October 28, 2009

How to Shorten Your Doggy Life Span

Its a good thing she's cute, because the little dog is doing nothing to help my efforts to get more sleep. Mostly its been small things, like waking me up to help her get back under her blanket, but the other night she took it to an entirely new level.

She sleeps on a large pillow with a fuzzy blanket to curl up in. I always put her pillow on the floor right below me (see above for tendency to wake me up to help with her blanket). Apparently, she woke up the other night and wandered around doing whatever it is she does in the middle of the night. I half registered the clicking of her little nails on the floor, but I was most definitely asleep. Until, that is, she tried to return to her pillow. All of a sudden she was snarling and squealing, the frightened snarl she gives when she is in danger or really upset with Lily. I woke up with a rush of adrenaline, and Alex immediately flipped on our bed light. Had an animal gotten in to the house? Was she hurt? No, she was running away from her pillow, and then she stopped and looked around, confused.

There was nothing and noone there. Nothing. She had scared herself. I'm guessing she touched her furry blanket (the one she sleeps under every. single. night.) and thought someone was in her bed. After a little reassurance from us, she settled down and went right to sleep. I, on the other hand, was awake for an hour as I waited for the adrenaline rush to subside. It was 12:45 in the morning.

It's a good thing she's cute.

October 15, 2009

Venturing in to a New World

My low battery light has been blinking for weeks. I don't know where the energy sucks is, but its sure draining out of me at an alarming rate. The fatigue was the final push I needed, though, to venture in to the world of eastern medicine. Several people whose opinions I trust have urged me to try acupuncture. This week I finally did. Diagnosis: I have a kidney/liver imbalance, which has nothing to do with my actual kidneys and liver but is instead a water/wood imbalance. Yeah, I don't understand it either. I just told myself this is a completely different framework for understanding the world and you should just go with it.

I didn't know what to expect, but when the doctor had me feel the needle I was startled. It was thin and flexible, and felt more a hairbrush bristle than any needle I've ever touched. She inserted them at strategic points (the rhyme and reason to which I couldn't discern, but pretty much correlating to the spots the massage therapist always focuses on) with a little tapping motion. They just barely broke the skin and didn't hurt at all, with the notable exception of one spot on my hand she warned me would sting. Frankly I prick myself with needles and pins much harder than that on a regular basis. I didn't realize she'd leave them in so long, but soft music was playing and it was a nice excuse to lay still and just let my mind wander. I wasn't at all uncomfortable, so it was almost a nap.

About half way through, she also used cupping on my right leg, where I have the most inflammation in my muscle. I'm sure there was another explanation for what was happening there in eastern medicine, probably blocked qi or something similar. Again, I'm acknowledging this is a framework I don't share and just going with it. But, I can tell you that western medicine says that's exactly where I have alot of inflammation. It was just gentle sucking pressure.

I can't say that I feel dramatically different now, but then again one treatment is rarely enough to change anything significantly. I do notice that today, when we're having a huge weather change, my leg barely hurts at all and most of my aches are in my shoulders and spine. (She focused on my leg, because that was my primary complaint when I went in. That and the blasted fatigue, which is definitely not better yet.) All in all, not a big deal and worth a try.

Though, I was a little weirded out when she used a needle right between my eyes.

October 11, 2009

A Lark

This is the project on my design wall this weekend. The design wall I created specifically to be able to do this project.* I've always had a well-defined plan before starting a quilt. Not necessarily a pattern, but always a clear plan where I've done some math and drawn out a sketch. But this week I launched in to a completely improvisational quilt. It started with the large bird in the middle and one of the rail fence sparrows. Then I hung them up on the wall for awhile before deciding to make three more sparrows. That hung overnight, and I'd stop by the sewing room just to look at them hanging on the wall and to occassionally audition ideas for what became the floral pieces this morning. I've never worked on a quilt like this before, and I'm loving it. I find my cutting and piecing is actually significantly more precise, because I'm working in smaller steps. (And I definitely don't miss cutting 125 squares at a time.) And its fun watching the quilt unfold naturally. I don't even know what size its going to be, and its already one of my favorites.** Now I'm contemplating what's next. A 1" brown frame? The bird sillhouettes down the sides? 3" blocks of both or maybe even other fabrics as well?

*By "design wall" I mean a craft size package of batting hung on the wall beside my sewing machine with push pins.
** I'll admit I'm hoping for a lap quilt I can keep on the couch, and not a baby quilt I'll be giving away. But, I honestly don't know yet which it will be and since I'm the one designing that is wild. Follow the fabric...
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