Archives for June 2015

The Best Laid Plans

The Best Laid Plans

I could write in my journal, maybe? I have that with me. That won't make any noise.

I could write in my journal, maybe? I have that with me. That won’t make any noise.

I probably should’ve saved the title I used for this post for a topic more weighty. Like when I have some crushing disappointment. Or something.

What happened: I forgot my headphones. I am at Panera Bread in Derby CT ready for a day of working on my computer, of study and reflection, and I forgot my headphones. So: mild disappointment. Because I did the same thing last week. But really, a minor blip.

Now I can’t work on the courses I am taking on lynda.com, or drown out loud people (if it comes to it), or watch youtube videos – UNLESS I want to be rude.

Maybe I have a pair in my car. The catch-all black hole in the center console might have a pair. Heck, I’ll even take ear-buds at this point.

I have searched both my purse and my backpack. No dice. No headphones.

Oh well.

I had other things on my to do list. Writing blag posts (like this one) was one. I can do that without being rude. (I might write something rude, but that’s a totally different animal.)

I plan on doing what I did last week. Write a few days of blag posts and schedule them to publish throughout the week. Maybe I can do the whole week. Who knows. I want to do productive things too.

Looking at my car. Might there be headphones there?

It’s raining.

On the mend

On the mend

Unna's Boot - Like Das Boot but not really

Unna’s Boot – Like Das Boot but not really

So regarding my health, last you heard here on the blag, I was on my way to have my first vein ablated. And I did. And I had the second one ablated. And today is the day I go back to my vein specialist to get everything checked out.

In the meantime, as you can see from the picture, I have had another Unna boot on my right leg.

You might be wondering: How is it going?

And I will tell you, it is frustrating. My legs are improving. Cankles are definitely less cankly. But the ablation is not an instant fix. I am still wearing compression stockings and taking lasix. I am still tired a lot. And I still need to elevate my feet – and will likely have to do it for the rest of my life. Because I have other veins, ones they CAN’T ablate, contributing to the issue.

Self-Esteem Shark Knows What is Super Great

Self-Esteem Shark Knows What is Super Great

I came to the realization that I will likely have to wear compression stockings off and on for the rest of my life. And that sucks. But cankles and especially leg ulcers are not things that are super great.

On the good news front – I am on the cusp of needing smaller socks – my calves are at the top of the range for the next size down. So with continued treatment, I expect things will get better. Only needing to wear compression socks during certain times, wearing them when I know I will be over-extending in other areas. In for a penny, in for a pound: a couple of weeks ago I bought a proper wedge so I can sleep with my legs elevated. That pillow I was using just wasn’t cutting it, and that wedge has made a difference.

Today I get to see how the procedures went and find out what is next. Wish me luck!

Sing

Sing

Birthday Present from Edmund

Birthday Present from Edmund

I haven’t sang in public, as a performance that is, since 2005. Needless to say, that makes me a bit rusty. However, starting a couple of months ago I started taking singing lessons for the first time since the 1990s. I knew I missed singing, I forgot how good it made me feel.

This time I am doing something different. My thought was, what if I practice every day? What would happen then? So far, I haven’t practiced every single day, but with that mindset, I have been practicing several times a week. And you know what’s happening? I am getting better. More confident. My pipes are coming back. And I like it.

Let me explain: in the past, in the time ago, I have had the luxury of being in spaces where individual practice time was not as necessary. Like – I am in a musical, so I go to all the rehearsals and learn the songs there. And I only learn the songs I am supposed to sing. Like that. Or I have my go-to songs I sang in public forever via Karaoke, like Big Spender, Goldfinger, I fall to Pieces, These Boots are Made for Walkin’, Crazy – that was my entire repertoire. But I stopped going to Karaoke.

New keyboard setup

New keyboard setup

Furthermore, I never really challenged myself. I didn’t think like a singer. And that was okay. But then those opportunities to perform went away. I did not seek them out. I decided to concentrate on my undergrad degree instead. Which I don’t regret, but the music feeds me too. I need it. I lost my chops and I want them back.

(It is important to note that I was enabled in my current endeavor because Edmund started taking lessons himself. He started with guitar lessons, now we are both taking voice lessons.)

So far, TLDR: I used to sing, and I missed it. So I started taking voice lessons again.

Here is how I am doing it differently. I remember how it was when I was at my best singing, and that was in High School and College. And the thing that really helped me there is that I always had access to a keyboard or piano (mostly piano). Don’t misunderstand me, I cannot play the piano. By any stretch of the imagination. What I can do is read music and plunk out notes, which means I can figure out how to sing new songs. Of course you could argue I can do this without a piano, but if you did, you probably aren’t a musician. So, we bought a used keyboard so I could practice. And it has made all the difference.

Once I had my keyboard, I was able to play around with new songs. What was a grudging practice session of a half hour became an easy 2-hour session wherein I rediscovered my joy in playing with music.

And those old karaoke chestnuts I alluded to above? I am moving beyond them. A whole new repertoire for a new age!

Happy Birthday Eddie! @rurugby

Happy Birthday Eddie! @rurugby

Edmund is Backed Up by Squiggy (and coywolf!)

Edmund is Backed Up by Squiggy (and coywolf!)

It’s Edmund’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Eddie!

For those of you in the know, we’ve had a tough couple of years. Grief and illness and whatnot. Today, however, I think it’s important to focus on the good, and Edmund is good and I am glad to have him around.

I am grateful for a life-partner who supports and encourages me in my endeavors. For a man who loves strong women, and takes care of me. A man who takes care of himself, even if it means doing something he finds scary. A man who I trust implicitly.

Ed Loves Al's Hot Dogs

Ed Loves Al’s Hot Dogs

If it weren’t for Edmund’s support, I might not have finished college, albeit on the 25 year plan. Even now he is cheering me on as I take up singing again, after a very long time away from it. Whatever I want to do, he has got my back.

I appreciate the joy he takes in his new guitars and his nature walks. His excitement when he talks about his trips to the zoo. His passion of poetry both written and spoken-word. And his support of other people. His generosity as he buys another artist’s work. His enthusiasm as he gives encouragement ot other artists.

And his passion for food, which has helped me stretch my culinary horizons, is a delight. His passion for music is beyond compare.

Squiggy, Eddie and Lenny per usual

Squiggy, Eddie and Lenny per usual

And lest we forget: Edmund’s love of the kitties. It was a sad day when we lost Hunter “Socks” Thompson, but Lenny and Squiggy have more than filled his void, their bond with Edmund especially poignant. The picture to the right illustrates what I often see, both kitties perched around Eddie, just because. It is super awesome.

So, Edmund, Happy Birthday. I hope it is great. I love you.

Pilgrimage circa 2015

My friend Robyn Mellish, Robyn Mellish: On A Pilgrims Path, has gone and done it. She quit her job, gave up her apartment, got rid of most of her stuff (put the rest in storage), and left the United States for an extended walk-about in Ireland. She is on her very own Pilgrimage.

And lucky for us, she is blogging about it.

And I want you to read it! So much fun.

Start out with her first post: STAR TREK HAS A LOT TO ANSWER FOR and navigate to the next one at the bottom of the page (Hint, it’s BUMPY ROAD AHEAD…). At this time, there are only a couple of weeks of posts to go through, so it won’t take a lot of time for you to catch up.

And then do what I did: sign up on her mailing list to get her posts emailed to you – so you won’t miss a thing. (You can sign up on her homepage here: Robyn Mellish: On A Pilgrims Path.)

Her writing is honest and funny and her journey is fascinating.

Would you give up your life and all its trappings to step away from it all? What happens if you do?

Why not live vicariously through Robyn, who is doing the brave thing and is writing about it with truth and vulnerability.

Happy Father’s Day To the Ether

DadI guess things do get better. The grief becomes easier somehow. Case in point, this year reminders of things I can buy my father for father’s day were not like stabs to the gut. More like a “Oh that’s sad, I wish he were still around feeling” mixed with “he wouldn’t want that, just a bunch of scratch tickets and a visit (or call if we were out of state).”

Mostly I am grateful. Truly. Grateful that I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic father. Grateful that my only regret with him is that he is no longer here. I am grateful.

So happy Father’s Day Dad. I hope you are having fun where you are; that your afterlife is satisfying. I miss you. I love you.