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Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Mind Games

Happy Monday!

First, congratulations to all who ran or walked the 5k! I'll do that drawing for the print tomorrow, so any late posters can log in and get into the drawing.

I have to admit I'm envious. I tried running last week because while my foot issue wasn't getting any better, it wasn't getting any worse, so I figured maybe I'd try it out. I ended up hobbling myself for two days... but I have to tell you how nice it was to run for those two miles while I could! My husband spent days laughing at me limping around because it was my own fault. He learned that I might not be able to chase him down, but my aim is still just fine, thanks.

In other news, my husband and I have settled on a challenge: Lose 10 LBS (or get to 180) by Thanksgiving (11/27)!

I have decided to break my weight loss up into 10 lbs increments because it's just easier that way. Before, I always felt like that would be a bad idea, because I'd have to repeat the process multiple times. But the truth is that - so what? What if I DO have to repeat the process, is that really so bad? I used to break long training runs into thirds because my brain had issues with a 21 mile training run. At that point, 7 miles was super-short, and something I could face, while 21 miles made me want to whimper. Instead, I said "7 miles! EASY!" And then I'd just start again. Mind games. I don't know why they work, but they do.

So, this is my current mind game. That 10 lbs. Then, I'll play another. And another. And another. Eventually, I won't have to play any more and I look forward to that!

I ended up biking (spinning, I guess) on Sunday instead. It doesn't count for the 5k, but it does count as starting off my new program. You see, I simply cannot take any more Tony Horton. I was doing P90X3 again, but the truth is that I just want to hurt someone when I have to go through those DVDs. They're only 30 minutes, and that makes it easier to face, but eventually even that doesn't help. The truth is that I bet he's an awesome trainer in person. He's lively, he cracks jokes, and so on... but on repeat when you've heard all of that before, multiple times? It's just REALLY freaking annoying. And frankly, he really over-does the sales pitch on a product you have already purchased by going on and on about it only being 30 minutes and how great his program is. I wish someone had told him to stop that. I'm actually a fan of his exercise programs, because they work. They're pretty balanced, and they're challenging. However, the biggest part of the challenge shouldn't be trying to tune out his sales pitch!

Anyway, I'm swapping back to more traditional exercise. I'm doing a cardio HIIT three days a week, and strength training the other three. I'm constructing my strength routine now, and it's a little tricky since my home gym broke down and I have limited weights, and the bench is gone too (getting the house ready to sell really hit my gym too!) Working on figuring that one out, as it's the legs that are the hardest to challenge given my limited equipment.

Otherwise, I've been painting away working this weekend. I finished a little guy:

"Charlie" 2x4 inches acrylic on stretched canvas. Up for auction on the 24th on Facebook.

And I'm looking forward to a good week this week! That's my plan!
Friday, October 17, 2014

October Chase The Stars 5k!!!

Hey you! Yes you! It's time to hit the road (or treadmill) and knock out your 5k for October on either the 18th or the 19th! I'm doing a condensed post this time because... well, I got caught slacking off. Sorry about that! But without further ado, here is your race bib for those who want one:

just click on it and save/print the bigger picture


Welcome to our eighth 5k in the 2014 virtual 5k series!  And Halloween is just around the corner, so that's what this 5k is in the theme of! What's this month's prize? I'm doing a Halloween print of your choice from my shop:

"Patch" 5x5 inch print


or...

"Midnight Mischief" 5x7 inch print

or...

"Twirl" 5x7 inch print

Still want to join in today? You can! Just sign up on the original post or by joining the Facebook group and letting me know by leaving a comment here or there, go do your 5k (run, walk, crawl...) and then post your results here (or there!)



The rules are simple:

  • You can run, walk, crawl, or any combination of those three, but those are your only options. 
  • You can do the 5k anytime in the 48 hours (but it needs to be in one go, not added up over the weekend or day.)
  • It MUST be done on either the Saturday or the Sunday, races done on Friday or Monday do not count for the 5k. 
  • You need to keep track of how long it took you, not because you are in competition with anyone, but because you WILL BE in later races with yourself. 
  • After you have completed your 5k and posted the results here (along with a link to any blog post you may have posted, but that's not necessary if you don't have one or don't want to) you are more than welcome to the "medal" that's below. You can display it on your website, or simply print it out to tack up on your wall, whatever you like!

When you are finished please leave me a comment about how well you did!

Here are the finisher's medals:

Large

Medium

Small

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finding Your Worth

What makes up your self-worth? What matters to you? What on this earth are you meant to contribute to that makes you feel valuable? What makes you feel valuable on a personal level? What do YOU value about YOURSELF?

Self-value is a hard concept for a lot of people. I know of several people who are supremely self-confident, but they're blustery about it. It makes me wonder if they really feel that way, or are they so insecure that they feel the need to push that idea onto everyone else? I think that self-worth and value is something that is extremely hard to figure out, personally.

Some people look for value in their careers. After all, if you're some hot-shot surgeon, Wall Street banker, or CEO bringing in millions of dollars a year to your personal banking account, well you must be pretty valuable, right? If you weren't, they wouldn't pay you "the big bucks!" Yet, I have known a couple of these people and I can tell you that they often suffer some form of self-doubt of worth on a personal level, just like anyone else would. Sometimes even more.

I face a distinct problem when it comes to finding value based on what I earn because I'm an artist. That whole "starving artist" joke is actually based on an awful lot of fact. It makes me grit my teeth when someone says "Well... at least you married well." But it's true that if my husband didn't have a career able to support our family, my art would be less of a career and more of a stolen moments kind of activity after I got home from a better paying job. The truth is that art pays almost nothing unless you're one of the lucky ones. For example, I make a profit at my art. That means I pay for my supplies, my overhead, and even all the cuts that other services take, and I am able to put some into my bank after all of that. But could I live off of it? Nope. Not right now. Not even close. I'd make exponentially more catatonically flipping burgers than putting all of my knowledge, skills, and passion to use. Yet, I value my passions more than my checkbook. Even if I did have another job and only painted in stolen moments, my career would still be that of an artist. For me as a person, my art has worth.

Some people find their value in their physical bodies, some in their families, volunteer work, friends, accolades, etc. The list goes on and on. I could go on and make another epically long post with other examples, but my point is that I have come to realize that you cannot find your self-worth in one place. There's always going to be a problem, a what if, a this cannot last forever type of caveat to any one item. There will also be people waiting in line to tell you that you are wrong.

I have come to realize that you have to build yourself a tower of things to feel good about, to feel that you have value in. Like a tower built of Lego's with lots of different colored blocks! It's the only way to not lose yourself when one of your valued items fails you or makes you doubt yourself (or someone else does.)

I can make a list a mile long of all the things I am not. Things I am not good enough with (or at all), things I have failed at, things I can never be. It's a hurtful list, really. I think we could all make a list like that filled with paths not taken and opportunities not presented, along with things we simply never could change even if we wanted to. Making a list like that is EASY. Why is the mean stuff always so darn easy?

Making a list of things I value about myself? That's the hard one. Yet, it's probably the one list every single person should have on their smartphones or on a piece of paper tucked into their back pocket. The list of things you value about yourself, that defines your self worth, are the things that make you who you really are.

So, do you have a list like that? Why not?

Is it because you've just not thought about it? Or is it that we've been told that if we value anything about ourselves that we're being prideful, and if we say anything positive about ourselves we're braggarts? I know that's my problem, anyway. Maybe others simply haven't thought about it, but I know that my personal reasons stem from feeling bad about the things I should be feeling good about.

I remember making a drawing of a butterfly when I was young and showing an adult what I had done while exclaiming "I did a great job!" and being reprimanded with "Kyra, even if you did do a good job, you can assure yourself it is not a good thing to say so. And what makes you the judge of it being good? You should really ask first before you say something so stupid." I don't even remember who the adult was who told me that, I only remember the drawing, the sentiment I received from her, and feeling absolutely shell-shocked by it. I had done something wrong by being proud of what I had done and feeling good about it. I was bad. Feeling good about something you had accomplished and valued was "bad" and that has stuck with me.

The idea of being silent when you value something about yourself is what society expresses to everyone, but most heavily towards women and girls. Be humble. Don't be prideful. If someone compliments you, negate the comment or shy away from it because you don't deserve the praise. It's hard to find value in ourselves when the outside is telling us we're wrong for doing so. It's hard to break away from that, and I wonder if you can ever truly leave it behind... but I'll tell you this; making a list of the things you - JUST YOU - value about yourself is a very good start!

For me, I value that I am a good mom. I am a good artist. I'm... working on something beyond those two things. I wasn't kidding when I said this was hard for me. It's really freaking hard.

So, what about you? What do you value about yourself? I'd really like to know!
Monday, October 13, 2014

Nice

Hey there, it's Monday! I know, I know. I'm not a fan of them either, but I did wake up to it being totally frosty outside which caused my daughter to come back in wailing that she couldn't find her scraper in her car (and it's the first time she's needed it too), to which I explained that my magical powers of mom-supreamdom do not include object location - especially in her car or room, and her best bet was to suck it up and go look again. She was not amused by my humor, but I was pretty pleased with myself. Amazingly, she did find it on her own. Shocking, no? Made me laugh, so that works for kicking my morning off right!

Out back, off the deck. The frost is gone, but it's kind of a dark day here


Let's see... over the weekend I weighed in:

Start: 190
10/4: 189.5 (-0.5)
10/11: 189.0 (-0.5)


I'm clearly not trying very hard. I know it, too. I had one of those "I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything, I don't even need to get dressed! What's the friggin' point?!" moments (days? Weeks? Months?) Some days eating healthy feels like working in a clothing store but only owning a single swimsuit to wear every day.

Yes, I know there's a point. Healthy means being here for my kids. It means not physically aching. Yeah, I know. I just miss the cute-benefits. You know, CUTE! When you lost enough weight to be cute, and wear cute things, and people would come up and say you look cute. Granted, no one ever actually called me cute after about 12 years old because I was too tall to be classified as cute, but I could still look "great!" When you're over weight, you only ever look "...nice." Ever notice that?

I've come to hate the word nice. I think it's because it always seems to be used in a negative way. I hadn't thought about it until recently when my daughter told me that no one says that someone else looks nice unless they're being sarcastic ("gee, don't you look...nice") or complaining ("Why isn't anyone nice anymore?") It's pretty rare that you hear that someone is nice and there being a sincere compliment behind it, at least up here. How strange!

I'm done with nice. I want great. I'd say cute, but I'm still tall. So, great it is. Or snazzy. Or... what compliment would you like to get? What one do you wish people would just refrain from saying?

Anyway, I'm having those self doubts that I'm crossing over into the age that cute is out of reach no matter how fit someone is, even if they are short enough. Of course, all of this is just self-ruminating nonsense that gets in the way of the real issue. I'm sure my real issues stem from the move and the stress and frustration that goes along with not moving yet. But, there ya go. Sometimes doing the right thing is a mental battle as well as one with willpower.

In other news, I bought orange cauliflower:


Now, doesn't it seem like something that color should taste like Cheetos? For the record, it tastes like normal cauliflower. No difference I can detect, but it supposedly has a higher vitamin concentration. I do like munching on those raw veggies, and the color is entertaining if nothing else!

We also rescued our one ton bell from the ground where it had fallen and embedded itself. I just got to watch because it's not like anyone would trust me with a forklift anyway (probably a very wise decision on their part) so I made pumpkin spice lattes (very low-cal, about 60 calories a cup)



and sat with my daughter on the deck to take in the show:



And of course, I've been working too. I've made good progress on my Queen of Hearts:


Still a long way to go, but I can almost see the finish line. And yes, that's a blue flamingo I'm working on. Also, after spending this much time working on flamingos, I have decided that they freak me out.



Seriously, I made this one look nicer than they do in my reference photos and it still creeps me out!


Oh, and speaking of creepy, I watch horror films while painting because it actually speeds me up (I imagine it's because I'm afraid to actually watch the movie, and I'm not a huge fan of them) - so if you have any suggestions for horror films that I could catch on cable or on netflix instant play, let me know. I never watch the same one again, because as I mentioned I'm not a huge fan... but. If you know of any that you like that have an actual story line and point? Let me know! I need it for work!

I loaded up my kindle with sappy romances to combat the horror films. That's my strategy to stave off the idea that there is a monster under my bed at night. I suppose the two will combine and I'll dream about hunky pirates under my bed instead. I'm ok with that.

Hope you have a NICE (sincerely) Monday!
Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Fixer-Upper

The theory of entropy when applied to our world and life is that everything is fighting a decline into total deterioration. Life is a directed organizational fight against entropy, and living it well is even more so.

I've been thinking a lot about entropy lately and how it relates to us. I think it started when we were looking at houses both here and in North Carolina. You see, a house is something that you are constantly fighting with. I never saw it when I rented, because if there was a problem you just called the landlord. The fight wasn't really at my doorstep. As a homeowner, that's a whole different proposition. The only thing standing between your lovely dwelling and your house swiftly returning to the earth is you.

When we moved into this house more than 14 years ago, we discovered a severely degrading house buried in the trees at the end of the street. I was absolutely fascinated with it, and I made sure to walk by it every time I went out. I even took some photos, but had I been braver, I would have actually gone up onto the property and snapped some better ones. These, I took from the street, too chicken to go closer:





When I first discovered the house, it still had a roof. That was gone after the following winter. I watched trees sprout up right through the doorways, and eventually through the middle of the house. Nature was taking the house back, and it was literally falling to its knees and returning its once orderly construct to complete decay and disarray. Eventually, the owners of the land finally knocked the structure down (one must wonder why it took them so long, but I enjoyed walking by and seeing the changes while it was there.) Now, it's as if it had never existed in the first place. The trees have completely filled in, and there are no signs that there was ever a house there.

I have no idea how old the house was. It could have been a very old home, there from the 1700's or 1800's, or it could have only been a few years old before it was abandoned to its fate. I know that sounds silly, because if you look at the pictures you can become convinced it was some sort of historic relic. George Washington probably stopped there for a cup of tea, or something, right? But the truth is that the destructive forces driving to reduce something back into its simple parts are incredibly strong.

There is a house at the other end of my road (my road is a couple miles long, so this is about a mile away) and it's literally degrading before my eyes. When we moved here, it had people in it. Even then, it was obviously struggling. I try not to think about the people who were living there because I have heard many frightening and horrifying things, but let's just focus on the obvious fact that they didn't do much to fight the battle of house versus nature. Still, it somehow stayed livable for them. That house is also abandoned now, and it's finally been condemned. Grass is swiftly overtaking the steps, windows are cracking, roofs are sagging, and in some ways the facade almost seems to be in a slow melt. It's as if the absence of life, even feeble and uncaring, helped hold that roof up. Without anything living inside, the structure has begun to sag in on itself and disappear.

My own home has taught me the struggle of upkeep, especially in Vermont with such harsh weather conditions and shifts. You have to fight, ALL the time. The level of desirability of your house is in direct relation with how much effort you spend to keep it up, fix it, clean it, fix it some more, make changes, upgrade, and bolster. My house, any house, requires input. Without input, it is lost.

I have always known, as I am sure you do too, nothing on this earth is exempt to the lesson of input. Not our homes, not our cars, not our jobs, and not our bodies, relationships, or lives. I suppose it all comes down to what it is worth to you. You do not have the option of sitting it out. Things will not maintain without positive input from you in some form, and without it you will be left with nothing. So when it comes to your friends, your career, your BODY, the question is "What's it worth to you? How much effort and resources are you willing to commit?"

There is no stasis. You cannot sit on your laurels and enjoy having made it across the finish line, and you cannot give up and think that this is good enough even without finishing. In both cases your entire being is working on a backslide, and the only thing standing between where you are even right now and total entropy is you and what you are willing to give.

If you want a nice car, you can buy one but you have to maintain it and keep it clean and running well. You could learn to be a mechanic and really keep it in peak performance for a longer period, but is it worth that to you? Your house, the same thing applies - although you'd have to become a carpenter, electrician, plumber, contractor, interior designer and more to be perfect at it, and then it'd be a full time job! So, the question then becomes how much are you willing to invest personally, financially for what you can't, and what level of entropy are you willing to accept and fight to maintain?

And then there is life.

The "house" you live in personally is your body. It's going to develop cracks and shattered window panes. You may have flooding, or electrical shorts of some sort... but are you willing to let it break down all around you? Will you abandon it? Is it good enough to just live in a body that is one step shy of being condemned, or do you want better than that? Just like a house, you don't have to become the jack-of-all-trades, you simply have to do what you can and learn enough to help, ask for help when you need it, and follow through with upkeep. You can even remodel and upgrade! But all of it comes down to "What is it worth to you? What do you want? What are you willing to do? What is acceptable and livable?"

For my own personal purposes, on the house front I realize that I don't want a fixer-upper anymore. It's too hard. I've been living in one for a long time. I want a maintainer, and possibly upgrade something in it on occasion. This realization helped because it ruled out about 75% of the houses on the market where we were looking. When I was younger, the idea of restoring a house to its former glory was attractive. Now, it just makes me want to take a nap.

On the physical side for me, I realize I am not 21 anymore. Heck, 21 wasn't 21 for me. I was busy being obese and NOT taking care of myself. I let entropy take me over. No, I suppose I did more than that, I helped it along with really poor food choices in large quantities. Entropy would be sitting there and letting everything slide off into the abyss. Instead, I gave it a good strong push to help out the slide by eating and not exercising. There is a large part of me that feels like I have missed my opportunity to feel good, missed my chance to be young and pretty and full of life. This is a dangerous thought, because it encourages letting entropy leak in.

And let's face it, at almost 40 the last thing anyone wants to mention in relation to themselves is leaks.  *ahem*

I had to force myself to give in to wearing my glasses for painting. I've been fighting it because it makes me so mad that I can't see like I used to. I've been fighting the glasses for painting for more than a year now, only wearing them a few times. But this is my reality now, and it's time to get with the program. This does not diminish me, this is simply a change, an adjustment - nothing more.
I have come to the conclusion that maybe I have missed everything that being young was supposed to hold. But if I have, well... I have. Knowing it doesn't change anything, and if the opportunity has passed, it's gone. Life isn't only about being young. I know our society spends copious amounts of time focusing on the 20-something generation and telling them that it's this time in their lives that is the most important and it's all downhill from there (and telling everyone over 30 that they need to stay young and beautiful, but that you're already losing that battle and everyone who is young is better than you, so step to the side.) But life isn't only about being 25.

If everything about life was to be accomplished and enjoyed by the time you were 25, well, think about how little your life would actually hold - even if you were working flat-out to fill it. Life wasn't meant to only be lived in your 20's. Life is meant to have chapters and increasing depth and value. Life is meant to be invested in. In order to live that life, you have to make choices, and make a sincere effort to maintain or increase your quality of life along the way.

And it's going to be a fight, the entire way. This is not easy. It will not get easier. It may even get harder, but if you have to invest just to maintain at a not so acceptable place, isn't it better to invest a little more to make things better?

My body, my life, maybe it's a fixer-upper. Maybe I don't want to buy a new house that is full of problems to fix because I'm willing to turn that investment inward. Maybe I should have done that a long time ago, but just as my youthful years may have passed me by, so has that opportunity. The only opportunities I am concerned with now have to do with the ones before me, not the ones that have passed.

I have the opportunity to improve my physical fitness and health.
I have the opportunity to create new relationships and improve my social health.
I have the opportunity to invest in my career and continue to develop and pursue my dreams.
I have the opportunity to nurture the relationships I have.
I have the opportunity to be better than I am right now.

And I'm not going to waste another moment on the opportunities that have passed. How about you?




Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkins, Aliens, and Monsters ~ Oh My!

Pumpkins:

Riddle me this; I bought two pumpkins on the same day, from the same store, roughly the same size. Those two pumpkins have been sitting out on my front porch only a couple feet from one another, exposed to the same conditions. One pumpkin has clearly started to rot and won't make it until Halloween, and the other one is just fine. Now, what the heck is going on?!

Aliens:

So, my weekly weigh-in went better than expected...

Start: 190
10/4: 189.5 (-.5)

I honestly expected to maintain or gain because I haven't been behaving myself with the food, but it looks like I squeaked by. Although, honestly, I probably gained because I think the 190 was a high weigh-in anyway. But hey, whatever. The point is I survived and I'm working on moving forward through this week.

Working out in the mornings again, making that a habit once again is a tough thing. It's amazing how fast you can fall out of it. However, I know darn well that morning the ONLY time I'll get a workout in. I, like most people, will find a million excuses if I don't get it in first thing. It's something I've seen and heard time and time again from people about how they're too tired and whatnot, but the fact remains that it comes down to when you will actually get it done and not put it off. If you are better at talking yourself into it later in the day because sleep trumps all arguments, then yeah, plan a rock-solid workout time later. But if you're like me and life has a much bigger sway than sleep when it comes to ruining a workout? Morning, it is!

That being said, I almost didn't make it this morning. I was so very tired, and I have to admit that I hit my snooze button. It looked like I was going to miss my workout, but then I dreamed about aliens taking over the world. Parasitic aliens that enslaved the human race. I was a slave, but not "infected" yet (where the aliens take you over) so I was still plotting how to rescue the human race. My slave job was to brew beer (I have no idea, don't ask. I don't even LIKE beer, much less know how to brew it) and clean bathrooms at an office building that seemed to be made up mostly of bathrooms. I was scrubbing away at some over-flowing toilets and bemoaning my life as a newly minted alien slave when my dream-self sat up and said "You know, working out this morning would have been a whole lot easier than this!!!"

And I woke myself up, yes really, and went and worked out. My mind works in bizarre and mysterious ways, but people? It gets the job done!

Monsters:

I mentioned before that October also kicked off #Inktober online, where artists all over the world are doing a daily drawing in ink. I saw one set of artists that were each drawing a monster to eat the other's monster from the day before and told my son about it. He instantly fell in love with the idea, and begged me to do it. I agreed, and his first drawing was this (all of these are simply ball-point pens on sketch paper):


Kinda creepy to start with, don't you think? I went for the guilt-route and did a "you don't want to kill and eat lil ole me, now do you?" with this:



The next day, my goal was to eat/kill his squid creature so I went with this:

See, the little lantern at the end of his stalk lures in the evil squid-things my son drew, and he eats them!


My son had no problem with killing my cute creature with this:

EEEEK!


Now, that looks like a spider to me, don't you think? So the next day I drew this to squish the spider:

Big foot for squishing creepies!

And then my son quit. 

He said it's too much like a homework assignment to have to draw every day. *sigh* I ended up not drawing yesterday, because I was kind of bummed over the whole thing. However, my daughter had been watching from the sidelines and when she heard he quit, she said she wanted to draw with me. Instead of killing each other's monsters, however, she wants a daily prompt instead. So, we're starting back into it today, and the prompt is Candy Land. We'll see what happens!


Happy Monday!
Friday, October 3, 2014

Rough Week

You know those weeks you have, where you are just so glad it's Friday? This week has been one of those. I can't get into everything that's going on, but just take my word for it that it's been seriously hard. While I'm going to rant a little, I'm going to splice in photos that are my silver linings from the week. It's funny that all my silver linings have visual evidence. So, they're like a commercial break in the post!

On the positive side of things, I got in all six workouts. More than that, I got DOMS from them, which means I have seriously been slacking off for a long time now. I'm not one of those people who welcomes DOMS with the idea that it's muscle soreness that "hurts so good" because I know I've been working out, and isn't that wonderful (uh no, it HURTS!) However, I can acknowledge how far I have fallen, and how I need to get back to where even if I switch it up hard I only have a lingering tiny case of DOMS instead because I'm that fit. I'm totally not fit anymore. Or, at least it seems that way. Things kinda went wonky with that sprained ankle, and a slew of other exercise-related problems, and, well... GRR!

So, climbing that ladder once again. Grumbling that I slid down it in the first place (and knowing I did so both with a legitimate injury, and then non-legitimate choices.) Glad I'm working my way back.

Silver-lining break #1: Sunday evening we had our last fire outside, burning the last of the scrap wood and tree trimmings. There is something about a fire that you can stare at all evening. It's hypnotic!

Sunset, and moon up at the top there.


While I did great this week with exercise, the food has just been obnoxious. I'm pretty lucky that I have no way to order take-out and no desire to drive 30 minutes to the store to get something stupid. However, I'm rather unlucky that I'm creative enough to use what I have on hand and that I can overeat on anything, even vegetables. Yes, really. (Most people don't get enough, so they encourage you to eat as much as possible with the assumption you won't come near where you should be anyway. I'm apparently an over-achiever, and blew right past that. Fruit is usually where people overeat, but I'm actually not a huge fan of fruit. Give me raw broccoli over an apple any day! I'm weird. I'm aware.) Also, I found the junk stashes courtesy of my husband. They're gone now and there won't be any more, but I admit I did damage with them. I expect to maintain this week. It isn't pretty or what I was hoping for, but the fact that I'm not in the liquor cabinet is an accomplishment at this point (technically, since I'm bad at drinking because it makes me sick it's not hard for me to stay away from it, but I'm patting myself on the back anyway. I need some gold stars this week, dagnabbit!)

SL break #2, another pretty sunset (I'm going to miss these views):



I also took the plunge and called the two doctors I have been avoiding calling. The first is for my Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot. I had PF many years ago (at least 7, maybe more) and I went through eight months of PT and it never got better. I finally ended up in tears, begging the doctor to just do the dang steroid shot in my foot because we had a vacation and I couldn't even walk. He did, grousing the whole time about how it would only help temporarily and it was against his better judgement. Well, guess what? Two weeks later the entire PF episode was GONE! Completely! I was back to running half marathons like it had never happened a few months later. Amazing!

I finally called to beg for a shot, and was completely floored by two things. The first is that they couldn't get me in until mid December. The second is that they are going to classify this PF as a "recurring problem, second opinion." Would someone please explain to me how something that happened SEVEN years ago is a recurring problem? Also, I'm not even sure it's in the same foot, to be honest. I just don't remember. But even if it is the same foot. SEVEN YEARS!?!?!

Lily wants to know why we're not going walking or running when it's the perfect weather for it. She's been stalking me, looking at me reproachfully like this. I have GUILT!


I expressed my dismay at a December appointment, and she managed to squeeze me in with a tech six weeks from now. I'm amazed. I sincerely hope that North Carolina has better medical access than I do here (it's very sparse, hence the problem.)

SL break #3, I'd like to take a break from the doom and gloom, and bring to you a silly pumpkin Halloween house I painted, because it was fun (and it sold right away, so that was nice too):

I think painting this house made me feel the best I had all week long.

I then called my regular doctor to talk to her about getting something for my anxiety. Like I said, I can't tell you all what was going on this week, but I'm fried. I'm at some sort of almost-breaking point because the stress is insane, and I tiptoed around a real panic attack more than once.

Now, this is situational, absolutely. Normally, I'd up my running (hell, I'd start training for a half marathon at this point) but I'm completely caged with my foot. I can't even go for a two mile walk without ending up in major pain (and that's with inserts and doing all the stretches and icing and heat and Advil, etc.) I'm exercising, working hard, sweating up a storm, but it just doesn't touch my anxiety like running does. You would think any exercise would do, but it really doesn't make a difference unless it's running. Everyone pushed for me to call my doctor because they agreed that a little something as back-up if things got bad would be a good idea.

Well, the office informed me that they couldn't schedule me an appointment - AT ALL. Pardon me for a minute, but wholly crap!?! I just sat there for a minute on the phone, stunned. No appointments? Ever? At all? The receptionist said she'd have the nurse call me back and see what they could do via the phone. See, even though I actually finally found a doctor I like, I don't think it matters because I can't even make an appointment. I guess their systems only go out so far for scheduling (March maybe?) and there is nothing left.

This was pretty much par for my week though, so I just sat down and started laughing after I got off the phone. Probably scary-like. Good thing I don't have any neighbors.

The nurse finally called back. They're going to call something in, and the doctor wants me to "stop by for a few minutes" when they can squeeze a five-minute appointment in-between some other ones just to touch base, but there ya go. I'm actually OK with that. I didn't feel that I needed a huge appointment anyway. I just wanted something I could take if things got scary since I am unable to manage my anxiety naturally as I normally do, and right now is a beyond normal situation (of all the times to be knocked out of running, this is the worst.) I'm going to ask if she has any suggestions of somewhere else I could go to get the shot in my foot, as long as she's squeezing me in.

I don't actually want to take anything for anxiety. I'd rather run it out. But at the same time, a real panic attack is one of the worst things I have ever experienced. I haven't had one for over ten years now, but I remember it vividly and I've been edging closer than I want to be here and there. I have anxiety over having anxiety, ha!

So that's been my week, what I can share of it. To end on a fun note, there is an event going on called #Inktober. Artists all over the world are doing a daily drawing in ink of some sort for the month. I saw one set of artists doing a challenge with each other to each draw something that would eat the other's prior drawing (I think they're batting that back and forth, so for them it's an every other day drawing.) I told my son about it, and he was completely taken with the idea and begged to do the challenge with me. So, a day late, we set to drawing our starting monsters. We decided to use ballpoint pens and sketch paper. Keeping it simple. We're going to draw one every day, to eat the other's monster from yesterday.

He went for hard-to-kill right off the bat. *sigh*

I would not want to swim with that!

And I went for the guilt route, the "I'm too cute and cuddly to kill! You wouldn't wanna hurt lil ole me, right??"

Duck/rabbit/lemur (I guess?)
Yeah, he says he has no problem offing my creature today. Guess I better step it up! If you're interested in following along, I'll be posting a daily drawing update with our battle on my Whimsical Misfits page on facebook.

Anyway... yay for the weekend! I hope you all have a wonderful one!