Thursday, December 11, 2008

A not-so-funny comedy of errors

I just had a little comedy of errors that wasn't funny at the time but seems a little funny now. :-(

I was in the middle of ordering some shirts for my husband that he needs anyway (but I thought would be nice under the tree--a little extra to open), but right at a crucial point in the order, the phone rang. And remember that box I was sorting? I had emptied it out and it was sitting at the top of the stairs waiting to be carried down. It was now full of trash and dirt. And mung beans, loose.

We had gone to purchase Christmas gifts for one of the grandchildren and my daughter-in-law just called to ask what we'd gotten and to tell me she might have gotten the same thing. Running down to check so I could let her know, I bumped the box of trash which tumbled over and over down the stairs spewing dirt and trash everywhere--the PHONE also tumbled down the stairs! The one I was talking on--and I still have to clean up the mess. Meanwhile, the order went dormant because it times out and I had to start all over with it and my husband is due home any minute so I had to leave the trash and dirt and go back and start over with the order. The gift IS the same, so one of us has to return it--I was angry and told her she should return it since we got ours two weeks ago! I was angry because of all the other things that went wrong and meanwhile I am missing my lunch!

Monday, December 08, 2008

GM issues and PB issues

TODAY they are talking about a buyout for GM on Capital Hill--it would be good for US if GM doesn't go under.  Dunno if it's really good for the country, but we'd be in deep shit.  We'd lose BB's retirement, as well as his job and our medical.

Saturday night, PB did not come home and did not call to say where he was (or ask permission to sleep over).  This was particularly bad since he'd also had a sleepover Friday night AND he had his piano recital on Sunday--we were really worried he'd forget and not come back in time or be so tired he messed up but he at least come home in time and played reasonably well.

We've had a string of such incidents and we don't really know what to do.  He's already grounded.  But that doesn't stop him.  And his grades SUCK!  And it's upsetting and worrisome for us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Feeling STUCK with various issues

We have a variety of issues, many of which are due in part of entirely to my illness.  But we/I also have communication problems. 

I have written this note to BB, but I also need to figure out things I can do differently to help change things for the better.

Things you need to know about me:

  1. I do not beg.  I might, if someone put a gun to my head and threatened to kill me, but it would be coerced. I will ask for what I want sometimes.  But not repeatedly.  For example, if I tell you I am really tired and want to go to bed and you choose to ignore me, I assume you have things you want to do.
  2. I do not make demands and issue orders except under special circumstances, e.g.:  if you have offered to help cook a meal and need instruction.  I will not tell you to go do the laundry, chop up the leaves, etc, I assume you're a responsible adult capable of doing what needs to be done without prodding.  I do not believe that I am in charge.  I also do not believe that you are in charge.  I believe we have a partnership.  But communication is essential to a partnership, and we need help with that.
  3. I do not stand and wait, because it hurts my hips.  When I am in a lot of pain, I want to keep walking to get somewhere and sit down.  I also do not stand and, for example, look at the stars for extended periods, especially late at night or after walking, because that not only hurts my hips and feet, but also my neck.
  4. I do not sit and wait, if I can avoid it, unless I have something to do.  This is because I get bored and agitated thinking of everything that needs to be done while I am sitting there doing nothing.  Clear communication is essential if we are to accomplish anything together.  For example, if we are planning to go somewhere together or to do something together (e.g.: yard work), you need to let me know when you are READY if I am doing something else!  I am probably waiting for you.
  5. I do not go to bed before you, except when I am genuinely ill.  This is because I often cannot sleep, and I never sleep readily when I first lay down (except under very special circumstances).  If I go to bed first, I lie there waiting for you and getting agitated and bored and then I am more likely to not sleep at all, all night.
  6. I am not obligated to know or remember (or do) ANYTHING.  When I do not sleep for days on end, my memory disappears for even the simplest things.  This is beyond my control; I do not know how to make myself sleep and how to make myself remember when I do not sleep.  Making fun of me or being unkind about it is stupid, mean, unproductive and likely to cause a serious rift.
  7. When I am really sick, you need to take over responsibilities.  You do this well sometimes, but not other times.  Sometimes, I am truly incapable of doing things that require standing, for example.
  8. Lack of sleep for days on end makes me extremely tired and cranky (GROUCHY!)  This is something I cannot seem to control once I get in that state.  Yelling at me because I'm exhausted and cranky and can't help it just makes things WORSE!  If you are tired and cranky too, we should consider planning activities that do not put us in close contact.
  9. I think we need couples counseling and family therapy and I think PB needs help/counseling.  We need assistance learning to communicate with each other because we fail at it miserably.  PB need to work on his attitude and maybe be evaluated.
  10. I desperately need regular contact with nature and WILDNESS (e.g.:  more nature than one can find in the city.)  We need to work on solving this issue or I will be forever unhappy.  I don't seem to be able to change this need; it's deeply ingrained in me.
  11. I need HELP solving the issues of workspace and storage space.  I will not be happy until we get the boxes out of the living spaces.  I need help dealing with the stuff in boxes.  I would like you to help me.
  12. I believe that YOU are the one PRIMARILY responsible for giving PB discipline and orders.  1)You are his father.  2)I am a STEPMOTHER.  Being a stepmother and interloper gives me much less power and authority.  You need to step up to the plate.
  13. I will not throw away or move PW's things by myself because I don't know what's yours and what's hers and what you want.  If we are ever to get things in order, I will NEED YOUR HELP!  I am still living like a guest in this house, which makes me feel unloved and unwanted (and like leaving and going elsewhere.)  I know PW needs to be remembered and cherished--I'd want to be remembered if I died.  However, I need space in the house and PW is not coming back.  She doesn't need her books and other items.

We cannot change other people.  We can tell them what we want, but we cannot change them; we can only change ourselves.  So, I need to ask myself, in what ways can I CHANGE MYSELF that would help solve some of these issues we have. 
  • I can work at trying to solve my health issues so I get enough sleep and feel better and am less cranky, grouchy and reactive.
  • I could get therapy and try to deal with some of these issues.  (But of course, that would mean a struggle with someone other than myself).  I could, in therapy, perhaps learn to communicate better.
  • I could LEAVE BB and move away to a place where I feel more comfortable and closer to nature--but I would be very sad to leave him.
  • I could take assertiveness training.  (Yet again).
  • I could spend less time doing art and writing etc and more time sorting through boxes.  (But I need soemwhere to work).
  • To tell you the truth, I am at my wit's end and don't really know how to solve these issues or what to do.
  • I can take ONE DAY AT A TIME and do my best.  EASY DOES IT but DO IT!
  • I can ask for help (asking for help is NOT the same as begging, I have too remind myself of that), work the steps, take action however small.  Starting NOW--I need to do soemthing, not write.
I feel a little stuck--I need to BREAK OUT and make some changes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Putting the cart before the horse

I think decluttering is ESSENTIAL for clearing and healing, but before I can even do that, I have to get back to eating properly.  I am feeling utterly exhausted and terrible and it is hard for me to work at all when I am this tired.  I've gotten a small start on eating better today, and tomorrow I will try to work even harder at it.  I need to create a plan.  But I don't have time right now.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Light in the Darkness.

I am very depressed.

This picture I made tonight is a light in the darkness.

I had another fight with BB tonight. :-(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love you too!

Biker Buddy took this of Piano Boy last night. Then they had a huge
"tussle" while Piano Boy tried to erase the picture from the camera.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lying Awake with the Rubber Backbone

Your son doesn't know that you lie awake all night,

listening for his arrival. No phone call, no note, no word

from him, no idea of his whereabouts. He's just decided

to have a sleepover and not let us know, your husband says,

trying to reassure you. He's grounded from sleepovers

so he knows we'll deny him. Of course, that was what you

imagine, too. What you want to believe. You want him safe,

having fun. Thoughtlessly happy and safe.

Safe. And then you imagine priests and predators

and all the terrible things that happen to young teens,

those things that fill the lurid headlines you try to refuse

to read or hear. What if he's in trouble, desperately

hoping for rescue, while you both lie in bed, doing nothing

but staring at the dark ceiling, watching patterns of light shift

with each passing cars? Fewer and fewer cars pass,

less and less often the dim rainbow squares slide

across the flat black sky as the red numerals on the clock

slowly turn, minute by minute. Should you notify the police

of his failure to return? I don't expect him home until late

tomorrow, your husband says. He's probably right,

but you want to kick him, for not sounding worried

enough. Your son, wherever he is, can't see you lying here,

turning your backs to each other, worried, angry, fearful.

He can't imagine being old, can't imagine a heart

other than his own, beating into the darkness,

and if he could, he wouldn't care. Nor can he picture you

at fourteen. He doesn't believe that you can and cannot

remember what is was like to be his age. He imagines

your lives, if he thinks of them at all, so different from his

as to be irrelevant. Useless. All that matters to him

is his own immediate pleasure, and not the consequences

of his actions or the pain he causes others. Tomorrow,

when he's hungry, he'll return, pretending nothing happened,

because if nothing happened, there with be no punishment.

He will want not what you eat, what you carefully, lovingly prepared,

but soda, double chocolate Milano cookies, microwave mac and cheese.

He will complain bitterly if the freezer isn't stocked

to his preferences. Your husband, feeling exhausted, spineless

and limp on his 63rd birthday, will hide in his painting and do

and say exactly what his son wanted, nothing, giving the boy

permission for more of the same. You, his wife will imagine divorce,

a quiet cabin in the country. Freedom from the having to care

for anyone unable to return an ounce of love. When the lights

on the ceiling increase again and then fade into dawnlight and the boy

has not returned, you know it will get worse before it gets better.

Or it will never get better. If the boy survives

to return, it's all downhill forever, as it always was.

Mary Taitt, 081020-1141-1b

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Why is it that the night before I start out on a long trip and need to be alert to drive, I cannot sleep--this happens so often! It's 2:15 AM and I have yet to sleep a wink.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Away message

I am leaving tomorrow at some undetermined point to drive to Harbor Spring Michigan for a writer's retreat. I got a partial scholarship--YAY! I may not be posting until I return Monday. I expect to be very busy retreating.
I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Since we last spoke

  • I made myself an utterly totally scrumptious lunch:  spring rolls a la Mary and bran with blueberries
  • I watered the African violets Dawn gave me and the ivy in the stairwell
  • I put a load of laundry in the dryer and one in the washer
  • I folded two loads of laundry, carried them up and put them away
  • I read and responded to a note from my sister-in-law regarding the terrible anyeurism and stroke of my ex-sister-in-law and friend who is only in her fifties
  • I wept

WHAT THE HELL????????!!!!!!!!! (GAK!)

The shower[1] was running slow this morning. So after I showered,[2] I pulled up the cage in the drain, which was full of course of hair, but also leaves, paint chips and something large and smelly—SHIT! Fecal matter—large chunks of bowel movement ¾ inch to an inch in diameter. I had to dig it out with my fingers! GAK! And this was after I had showered. I almost hurled.

WHAT THE HELL!! ???? !!!!

Next time the shower drain is running slowly, I will let BB know.

[1] Also, the water had NOT been turned down and the showerhead had not been turned down! :-(

[2] Also, someone called while I was in the shower but doesn't seem to have left a message. :-(

Friday, October 03, 2008

Easy-Does-it Sick Day #2

I'm still sick, but I am incrementally better than yesterday—YAY!

I was able to stand up in the bathroom after my shower and brush and
braid my hair. Yesterday, I had to lie down as soon as I got out of
the shower. So that's an improvement.

I still feel incredibly tired. I feel as if a gallon of coffee and a
box of dark chocolate truffles might help. But they would only make
me feel worse later, so I am not caving. No coffee, no chocolate, I

I am simply going to take it easy. One minute at a time.

It takes three to four days to clear the system of 75-90% of toxins
and tiredness (assuming sleep in the meantime), and ten days to clear
it entirely. I am hoping in a few days to be able to function
relatively normally and resume my regular daily activities.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Easy-Does-it Sick Day or Four

What does it mean when someone with a chronic disease who works from
home decides to take a "sick day?"

I have fibromyalgia and with it, chronic fatigue. I am feeling
exhausted, depressed, and overwhelmed.

I always feel exhausted, depressed and overwhelmed. I am always sick.
But I still have my ups and downs and right now, I am having a down.
It's from the traveling, which is very hard on me.

I've decided I'm taking some "sick leave." I will get "paid" for it,
too, just as much as I always get paid: nothing at all. Well,
nothing for my labor. I do have a small income. And BB has one. The
pay, however, is not the point.

The point is, I am totally overwhelmed, sick and unable to cope. The
chronic fatigue that comes with fibromyalgia is getting the better of
me. I had 8 days of rain, soakings, insufficient sleep and bad food.
It's caught up with me. And I have too much to do.

I always have more to do that I have time to do it, more to do that I
have the energy to do. And there is guilt associated with that. I
feel as if I "should" be getting more done.

But STRESS is one of the major exacerbators of fibro and chronic
fatigue and it stresses me out that I feel guilty about not getting
enough done--and then I feel angry and resentful at everyone who I
imagine is judging me for my "laziness." "Walk a mile in my shoes," I
want to shout at everyone, because I am under the impression that no
one knows or understand what it feels like inside me with the pain and
exhaustion, because if they DID understand, they wouldn't expect so

But--how CAN they understand when I live with it every day and I don't
understand. Why can't I function like a normal human being and get
more done? I must be lazy and if I am lazy, I must be BAD! That's
what I think about myself when I'm like this, and that's what I
imagine everyone else thinks.

But is someone with cancer or diabetes BAD because they have cancer or
diabetes? I don't think so. While some lifestyle choices may
contribute somewhat to either of those conditions, they are diseases
that are largely beyond the control of the sufferer--and so is chronic
fatigue, at least at this point. Though my choice to travel and the
subsequent choices that followed from that contributed to my current
state, am I supposed to remain sequestered and never move? NO! I
don't think so. Already my condition keeps me from a number of things
I'd like to do.

OK, so I am sick, genuinely sick, today. And I will be, probably, for
several more days. This is why I am taking some sick days.

So, what do I then mean by this? I am going to try to take it easy.
I am going to try to lower my expectations as to what I can accomplish
today and for the next few days. And, I am going to try to not beat
myself up when in fact, I accomplish little and was secretly still
hoping against hope to accomplish more. I am going to try to take
time to rest and relax. I hope to sit and simply rest from time to
time, and maybe even lie down. Something I rarely do (even at night,

I am feeling guilty also for feeling sad and depressed about my
condition--I've had it put into perspective because a person who was
once a very close friend and also a sister-in-law and is still
numbered among my dear friends has an aneurism and stroke and I
haven't heard any more, but I hope she's going to recover. I'm
frightened for her, and for myself, and for all of us. Stroke is
terrifying, can be fatal, can render one unable to talk or eat or
move. And I know little about what is going on with her, so I am very
afraid. Worried and beyond worried.

Even with the perspective that her condition is so much worse, and
that I at least am alive and able to function somewhat, I am still
suffering and overwhelmed. I am still taking some sick days. I need

Life is short and could come to a sudden end at any time. Or be
irrevocably changed. I need to take the best possible care of myself,
and I need to start NOW--with a sick day. This day right here.
Today. Easy does it.

"Easy does it" is one of the slogans of the 12-steps, and it is one I
keep forgetting to practice. EASY DOES IT. One day at a time.

I am crying now, because I am so hard on myself. No one can tell,
probably, because I am such a failure. But I work SO hard at what I
think I should be doing. I need a little more EASY DOES IT before I
stress myself out of existence. Today. Now. Sick. Rest. Relax.
Easy Does it.

Mary, Thursday, October 02, 2008, 1:49 PM

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

8 days, 11 pounds

Well, I went off my diet for Dodge.  I ate normal and bad food for eight days and gained 11 pounds.  WAHN!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Questions on Family Policy

Piano Boy Sings at That's Entertainment

Family-Policy Issue Questions

Question #1

This morning at 7:40, the phone rang. I did not get it. I felt that
anyone calling at that hour didn't deserve to talk to a real person
and it was probably just one of Piano Boy's friends.

But it rang again and I worried it might be an emergency or the school
calling or you needing soemthing so I picked it up. It was Piano Boy.
He wanted me to bring him his lanyard so he wouldn't have in-school
separation. I was very angry because he forgot it yesterday, also.
When he came home yesterday, he showed me that he had three of them.

I told him I would do it this once, but I would not do it again, that
it was HIS responsibility to remember it. This is what I thought BB
had said.

BUT I couldn't find it. Since he'd called me, I thought he might have
his cell phone and tried to call to ask, but if he did have it, it was
turned off. So no info from him. It took me a LONG TIME to find it.
It was under stuff in his room, of course, ON THE FLOOR.

Then the traffic was terrible, especially around the school. It took
me a LONG time to get to where Piano Boy was waiting.

By the time I got there, I was really furious at him.

I asked him couldn't he keep some of the extras in his locker in case
he forgot. He said, "sure." the way he does, just to shut me up.

He did not give me 50 cents for the gas etc. :-( (This is a family
policy trying to teach him about the value of money the cost of gas
etc, after he allowed TWO expensive bicycles to be stolen by not
locking them.)

Question #1. What is the family policy about forgotten lanyards? (I need to know.)

Question #2:

I went to bed furious at Piano Boy and started my new day furious at Piano Boy.

I told him to practice last night and that he was on a 30-day
challenge and he told me Mrs. Lindow would understand that he had
homework. I asked him if he was going to lie to her and tell her he
had homework that kept him from his practicing when in reality, he
dorked around before and after theory and before and after robotics
and the homework took him about 5 minutes--dunno how good a job he
did. I think HOMEWORK and practicing comes BEFORE dorking around and
robotics. I told him that if he could not manage his practicing and
homework he'd have to drop out of robotics. Dunno if BB supports

I heard Mrs. Lindow tell him that if he missed a day he had to start
over. I think he should do an HOUR today in two half hour segments.
Should I call Mrs. Lindow and ask her?

Question #2: What is the family policy regarding homework,
practicing, practicing during the 30-minute challenge, and robotics?

I want to be a good mother. I want to be loving and supportive and
helpful, but without being an enabler. I don't want to encourage him
to think of us as his servants. I don't want to encourage him to lie
in order to not do what he's supposed to do. I'm not sure how to find
the appropriate balance.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Unblinking Insomniac Eye

It's 4:30 Am. I've been awake all night. Not just awake, up. Up out of bed all night because I was too agitated to even lie there. Went to bed at 11:45, lay utterly awake until 1:55, couldn't stand it, got up. I'm exhausted. It's par for the course, but that doesn't make it any better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wolverine, taking a dump

Detroit Zoo

Sunday, September 14, 2008



Thursday, September 11, 2008

The night flowering Milkweed in the midst of migration

I had to put a picture here, I don't like too much text without
photos, I never got past picture books.

This one has two layers of Apohphysis fractals layered into it.

Click to view larger.

Report on the allergy regime for Thursday, 9-11-08

Today is Thursday. 9-11-08, the 13th day of the regime, which I'd also done for a week before that. But that got ruined.

Yesterday, on Wednesday, I ate nothing but broccoli (and a very little bit of brown rice.) The day before, Tuesday, I fasted. Ate nothing at all all day. The ten preceding days, I ate nothing but brown rice. This is an allergy testing diet I am on. But I am also losing weight. I lost 17.8 pounds since I started the regime and 37.8 since January, down 1.8 pounds from yesterday.

After I fasted, I had my best night's sleep in months. After I ate broccoli, I did NOT! I had a very bad night!

S: Terrible insomnia! Was awake all night until after 4:30, then slept restlessly and poorly 2-3 hours.
S: symptoms:
· agitation and restlessness at night,
· stomach (intestinal pain, cramping and nausea, diarrhea,
· increased (worsening) muscle and ligament tightening, and this discomfort,
· grouchiness, anger,
· excess mucous,
· swelling in feet (puffiness) (A sign of toxemia).
· tiredness!
· leaving letters out of words (common when I'm having these symptoms.
· I had a couple others, too, but I've forgotten them now :-(
Could all these symptoms be caused by the BROCCOLI (which I thought was the SAFEST thing to add first--I was going to add all the safe stuff first and then the less safe stuff so I'd have more variety! I decided to move on to the next test: shrimp! And go back and retest broccoli later.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Diet Report for 9/9/08

I have completed ten days of the brown rice cleansing diet.  I have lost 14.7 pounds since I first started the rice diet and 34.8 pounds from my high point of the year.  Weight is important, VERY important, but it is not the primary purpose of the diet.  My primary purpose was to clear my symptoms for allergy testing and I do NOT feel fully "cleansed" and cleared.  I am not feeling radiantly healthy.  My symptoms, while significantly better, are NOT gone.  They are BETTER.  I have bruisy (painful) tender trigger points, stiffness and pain in ankles, some pain in neck, general stiffness, but definitely improved.)  my hayfever and asthma allergies to ragweed--this is the worst season for it RIGHT NOW--are about 95-98% cleared by this diet! I was considering a day of total fasting to see if the high starch content or other aspect of the brown rice could be contributing to my symptoms.  I have to decide now whether to go on to the next stage of the allergy testing diet by adding broccoli or to fast for a day first.  Fasting is not a good tool for losing weight as the body reverts to conservation mode, but it could be a tool for testing blood sugar allergies caused by the rice itself.  I had a very tiny dinner last night, so I'm already hungry and not eager to fast.  But--WAHN--maybe I will.  Just to see.  When I ate rice cakes, I got worse, and I wonder if it's because the treatment of the rice made the starch and sugars more readily available.  Add broccoli tomorrow.  :-(

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Gorilla Butt


Monday, September 01, 2008

insomnia poem

Leaf Lady send me this poem about insomnia.  My insomnia is like this only worse.  It has been somewhat better than usual lately, much (but not all of the time)--my "light therapy" (spending more time out in the sunshine especially early in the morning) and diet therapy (avoiding sugar and allergens) seems to be helping quite a bit.

Hi Mary -- I got the cutest book at a yard sale today -- poems written by Marchette Chute (best known, to me anyway, for "When I climb up to get a drink"). She also illustrated it with cute silhouette-type pictures, and presumably hand-printed the verses too. It was published in 1941 and reprinted in 1946. I got it free cuz the guy was giving away all the books.
Anyway, this one reminded me of your sleep troubles.
By Marchette Chute
I've been awake, and been awake,
I've counted lots of sheep,
I've shut my eyes up very tight,
But still I'm not asleep.
My pillow has gone somewhere else,
My sheet has crawled away,
I've counted up to ninety-six,
And still it isn't day.
There's nothing here to do at all,
And nothing here to see.
I'm very tired of the night,
And very tired of me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

slow progress

After being back on the diet/regime yesterday, I lost only 1.7 pounds of the 4 I gained-from one meal and I didn't even have any dessert!  And yesterday I worked so hard--you'd think that would count for something (in addition to more than 45 minutes of biking and walking).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Starting Over Tomorrow

We got a call from Math-Teacher/limo Driver and Teacher/Flower lady, old good friends we haven't seen in a long while, who wanted to go out to dinner tonight, so we went and I will have to start my diet over tomorrow.  Sigh.  I ate kibbe nyah (raw lamb and cracked wheat), babaganoj (eggplant and tahini) and white pita (too many) and then at their house later, homemade zucchini bread.  I'm unpleasantly stuffed and not looking forward to the stress of starting over--the first few days are the hardest--but on the other hand--friendship is very important.  Very important.  AK!

Friday, August 29, 2008

From A Memory of Dreams

From A Memory of Dreams I-UBD, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. The Unbearable Darkness version. For jo(e). See IMAGIK version here. The fractal posted below is layered into this art.

cosmic creation

This is a fractal flame from Apophisis modified in photoshop (by me).

Diet Report, Friday August 29

8-29-08, Friday, down two pounds!  YAY!  That's the good news!

The rest is not so good.  Below is the "full report," more or less.  I won't send the full report again, at least not for a while!  LOL!

S:  sleep:  after two very good sleep nights for me, probably relatively good for anyone, I slept poorly last night.  After I settled in, I started "dreaming" or having hypnogogics while I was still awake--I was "hallucinating!!!!"  And for no external reason that I know of.  This happens to me from time to time and usually signals a bad night coming.  I lay there awake watching the colors, shapes, people etc like a movie and then they went away and I was wide awake, twitchy, nervous, agitated.  I wanted desperately to get up out of bed, but I forced myself to lie there in hopes that I would relax and sleep--once I get up, I am usually up for a long time and I am definitely not sleeping.  I did eventually sleep, but was very restless, with many awakenings and wakeful periods, much thrashing.  Here are some possible reasons for this bad night event:
  • during the cleansing phase of the macrobiotic diet, toxins and allergens built up and stored in the body are released and symptoms often get worse before they get better.  For this reason, I hope to stick with the diet for the full ten days UNLESS I get really bad and cannot stand the symptoms.
  • I added the dry rice cakes yesterday.  Although they are made of nothing but brown rice and sea salt, there may be something about the processing that causes a problem.  I think I will skip them for the day just in case.  Too bad.  It was a treat to have something with a slightly different taste and texture.
  • I may have some form of diabetes, hypoglycemia or other sugar and starch problem.  I react very badly to sugar.  There may be too much starch in brown rice and I may be having a problem related to my sugar problem.  I have an addictive allergy to sugar and white flour.  This may be the root of my problems, or one of the causes of my many problems.  If the brown rice is a problem, and I was hoping it would not be because I have been able to do this diet successfully in the past and whole grains usually do not react in my body the same way as simple sugars, but if this is the case, then the brown rice diet will not help me solve my allergy issues and I will have to start over with some other food.
  • food, or food alone, may not be the primary cause of my insomnia and other problems.  However, last night I did not have any arguments, I was not angry or sad, I did not exercise any later than I had the previous night, I did not go to bed at a weird time, or any of the other obvious possible causes of insomnia.
A:  allergies:  last night while I was lying in bed unable to sleep, my sinus allergies were really bothering me.  I get this when I have had milk or other dairy products.  It may be a cleansing or maybe I am developing an allergy to brown rice. 
F: fibro:  last night when I couldn't sleep, I was having a fibro flare-up and it was particularly bad in my ankles, which hurt tremendously.  I lay there twitching my ankles back and forth trying to stretch the ligaments to relieve the pain.
T:  toxins:  my feet and ankles are still slightly swollen, but only VERY slightly now.  They've been getting incrementally better every day.

So how are your health and sleep issues?  Aiee!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Morning Report Thursday Aug 28, 2008

YAY! I lost 3 more pounds AND I am feeling a little better as far as my allergies go. Wahoo! My pinched nerve still hurts though. And the fibro in my knees feels bruisy. But this is only the beginning of my third day on this regime, so I feel like I am making progress. YAY! I am eager for my feeling fat feeling to reduce itself. Even though I hadn't gained back all my weight and even though I'd been very active, I was feeling bloated and chubby and my clothes were tight. I'm hoping to alleviate that. Yesterday I went out Mt. Biking and flet really happy and pleased, and young and strong, LOL! Of course, it was only my second day on the regime, so maybe it was all psychological, but hey, that works!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Morning Diet Report

I lost 2.3 pounds after one day of dieting. That's the good news. But I usually lose the most the first day or two. And this diet is not about weight as much as allergies. (But I am honestly hoping to lose some.)

I felt tired and depressed yesterday, especially late in the day. I had a bout of baddish fibromyalgia. I was more worried than normal about every little problem, since the diet is to clear all that if it's caused allergies. My pinched nerve was medium bad. It's related to the fibromyalgia, as the ligaments in the neck tighten and pinch the nerve.

I made one mistake, early on, while in the garden--I forgot I was dieting and ate one small yellow plum tomato--yum--sad to not be able to eat those.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Re: Notes to BB: Thanks for the Sleep!

Note from Pam: "A waste of good time"? Yeeks! What /better/ use of
time can you imagine for us insomniacs, who can, given sleep for a change,
rise, go forth, and consider which wonder to accomplish and amaze
ourselves with?!
May we have many, and repeated such blessed "wastes".
Ah, the bliss.
More! More!

Notes to BB: Thanks for the Sleep!

Dear BB,

Thanks so much for the foot rub, neck stretch and reading session in bed last night. I had the best night's sleep all week. YAY!

It wasn't a perfect night, I woke up at 12:45 and was awake for a while. But then the next time I woke up was 6:30, then 7:30, then 9:30, when I got up. That's much later than I normally sleep but after several totally sleepless nights, I probably needed it.

I hate sleeping late because it seems like a waste of good time, but boy, I was exhausted.

So thank you again! :-D YAY! Sleep, sweet sleep!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I had to perform an onerous chore for BB this AM and it mushroomed
into an "ordeal" (big hassle with permutations.) So I drew this 2" x
2" sketch for him while describing the ordeal that ensued and how it
mushroomed into additional ordeals. (Hassles). It's a tiny sketch and
since he'll probably drop it in the trash, I thought I'd share it with
you, LOL!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

fresh corn on the cob

I used to be able to buy fresh corn on the cob right from the farm
stands. Living in the city makes that harder! But I got some today
and it was pretty good! :-D

Things that hurt my pinched nerve

*throwing peanuts to the squirrels! (huh?)

Monday, August 18, 2008

various updates (the good, the bad and the ugly!)

  • I am unpacking a box.  This is hard to do because the house is so full there is nowhere to put anything.  Unpacking make me sad, for some reason.  (It seems a lot of things makes me sad.)  It's sad unpacking this box because it reminds me of a whole life I sued to have that is gone--my house, my job, my friends, my family.  I have a new life and I like it fairly well, but this doesn't mean I'm not sad about losing the old one, and unpacking these boxes from my old life makes my heart hurt.
  • my foot injury is 97.3% better!  YAY!
  • my fibro and insomnia are both generally improved, with some relapses and flare-ups.  I still have pain every day, but it is somewhat less severe and frequent generally (with some exceptions).
  • my neck/pinched nerve and the associated pain is slowly improving by tiny increments with many relapses into severe pain
  • I feel like I am not making much progress toward my goals.  I'm not doing much writing or sending stuff out lately.
  • Sigh.
  • it's hot
  • I'm lonely for family and friends far away
  • We have so far been unable to solve the too much stuff and lack of space dilemma after many various attempts at it.
  • I am procrastinating writing this because I hate what I'm doing.
  • besides this unpacking and clearing windows, I have a huge list of fairly urgent tasks which is pressing down on my with a horrible weight.  AK! 

  • I did my walking for the day, so I don't have to go out unless I want to.
  • I have food for tonight and know what I am making for dinner--YAY!  (I am making GUMBO!)
  • I managed to succeed at moving piles of boxes away from one window where BB is going to paint, so that's something anyway.
  • I got a couple boxes partly unpacked and may finish one or both or combine them so there is one less box.  That's something, anyway.  Not much, but something.
  • I love my husband.
  • My son is talented musically, and I derive pleasure from his music.
  • He's away for the afternoon and I derive some peace and quiet from his temporary absence.  I appreciate and am grateful for the momentary silence.  Not that I want it all the time--a nice balance is good.
  • school will start soon and I will have longer periods of freedom--maybe.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bullets of Sadness

I am feeling sad. Or maybe I'm depressed. Or both.
  • I am sad that my vacation is over and I am home. I don't really LIKE it here very much.
  • I miss my friends.
  • I miss my family.
  • I miss my children.
  • I am afraid I may never see my brothers again.
  • I miss my parents. Now that we have buried them, it seems so final.
  • I'm not feeling well.
  • My pinched nerve is still very painful--I was hoping so much that the pain would subside.
  • I'm tired.
  • I had to walk in the neighborhood instead of somewhere fun.
  • (BUT I did see a LOVELY RAINBOW). But I got rained on and it faded before I got home to tell BB about it and show it to him. (The lighting was exquisite--sunset lighting and a brilliant rainbow. A full arc. I had a moment of actual joy when I discovered it.)
  • My feet hurt.
  • I suffer from Hedonic Adaptation. That means sometimes lovely things begin to fail to cheer after a short time.
  • (BUT I DID enjoy seeing my friends and family and visiting the Porcupine mountains earlier! :-D)
  • I think I am suffering from a post vacation let down. After a day of rest I'll probably feel better,
  • (BB is making dinner because I don't feel well--AND HE drove all the way home 7 hours in hard rain--I should be making dinner for HIM!)
  • (I'm grateful he's willing.) (I don't know why I'm so sad.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

foot report

Y'all are waiting with bated breath for the report on my injured foot, I know, so here it is.  The open wound finally scabbed over July 15 (after the injury in June, after staying open for a couple weeks) and the scab fell off a few days ago, leaving a pink scar.  The swelling is probably down 90%.  The pain is much reduced.  I still get5 shooting pains at the injury site sometimes, but they usually only last a minute or two.  There is residual soreness inside with bending, but that is slowly fading, too.  It still hurts, but is much improved.  The pain from the pinched nerve is now much worse than the foot pain--WOW!  That's exciting.

Pinched Nerve

AK!  I have a pinched nerve in my neck caused in part by my fibromyalgia which causes the ligaments to tighten and draw the vertebrae in my neck down tight over the nerve.  This causes pain.  The pain radiates downs my arms to my fingertips and into my chest.  It can be nearly instantly relieved by looking DOWN, but there are many things I cannot do while looking down.  Computing (using the computer), driving, cooking, washing dishes, etc.  Many others.  WALKING hurts.

I had this problem before.

I went to PT and that really helped.  That was in Syracuse.  Before I moved.

They stretched my neck on a machine and taught Keith how to do it manually and gave me a bunch of exercises which I was doing religiously ever day, but while we were on vacation, I didn't do them and it's come back with a vengeance and is worse than ever.  So I am back to doing my exercises.  Keith has stretched my neck a few times, but mostly, he's been lying under the car in panic working on it because we're supposed to be leaving tomorrow but the car is undrivable.  He's at work.  When he gets home, he lies under the car.  :-(  Poor fellow.  :-(

Computering, driving, WALKING and washing dishes and reaching for anything and other daily activities all hurt MY ARMS and CHEST as well as my neck--a lot.  I think it's a LITTLE bit better than it was when I got home from vacation, but not much.  I can't cuddle with BB, either.  WAHN!

I have not been to see the doctor yet.  And unless it's unbearable, will not be going until a return from NY.  I will be away for just over a week from August 2 to August 9 or 10.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Away and incommunicado

We are leaving for a two week camping trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and will probably be incommunicado until we return on the 22nd or 23rd of July.  (prolly no posts)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Away Message

I just wanted to let you know that I will be away Friday June 27 - Wednesday June 2.

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Tuesday, June 24, 2008



Monday, June 09, 2008

The Girl with the Curl

There Was a Little Girl

    There was a little girl,
    Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
    When she was good,
    She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I used to hear this a lot as a child, and also this one:

Mary Mary, quite contrary
how does your garden grow?

It was the quite contrary part my mother or father was referring to, of course.

Someone called me a drama queen.  I was always accused of exaggerating, and I probably did.  And do.  But I also think I feel and experience things more deeply than other people do.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, but also my laughter, my pain, my tears, my anger, and everything else.

I am "oversensitive."  But you can't just tell someone who is oversensitive to "get over it," and expect them to suddenly be normal.  I can't switch it on and off.  It seems to be hardwired into who I am.

The reason I am writing this is because I read somewhere that bright lights help you reset your biological clock  AND my doctor Muna Beeai suggested that I get a "blue light" for depression and insomnia.  I haven't done so yet.  But what I've been doing is going outside and sitting in the sun for 20 minutes when I first get up--I do my exercises, meditate, draw, paint, read, whatever.  But this morning, my quiet neighborhood is suddenly transformed into Busytown!!!  I sat in the backyard which is usually really quiet and peaceful--and cherish, truly cherish, peace and quiet--and there was ll this banging, crashing, sawing, hammering, loud radios, cell phones, yelling vices.  A team of carpenters is putting a new roof on the neighbor's house.  So I went out front.  There was a crew of people working on the road and another wheeling wheelbarrows full of dirt to another neighbor's yard.  Construction come home!

I am very sensitive to load noises; they really disturb me.  The vacuum cleaner sends me into paroxysms of panic, and has since I was very young.  It's worse if soemone else is doing it--I can deal with it better if I am doing it.
BUT. not much better, which is an issue for me.  I tried to sit it out and ignore it, but I was getting tenser and tenser.  Soon my shoulders were up around my ears and starting to HURT.  I had to give it up and go inside.  I can still hear the pounding and sawing in here, but not so intensely.

So, I am contrary, oversensitive, easily disturbed.  Sometimes horrid.  And loving, cheery, intelligent and creative.  AK!

Friday, June 06, 2008

92 + in the shade

It's 92 in the shade, but not TOO humid and there a nice breeze so it doesn't feel all that bad but I walked to the store and forgot my wallet--it was in my jeans, so I had to walk back and forth twice and phew!  HOT!

Sand and Stone

"Sand & Stone"

Two friends were walking through the desert. At one point, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:

"today my best friend slapped me in the face. "

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:

"today my best friend saved my life'

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, 'after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?'

The friend replied 'when someone hurts us, let us write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, let us engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.'

This is a forward I got, and it has probably been around multiple times, but I thought it might be relevant to our discussion and shed light on attitudes about forgiveness.

(Photo by me [mary taitt].)

{I have to say that the gap between what I believe and my success at practicing it is very wide.}

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Assigning value, Intrinsic Value

Assigning value, Intrinsic Value
Wings Challenge part II

How does one value the activities one engages in?  How do you value them so that you can make choices?  I keep telling myself, "First things First," but . . .  what are those first things?  How do you achieve an appropriate balance between work, obligations (family, community, environment), play, rest sleep, eating etc?

For example, I wanted to clarify something I said in the last post.  I said that for me, art is play.  I am not a professional artist, so when I do art, I do it for fun.  I like it so much that I have a tendency to do it when I should be doing other things--like my work, my family obligations etc.  I'm 62 years old now, and I STILL feel confused about prioritizing my activities.  How can I make a to-do list and prioritize it when I'm not sure how to do that?

I usually make daily lists.  I wonder if weekly lists would be better and less intimidating, or actually MORE intimidating, since there would be more on it.

In my fantasy about myself, say five-ten years in the future, I would like to be healthy, vigorous and ORGANIZED!  (In a balanced way).  I'd make subgoals for it if I knew how.

I think being organized in a reasonable way has intrinsic value.  If one isn't organized at least to some extent, one cannot function.  One can't find things.  One doesn't really know what to do next.  So I assign a theoretical high value to it, but I have never made it a priority to learn HOW to do it.  To actually MAKE it the priority it deserves to be.  In areasonable and balanced way.  I don't want to be one of those neat freaks.

I would like my house to look like a relaxed, backwoods version of Better Homes and Gardens.  Ha ha.  By this, I mean neat, clean and appealing.  Welcoming.

But I need to streamline the process of getting it that way and keeping it that way so I can do my work, sleep, eat, and social relationships, etc.  I wonder if that's even possible given the constraints within which I exist.  (I feel discouraged about it).

To-do: one thing to make me feel less discouraged.  Hmm.  I wonder what that would be and when I would do it.  Not while blogging about it.

A Big To-do about To-dos

A Big To-do about To-dos
A Wings Challenge

It is interesting how these Wings Challenges seem to come just when I need them,  I am not sure this one is going to give me any answers, maybe just questions to look at.

I just had a big birthday.  All birthdays are big, in a sense.  But this one seems somehow bigger.  I am now officially, in this area anyway, a senior citizen and a crone.  I am 62.  I get discounts now, and I get constipated.  I get fat easily and don't have as much energy as I use to.  I'm a lot more forgetful and more disorganized.  I didn't want to look 20 years ahead in case I might be dead or dying.  My parents both died at 83 and weren't doing to well at 82!  I want to be different.  I want to live longer than that.  But there is no guarantee that I will with my genetic time bombs ticking.  I have a brain tumor, a meningioma, same one that essentially killed my Mom.

Does any of that have anything to do with my to-do lists and priorities?  You bet.

First on my to-do list?  Take good care of myself.

First to be ignored?  Exactly that, way too often.

I get tired, I get stressed, I do stupid things.  Unwise things.

So, how do I organize my priorities?  Very poorly, but I keep trying!  Maybe I should mention that I also have ADHD!  AK!

I have tried many systems and read many books on "getting organized" and have tried over and over and always failed.  (A fourth step note:  I am very disorganised!)

Here are some of the things I've tried:

  • notebooks of lists.  Sometimes, this works well, until I lose it in a heap of $#|^!  (otherwise know as piles of unsorted stuff or archaeological dig sites.)  I've tried both loose leaf and spiral notebooks to keep lists in.  Each has its advantages.
  • I keep lists on my computer
  • I keep lists on-line
  • I keep lists at my yahoo calendar
  • I keep lists in my journal
  • I keep lists in my PDA
  • I write notes to myself on scraps of paper and promptly lose them,or some of them.
  • I keep lists in my head.  This works very poorly as I promptly forget anything but the most appealing items.
  • I sometimes make lists for my husband and son--they aren't very task oriented sometimes.  But it's not up to me to take their inventory.  But things need to be done.  Sigh.

OK, like I said, I have no answers, only questions.  Like HELP!  How can I do it better and make it work?

At New Year's and at my birthday and randomly throughout the year, I like to look at how I am progressing toward my goals.  Usually not very well, but I've always made some progress.  Then I reevaluate my goals, set new subgoals and priorities, and march forward.  And promptly get distracted by a variety of mew projects or old projects newly surfacing and rearing their tempting heads.  For example, I have multiple books in progress, poetry books, novels, children's novels, children's picture books.  One goal is to complete each of these in turn and send them off to publishers.  Another goal is to unpack from my not-so recent move.  I try to alternate between these tasks, as otherwise I would only play (eg: do art).  So I was unpacking a box from my move and found an old manuscript.  We were just leaving on vacation and I spent my spare vacation time writing new chapters to this old manuscript rather than working on one of my nearly finished works.

OK, I am not finding any solutions here.

Here are (some of) my goals: 

  1. to be as healthy as possible and take the best possible care of myself
  2. to take good care of my mind if possible (my mother had dementia)
  3. to be a loving partner and mother and friend
  4. to finish my novels, poetry manuscripts and other projects in an orderly way and send them out
  5. to create a sense of order and a pleasing environment for myself and my family (that will never happen at the rate I'm going!)

 There are (some of the) subgoals to each of these:

  1. eat right (a major problem), get sufficient exercise, sleep well (a major problem for me), rest, play, work in balance
  2. use my mind creatively and for various problems, read, etc
  3. take time for husband, son, friends
  4. do the to-do lists associated with each project, in an orderly as possible way, starting with the ones most nearly completed
  5. unpack and get rid of stuff!, clean and neaten

Of course there are lots of other goals, large and small, and ongoing things always cropping up that have to be factored in like my son's upcoming recitals and graduation, etc.  How to organize everything?  I have no answers.  AK!  I tend to feel overwhelmed and unworthy because I cannot seem to be able to orchestrate all this as I feel I should.  The evidence of my failure is all around me.  The world has expectations of me--and so do I!  How does one DO IT?

Simplify simplify simplify?  But the world and I keep trying to make things complicated and overwhelming!

First thing on my to-do list:  take a deep breath.  Change my clothes.  Take my son to Piano recital rehearsal.  Make dinner.  Something healthy.  Put one foot in front of the first.  Cram some exercise int here.  Try to get to bed at a reasonable time.  Stop blogging and start working.  (Blogging can be just another form of procrastination for me.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tulips in the rain

In our back yard.

UP! :-(

I just remembered to weigh myself.  I forgot last week.  Proof that I am not concentrating on dieting very well, or I'd remember.

My weight was UP .9 pound from two weeks ago.  Not terribly surprising, since we had a couple meals out for mother's day etc recently and no huge effort at losing these last couple weeks--I've been so darn busy.

I've been on a plateau for a long time, wrought primarily from lack of any serious effort.  But I have been continuing to diet in a sort of half-assed way, so no great weight gains, either.  But if I am not careful, I will inch up and regain everything lost!  I need to pay more attention!  AK!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bullets of annoyance

After a certain point, I start getting annoyed and he pushed me over the edge again. Like all teenagers, lol, PB's good--really good--at pushing buttons. :-(

  • after not wearing a jacket all winter, and often wearing shorts, he called today (in May) from track to say he was cold and would I "make" Dad bring him some pizza to track.
  • When BB collected warm clothes for him and brought them to him, he refused to put them on.
  • when he arrived home, he complained that he was "freezing." This after BB took him out to dinner to a warm restaurant where he could get warm food and hot drinks.
  • there's a fork int he middle of his bedroom floor. Never mind what else is there. (I could go on and on).
  • he threw away half a large box of cereal that he neglected to close because it was stale, opened a new box, and left that absolutely open on top of the fridge.
  • he asked me to make him macaroni and cheese after ten PM tonight, when I was on my way upstairs to get ready for bed. I did. He didn't thank me, just argued with me about the cereal I wanted him to close.
  • He cut his hair over the sink and left the hair in the sink--a regular occurance. When BB asked him to clean it up and put the hair in the trash, he washed it down the sink. When told that was not a good idea by both of us, he dismissed us as stupid. When I explained that the sink was already running slow, he said snidely it was always like that (as if I was totally stupid and unobservant to not know that.) (It was his dismissive attitude that we know nothing that finally pushed me over the edge. I was so annoyed I couldn't sleep and am still up.)[The sink is clogged and running very slowly after all the hair he washed down recently!)
  • after PB's boxes were all closed up, I discovered the BB was setting a bad example by not closing HIS boxes!
This is only a small sampling from today; I'm too tired to go on.

I wish I were more like BB who goes in, lies down in bed and is asleep in 30 seconds. I keep thinking about taking PB into the bathroom and making HIM unclog the slow-running drain so he'll understand what he's done and stop acting like we're stupid. But of course, it'll be eleven years before he realized we're not stupid, and by then, we may BE stupid.

My problem is, when I allow these little annoyances to upset me, I can't sleep. :-(

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Grateful for the rain

It was sunny earlier, but it is raining now. I am grateful for the
rain. The plants need it. The animals need it; the garden needs it.
People need fresh water to drink, food nourished by rain to eat. When
it rains, I can concentrate on inside things that need to be done.
Rain has its own beauty and makes me grateful for sunshine. May
showers bring June flowers (lol!)

Friday, April 25, 2008

New jeans, diet report

Fridays are my official weigh-in days, and I am up one tenth of a pound from last week, and down from the week before.  While a tenth of a pound isn't much one way or the other, the trend lately has been a bit of a plateau.  I want to jump start losing again!  One thing is:  I had three meals yesterday.  I had terrible insomnia and was up ALL NIGHT and got hungry and ate an additional small meal--at least it was a healthy one and not a "bad" one.  And small.  I think I had a fully abstinent day yesterday, that is, I ate nothing I wasn't supposed to eat.  OOps, nope, I had a bottle of beer with my wings,  The wings (and beer) were probably responsible for the all-night insomnia.  OK, never mind.

That was because we went to Piano Boy's meet, but got there late because he told us the wrong location and missed his run, which is just as well, because he injured himself and came in last and lost his varsity status.  So we went out for pizza and wings, AK, because by then it was late.  (And Piano Boy's injury is interfering with piano.)

But the small piece of good news is that I bought two pairs of Carhardtt jeans last night, and they were a size smaller than I've been waring and fit me fine..  The others had gotten too loose (LaTrec).  I do not look a bit different, I look fat and old, but hey, smaller jeans are something good, right?

Lots of flowers here now!  YAY!  Tulips and daffodils and hyacinths and forsythia and violets everywhere and two kinds of trout lilies and hepaticas etc etc. YAY!  Turtles out and frogs out--no snakes yet!  Sunshine and rain and spring-like weather.  Wahoo!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Biting of the Fractal Bug!

ALl four of these are manipulations of a single fractal genome.

fractal 080422-1600 hatching grounds
fractal 080423-0011 trapper skins
fractal 080423-00122 The crystalline structure of deep space
fractal 080423-0026 Fallopian tubes of the Universe

(What I do when I should be sleeping!)

Created with the free program Apophysis. Remember that these get bigger when clicked upon and are much easier and more pleasing to view larger!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Morning Fractal art: Close-up of the storm

I am still trying to learn Apophysis. I think it will be a while
coming. But I see great possibilities for generating background
textures for other digital art.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Unravelling the Scrolls

Unravelling the Scrolls, Fractal art by Mary Stebbins Taitt. This is a combination of a fractal generated by Apophysis, and adjustments in photoshop.

Friday Fractal: The Dragon's Tail

I've just discovered (rediscovered) fractals and made this one using
Apophysis. You can learn how on Andree's page.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


While this may seem overly obvious, I just want to say I am grateful for sunshine.

And spring flowers!  YAY!

Monday, April 14, 2008

"cheats" don't work for me or any addictive eaters I know

I have to eat to live. BUT, I do not have to eat those things that are triggers for binge eating, usually sugar and refined grains. I know if I eat anything with sugar in it, or white flour, or snack foods like corn chips, I cannot eat just one. If I eat one, then I will eat more and more. There is no stopping place. It's not like eating broccoli, where, if I've had enough, I just stop. There's never enough. I might eat until I pop. Sometimes, I don't drag myself away from the food until feel ill from overeating--and then there are my allergies.  I have the misfortune to have addictive allergies and to tend to crave those foods to which I am allergic.  I want to eat what makes me sick.  It's a vicious cycle.

If I eat sugar, white flower, corn chips, etc, I not only want more NOW, I also want more LATER.  But if I stay "clean" and abstinent, I get to the point where I no longer crave those things--it takes a week to ten days of misery.

I have to say that I am better at this now than I used to be. I am pretty good at staying out of the things that trigger me worst: sugar and white flour. But parties are very dangerous places for me. I do not know what's in the food, and I am tempted to eat things I shouldn't. And it only takes one bite to set me off. When I go to a party or family gathering, I am usually good and sick for 3-4 days or more afterwards. I am healthiest when I just stay home.

But I am on a "plateau" in my weight-loss program, and I think it's because of my little "cheats."  Cheating doesn't work for me, because of my addictive allergies.  I am unable to eat a handful or corn chips without wanting more.

My fibromyalgia is generally better than it was, somewhat, as is my insomnia, but I had a terrible night two nights ago, and a terrible day yesterday.  And I think it was the food I ate several days ago.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

diet report

I lost the two tenths of a pound I gained last week.  I need to get cracking here!

It was snowing earlier, but now the sun is out.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I did something I almost never do--I can't remember the last time I did it.  I fell asleep in my husband's arms after dinner--ah sweet sleep.  A nap is very unusual for me and it felt great.

Friday, April 04, 2008

two tenths of a pound

I was really sad when I weighed myself this AM--I was up. But when I looked carefully at last week's weight, I was only up two tenths of a pound. I'd rather stay the same, or better yet, LOSE WEIGHT, but I guess two tenths of a pound isn't that horrendous.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Diet Report for Friday, March 7, 2008

Diet Report for Friday, March 7, 2008

(I just lost this document after typing it and now I have to do it over, which is annoying and wasteful of time and energy and is making me angry.  GGGrrrrr!)

I lost 1.8 pounds since Tuesday, which is good.  Not great, but adequate.

However, over the last weekend, we had a series of unfortunate diet events:  a birthday and a funeral.  Saturday we ate at KFC and Sunday we had funeral food.  On Tuesday I had gained 4.4 pounds from the previous week.  So I have 2.6 pounds to lose just to get back to where I was a week and a half ago--so I am off track.  :-(

And we are going out to dinner tonight--it's hard to diet when we go out to dinner.  But Soldier boy is home on leave and everyone thinks we have to EAT in order t visit.  We had suggested an evening after dinner get-together.  But they suggested dinner and Biker Buddy agreed.  So dinner it is.  And they want pizza, which everyone else loves and I am allergic to.

Tuesday was my last mid-week weigh-in, according to my plan, but for me, weighing every day reminds me to stick to the diet.  I have ADHD and I easily forget otherwise.  So weighing once a week is not necessarily a good idea no matter what anyone else thinks.  Not for me.  But I am going to give it a one-month trial.

I've been very good about exercising every day, even when it's icy or blizzarding or raining hard etc.  I've been walking or jogging or shovelling snow 45 minutes to an hour or more a day every day.

So how are you doing?  S'up?  (I had my water media class followed by a second walk followed by dinner followed by Parent-teacher-student conferences so I wasn't able to get on-line to speak of last night and am way behind on email and blogging.)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Cool leaping

Cool leaping, by Mary Stebbins Taitt.

Yes another variation. (Others at Imagik and No Polar).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good and Grateful Savoring

Good and Grateful Savoring

2-26-08, T
  • I am GRATEFUL for the snow (as long as we all stay safe) because I am happy to get exercise shoveling snow.  I feel as if I am being useful and "killing two birds with one stone."  Or maybe I should say instead, feeding two birds with one seed?  I'm accomplishing two things at once, anyway, which is good.  :-)
  • I have been and am SAVORING the beauty of the new-fallen snow.  I like the snow on the fine branches of the dogwood and on the spruce.  I've been enjoying it immensely, looking, savoring, taking pictures.  Imagining art pieces, appreciating nature's art.
  • I am grateful that I lost weight once more.  YAY!  :-D  3.2 pounds down today from my last weigh-in.
  • I am grateful that I had time to work on an art piece today
2-25-08, M
  • I am grateful that I got my exercise by walking to and from Dr. Beeai's.  Two accomplishments at once.
  • I am very grateful that I did not get sick coming or going or while I was there (At Dr. Beeai's).
  • I am grateful that I got a poem revised. YAY!  :-D
  • I am grateful that Keith read to me.  YAY!  :-D

Another weight Loss! YAY!

Another weight Loss!  YAY!

In four days since my last weigh-in, I lost 3.2 pounds, in SPITE of going to a party on Sunday and significantly overeating.  Or, maybe because of it.  I got very sick and was sick Sunday night, all day yesterday, and am still sick.  I didn't eat much yesterday and lost a lot of what I had eaten.  But there is a silver lining to certain clouds.  Instead of gaining weight, which I probably would have, I lost weight, which is good news.  :-D

Ungrateful! :-(

Ungrateful!  :-(

Things I am NOT grateful for:

I just spilled my paint water, more than a quart of water with water colors in it, down through my ribbons and wrapping papers and all through my poems and stories done on an inkjet printer and onto a cream-colored rug--and now I have a HUGE mess to clean up.

I AM grateful it's not worse than it is, however.  I could have been MUCH worse.  But still.  It would have been better had it not happened at all!

I am still sick.  WAHN!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sunset storm over Greenfield Village and 3 good things

Sunset storm over Greenfield Village and 3 good things, by me, Mary
Stebbins Taitt. I started out to make a picture for this blog. I
made one and decided it was too "good" for this blog and posted it to
Imagik. So I made another this blog, but then I posted it to No Polar
COordinates. Finally I made one for Unbearable Darkness.

My three good things:

1) A photo for Imagik
2) A painting for No Polar Coordinates
3) A painting for Unbearable Darkness, LOL! Finally.

I also made a painting with paper and water color and pastels and if
Biker Buddy doesn't want it for his personal collection and my
daughters don't want it, I will donate it to Turtle Ink Press. YAY!

The new paper painting is a variation on one I made for Leaf Lady for
her birthday
, which is tomorrow.

And this is a variation on the other two. I never seem to be able to
leave "well enough" alone. I always wonder, what would happen if . .

As always, click the image to see it larger. This one is quite similar to the No Polar one, just redder. And of course, I did fool with it, but you probably can't tell (I can, because I spent a lot of time on it, but whether that time was worth it is another thing altogether! LOL!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clair de Lune (last night on Lake St. Clair)

We were having fun taking pictures of the moon--I was really happy. But Keith fell on the ice and injured himself and is in bed now with 3 tylenols and in pain. (Click image to view larger.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bad diet news :-(

Bad diet news   

I'm weighing twice a week now, and this morning was my weigh-in and I had GAINED 1.1 pounds.

I am not surprised, but sad.

We went out to dinner the other night and I totally broke my diet at dinner and then we went to a friend's house and I ended up having pie even though I told them at least 6 times that I didn't want any.

To further complicate things, I've added raisins to my diet 3 times a day.  I need to eat them, because nothing else seems to work, but they add extra sugar and make me feel hungry.  :-(

I am going to have to make some adjustments, somehow.  (Don't eat out, don't go to anyone's house, shrink portion sizes smaller.)

Sigh.  :-(

Sunday, February 03, 2008

One month diet report:

One month diet report:

I have been on my diet a month today.  I have lost 23 pounds, or an average of just under 6 pounds a week.  (This is assuming that the new scale is relatively synchronized with the old one which died over a week ago.)  I do not look much if any different and my clothes are not significantly looser.

I am happy with this rate of loss and will be happy as well with an even slower one, if I just continue to lose and not gain.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Portrait of the Artist on a Diet III

Portrait of the Artist on a Diet III, by Mary Stebbins Taitt.

(Hunger Hunger Hunger Hunger!)

Friday, January 18, 2008

here I am

This is making me smile now, but this is how I felt all day yesterday.

from an art display at Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson MI and I do not
have access to the information about the artist. If you do, let me

This is similar to one posted to No Polar, but that's because I've
been having computer woes.

Out from under the bed

I've been feeling a bit depressed but I'm a bit more cheery today.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Something Hopeful

In the midst of the dark and dreary days, my success so far at losing
weight is a hopeful note like the reminder that spring will in fact


Most of the time, I'm not hungry any more.  Except, appropriately, at most meal times.  My hunger and my cravings, two different things, come and go, but I'm so unhungry that I forgot to eat breakfast this morning.  This is NOT a good thing, I think eating 3 meals is better (I am NOT bragging!).  But I was working and lost track of time--that would not have happened in the first 3 days of my diet!  Then, I could think of nothing but food and my stomach literally HURT.

SUGAR and WHITE flour make me hungry and I do MUCH better if I avoid them entirely--including, unfortunately, fruit, which I think is good for me.  (I will gradually reintroduce it later.)

Several times yesterday, I wanted stuff some sugary white floury stuff like cookie dough into my face but managed to avoid it.  AK! 

My cravings have diminished a lot, but they are very sneaky and I have to be vigilant.

Morning Jog

Goodmorning!  :-D

7:58 AM, I am just back from an early morning jog--it's still dark here.   16-minutes.  Jogged all the way around the block.  I think I feel a little better but my jogging was also because of time constraints--I needed to get back to see Piano boy off to school.  But it is nice to start the day off with a little jog!  :-D  YAY!  Sometimes, my fibromyalgia prevents that!  How you doing this fine morning?  I hope you are well and healthy!  YAY!

Morning report

LOL!  My weight is down 6.5 pounds from yesterday!  But that is only 2 pounds from the day before yesterday--ah the dangers of daily weighing!  I've got to vut that out!  But yay!  I am back to trending in the right direction!  Wahoo!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Year's Resolutions, Goals, and Action Plans

New Year's Resolutions, January 2008
A work in progress


  1. WEIGHT:  lose weight, get to a healthy appropriate weight (135?  135 is the recommended weight for my height)
  2. SOCIAL:  Marriage, family, friends.  Have friends and a social network in this area and maintain in a reasonable way my old friendships.  Explore what this means and how to do it.  (Take classes, join activities, etc), Maintain old friendship, begin new ones, Enhance marriage and family.
  3. HEALTH:  optimum good health--take steps to optimize my personal health, social and family health and world/earth health, spiritual financial health
  4. WRITING:  finish works in progress and send them out, pursue, play educate self and others.
  5. ORGANIZATION: Organization:  clean, unpack, organize, daily plan
  6. ART:  pursue, educate, do, play, send out, exhibit
  7. FUN:  Have more fun!  Have fun with art, writing, friends etc.  Laugh more.  PLAY!  Smile!
  8. FINANCIAL:  get fiances organized and straightened out


  1. I, Mary, hereby resolve to start a new diet and to stick with it until I reach my goal weight AND to then slowly institute a maintenance diet that works for me--with great care.  (see diet plan below and in separate file)


  1. avoid white sugar and white flour
  2. no snack foods (eg:  chips)
  3. portion control phase 1:  one serving meats, whole grains, look up serving sizes (meat 3-4 oz.), no seconds.
  4. no drinks other than water or herbal teas
  5. Fruit only at dinner, one (or none)

  1. physical
    1. Diet-start a new diet, plan and execute it and pay attention
    2. breakfast every day (small)
    3. Exercise--strength training, start a plan
  2. mental/emotional
  1. make appointment to start therapy
  1. social--make new friends, contact and visit old ones, make dates, join something
  2. sexual
  3. financial
  4. spiritual

  • write poems
  • write stories
  • write novels
  • write cnf
  • create manuscripts
  • revise poems
  • revise stories
  • revise novels
  • revise cnf
  • revise manuscripts
   Send out (all the above)(AND RESEND!)
   organize and keep track of (All the above)

3)organization--clean, unpack, organize day and work
        a)daily schedule
  1. eat breakfast 1 hour after taking synthroid (eat a healthy abstinent breakfast.)
  2. in the hour preceding breakfast, walk, run, do exercises
  3. bed by 11 PM, up by 7 am except when sleep is really bad

  • get signed up for Dawn's class, join Springfed arts, call Dawn make appointment,
  • contact Sam,
  • keep in touch with distant friends,
  • look for one new friend locally.

   Financial Immediate and short term
  1. change checking account to free checking or close account
  2. divide direct deposit from annuity ?
  3. change setting on investment account dealing with income from stocks--reinvest/direct deposit?
  4. have a small direct deposit to La Salle from investment account if necessary?


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