Monday, May 31, 2010

The Etiology of a Pain in the Ass

For some insane reason, and I'm still blaming the full moon effect of last week, I did an extreme amount of lifting and yesterday, the due bill came in the form of back pain with radiculopathy. I haven't had pain this intense since I initially herniated L5-S1 in 2005. Obviously, I really hurt myself. While I'd been planning to paint my bedroom this weekend, that plan has been nixed. It was all I could do to move from the heating pad to the tempur-pedic bed and back to the heating pad. I managed to cook (because standing actually feels better than laying down) and suffer through dinner with Mr. Larger Than Life, but by 9 PM, I was mentally sorting through my medicine cabinet and wondering what I had in there that could help the referring nerve pain that was searing through my left ass cheek on its journey to my ankle.

I settled on ibuprofen and xanax and this morning, I awakened pain free and long before the 4 legged beast. Refreshed and ready to take on the world again, I have no plans to lift anything heavier than the sock I'm knitting and sitting through Shrek in 3 D.

Note to MLTL: Being unpleasant to my 4 legged friend is not a way to win yourself another invitation to my table. Neither is grimacing and making a sour face when sipping the iced tea I brewed. While I appreciate that you thought the steak I paid an obscene amount of money for was, "too much for you", and that you found that "unappetizing", I noticed you managed to eat every last bit of it. For your sake, and mine, I hope you have a backup plan for dinner today.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Good luck little plantlings. You're going to need it!

A little patch of my new herb garden. The tall one in the left in back is catnip for my daughter's kitty.

I hope the plants survive my friend.

I don't have much of a green thumb.

There. I said it and can't take it back. Plants don't do well under my direction. It could be I forget to prune, or worse, water. Fertilizer? Nope. Weeding? Forget about it. For some reason, I got a bee in my bonnet and became obsessed with the idea of planting a few things in the soil on Saturday.

Mimulus luteus...or Monkey Flower. I bought these because the common name pleases me.

We hit the farmer's market and loaded up on herbs, tomatoes, dahlias and monkey flowers. Next up was Home Depot, where we bought miracle grow organic soil (my plants need all the help they can get--please see my declarative statement above), planters, a shovel and charcoal for the barbecue dinner tomorrow.

Dahlias in a cute container chock full of Miracle Grow

In the scorching sun, I turned the beds, added the miracle grow, planted everything and gave it all a sprinkle of water. The rest is up to them, now. I hope they fare better than the already annoying purled socks. It may help if I convert the pattern and knit them inside out.

I am not taking credit for planting or tending this tree. This, my friends, is a black walnut tree and my neighbor has promised me the shells once they start falling from the tree.

Tell me...what do you think I have planned for black walnut shells?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

With a Twist, Please

She: never takes her eyes off me when I'm on my front porch.
He: prances back and forth in front of my house watching me, and I think, her.

Cast on last night...Twisted, a free pattern from Knitty in hand-dyed Merino wool. I've never purled an entire pair of socks before. Wish them well--I may find this too much a pain in the arse to complete, but they will be gorgeous if I do.

One thing begets another. Here is my friend, Sarah's, hand-dyed BFL in the color, Sangria.

It looks like this on the bobbin. After taking the photos, I decided my sweetie and I will go into town for tapas and paella at the restaurant of the same name. This is the same restaurant and bar where Fanette and I have plans to take salsa lessons this summer. Olé!

I've planted the garden. Oh, OK, not really, but here is the new bedspread I bought and put on my bed last night. And look! There is Ruth's quilt at the foot of the bed providing green relief in my flowerbed.

Here is the sloth who awakened me at 7:13 AM by jumping into my flowerbed and forcing his snout into mine. He wanted me to get up, let him out to pee and feed him. When he had me doing his bidding, and he was certain I was up, he went back to sleep. He's out on a walk right now and I'm supposed to be showering so we can hit the farmer's market before it closes. I'd better get busy.

I hope you can all find a way to put your own twists in your weekend. Have fun!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Attaboys, dalala and bonus buttons.

Ask any doctor or nurse what dalala is, and they will immediately answer, why dilaudid, of course. Duh. Not surprisingly, most patients can't recall the name of the medication that works for their pain, but their close approximation clues us in. It is a favorite of patient's with chronic severe pain and cancer, but also a favorite of ER frequent fliers and drug seekers. It's 7 to 10 times more potent than morphine (depending on your reference). I've never had either one, so I can't tell you which I'd prefer. The strongest medication I've ever had is 25mg of demerol (a drug that is rarely used anymore) for an appendectomy and this knocked me out for 8 hours straight. I don't think I'd wake up at all if someone gave me dilaudid. I'd be in la-la land for good.

I get a kick out of the nicknames my patients (and family) give to drugs. My mother in law used to call ativan her, attaboys. "Hey sweetyheart," she'd say, "give me another one of those attaboys." And of course, I would. Keep 'em coming is my motto in hospice. We prescribe 1 mg hourly as needed and don't be chintzy with the meds.

For a week now, I've been seeing a difficult patient who never rates pain less than a 9 (out of 10), and I believe this. We started a dalala drip at a steady rate with no bolus--meaning the patient could push a button to deliver more medication as needed. The next day, faced with pain rated a ten, we added the bolus button that could be pressed 6 times an hour. Daily interrogation of the pump shows the patient never, ever, pushes the bolus button. When we see the patient, we might push the button if pain is still rated a 9 or 10, but the patient and family seemed afraid to try. Daily, we get calls about poorly managed pain, but the tools to manage it are right there in the house. It's particularly frustrating, but last night, I think we made a breakthrough in teaching when the patient asked me to, "please pass the bonus button."

Finally! Someone there had an, ah-ha! moment! We'll see if it lasts.

In the meantime, TGIFTGIFTGIFTGIF. Do you see the word GIFT repeated over and over there? Yes! It's Friday, and not a moment too soon. I have already worked 38 hours this week and I'm scheduled to complete another 8 tonight before my holiday officially begins. I think I'm going to paint my bedroom and plant some flowers this weekend. Of course, I'll knit.

What are your plans?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There is a reason my head is pounding.

And, no, it's not Friday, yet.

There was hell to pay last night for my cheekiness with the hospice universe on Tuesday. At least, for a little while, there was a brief reprise. Tonight though...tonight is the full moon and though my shift hasn't started yet, I have a security escort for the front half of my shift. Already.

Damn my big mouth.

I'm off to search for my big girl panties...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is it Friday, yet?

Lord, I know I am throwing caution to the wind by even mentioning this, but I am thankful that tonight, even for just a few moments, the hospice beeper was silent. I actually ate dinner with my husband and as I write this, I'm considering knitting a row or two on the shawl that'll never end. This act of thumbing my nose at the hospice universe is certainly going to have a due bill, but is it possible that with my past couple of weeks, I've got a prepaid account?

I've learned so much these past few days. In fact, let me share what I've learned:

  • If a late night death occurs, do not hesitate to call the midnight shift nurse to relieve you when the little and big hands are both pointing at the twelve. If you don't, you will most certainly hate yourself in the morning. Besides, she never does anything but sleep on her shift, so you should stop feeling guilty about her doing a little work for her paycheck.
  • If someone screams at you on the phone, let the police and EMS deal with the death. You don't have to have to take abuse and it's OK to say NO.NO.NO!. This was the most liberating lesson of all.
  • Before you ever become ill, have a courageous conversation with everyone you know, then fill out the blanks on an advance directive. Do not let your crazy relatives come to your death bed and guilt you into changing your mind. If you've told them how you feel and have written it down in a legal document, they cannot twist the arms of the rest of the family, hospital, nurses, doctors and janitors when you are no longer able to speak what's left of your mind. Do it now. Today. There is so much you can't have a say in, that it's a good thing to have a say in how you'll leave this earth. If you're 18, you're old enough to tell the rest of us how you want to live, and more importantly, how you want your story here to end.
I'm off to brew a cup of tea and enjoy this silent night. Fully aware that the moon is nearing full and I'm tempting the fates, I'm going to stay cheeky tonight. Happy knitting to me! And you, too!

Monday, May 24, 2010

As my world turns (around)

Pronunciation: \ˈfīt\
Function: verb

intransitive verb
1 a : to contend in battle or physical combat; especially : to strive to overcome a person by blows or weapons
b : to engage in boxing
2 : to put forth a determined effort

That pin, Fight Like a Girl, is one I picked up during the San Francisco Breast Cancer 3 Day event in 2004. Of the many I've collected, it's one of my favorites. You know though, when it comes to fighting, women are often said to be guilty of fighting dirty. Most likely, the techniques we've learned were necessary for survival of what's thought to be the weaker sex. We had to fight dirty or lose.

Fight Like a Girl is going to be my new mantra and if I have to fight dirty to save my sanity, I will.

Continuing on this journey from darkness, I've come out of my corner swinging. Prior to finding those Oprah Magazine articles, I'd received an email from my daughter that had a list of things she knew I used to love to do before I fell into the abyss. She wanted me to read her list and get busy checking things off. A couple of those items we have to do together, and that's to go and see both, Shrek, and the new Sex and the City movie. She wants to see Shrek at the IMAX theater if it's playing there. Seeing a film at this theater will be something new for both of us. We're going next weekend and my son is joining us.

When I told my husband of our plans, I invited him along. There was eye rolling and moaning in response. I said, "come on, it will be F.U.N. You remember what that's like". "No," he responded, "it'll be T.O.R.T.U.R.E." Well alrighty then, I guess he'll have to entertain himself that day.

Sunday was spent pulling weeds from the garden and laying down some fresh soil to nourish the plants. In the afternoon, I sat on my porch plying wool in the summer heat and watching the kids across the street play. I don't know how many kids live in that house, but there is always a gaggle of them playing for hours out in front. Watching them play makes me smile and feel true happiness. Today, the pack leader, whom I presume is their mother, came from behind the house with her arms loaded with water balloons and a fight ensued. All of them were wet within an hour and the balloons were gone, but the play continued. Those kids don't know how lucky they are to have a mom who is so involved and always encouraging play. I don't know much about her, but I really plan to get to know her and tell her exactly what I think of her mothering skills. Those kids are going to get some home made chocolate chip cookies, and my particular recipe is to die for.

Taking stock of the past week, I think I'm making progress and while I'm not thrilled that it's Monday already, I'll look ahead to next weekend when I'll have three days to play instead of just two.

Days without Law & Order: three.

As a bonus, I've been out of my jammies by noon every day (and by 8 AM on Saturday) and I'm busy getting on with the work of the living. The sofa is quickly filling back out as the imprint of my arse is forgotten.

Life. It's good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Being Perky

Today on my journey to recovery, we'll be traveling to the Perks and Cankles, not an island chain, but more a place in the mind, so if your secondary sexual characteristics arose primarily because your main body hormone is testosterone, this may not be a post you'll enjoy reading.

Don't say you weren't warned...

After spinning yesterday (and Rose, Crazy Woman is all spun and resting on the bobbins until later today to be plied), I ran home to shower and address the condition of my legs before I went for that pedicure. Though it hasn't been all that long since I shaved my lower legs, it's been awhile since the razor has gone above my knee. Thick and wooly, it took two blades to hack through the heavy growth of fur on my upper legs and thighs that both my heritage and life as a northerner have caused. A weed whacker would have been a more appropriate tool to select, but I correctly assessed that wouldn't be safe in the shower. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have bothered doing this, but I couldn't have the Vietnamese girls at the salon making comments about the inordinate amount of hair growth on my legs in a language I couldn't understand. I'm not paranoid, but neither do I have an interpreter available to let me know exactly what's being said about my lazy approach to self care.

I love going to this particular nail salon in the heart of town, but it's always packed and yesterday was no exception. We walked into the salon and bumped smack into my boss. Are you kidding me? Even on Saturday, I can't get away from work. I didn't want to discuss my job and Lord knows, my boss probably didn't, either. Enter Fanette, who smoothly overtook the conversation and found common ground with my boss. She chatted her up for the entire time we were there while I read People Magazine and engrossed myself in an article about Sandra Bullock and that dog of a soon to be ex husband.

The supernatural ability to read my mind is one of the reasons I love my best friend.

With feet looking perfect, with the exception of what I perceive to be the beginning of cankles--more on that later--we fed the parking meter and went to the local independent coffee shop. We go in there every time we're together. We read the the hilarious greeting cards, mugs and towels and fill up on laughter. I don't know who their buyer is, but this store's selection of items for sale is always whimsical and clever. Fanette was looking for a gift for someone, and though we didn't find it, we did find some perfect towels and soaps and then it was off to the bra store for me.

Bra-va is a bra store in the heart of town and though there was a long waiting list, I signed up for a bra fitting. This personalized bra fitting is something I have never, ever done and even knowing their bras are pricey, it was something I've always wanted to do. There has to be a reason my bras always bug me, right? As part of my new leaf, I had decided if I am going to spend 16 hours a day in an article of clothing, then dammit, it's going to fit correctly. Not surprisingly, I've always bought cheap bras and then proceeded to beat them to death. And yes, gasp, I let them go through the washer. Is it any wonder that my bras have no shape, bent wires, sagging straps and allow my not so ample bosom to fail to look perky?

After quite a wait, it was finally my turn to go behind one of the curtains where I was told to take off my shirt, face the mirror, stand up straight and lift my bra straps from the shoulder. It was at this point when the attendant told me I was a horrible abuser of bras. Fearing brassiere jail time, in my defense, I told the woman that my beaten, sagging, bent, broken and worn bra was, at a minimum, ten years old. It was the only beige bra I could find in the clean hamper when I'd dressed. Fully intending to buy another beige bra when I went in there--that is the most versatile color for me--I ended up buying the laciest, frilliest bra on the rack. It's purple and I bought the lace panties to match. They didn't have the multi-colored polka dot bra I really wanted in my size, which by the way, I didn't know was my size, but the one I did get is very feminine and not a bit utilitarian.

Kicking depression to the curb is turning out to be kind of fun. So fun, I'm not allowing my perception of the development of cankles to disturb my thoughts. It all started with the purchase of a pair of non-utilitarian high heels. Evidently, everything is sagging as I lose collagen and while I'm wearing Danskos and Keen's it hasn't been all that apparent. Well, since the alternative to aging and sagging is unacceptable, I'll have to embrace my cankles. It's not all bad news though, since Bra-va and the wonderful bra fitters there have given me perky breasts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Head Above Water

True confession: I've never been a big fan of Oprah. Gasp! I know, I know, I buck the trend of popular culture. I don't care for her show, and I don't ordinarily read her magazine. For my birthday this year, my best friend, Fanette, who does like Oprah, gave me a recent issue of the magazine in my gift bag. The bag also included moisturizer and concealer cream, which makes me wonder how my best friend perceives my appearance, but that's for another blog post to ponder.

On Tuesday, I grabbed that issue of, Oprah, when I went to an emergency session with my therapist. Since she was squeezing me in to help me analyze my Monday night meltdown, I knew I'd have to wait to see her and my hands must have something to do. Why I took that magazine and not Interweave Knits is beyond me, but was in the end, no accident. It had been sitting on a table waiting for me for 6 weeks and I'm glad I finally got around to it.

In between photos of cake and overpriced Oprah favorites, I found two pertinent articles. One was about Byron Katie and another woman's quest for truth, and another was more or less how to pick yourself up and dust yourself off in order to get back into life.

One particular item was, 10 Hard-Won Pieces of Advice, by Lisa Kogan. The first listed item was about human resilience and tenacity where she advised that problems come and go and somehow, we endure. Her advice was to stop watching endless episodes of Law & Order, shave our legs and get back out there. I almost choked on my latte.

Another confession: Never in my life have I consistently watched Law & Order. Well never until the past 6 weeks. First of all, I've never had a desire to watch women being endlessly victimized. Recently, I can't get enough of this mind altering show. Rape, murder and mayhem. It's really not good for the soul, you know. I brought this up to my stylist today, and she admitted that since she broke off her engagement, she sits around watching Law & Order, too. Damn. This must be a universal sign of depression.

Today I made a break for it and felt a sudden lifting of the darkness. I got up early. I straightened the house. I went and chopped off most of my hair...well, someone else did the chopping, but at least I can credit for getting around to having it done. It's not like I haven't needed a haircut for more than a month, now. I bought more yarn for the endless shawl today, too, and an adorable circular needle case made by Namaste. In other words, I took care of myself and haven't watched a single hour of the many recorded Law & Order episodes in my DVR lineup. Tomorrow, more of the same is planned beginning with finishing the yarn I'm spinning for Rose, followed by lunch and a pedicure with Fanette.

Thanks, Oprah, but more importantly, I need to thank Fanette for such a good birthday gift.

Guess who is buying a pedicure for her pal tomorrow?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Coming Undone

That was quick! From building to nesting in less than one week. The damn birds are making me feel bad about ignoring my yarn room.

I don't like frogging when it comes to knitting. For some reason, frogging feels like admitting defeat. For those who don't knit, frogging is the act of unraveling a garment when it's just not working out. Sometimes, the yarn is all wrong. Sometimes the pattern is all wrong. Sometimes the yarn is all wrong for the pattern and sometimes the problem lies with the knitter. I have quite a few projects that need frogging and it wouldn't be a negative thing to liberate the would just be that final act of admitting I wasn't good enough to manage the problem.

Over the past few days, I've been considering what it will take to frog my career in order to liberate my mind. I'm mulling over the options and I'm fairly certain I know what I don't want to do, but less certain of what I do want. I'm stalking the job listings for my own health system, and others. I'm sure it'll come to me, just like this email did today:

'May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.'

I don't know the source of the quote, and I don't think the sender is aware of my troubles, but I'm certainly appreciative of her timing.

On another note, it would appear that my particular Doberman is a genius. He can read. He is reading. Well, between licking the pages and trying to knock the book out of my hands, that's what I think he's up to here. We are reading Sebastian Junger's new book, War, together. Just the kind of reinforcement someone with PTSD needs to do, right? I love his writing though, and couldn't help myself. Leo likes it, too.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tangled Messes

I can't believe how busy I've been at work lately, and I am not certain why. I've run myself ragged for the past two weeks, clocked in about 500 miles between visits and nearly 8 hours worth of overtime. It's exhausted me and that's why I haven't been around.

In yet another effort to get off my night shift, I applied for a mid-shift position, and no surprise, didn't get the job (my night shift territory is incredibly difficult to replace). I don't think covering all of the city, except two zip codes, sounds all that glamorous in the want ads. I found out I wasn't even considered for the coveted spot Friday evening and spent yesterday hosting a pity party for myself. I didn't even get out of my pajamas until 9 PM. At that point, I couldn't stand myself anymore and finally took a shower, stopped spitting nails long enough to eat a little food and settled in with my husband to watch, The Two Towers. Leave it to Tolkien and Peter Jackson to drag me out of a funk. In an effort not to feel too pitiful, I consoled myself with the knowledge that they hired from outside the organization and this pissed me off. Anger is a useful tool that I can use to galvanize my plan forward. Perhaps it's time to get back into a facility and work those 12 hour shifts in a safer environment. Working 3 days a week is sounding good again, even if I have to go back to working weekends and holidays.

Due primarily to the condition of my thumb, spinning yarn is on the sidelines right now, so I missed circle yesterday. Again. I won't miss it next week. I have been knitting and making progress on the feather and fan shawl. I'm into the second repeat of decreases and now that I'm losing stitches, the rows are going much faster than they were a week ago. There appears to have been an incident with the creamsicle colored yarn that I spun. Apparently, the long snouted, four legged beast that lives in my house, mistook it for a ball. In the photo, this was one ball that he tore into two balls. I can't decide if he was in his glory having two balls, or if he is some kind of yarn genius. I don't know how, why or when, but I know he's the guilty party. Everyone else knows better. I wound my last hank of the yarn this morning and I'm hopeful what's remaining will suffice to the end of the shawl. If not, I'll have to try to untangle the mess he made of the other one to see what's salvageable.

Bad Leocifer.

I'd been hoping to use what was left of the hand spun to do the crocheted border, but it seems I'll have to go to plan B and use either the angora, or a pumpkin colored worsted weight Manos . There I go getting ahead of myself again. I still have an extraordinary amount of work remaining on this shawl, not the least of which is weaving the ends in and finding a way to anchor the ribbon yarns so they don't unravel. I'm thinking I'll tack them down with a needle and thread.

Check out the home improvements of my newest neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Robins. They moved in to the space on Thursday and have been doing home improvements ever since. Trying to be a welcoming new neighbor, I left a few yarn offerings. They liked everything I left and incorporated the pieces of yarn into their nest. I'll be able to check out my shawl no matter where I am, now.

I hope you've all had a better week or two than me. Don't feel sorry for me though, as I feel I finally see the light at the end of this very long tunnel.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Takes the Sting of Losing Away?

The Penguins laying an egg, of course!

Way to go, Canadiens! You are my hockey heroes for putting a lid on SC.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On This Day in History

~When I am no longer even a memory--just a name, I hope my voice may perpetuate the great work of my life. God bless my dear old comrades of Balaclava and bring them safe to shore~

Florence Nightingale
May 12, 1820 - August 13, 1910

Happy Birthday, Florence. You and your ground breaking work are not forgotten. I'd like to tip my nursing cap to all my fellow nurses.

Hold your lamp up!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainy days and dogs.

Last night, living large after putting in a full shift, I decided to watch episodes 8 and 9 of, The Pacific. For some reason (useless playoff hockey), I'd fallen behind and needed to catch up. This means that I stayed up until 2 AM with the thought that I'd sleep in until at least 9.

Leo had other plans.

He awakens me each morning by walking all around me on the bed. The tempur-pedic foils his effort at bouncing, but he awakens me none the less--usually when he finds a kidney with his paw and steps on it. He wanted to go out, and he wanted to eat. After beginning his whining and yippy-yodeling (he sings), I threw off the blankets and took him to the door where we could both see that it's pouring rain this morning. He tried to dig in his feet, but I shoved him out anyways.

The sloth peed on the deck. Under the overhang. God forbid he should get wet.

He came in, snarfed up his kibble and I tried to go back to sleep. This is the point where he really started yipping and yapping at me. He wanted me up. So I made coffee, turned on the TV, and the brat went and crawled into his crate to sleep.

What the hell?

He's all cozy in there and I'm awake.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Listen to me, because I don't.

Prescience [ˈprɛsɪəns]

knowledge of events before they take place; foreknowledge

It's not like I see or speak to the dead, but I just know when something bad is going to happen. It's like the hairs on the back of my neck stick up and I get a feeling deep in my gut.

Even before I went to the market yesterday to get fixings for today's dinner, I had a thought that PF Chang's carryout would be nice. Did I listen? No.

This afternoon, I had a fleeting thought about my cooking tools, but the message wasn't so clear, or I'd have listened to the voice in my head that told me, gee, it's been awhile since you sharpened that knife. That was all of 20 seconds before the knife blade met the parsley, and inadvertently, my thumb.

And just as I ignored the voice that warned of the dull knife, I am ignoring the certain knowledge that 2, or more likely 3 to 4 stitches are in order. I just can't spend my night off at urgent care having the tip of my thumb sewn back on. I finally found steri-strips and a bandage that's got enough padding to keep me from bumping the stupid thing and making it bleed all over again. It is a bit clumsy, but I'm workin' it. No?

Thanks to my kids, I have plenty of analgesics in the house.

Note to self: please arrange carryout for next Mother's Day.

Mother's Day

This hospice job of mine has a few perks, the biggest of which is that I rarely work holidays anymore, and I have every single weekend off. These benefits help balance the fact that I no longer have 4 days off a week. In the past, I worked every other weekend and holiday, and for several years in a row, I worked Mother's Day.

To take the edge off working these special days, the staff always had a potluck in the ICU. The food was always great and the camaraderie even better. There are a few hellish memories of these days in the unit, when ancillary staff was limited, and we were overwhelmed with sick patients. Really sick patients. Still, we muddled through somehow. Medical residents would always find their way to the food, too, and the overall atmosphere would be pleasant.

These days, I don't have to worry about who will cook for my kids while I'm working. Last year, to celebrate the fact I wasn't working for once, I didn't cook, and my kids and I went out to eat for dinner. A mistake. Everyone else had the same idea, food service was rushed, and the quality was not as good as what I could whip up myself.

In preparation for tonight's dinner, Leo and I made the sauce for lasagna last night. More accurately, I made the sauce and Leo supervised with his nose. He was waiting patiently at my feet for something, anything, to drop out of the pan like a gift from above. Today, I only have to assemble the dish, pop it in the oven and make a salad. Sounds easy enough.

In the meantime, I'm spending my special day knitting away on the Fiesta Shawl. I started the decrease rows last night, and only have 256 rows left. With the chilly Detroit weather (the high is only 57 degrees today), it would be nice to have it done, but with nearly 500 stitches still on the needles, I think you can see how daunting 256 rows really looks to me.

Here's hoping that however you celebrate this day, you'll find a little special time for yourself.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lexapro got your tongue?

For the sixth day in a row, I've been sitting here racking my brain for something to say. Although plenty is going on to write about, it's hard to string words together. Not as bad as my dalliance with Elavil and Topamax, where I couldn't articulate a thing, still, the Lexapro is robbing me of creativity and energy.

And the bruxism, while not as bad while on Zoloft, is still troubling me. Yesterday, I woke up with a wicked headache from clenching my jaw. It's hard for facial muscles to relax, even when I actively try to work through this--it's like having lockjaw. It must be really bad when I'm asleep, because I awakened this morning to find I had bit the inside of my cheek during an, obviously, not so peaceful slumber.

Enough with this class of drugs (SSRI). If the cure is worse than the anxiety, well then, I can live without it. I mean, really, how relaxed can one feel going through life feeling all clenched up?


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

All Work and No Play

Mr. Personality, Leo for short, is a handful. Lord, I'd forgotten how energetic young Dobies can be, and this one has energy to spare. Last night, I was watching television in bed with the mirror covered to prevent barking. The character in the show knocked on a door and the dog went nuts. He bounced out of the bed and wouldn't stop barking until we got up and looked in every room, out the front window and finally took a trip out into the back yard. He was relentless in his hunt for barbarians.

Like someone else I know, I think he takes his job too seriously.

After scoping out the house, he finally fell asleep, but woke me up when he fell off the bed around 5 in the morning. Actually, he slid off the edge and had himself lodged between the bed and the wall. Seventy five pounds of flailing dog is heavy in the middle of the night.

I think I need to teach the dog a new job. I bet he'd like agility classes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's a Fiesta!

Fiesta Blob
(I promise it'll be a shawl)

When I put all the yarns together for the feather and fan shawl, I had no idea it would look so festive. I started this in class yesterday, and it's grown exponentially since. In four more increase pattern repeats, I'll do two plain repeats and then start the decreases.

The dog is still demonstrating unusual interest in the angora yarn, so I took it out of the mix. I'd hate to do all that work and then come in to find it chewed up.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Heffalumps and Woozles

Last night was a particularly sad hospice sort of night, but in keeping with my philosophy that no visit is an accident, what happened was meant to occur on my time. With a heavier heart than usual, I headed home rather late. I was too exhausted to do more than chart the necessities and email a brief report.

I clocked out exactly at 12:30 AM and dragged my butt off to bed, followed by my 4 legged friend. Once my head hit the pillow, I couldn't sleep. Of course not. So I picked up my bedside book, Band of Brothers, and tried to read.

About 5 minutes into a good chapter, Leo saw his reflection in the mirror and took to warning the entire neighborhood that, yes, barbarians were indeed at the gate.

What a pain in the ass.

I had two choices: cover the mirror, or turn out the lights. I chose the latter, but even in the dark, the beast woofed gently for about 10 minutes. He just knew in his heart that another dog was still in the room.

At least the night ended with a good laugh, though I don't think Leo found it humorous at all.