Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Small Swift Birds

An absolute favorite song of mine.  Lot of truth in it.  Don't neglect what you have in your hand.

I've been told that it's just the way life goes

Once the wildest river is now a trickle to the sea
The peak we risk our lives to scale becomes dirt beneath our feet
The wisdom of a life time always disappears untapped
Paradise once given will always be taken back
And the love you hang your life upon will start to slowly crack

I have seen people suffocate the dream
Forgetting to turn that one last time while she 
 watches through the door
Focusing on the garbage that she use to ignore
Thinking she looks so beautiful but not yelling it out loud
He should have thought to kiss her before he headed out
Just forgetting how fucking lucky you are to have found her in such a crowd

But we've seen a cloud of starlings rising on a crisp autumn day
We were handed the weight of a child sleeping and bore her away
We've tasted the tears that fall when saying goodbye forever
And we've seen the silver from a waxing moon wash upon the shore

I have heard about the lives of small swift birds
They dazzle with their colour and their deftness through the air
Just a simple glimpse will keep you simply standing there
Legendary journeys made on fragile hollow wings
The night skies rich with whistling each and every spring
And then there's the day we look for them and can't find them anywhere

I've been told that it's just the way life goes

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Looking For A Job..or....Spare Me From The Mold

this is not me but it looked very similar
So, Thursday I went to the doc and sat for 2 hours while they jabbed me with needles all over both arms.  Some of the results were very surprising, some of them not so much.  First off, grass is about my worst allergy.  Several types of grass too; rye, bahia, june, timothy and bermuda.  Second worst was molds of various kinds, including penicillin, which I had been told long ago but was not sure of.  Then came, dust mites, chicken feathers!, and cat hair.  Foods that I reacted badly to was malt, yeast, soy, tomato (crap!) and peanuts.
My allergy doctor is pretty sure that at least some of my joint pain/ exhaustion is due to these allergies.  I've also had problems with my throat swelling so much it was hard to eat and various other similar things.  I did also get the results of the X-rays that were done back in May and they said my hands and lower spine looked fine but my feet had a lot of evidence of "cartilage-loss" arthritis.  So, no wonder they hurt like hell sometimes.  Basically then, my whole body is in a huge state of inflammation and it's bad enough that it's gone into my bones in some areas.  My ENT feels it's pretty bad and is treating it fairly aggressively.  So, this means 2 types of allergy meds and customized drops under my tongue 3 times a day.  After 4 weeks I'll go to shots (not under my tongue tho!) and will eventually probably have to learn to give myself the shots. remove myself from the offending particles as much as possible.

Now, with grass, I don't even know how this is possible other than I don't cut grass anymore. I have to wear a mask in and around the chicken coop and don't let the girls sit in my lap much anymore.  Apparently, chicken dander is a lot like cat dander and I also reacted somewhat to cat but nothing to dog!  Chigger was relieved.
My diet will obviously switch around a little too.  I won't be adhering as strictly to the no-starch thing but some of the new restrictions do overlap, like no yeast or malt, because those things are in many baked goods and so on.  But I can eat sushi again!!!  just with no soy sauce.

The bad thing is the mold and for reasons most people would not think.  Pottery clay is FULL of mold.  The type I reacted the worst to is also in garden soil and compost piles.  So, this puts a big crimp in things.  Basically, I need to find a new source of income and get away from clay.  And no, it's very difficult to wear a good enough respirator while throwing and doing clay work.  Plus, it's just an process of elimination.  I need to remove myself from it to see what happens so I can verify that is the culprit.  I also need to support myself financially while I do this.  A number of people have kinda poo-pooed by decision to leave clay but I said, after a while and you are hurting SO bad and to the point of having to inject yourself with drugs on a regular's just not worth it anymore.  There is LOTS of other art I can do and if I may say so myself, I'm pretty darn good at some of that other art.

I will not go back into construction field work either.; my feet and back cannot take that stuff anymore but I might do something related.  I'd love to do more restoration work and I've talked about that before.  There is also sales of construction materials, job photography, quality control etc.  I'm really open to a variety of work possibilities.  Just got to get out there and see what's available.  I also have to stay in clay long enough to do the show next month that I was accepted into but I'm going to see if I can back out of the one in November I am also scheduled for.

So, I finally feel that maybe I am getting somewhere.  I do have some real issues with real arthritis but hopefully, some of this is brought on by these allergies and can be corrected.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Change Would Do You Good

 Don't worry girls....this change doesn't involve ya'll!  I have just reached my limit on these health problems.  Something's got to give.  I'm sick of feeling bad, I'm sick of myself even.  Sick of laying around here feeling like crap.  Sick of sitting in front of this computer all evening, night after night not having a life.
First step is I go tomorrow to have some extensive allergy testing done.  Fortunately, I have a friend who is a very good ENT that is going to help me out and do this and maybe it won't break the bank.  Or at least, my feeble little checking account.  Allen built this guy's house years ago and I worked on it some, so it does pay sometimes to have been an ol' construction worker.  If the tests come out like I think they might, there may be some big career changes for me.  I don't know what yet but ceramics may be out of the picture.  At least for a full-time job.

 I don't know exactly what I'm going to do but I know I'm tired of wasting my life.  I know I can't help that I've had these problems and it's not just something I can will away...but I've got to do something to get better.  Of course, I've been trying all kinds of stuff all along, and I'll keep on with those things until I find out what's helping and what's not.  But it's no playing around anymore.  I'm tired of this crap.  I see so many other people doing great things with their life and I just can't fart around here making a few mugs and such and call it a day.  And yeah, most of those people don't have bad health issues but everyone has some kind of struggle, physical or not.  I can't let mine run my life anymore.

 I have to insert a funny story here about Muffin, the little Silkie hen in the photos.  I've tried for quite some time to get a few good photos of her because she's so darn cute, but it's rather difficult due to her coloring and the fact that she will NOT be still for even a second it seems.  So, I was trying to get a few photos the other day while it was not raining and she just would not cooperate.  Well, I got kinda tired of chasing her all around and started taking some photos of some of the other girls, who are much easier to work with.  After a few minutes I started hearing this little chirping sound behind me and I turned around to see Muffin staring indignantly at me....

Why you stop taking pictures of me????
 She stood there just still as could be while she scolded me.  I guess for not paying her enough attention!  So, I did finally manage to get a few photos of her.  Not great, but at least she was still.

 I also finally got the results of all those X-rays the rhuemy did back in May.  Said my hands and hips are fine (except for the SI joint) but my feet show a fair amount of "changes" due to arthritis.  The top of my spine is also showing spurs and growths.  They call it "cartilage-loss arthritis".  So, you know what that means....gotta get all the hiking in I can now while my feet will let me.  They are very painful now at times but I can go long stretches when they don't hurt so much and I've got to take advantage of that.  I'm still serious about hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again too.  Just gotta find someone that will go with me.  Or not.  I don't care at this point.  Of course, I also gotta start doing some hiking around here in Alabama!  We have some wonderful state and federal parks and I just have not taken anywhere near enough advantage of those.  So many places I want to go still.  And so many photos I want to take of those places.  I'm entering the Outdoor Alabama photo contest this year too.  I'm not terribly optimistic on that one but you never know.! 

 So, in other news, the garden has just gone to hell in a hand basket basically.  I have had zero energy to expend on it and even less after I quit eating starches.  We do have a few watermelons yet to pick and I get a few tomatoes every other day.  We have been getting tons of rain lately, so most of the maters have split, unfortunately.  The chickens sure enjoy them though.  I still expect to get some grapes also and we'll dig the potatoes.

How has your garden gone this year?  I haven't heard anyone say theirs has done really good.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hummingbird Heartbeat

I always keep one hummingbird feeder out during the warm months even though the most of 'em I've ever seen around here was maybe two.  But for some reason, this year has been a boom for us.  We were getting six, seven or I fished out another rarely used feeder and filled it up.

This one I hung from the end of the rafter tails right in front of the kitchen windows so we enjoy a show every day now. 

These are not great but they are somewhat passable anyway.  I'm still learning this fancy camera too.  Maybe I can get it all figured out one day.

So, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Second Wind

 Actually, I think it's more like my forth or fifth wind....but anyway.  I'm still here and I think I'm beginning to see just a glimmer of improvement.  And hey, I got new chicken pictures!!  Ya'll always like photos of the girls.
 The pics are not great because I waited too close to dusk and the lighting wasn't great but they came out well enough for the blog.  Towards sundown, all the girls move down to the lawn in front of the hen house to do their last bit of foraging before heading inside for the night.

This is Ms. Ella and her sister Ms. Etta is usually not far behind.  I can't actually tell them apart most of the time but it doesn't really matter.  Ella will let you pet her though and Etta won't.

Here's a more up to date one of Rudy Roo and his two girls.  They are a sweet bunch but not real friendly as they were raised by Etta and not us.  That's okay though;  I don't need to get any more overly attached to even more of the chickens.

Ya'll may remember Muffin, one of the little Silkies we got here while back.  They are just the cutest little things ever.  Penny, her buddy, has gone broody (they are horrible about that) but Muffin has learned to come up to the house and hang with the big girls during the day.  We let her sleep next to Penny in the boxes at night but I'm proud of her for finally getting the courage to join the other girls during the day.  And boy, she gets right in there with them too, when treats are thrown out.  She gets her fair share.  She's also got stepped on a few times but she doesn't let them deter her.

This is Big Bertha Butt.  Well, just Bertha really.  She's the oldest gal we have.  I suspect she's about 8 years old but she seems healthy as can be.  She doesn't really lay anymore (maybe one egg every few months) but that's okay.  She's sweet and unassuming.  Plus, she came from a rough place where they kept her in a little bitty pen (dirt hole) with 4 other chickens and I just want her to live as long as she can out in the green grass and trees to make up for her rough start.  I don't know how much she remembers of her start but maybe she has forgotten about it by now.

Don't worry, Gertie was just sunbathing....she's okay.  She loves to sunbathe.  Poor ol' thing, she's kinda fat and when she lays down like that she just looks like a big puddle.

So, as I said, things are getting a little better.  Believe it or not, my mood is better!  and I am getting some more noticeable pain relief.  In fact, I'm sitting here typing this and it's not bad at all.  My right hip is a little sore but that's way better than what I usually experience.  I'll tell ya'll all about it a little later but basically I made just a couple of little tweaks to my treatment and I think that has been the key.  I'm still on the strict no-starch and no-diary and that's going better too.  I'm getting better at making stuff and am learning how much food I need to keep at hand (lots) so that I don't get hungry or run out of energy.  You really have to substitute LOTS of veggies and fruit in place of starches.
I joined an online group for folks with AS and that are also on the no-starch diet (NSD) and that has been a great help.  I asked them about the fatigue I was experiencing and they brought it to my attention that since we are not eating grains in any form anymore, your body is probably not getting near the B-complex vitamins that it was, since that's where most of those vitamins come from.  So....I immediately got a good B-complex with no starch and have been taking 2-3 a day to get caught up and it seems to be working.  My energy has been better and I've even been able to get back to exercising for the most part.  Not anything really strenuous and monstrous but pretty good anyway.  I still crash a little in the mid-afternoon but not horrible like I was.  I expect it to continue to improve.

And I'm back at the pottery!  I don't think I showed ya'll these new casserole dishes I was working on.  They came out real well I thought.  I was pleased with the designs.  One of the larger ones sold rather quickly after I got it in the store so that was encouraging.  I also received word that I was accepted into a big art show for next month in downtown Birmingham.  This one is an actual ART show and they even said my work scored in the top percentage by the judges so it would be eligible for cash awards.  I suspect they tell most everyone that but it was still nice!

So, I've been trying to crank out a lot of work lately.  I'm not going as fast as I'd like but I'm not doing too horrible.  Got to pick it up a notch or two though.  I want to have tons of new inventory for this show because I think it will be a good one.  It is held downtown in the swanky business district of Birmingham (yes, they have one) and is at the time of year people start thinking about Christmas shopping.  Plus, 2 of my stores have been squealing for new and more stuff so I just don't have time to keep feeling bad!!  And...if this show is a good and profitable one, we can go to the beach!!!  And I really, really NEED a beach trip this year.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Hang On

So, just to let ya'll know I'm still here and things are okay.  It's all good.  Everyone just needs to vent occasionally and I had mine.  I appreciate all the kind comments and the fact so many of you still hang here.

I'm actually feeling just a tad bit better but I'll tell ya'll about that later and if it keeps up.  I may have made a great discovery and break-through but I can't say for sure right now.

 Health issues can be SO frustrating, as I know many of you can understand.  Especially when you basically just have to figure it all out yourself. 

I think everyone eventually has a day or situations like this.  If you don't you're lying.  But I will pick myself up again and get back on with it.  It's the only thing to do.

Because I really think I'm on the verge of figuring this one out and when I do it's had it!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

I Want A New Drug

I think I have crossed a new line.....yep.  I now reside in the country of NoGivaShitastan.  I have tried everything imaginable, I have worked as hard as I can to stay optimistic and yet every day I am exhausted to the point of tears and it just gets worse.  I hurt every minute of every day.  And yes, I can tell I'm hurting even in my sleep.  It wakes me up all night like a little insistent monster wanting to be fed.

I lost all desire to finish this house long ago.  It's now just a constant reminder of what I struggle so hard to do.  I refuse to say I can't finish it....but it's a far away dream.  I want to sell this whole place and move away to some nice, quiet little neighborhood in a nice, quiet little house with enough room in the backyard for 5 or 6 of my girls and Chigger.  Where I can grow a few things in a little garden and never be surrounded by imbecilic rednecks whose only hobby and desire in life is to see how many rounds they can fire off from their overly large guns that try to make up for their severe lack of manly equipment.

Maybe find a job that lets me travel a little, or at least get out of the house, and afford to go to the beach once or twice a year.  I don't want much.  Just some peace and quiet and half a day without mind-numbing pain.