 20 minutes. But you know what? It's just as easy after a long day to put in a homemade slice of lasagna to heat up. Much more filling, much better for me, and much more nourishing. On a number of levels.

I just need to get off my duff and start doing it.

I mean, I eat so much food as it is, it just makes sense that if I'm going to pack it away it at least be good for me. Less prepackaged fries, and more potatoes that are baked in the oven. Less chik patties and more (since I'm eating meat now) local, pasture-raised chicken that I bake myself. More beans and lentils, more veggies, less bread with more than three ingredients. Local over organic if it's a choice, organic over conventional where its prudent and cost effective. Make my own where I can.

Now that I have a kitchen I actually enjoy being in once again, it's time to start putting it to good use.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Exhausted.

I started snipping at people at work yesterday. Very nice coworkers who didn't deserve it. Then I nearly started crying when I said "I'm so tired."

So yeah.... need some time off.

I took the last week of January/first week of February off. I'm going to fill the week with yoga, sleeping in, bonding with Esmerelda and possibly going up to visit my Mum. I'm not even going to think about massage for six days. It'll be grand.

I can make it... I can make it... I can make it...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Discombobulated

Woke up this morning feeling all out-of-sorts and off. Not sure what that's about. Feeling the need to hole up and be with things this morning, to give myself time to get situated and settled.

Which of course I cannot do because I live in the real world and must work for a living.

So, I have about 45 minutes to sort myself out, a little longer if you count the drive in. Luckily Reiki is instant gratification and always available to me.

Also seriously considering Nutella on my bagel. That really would make everything better, wouldn't it?



Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's Love

My new couch's name is Esmerelda, or Ezzie for short. We've been spending a lot of time together, she and I. We've watched some dvds, some travel shows, folded some laundry, had a couple meals together, and even updated my recipe folder together.

I think I'm in love.

Sure, ours is a forbidden love, but I am sure that with time it will be accepted by society at large.

Oh... and apparently my shower's name is Steve. Who knew?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Possibilities

I've signed up for a few massage classes at my old alma mater. I don't think I can get continuing education (CE) credits toward my national certification but I think they'll really help deepen my practice. They're simple little things - morning classes from 9 to 12 on working the shoulder, neck and lower back. Since these are the areas that virtually all of my clients complain about, it would be nice to have a little extra something in my tool bag to address those needs. While my clients usually report they feel better after I work those areas, I sometimes feel that I'm just kinda... well, faking it a little. I think these classes will give me a little extra confidence in those areas.

It's interesting. All the additional training and classes I take deepen my practice but can't be used as "official" CE credits. Sigh. But you know what? I did the national test mainly to prove to myself that I could do it. Vermont doesn't currently require me to have it, and so long as that continues to be the case I can theoretically take whatever classes I want and let it expire at the end of its four years.

Or I can try and fit all required 48 credits into one year. Y'know... whatever.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Whoopsie!

Dear Friend Arizona Becky has been kind enough to point out to me that it's been a while since I posted anything. EEP.

So sorry!

Things have been all whirlwindy and busy over here and I haven't stopped to type about it.

So... the couch will be delivered on Friday. I cannot wait to take a picture of it in situ and show the world that if they come over, they will have a place to sit. But kindly take your shoes off before putting your feet on the cushions. Thanks ever so.

Things are - knock on wood - still going well with the reunion with The Boyfriend. Yes, we have confirmed that we are once again boyfriend/girlfriend. Although at our age those terms seem rather odd. I just can't seem to come up with a better description. "Lovers" is too romance novely, "partners" is too business-like, "significant others"... well, we just haven't been dating long enough for that one yet. I don't think you can use that one until you start arguing like a married couple. Which my cousin Chrissy and I do, so apparently she is my Significant Other. So either Chrissy and I need to stop hanging out so much or I need a better definition of the term.

Anyhoo...

Things are not starry, moony-eyed perfection by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that's a good thing. Anything worth having is worth working for, and I think this time we're both putting the work in to make sure the third time's the charm.

I am very hopeful.

GRINZ

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012

Happy Final Year of Existence, People! Luckily, the Mayans were kind enough to at least give us the *whole* year to either live it up or screw it up.

Every year on New Year's Day, I do a tarot card reading (cards of my own design) for the coming year. I always look back at the previous year's to see how accurate the reading was. 2010's reading was waaaay off. 2011's reading was dead on. It was almost scary, actually. It will be interesting to see how accurate 2012's reading will be.

I also make "goals" for the coming year, and look back at the previous year's goals to see how I did. Success is often liberally translated, but as I never put any real pressure on myself to fulfill these "goals", it's always interesting to see how they manifest. For example, a goal for 2011 was to move to Montpelier. As I moved - period - we consider that a win.

One of my other goals for 2011 was to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with food. This was the one goal I really kept forefront in my mind all year long. It manifested as an exploration into my second chakra. Which, apparently, was way out of whack. Which, also, sounds really woo-woo but hey, love me, love my woo-wooity.

I thought I'd share with you a few of my goals for 2012. Obviously, these are not all of them as some are intensely personal and I'm not putting them on a blog. You understand. :-)

1. Find my next steps in regards to my career: I have no idea how this will manifest. However, I think that 2012 may be the year where things grow in regards to my practice. It will be interesting to see how things turn out!

2. Get back in touch with my inner Dancer: The poor girl had a tough go of it in 2011, and didn't feel much like dancing. I think she's ready for her comeback.

3. Develop a spiritual practice: I seem to be piecemeal when it comes to spirituality. I don't expect I'll join a coven or temple or anything, but it would be nice to have some sort of actual practice. Even if that means simply doing yoga in my living room every day and meditating in the evening.

4. Continue developing a healthy relationship with food: I got it started in 2011, but this is definitely an ongoing thing for me.

5. HAVE MORE FUN!

That last one should be on EVERYONE'S list!

Happy New Year everyone, and may what's right and best for you and yours manifest in your life this coming year! Namaste!

So.... You Want to be an Artist.

For the last several weeks, I have been working through The Artist's Way . This book has been out since the 1990's and I've been...