Saturday, April 30, 2011

Some Miscellaneous Stuff

I did manage to sneak a few extra pieces into the kiln when I fired student work during my recently completed class session.

This is to remind you (and maybe me!) of what I do for a living.  I've activated my Etsy Shop again and I'm hoping for some sales. It always perks me up to see that email from Etsy saying "Congratulations!".

I think I have my house pretty much back in order. I brought home some things from my Dad's apartment - not too much, as I'd already filled up this place with family things when we cleaned out the house after my Mom died. But there were still a few boxes of stuff that had to find a place to be. While I was doing that I went through a couple of closets and re-packed those boxes with things to go to charity. Stuff in, stuff out! This house is too small to accumulate too much. And, I've even managed to do a little cleaning. Lola is shedding like crazy right now! It's amazing how, when I feel like I have a heavy load on me, that getting my home in order can make me feel better.

I've gone a week without watching news. Well, a little sneaks in here and there like the tornadoes last week, but I mute the TV or turn it off so that I don't get caught up in the drama of what all those poor people are going through. I think it's helping.

I did watch the Royal Wedding yesterday. That was a happy event and I very much enjoyed all the pomp and ceremony that the British are so good at. The hats, the morning coats, the glimpse at royalty... I suppose I get this from my mother, because she loved anything British, especially the royalty. When I was growing up she (jokingly) told me that I should marry Prince Charles. I think she was a little disappointed when he married Diana because the joke was over, but she collected all the memorabilia from their wedding that she could find here in the US. The fact that William married a "commoner" would have enamored her to no end and I'm sure she, too, would have been glued to the TV yesterday. I thought about Mom a lot while I was watching. I was also remembering when I visited Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace when I was in London the last time and that brought back some good memories for me.

Hives? Aw, geez, that's still the bane of my existence. It's looking like the antihistamines that I've been on are not working as well as they used to, so I have a few miserable hours every day before I can take the next dose. I've been on zinc supplements for suspected copper poisioning for a month. The Doctor said I might have been a little sensitive to copper, but that's obviously not what's causing these hives. That's good news and bad news. Good news that I can continue to work with copper, but bad news because that would have been a simple solution to these hives. Now I'm seeing an Acupuncturist with no change yet. But it's only been one visit. I found an online forum for Chronic Urticaria (the fancy name for what I have) and see that people's hives have gone away after treatment for other things like the bacteria that causes ulcers (H. Pylori), Candida, Thyroid issues and intestinal parasites. Tests for those things may be the next step.

I'm by no means out of the woods yet, but I can feel some of the profound sadness over my father's death subsiding a little and I'm looking forward to the day these hives clear up. Hopefully the slides backward will be smaller than the strides forward. I'm working on it. Thanks for visiting and blessings to you all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Riding the Gratitude Train

Whew. This has been a rough patch, but the load is beginning lighten up, I think. Thank you all for being patient with me. Not only have I had a death in my family, but I've been in one of those "what do I do now" funks, with lots of decisions to be made. I still have hives and we're no closer to figuring out what I might be allergic to. One Doctor thinks I have copper poisioning. Wouldn't that be just peachy, considering what I do for a living? I wake up every morning thinking "Maybe today is the day that they'll go away." and I go to bed every night with the prayer that I won't be itching in the morning. I'm grateful that antihistamines can control them to the point where I can carry on with life in the meantime.

April 16 NC rain/flood

A week ago a string of strong storms came through the state. My portion of it was over 5 inches of rain and the creek flooding into my yard, missing my house by only a few feet. The above picture was taken from my front porch and you can see that at this point the water was just under the bridge. In just a few minutes it was over the top of the bridge and streaming through the yard. The water was so strong and fast that it moved a boulder about a third the size of a Volkswagen Beetle 4 feet downstream. As the storms moved east they strengthened into tornadoes, wiping out much of central and eastern North Carolina, including places in and near Raleigh. 62 tornadoes touched down that day and 20 or more people were killed. I'm grateful that the rain stopped in time to miss flooding my house and that all my friends and family are safe, and only one with a little property damage.

Mercury has been retrograde for the past few weeks, adding to my stress. Apparently the current Mercury Regrograde period has been more serious than most "because of its particular position in the zodiac at this time. Normally it represents communication and paperwork snarls, shifts in schedules and confusing messages. However this episode of the retrograde has represented emotional difficulties as well.", according to my favorite Astrologer, Vivian Carol. This was particularly hard on me becuase of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in my chart. I'm grateful that Mercury went direct yesterday because maybe now my emotions will start calming down.

Those that are close to me (and many who aren't very close) have been so sweet and supportive during this time. I can't count the times I've been asked "What can I do?" And, once in a while I've actually had an asnwer to that question. I am SO grateful for the love and support of my friends and family.

On the other hand,  I've been feeling weighted down by all the negativity and meanness in the world. It just floors me when I turn on the TV and see all the bad news. So it was appropriate to read a post by Kathy Van Kleeck - her call to arms to shift the balance from dark to light. My contribution to this is to quit watching the news! It puts my brain into such an OMG state that I believe it could be physically hurting me. It's certainly another thing that adds to my stress level. I know that I'll be ignorant on current events, but when the current events are based on selfishness, fear, competition, and greed... well, I just can't handle it any more. I'm sure if something important happens I'll hear about it somehow. And hopefully it will be good news. I'm grateful that I'm able to do what my heart wants me to do and that I can make the choice to change the things that disagree with me.

Calico toes

I'm also grateful for little Lola. After 4 trips to Raleigh in as many weeks, she's always so excited to see me when I come home. The purrs and the head butts are plentiful. What a love! I'm happy that her two uncles made her a new scratching post so maybe now my furniture will be spared.

I live in a beautiful place in the middle of nature. I have a cozy home with everything I need and Spring is bursting out all over. I can go to work in my pajamas if I want to and I'm surrounded by people who love me. I try very hard to remember this every day, but it's not always easy. During these recent hard times it's become even more evident that I am truly blessed to be able to live the life I have and I thank all of you for being part of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Stay Close"

By Amy Ludwig Van Derwater

When sorrow comes
to those you love
stay close.

When sadness is
more powerful than words
more powerful
than deeds
your warm hand
your quiet company
your self in a chair
saying nothing
will be a gift.

You may wonder
"What can I do?"
There may be
you can do.

You may wish
to run
Do not run.

Hold hands.
Eat soup.
Trace a sunbeam
with your fingers
on the table.

Let yourself smile.
Let yourself cry.

When sorrow comes
to those you love
stay close.

When sorrow comes
to you
let others
stay close too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Please Bear With Me

There's SO MUCH going on right now. And a lot of it I'm not ready to share. What I will say is that I'm exhausted and I need some time to put myself back together. I need to let some things (like this blog) go for a little while so that I can concentrate on the things that are important and be able to come back here and have something meaningful to say. So, this is it for awhile. I'll be back as soon as I can. I love all of you and thank you for understanding about needing a break.