2014/10/22

Sick of Being Sick

Da Goddess @ 04:00

I’ve been sick for a week now. Laryngitis, headache, occasional fever, some congestion. You know the drill. And I’m sick of it. I’ve exhausted all my patience with being sick, of having to strain to be heard, of getting dizzy when I move. I’m so done with it all.

On the plus side: I’ve seen a bunch of good movies, binge watched some shows, almost caught up on all my regular TV shows, read some books, snuggled with the cats, and managed to NOT get King Arthur sick.

Bad news: I got this update from the San Diego Zoological Society in my mailbox:

We regret to inform you that over the weekend we received terrible news: Suni, one of the last remaining northern white rhinos, passed away at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where he was living with three other northern whites. Poaching is not suspected as the cause of Suni’s death.

This brings the total world population of northern whites down to only six: three remaining in the preserve in Kenya, one at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, and two here (including our Nola), at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

As profoundly devastating as this news is, with your support we will continue working to save and protect the world’s most threatened species.

You know how I feel about rhinos and this makes me exceedingly sad. For anyone (like you, Pam!) who has watched the Stephen Fry series Last Chance to See, you will likely remember Fry’s trip to Africa (and to the Czech Republic) as he documented the efforts of scientists to move two northern white rhinos to Africa in hopes of getting the few remaining animals breeding. Personally, I hate to think of us losing a magnificent animal in our lifetime simply because humans have hunted them out of existence. And that is exactly what’s been done. Sometimes we humans suck. For more about the death of Suni, Nat Geo has an article very much worth reading.

To end on something more positive, I found a sweet series of photos of stray cats by the same guy who did the series of photos of his neighbors (sans their consent — of which I’m not a fan and find his intent to profit from it a bit exploitive, but no one’s asked my opinion). Anyhow, I figured I’d send you off to look at both and see what you think. (I adore the Strays series immensely as it totally captures the essence of absolute catitude, and while I’m not a fan of the method of capturing the images of The Neighbors, I do see the beauty in the images.) So, go on…have a look, then come back and share your thoughts. I’ll be waiting here with my nasal spray and tissues and remote control.

2014/10/16

TJH: Inspire – Just a Couple Faire Folk

Da Goddess @ 01:07

Here are a couple of friends from faire. These ladies are in the guild next to ours. The purple blouse? I gave that to L. I could never get the chestal region to fit quite right so I passed it along and L made it work. I love when that happens!

Faire Folk 1

Faire Folk 2

2014/10/15

Home & Death

Da Goddess @ 01:07

The best part of traveling for me these days is returning home. As much as I’d like to really enjoy being out and about, the simple fact is my body doesn’t agree with my head and my heart.

After I recovered from the faire, we had the drive to contend with. It was exceedingly painful. My shoulder was frozen up again. My right leg and hip were locked and painful. My left leg and hip were grinding as if there were glass on raw nerve once again. I medicated for the drive and was shit for company for poor King Arthur the entire way home. God bless this man! He puts up with so much of my physical pain beyond what most people would. I cannot begin to tell you how very much that means to me. Yes, he gets mad and yes, we argue about it, but when all is said and done, he’s exceedingly patient and helpful when I’m going through the worst of it. If I didn’t already love him so much, that would certainly seal the deal.

Because the meds I’m taking do a number on my dreams and sometimes on my partially-sleepy mind, and because of a few recent events, I got to thinking about what I’d want to have happen at my memorial should I die. Don’t go getting worried! I’ve always been this way. I plan for the future.

One thing I want to have happen at my memorial service (and I hope there would be one!) is to have a playlist already picked out. You know, music that means something to me. Music that moves me deeply now. Music that would hopefully lift the spirits of those in attendance. (You have to plan these things or else someone who doesn’t know you puts together the most dreadful stuff!) Of course, all that got me thinking about what kind of legacy I’d leave behind and, you know what I got? Nothing. Instead of depressing me, it gave me pause. It makes me wonder how I’d be remembered, leaving me feeling as if I’d betting get my priorities in order and start being the sort of person who would be missed after I go.

Weird, huh? But that’s where I’m at. And I’m okay with that. It’s given me a great deal to think over.

What about you? Any plans on how you’d like to leave this mortal coil?

2014/10/12

Slooooooooow Poke

Da Goddess @ 01:38

The internet connection at the timeshare is about the slowest damn thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had dial up connections that were faster!

But that’s neither here nor there. I wanted to tell you about my slow stroll around faire. And I mean…s.l.o.w. I took my meds before we went and felt okay when we arrived, but it wasn’t long before I could feel my left shoulder lock up and my right leg lock up. The left leg was really hurting, too, but it didn’t freeze up on me like the right side did. No, the left side felt like broken glass being ground against every raw nerve possible. We made it most of the way around the faire before I said anything about the pain (I count that as a big WIN!) and when we finally stopped, I realized I’d left my pain meds in my camera bag back at our friends’ guild camp. D’oh!

A slow walk back to their camp later, I got my meds and we sat around talking with our friends, met some new people, and basically rested. By the time we were ready to leave, I was feeling a lot better. It didn’t take too long before everything began to hurt though. Got back to the timeshare, took my meds, and settled in to watch some TV.

King Arthur fell asleep early and I’ve been trying to edit photos and write this post. It really has taken a very long time to get this written and posted. Oh well. It’s done.

Oh! At faire, there was the most gorgeous dragonfly hanging out at our friends’ camp! And I got photos of it! Woo hoo! I haven’t uploaded those photos yet, but they’re on the camera just waiting and I promise I’ll get to them this week. Really and truly.

Well, I’m going to hit publish now and see how long it takes for it to happen. Fingers crossed!

2014/10/10

Mostly Live from Las Vegas

Da Goddess @ 19:19

King Arthur brought us out to Vegas for ren faire this weekend. We won’t be going until tomorrow afternoon, but we’ve managed to have fun even still. Last night we went to see Human Nature (thanks to my friend who is in the band), went for dinner afterwards, and then threw a couple games of darts.

KA got to meet another one of my dearest friends and they hit it off well. I love when that happens! I credit Big B with saving my life when he encouraged me to move out here years ago. For those who remember, my living situation before the move was horrible and I didn’t see any way out of the whole sordid mess. Once I moved, life got better. So Big B is one of those very special people to me, just like KA. That they met and liked each other? HUUUUUUUGE! It’s a very big deal to me.

Also spent the better part of this afternoon in a meeting at the time share KA owns. Couple hours doing that isn’t so bad when you end up getting to stay somewhere nice for basically nothing. The property is very nice and the people are accommodating (yes, it is their job, but when it’s genuine, it’s even lovelier). So, after that meeting, we came back to the room and have settled in for the evening. I’m wiped out. Yesterday’s drive wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly great for the old back and it’s left me a bit exhausted. Now it’s off to early bed for me. Maybe. Probably. Could happen. Who knows?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

2014/10/03

18!

Da Goddess @ 03:19

Little Dude came into the world exactly 18 years ago at this very moment. It seems like only yesterday — in my heart.

I feel so very priviledged to have watched him grow from a tiny bump in my belly to the great man he is surely becoming. I do remember long nights of worry and frustration. I do remember the rough pregnancy, the horrible labor and deliver, and the fear I felt when I was told he was admitted to NICU and I hadn’t even had the chance to hold him in my arms for more than a minute or two. I remember all that and am so very grateful for ALL of it.

If there’s anything truer than what I’m about to say, I don’t know what it could be: Little Dude is an amazing young man. He has been a blessing. Always. Just as his sister has been. I consider myself to be the luckiest mom on the face of this planet to have been gifted such extraordinary children.

While LD is no longer little, he will always be The Dude to me. He will always be the boy who jumped plastic crocodiles, spoke with an Australian accent for two years, convinced his uncle’s family that his name was Steve, who…well, you know. I could go on forever and a day about him. It’s just hard to NOT talk about him.

This is his last birthday at home for a while, I think. He’s already enlisted in the Marine Corps and will start with them right after he finishes with high school. In many ways, I’m excited and in many other ways I’m a scared mom. I’ll never stop worrying about my kids. But I know this: he’s always been a Marine in his heart and he was always going to be one. I’m truly thrilled that he’s pursuing his dreams and setting his own path in life.

So, happy birthday, my dear boy! Follow your dreams and always be true to yourself. I love you to infinity and beyond and then some. Times infinity. To the infinite power.

2014/09/27

Uuuuggghhh! Catching Up

Da Goddess @ 19:03

I survived last weekend, barely. Actually, the temps were much nicer than the weekend before and I didn’t melt. So, that was good. The bad thing was that my back didn’t want to play nicely. Yet I survived and that’s all that really matters.

The past week has been spent in recovery mode. Lots of sleeping and lots of TV watching. In that respect, it’s been nice. The cats have been extra sweet and cuddly. And funny! Fletch has been my constant companion and I rather love it. Celia has been all over King Arthur. Kind of cute how she’s become his lap kitty almost entirely. They’re very sweet together.

This afternoon was spent with King Arthur’s ex-wife and her family. Weird, huh? Except that it isn’t. She’s a truly lovely lady and her family is wonderful. I mean this most sincerely. KA’s family is the same way. It’s always nice to be around people who are genuinely kind and fun. So, we had a cookout and got to play with Baby E and visit with the other kids. Good music, good food, good people, good times.

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the final episode of Outlander until April. I love the show. I may have to look for the books at the library because I’m hooked. I don’t necessarily want to read ahead, but I may have to. Anyone else watching the show?

Oh, before I forget, I did manage to take a lot of photographs last weekend, so I suppose I’ll have to upload them soon. And when I say I took a lot of photos, I mean A LOT! At least 300. And, I almost knocked the Queen in the head with an oar. Thankfully, she forgave me. Anyhow, tis time to pay full attention to Outlander and get my fill of handsome men with Scottish accents wearing kilts.

2014/09/17

Relief Comes in Jabs

Da Goddess @ 15:18

I went in today for my two week recheck with the pain doc. I had everyone poking at my huge knots on my neck and trying to figure out what would most help me. Y’see, the knot on the left side of my neck (up near the hairline) has receded a bit, but the new one on the right has grown. I know it’s not really all that big, but it hurts like something huge. Something the size of an emu egg. My doctors? They could feel them. And my doctors? They are awesome. I have achieved a measure of relief from the insane pain.

Two words: trigger point injections. Yeah, I know it’s three words, but whatever. I’m not one giant ball of pain at the moment. There is pain. But it’s at a manageable level. I can actually feel other areas of pain. Which, as strange as it may sound, is also a relief. It’s really difficult to convey an accurate picture of one’s pain when one has such a concentrated area that overrides everything else. Right now I can pinpoint exactly where everything hurts and how much it hurts. I can deal with that.

While they were injecting me, I was trying not to curse and punch, which amused them. “Go ahead, curse all you want. We’ve heard it before.” I mumbled something about it not being too bad, interjecting an occasional “Oh gaaawwwwd! Mmrrrmmksgjlaksd!” I knew the worst would be the last two up near the hairline. The one on the left was horrible. The one on the right? As soon as the needle entered it was as if the pain had an escape route. Yes, it hurt. But not like the other side. Go figure. Six, eight, twelve jabs with a teeny tiny needle did oh so much!

I wept with gratitude when they were all done with me. I had honest-to-God relief! I can feel areas starting to come back to life, but nothing as bad as it was.

Another two weeks on Oxy. Now that I know how much better I do on it, I’m not afraid of it.

At the moment, all I want to do is kind of sit here and enjoy the relief I do have, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. Heat and humidity are locked out of the house. I have plenty of recorded TV to watch. King Arthur made the most insanely yummy carnitas last night and we’re having those leftovers now. The cats are relaxed. The laundry we have left to do will just have to wait. This moment has been long awaited, much deserved, and I’m going to make the most of it.

2014/09/15

Hot, Itchy Albatross

Da Goddess @ 18:27

Well! Where to start?

Let’s see. Friday we headed down to San Diego to get set up for Ren Faire. The drive itself was okay. I’m still having a hard time with drives. It makes me hurt. Plus, it was hot. Very hot. And humid. Now, don’t tell me 30%+ humidity isn’t humid because you live somewhere it’s always 50+ humidity-wise. When you live in a normally dry climate, humidity in the double digits is ALWAYS a shock to the system, especially when the actual temp is like a dodgeball game between high double and triple digits. We’ll add to that equation a lot of dust and leaves and pollen and tons of manual labor in a largely breezeless environment. That should put you in the rough neighborhood of where we were. It was not pretty.

While I mostly did little more than “supervise” setup (poor King Arthur and our guild guys had the all the heavy lifting), I did have small jobs to keep me busy in between chats with friends. There’s really only so much I can physically do at this point. I felt rather useless. I was the albatross around their necks. I don’t like not being able to help more. But them’s the cards I be dealt.

Once we got to the motel, I showered off, noting the changing level of brown in the water as it gradually stripped the dirt away. It’s amazing how dirty you get when loose soil and leaf detritus mingle with sweat. After the shower, I settled into bed and actually fell asleep without any trouble. That may have been the first time in many months it’s happened. I still dreamt of pain, but I wasn’t waking up every 30 minutes! Hallelujah! We take our victories where we find them.

Saturday was a beast. A BEAST, I tell you. I barely made it through 40 minutes of gate duty and that was with shade. Only it wasn’t just the heat getting to me. My pain level was threatening to derail the entire day. Common sense dictated I head back to the guild, take my meds, and sit the hell down. Which I did. Gladly. Attendance was fairly light due to the insane temps. 104° with humidity over 30% again. In. the. shade. Oh joy! Because of the light attendance, faire became more of a kind of gig just for ourselves. I missed the usual flow of kids and families, but it was fun to be able to take in a show and talk with friends from other guilds. (Best part of the day was getting a wave from the stage from my new little toddler friend, Zoe. She’d been super shy earlier and would only smile after I started playing peek-a-boo with her. Her mom and dad are Old English folk dancers and are new to this faire. Mom had her in a sling during one of the performances. Very cute!) However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy and relieved to be back at the motel. Ahhh, air conditioning (kind of — the a/c was being somewhat cranky at first)! Shower! Food! Bed! And then I couldn’t sleep. I may have had a full hour’s sleep at some point.

I had planned garb pretty well for the weekend. No long sleeves. No leather. Saturday’s garb was double skirt, blouse, sea vest, boots. Elizabethan enough to be period appropriate, so maybe “bethan” as opposed to ELIZAbethan. Sunday? I was barely “bethan” adjacent. Single skirt. Blouse. Boots. No bodice. No sea vest. I felt for everyone who had to wear full garb. Like our queen and her court. And the knights who were in battle gear (including armor). Saturday, 15 people (all guests, I believe) were treated for heat-related symptoms, three of which were transported to the hospital. Don’t know the count for Sunday, but my guess is there were fewer incidents as the medic had time to be a-wandering and a-visiting (see below).

Sunday (yesterday) was just as hot and just as humid and just as sparsely attended. Again, the nice thing with light attendance is the opportunity to hang out with other people and get to know each other. We have a new guild member. She was our waitress at dinner a month or two ago and we invited her to come play…and she did! She’s a great addition to the guild. We also have two prospective members who jumped right into our literacy gig and played alongside us with a nice family who stopped by. Then there were my favorite musicians at faire. I had a chance to get to know them better and I don’t remember the last time I laughed that much while feeling so awful. They’re a delightful couple who are just loads of fun and talent. I even got serenaded! As well, I got to spend time with our faire neighbors, listened to wonderful stories, heard a couple of disgusting tales from a medic, drank the equivalent of a lake of water and gatorade, and survived it all. Teardown went quickly and the drive home was uneventful. Thank God! Shower at home was one for the record books. Extra special plus was Fletch crawling up into my lap when I finally got to sit down. It was sweet. Fell asleep early, but I woke up wracked with pain (isn’t that a funny saying? I mean, the definition of wrack is to cause extreme mental or physical pain and yet we say “wracked with pain.” This, it would seem, means I’m in extreme pain with pain. Hmmm.). King Arthur, too.

Today’s been a challenge. Celia has conjunctivitis and went to the vet to be treated. On the way home, she pooped everywhere. She was covered with shit. KA called and had me prep the shower. Who was elected to brave giving the sea witch a shower? Me. And you know what? Celia was an absolute rockstar throughout! When we were done and it was time to dry her off, I wrapped her in a towel, held her close, and she just melted in my arms. Rarely does she allow one to hold her so close. I’m sure she was relieved it was over. Now she’s clean, dry, well-fed, on the road to recovery from conjunctivitis, and snuggly.

Our recovery day didn’t start out easy, but we’re now all mostly settled in for nothing but rest. I say mostly because there is laundry. I figured I was already wound tighter than an eight day clock, in pain, etc., so I may as well just get it done. My hope is to finish the second load and leave the rest for tomorrow, provided I can move then. Until then, I’m sitting still as much as possible, slathering myself with Benadryl cream because of the heat rash on my legs, drinking lots of fluids, and watching TV and movies.

Oh yeah. One last thing: I took my camera out of the bag Saturday and never took a single photo. Sunday? The bag remained closed. Ummm hmmm. It was THAT HOT.

2014/09/11

Never Forget: September 11

Da Goddess @ 08:09

There is an unease in my heart today. I cannot forget the morning of September 11, 2001. I cannot forget waking up and watching the world fall apart. I cannot forget the confusion on the face of my children. I cannot forget the pain on the faces of those who lost loved ones. I cannot forget the way neighbors came together in sadness and shock to offer comfort to one another, whether or not they knew them. I cannot forget. There is unease in my heart today as I remember how strong we rose from the ashes of tragedy and how easy it has been for some to forget, for them to contort reality into something other than what it was and is. There is unease in my heart today.

Never forget! Never forget the lives lost. Never forget how we turned toward one another instead of away from one another.

Never forget! Never forget that freedom is not easily won, nor is it easily kept. Those who have it must protect and nurture it. Those who don’t have it will always try to rip it away from those who do.

Never forget! We cannot pretend events were anything but what they were. Lives were lost. Hearts were broken. Never forget!

There is an unease in my heart today because I cannot forget. Because I will never forget.

A few posts from the past, with videos and important links:

Remembering 9/11

Never Forget

September 11 – We Never Forget

11 Years Later

Count To 3,000 and Keep Going – September 11 Remembered

Even while we continue to heal, we must never forget.

2014/09/08

Wills and Kate Expecting Second Baby!

Da Goddess @ 04:24

Prince George is going to have a baby brother or sister!

Sadly, Kate is once again hyperemetic and requiring a bit of extra monitoring. Hopefully this will pass quickly.

Having been through the same thing while pregnant with Little Dude, it’s not at all fun. When you get to the point where you’re green around the gills all the time, requiring bed rest, medication, and even the occasional trip to the hospital, you begin to wonder if it’s all worth it. The answer is, YES! It’s just hell going through it.

Here’s wishing Kate better days ahead soon, a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby!

P.S. Wondering if Prince William ever calls Harry a royal pain in the ass…

TJH: Inspire – Mother & Daughter Art Collaboration

Da Goddess @ 04:15

I know Pam will like this, but I’m betting there are others who will enjoy this as well: mother of toddler uses her daughter’s drawings as the foundation for paintings.

I now wish I had thought of this. What a beautiful way to look at the world, to be inspired, to encourage your child’s imagination and love of art! Well done, Ruth Oosterman!

2014/09/07

So Much Nothing

Da Goddess @ 01:34

I’ve been adjusting to another round of increased pain meds this week. Between P.T. and the drives to P.T. (really, driving makes my neck and back so much worse…and I’m just the passenger!), I’ve been having the worst time knocking the pain down to a manageable level. So, the doc has me on another two week course of Oxycontin to go with all my regular meds. It’s either that or I’m miserable. Except that I’m kind of miserable anyway, what with it making me sleep all the time. Poor King Arthur! He’s stuck with this lump of nothing all day long.

Also started reading a new book that’s rather interesting. “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson. It’s very good and I’m having trouble putting it down. Kind of like the last book I read, which was “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein. Do yourself a favor and pick that one up immediately! “Verity” is simply heroic and joyous and heartbreaking and everything in between. It’s beyond words. I’ll have to let you know what I think of “Life” when I’m all through with it.

Been on a bit of a Stephen Fry tear again. I can’t help it! He makes me happy. As does Craig Ferguson. Sigh. I was supposed to go audition for Ferg’s new game show, but my back said, “No, No, Nanette!” Bother.

There’s a great piece on Joan Rivers over at Vulture. Man, she was the best! She was way ahead of her time. Always.

I’ve become the cat beacon once again. Fletch has returned to sleeping on my head, or at least nearby. Celia is often close, too. Perhaps it’s my pain level they’re sensing and are trying to comfort me through. Who knows? They haven’t left many clues as to the why.

OOOH! Also found a great article about a new Viking ring-fortress that was recently found in Denmark! Color me intrigued! P.S. I love that Viking kings had names like Bluetooth and Forkbeard (and yes, I knew this because I’m weird).

What else? Hmmm. Oh, yes. King Arthur and I went to his daughter’s to have dinner and see the baby. It’d been so long and she’s so big now! Doing a lot of cruising and crawling and eating and being adorable. I miss those days with my kids. They really were great babies and they’ve grown into great adults. So very proud of them. Just as KA is proud of his daughter.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this weird dream I had yesterday: King Arthur and I were at Burning Man (he was watching a doco on it when I fell asleep), but we were there early to set up and had faire garb with us (hmm, could be because faire is coming up again and we have to get ready for that). At some point, KA did something mean and had me in tears and I refused to go to meet up with our group because I didn’t want them to see me crying. Somehow or other, I ran into him at a beer stand (??) and he wept profusely and begged me to forgive him. I was still upset and set off to distract myself with entertainment. I passed Par1s Hi1t0n (???!?!?!!) who was dressed like a total hooch in the middle of the desert on my way to see Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi (????!) on the big stage. Eventually, I went back to our car because my back hurt so much (yes, even in my dreams I hurt…which is normal, except for last week when I was dreaming of my life before I got hurt) and began freaking out because I couldn’t find my medication anywhere. Talk about crazy ass dream! I’d like someone to sort that out for me. Also include an old high school boyfriend, a former LV boyfriend, Shemar Moore, a brother I have never had, and some unknown people who were in two groups: either hassling me or exceedingly kind to me. Oh, and a sculpture I made out of trash and recyclables for my Burning Man art project (because you MUST participate). If anyone can make heads or tales out of that nonsense, please do tell!

2014/08/30

Transnistria

Da Goddess @ 11:15

I’d never heard of Transnistria before seeing it mentioned on Atlas Obscura. Thankfully, they featured a blog post from Bohemian Blog and it’s rather fascinating.

Instead of me explaning where it is, I’ll simply “Shatner, comma, it.”*

*Shatner, comma = self-explanatory.

2014/08/27

Shagged by a Rare Parrot

Da Goddess @ 21:09

I love watching docos on television. One series I really love (though I hate that it exists for obvious reasons) is Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry from the BBC.

We shouldn’t have to have shows about this being our last chance to see anything! In this day and age, with such awareness of how interconnected all life forms are, we shouldn’t have to witness extinction of so many species. On the other hand, thank goodness we have shows like this so we have a better understanding of what we risk losing if we continue to behave so carelessly toward the animal world. Hell, we do the same to one another. The point is, what I’m really trying to say is this: we’ve spent the last 100 years being very poor stewards of the wild and we’re paying for it dearly. We’re losing so many natural treasures, but we do have people willing to trek ’round the world to document efforts to preserve as much of each dwindling species as possible.

Stephen Fry is an absolute delight. He’s both informative and curious, thoughtful and pragmatic; he’s also very funny. In other words, he’s the perfect host for the show.

One of the best segments from the Last Chance to See: Kakapo episode was the following.

I’d just been reading about the kakapo this past weekend. It’s a funny little bird, looking part parrot, part owl. Endearing in every way.

I have more thoughts. Many more. But, I’ll get to those soon enough. For now, enjoy the video.

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