I love posting this stuff. It took quite a bit of my time this evening, but the project is on fire. I love it! Check out my Hudson/Joy old letters blog to read the letter. In an urelated comment, my backpack smells like Starbucks, and that ain't all bad.
For those who remember The Bank rock'n'roll club in Torrance in 1968, or just like estoteric rock memorabilia, these rare posters are at auction for the next few hours. They were drawn by my first husband, Bob Wilson (Robert A. Wilson). Interesting stuff and fun memories getting to see the groups for free each week (free for me, he had to draw the poster!). Check out The HeART of Rock and Roll for lots of vintage and collectible posters from an age of the most amazing music. If you're so inclined, type the word "bank" in the search box. I couldn't make a direct link to the search results.
I still have a few, and I regret not trying to take my own photos, but it will be fun to post details of the ones I have left at some future date.
This photo has nothing to do with my Egoscue Method theme, except that the morning brilliance reflects some of the feelings I have after my appointment yesterday. It was my third appointment, and a long drive to Portland in pouring rain with a little snow over the pass on 26.
We went through the excercise routine I'd been doing for two weeks, and Matt asked if I felt I was still getting benefit out of all of the exercises or if there were some I felt done with. Being new to this, I didn't know how to evaluate that, except that if I was still feeling stretching or pain with any of the exercises, I guessed they were still doing something. So, we went through them and talked about how I felt doing each one, where there was still any pulling or stretching, and he watched how I walked and moved, asked about feelings of balance, etc., as before.
Then he tried me out on a whole new set of exercises. After my first visit, he had kept the original routine and added three. Most of these new ones were very different, so it seems I had made enough progress with the original set to begin stretching further to deepen the results or add to them. They were hard, and some of them hurt, while others were easy, just different. By the time I was done going through the new ones, I really felt limber and less painful in a whole new way. I'm beginning to have a real feel for how this works. Matt answered some questions I had about why I still have pain in certain areas. My feet have been especially bad the past few days, and I realize that probably has to do with a) being more active, b) getting into positions with my feet at the computer or during work that exacerbate the problem, but he also explained again how the twist I've developed over the years in my upper body affects how my feet work when walking and standing. He didn't say this, but I envisioned a marionette. If you twist the shoulders and upper body, the feet aren't going to contact the ground the same way any more. You spend years walking and hiking in that condition, and you're going to create problems in the feet. I also asked about some issues with strength for lifting vs. pushing in the upper body, and he demonstrated that, too, so it made sense for the first time. What we will be doing is correcting these things, and as we did the new routine, I could see even more than with the old routine how one side of my body performed differently than the other. The goal, of course, is to balance it out. I left feeling extremely positive about my progress, and I when I got home, despite a difficult drive in the rain with car headlights in my mirror and fog on the road, I felt looser and more natural in my skin than I have in a long time.
A few things I've noticed over the past few weeks:
1. I've taken stairways rather than the elevator just because I felt like it. I used to do that until I crashed at the end of last May. It felt good doing this again.
2. I can box up orders in the store with less pain than before.
3. The exercise routine became easier over the two weeks, and I didn't find myself doing only part of it and then taking a break and going back to finish. (I also learned from Matt that it's good to do it all at one time and in the right order, because one exercise may get your muscles ready for the next one, etc.)
4. I've generally felt better with less pain, but then when I feel better I do more, or maybe I've spent more hours at the computer, so it creates a feeling of being static and not making progress unless I really notice something like taking the stairs or walking farther without thinking about holding myself back to favor my feet.
5. The pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia are improving. I don't know that I could have done this routine back in June when the relapse was new, but during the summer I did find some very simple Egoscue excercises online for fibromyalgia, and with those I began the process of feeling better. They were not as dramatic as these, but they made a difference, and they were easy enough that I could do them at the time. (I did the one linked here and two others. Here is another page that describes all three. There may be a better link somewhere that shows all three visually the way the first link shows the one, but I want to get going.)
I thought I would be really sore this morning after yesterday's new and somewhat painful workout, but I was hardly sore at all, and I still felt flexible . . . better than waking up most other days. After yesterday, I thought I would be dreading the new set of exercises, but I'm very much looking forward to them. There are 11 exercises in all, including the new ones and a few of the old ones that were kept or modified. They'll take a little longer, because one requires lying on the floor for about half an hour. I would usually rather be DOING than not doing, so this is always a tough one for me to follow through on. It will make me feel better, though, so I'll just turn up the music and relax into it.
If you read yesterday's post, you know that I was reading all evening instead of moving around in physical space. I had done my Egoscue exercises right before bedtime, then slept on it. This should not have been a problem, but since work was slow and I was still engrossed in the book I was devouring, I didn't get out of bed until 11:00 a.m. Do I even have to say this is very strange behavior for me? Anyway, I was stiff and sore when I got up, so I was not feeling as much benefit from the excercises as I would have if I'd been behaving normally.
The morning threw me off, but I became more active as the day went on. Despite some interruptions in the routine, I did my exercises more slowly and took a few breaks, getting in the 10 different ones over a period of several hours. And the pinch in my back while doing the two I mentioned yesterday was better. Doing them this way should make me feel more normal tomorrow. And I am still amazed at how much better I'm walking.
I'm not planning to keep up and day by day account, but I have already experienced so much benefit, that I'll note the signposts as I think of them. I have another appointment on Friday. The appointments are once a week at first, then spaced farther apart as you need fewer changes in the routine. At first the progress is very rapid, and the routine quickly becomes in need of updating. I can alreay feel "minor" (though not so minor if you've had to live with them) changes here and there, both internally and unexpected, and externally and more expected. The fear I have to get past now is that it's not all going to go away, or (worse) that it will come back. But I'm changing the very basis of how I stand and move, and these are the things that have created the pain. I look forward to the day I'll be taking long walks again and NOT have crippling back pain. I've lived with that one for almost 9 years with only minor respites and have slogged my way through it, taking long walks and hikes anyway; so it's hard to get over the feeling that it's with me for life. But the changes I feel already tell me this should not be the case.
Today's photo: Although it's more expensive, I've begun to shop more at the co-op this year. I started last May, really, because I could no longer walk through a big store like Safeway or Fred Meyer without having repercussions to my feet. I rediscovered what food is supposed to taste like, and I like supporting the local community. All health benefits aside, if you think vegetables and fruit taste like cardboard, try buying some real ones. Oh - My - God! What a difference. Even oatmal. It has flavor. And that's just a start.
I did not keep moving, and I'm here to tell you, today it made an unfortunate difference. I'd gone in to Lucy's Books the other day to ask for a book I "couldn't put down." She found one for me: a murder mystery/relationship story called In the Woods by Tana French. I sat in the chair at Starbucks (the photo above was taken as I got out of the car) and read for two hours, then came home and read for many more hours. I'm a slower reader, and I could NOT put it down, so it added up to a lot of hours.
I put my exercises off, but I DID finally do them just before going to sleep. I had waited until so late in the evening that I didn't do them slowly with breaks as I said I was going to. But I had more stamina for them than yesterday and they came easier. Part of this is that I remember how to do each one more and more without reading the instructions, and partly my muscles are being trained. There was a little back pain, and I'm not sure if it's from the original twist in my body or from muscle pain from the exercises. It wasn't bad, just irritating.
So I jumped back into bed and read a bit more before going to sleep. (See next post.)
The weather came in again, and it poured like crazy. Pouring rain has been alternating with cool and absolutely gorgeous days. But I chose Astoria. I really don't mind the rain. Here's what it looks like, though, serious puddles and no horizon line. I took these pix from the end of Doc's on 12th Street. I drove to the hair appointment that I used to walk to. I'm not pushing it yet. Although I move more easily and smoothly now, it will take some time for my stamina to come back. I've made progress since the end of May, but I'm not nearly there yet. It feels like a miracle because some things changed so fast, but I can't forget - it's still a process. It still seems miraculous, though, because it's happening at all. My condition had become so bad that merely washing my hair in the shower created intense back pain. So here I was, going to simply have my hair washed by someone else. I never thought that would happen, and although I deplore the reason, I am enjoying the luxury. Plus, I like Celestine a lot.
More rain over the edge of the pier. Note the little cormorant in the upper left. It seems quite at home.
It was not hard to convince myself to do the Egoscues today and I threw myself into it much faster, smoother, and without taking the breaks I've taken on the other days. In retrospect, it was a little too fast. I still felt all of the benefits afterwards, except that feeling of tiredness afterwards lasted for the day and I ached more. To be fair, I put in a full day of work, not only at the computer, but tearing up boxes and putting away inventory. It was a good day. I was still walking more smoothly at the end of the day, and I noticed that I didn't limp after emerging from the car or getting up from a chair. This is good. It's fantastic. Tomorrow I'll go slower with the exercises, try to remember to drink more water, and continue to get better. I already know from experience that I will have to push myself to take that 20 minutes to do something repetitive. Eyes on the prize. I'll need to remember that.
At the end of the day I went through the video rental with an unaccustomed freedom from back pain. My feet still have weird sensations in them, but the actual pain was almost gone. Ironically, one of the video guys dropped a DVD on my sandaled toes, and I yelped. My feet are sensitive, but at least the pain had not come from the inside.
Sometimes the symbolism just bites you. I've been waking up to heavy clouds and rain most mornings, but this morning there was a gorgeous sunrise. I also felt different. I had no pain. At least, on waking I had none. I stretched and still felt good. I got out of bed and was free of the now-familiar pinches and limp. I had a little pain still from the Egoscue exercises I've been doing, but not much. Wow! In only three days.
Here's the sunrise along the river walk. You can see it's been raining hard, and the weather broke for this gorgeous beginning of the day.
Even the puddle was shining, pink, and pretty with the shapes of the fence and the stuff piled against it.
Throughout the day I felt better than I had in awhile. I did have some of both kinds of pain - the original and from the exercises, but both were much, much better. I no longer walk with a limp. I don't hurt as much when I get up from the computer, and even my feet are feeling better. I did not have to coax myself to do the routine. I moved a shelf out of my bedroom so I'd have a big enough space against the wall to put my feet up and not have to then find the right spaces between the furniture for my arms. I did the exercises pretty slowly and felt reasonably good all day. I did not do much of any of the acitivites that have been causing me the worst pain since May and some of it for years. I'm taking this slowly and enjoying it. I think I used the word "miracle" to a couple of people.
This is the photo I began with when I started my "On the Pavement" blog. Last week I decided to close it down, and I exported all of the posts (along with their comments) and imported them to Tapirgal's Daily Image. Today I'm actually pulling the plug on the blog and deleting it. In the meantime there had been one post left for anyone visiting:
"On the Pavement" was fun, I still like the concept, and contrary to urban legend, I had not even begun to run out of images of what lies under our feet. I simply did (and still do) have too many blogs. I've imported every post with comments into Tapirgal's Daily Image. For those who visted and left your comments, THANK YOU! You will see "on the pavement" photos fairly often my other blog. I can't help taking them :)
Back in college, in an anthropology class, I learned about lumping and splitting (do you call it a separate species, or lump it with an existing species?). There are people who tend to do one or the other, but I expect that many of us vascillate. I go through distinct periods of lumping and splitting elements of my life. Last spring and summer I split several of my photo categories into individual blogs, and now it seems time to lump several of them back together.
Like any creative project, a blog seems to have a life of its own, a personality. It may be more or less successful both creatively and as something that attracts followers. As I said above, I enjoyed "On the Pavement," but it's time to throw it back into the mix. Today I think I'll begin the same process with "Animal Art Along the Way." These two blogs have been fun for me, but at the moment I don't feel the need to maintain them separately. I had also started a blog last summer of animal photos, but for some reason it was easier to can that one and add it back into "Tapirgal." These other two I have really enjoyed, so the choice was harder.
By the way, the Picasa albums that Google uses to maintain these blogs will remain. You can see the Pavement pictures here.
I took no photos today, which is a rarity. I hurt too much and wasn't interested. Some people probably don't have this kind of pain at the beginning of the treatment, but fibromyalgia plays a big part in it for me.
I woke up at around 7:00 am, my muscles screaming in pain from yesterday's exercises, and maybe partly from the long drive. I was thirsty, which never wakes me up. But I didn't feel the usual aches and pains I've become so familiar with. I seems to be working. I expected to feel pain from the exercises, but not this much, and the thirst surprised me. The exercises are not strenuous in terms of cardio, but they use your muscles to pull your bones back into alignment. I believed it with all my heart. I could feel that I was walking differently, and joints that had felt stiff felt more mobile. Most of the pain was around my rib cage, torso, shoulder and hip areas, which were what we were trying to realign. Made sense. Hang in there.
I didn't get dressed, but tried to blot out the pain by keeping my attention online with blogging and web work. I was spacey, which I'd expected, as that, too, is a result of using my muscles when I have a fibro flare. I thought of not doing the exercises today, but I'm in this to get better, and something was telling me it was working. At some point I forced myself to do part of the daily exercise routine they'd given me (it takes about 20 minutes). I did most of them, then took a long break. I took a couple of Naproxen, but I'm not much for pain meds. I drank some Torch, a workout product that helps a lot with muscle soreness and allows me to do more at the same time. I kept drinking water - not pushing it, but drinking more than usual. I even packed up some orders in the store, and while my muscles hurt like hell, I didn't feel much of the original pain.
Amazingly, by afternoon, I felt a lot better and completed the exercises. I worked online with only a little discomfort in my ribs from the crunches.
My favorite season in Portland is Fall. We simply don't have the large stands of colorful trees in most places on the coast, so it was a treat to get out of the car and find this all around me.
Here is the building that houses the clinic. I didn't know it yet, but Egoscue Portland is directly ahead - top floor center, facing these beautiful trees with their bank of windows. To make a very long story very short, I was here because I finally knew I had to do something beyond what I was already doing to fix the fibromyalgia and increasingly painful feet. This flare of fibro had started at the end of May, and the foot thing (probably tarsal tunnel syndrome) immediately got much worse than it had ever been. And I finally figured out what it was. After reading Pain Free by Pete Egoscue and trying some of the exercises, I felt that I needed to and owed it to myself to see the professionals. So this was my first visit. I arrived early.
This is the Oregonian building, Western Division. It's right next door. The entire parking area seemed like a fairyland of color.
I'm not going to go into much detail, and I'll talk more about it as the days go by, especially if it helps. But I want to record that everything felt right. It was a good experience, and maybe a great one, all except seeing myself full length from four angles - the weight I've put on during this year mainly through the inability to exercise and the resultant comfort foods did not make me happy. But the people were warm and knowledgeable, the exercises seemed doable, I felt something happening in the way I stood and moved, and I went home after an hour and a half feeling very positive, feeling new possibilities; and when I got out of the car at the end of the two hour drive home, a hip pain I've had for several years did not immediately bother me.
I love the light and colors of storms! Today's storm was more about shading than colors. It began early. In fact, the lightning flashed through my eyelids before my eyes were open. The lightning didn't last long, but it came back later. I didn't see any of the strikes, and they were not terribly close, maybe four miles away at the closest.
I've noticed that the seagulls hunker down and look very flat in the rain.
This time it's not rain, but hail.
Hail and rain against the side of the workroom window. I thought I was getting the mother and baby stuffed opossum (top of the bins on the left) in the photo, but they aren't visible. They seemed not to mind the crashing hail or the thunder.
Hail outside the window. This is where the lovely tangle of plants lived until last summer. The neighbors tore them out, then got as far as putting in a few big rocks, but no plants I guess until next spring (I hope).
When the downpour stopped, a familiar pattern of clouds emerged. So often, there's this layer of clouds over the river obscuring the hills of Washington. It takes one form or another, but is usually separate from the clouds above. I thought the arrangement today was striking.
And it rained again. As I type this at 9:37 p.m., I've just seen lightning outside the window. I wonder what's in store for tomorrow? The big winds didn't materialize yesterday. The forecast usually gives a hint, but it's usually not spot on.
Web stuff: I finally decided today that I had too many blogs going on, and while I like the theme of all of them, I concluded to integrate "On the Pavement" with Tapirgal's Daily Image. I had very mixed feelings, like ripping up a piece of artwork, but went for it anyway. I also spent some time putting these plastic floating/swimming fish online in a way that people could order them from the site. It turns out that the page on the gift shop blog featuring these fish was by far the most popular of all my pages, but since I didn't have them online in the store, people had to order them by phone. Here's the new set-up. Let's see if they're as popular as I think they'll be.
9:47 a.m.: The National Geographic boat Sea Bird comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.
10:43 a.m.: It doesn't look like much of a day for sailing, but this boat was headed in the direction of the bar with all hands in gear for heavy weather. The spots in the foreground are seagulls, also hunkered down for the rain. We had a high wind warning for the day, but the really strong winds didn't materialize. All we had were buckets of rain.
This is the office I use at the end of the day - the best seat in Starbucks. I'm not sure how I'm going to give up that cold, ice-crunchy, sweet, chocholaty frappuccino, but I feel a change coming on. We'll see. Now that I've described the frap, I really don't know how I'm going to give it up. The end of the day is when I kick back, read something that isn't digital, and answer a few e-mails and calls if the mood strikes. If it were not for the calories and the checkbook, I'd have no problem with this scenario, especially as the evening afterwards often includes more work at the computer. As I said . . . we will see.
By the way, I won't say A History of Iowa is a gripping read, but it's interesting as research for this project that I've been working on.
I'm still astonished when I look out the window and see something like this, and sadly, I still have not been able to get it right - to show how dazzling these ships really are when the morning sun catches them full force on a clear day.
This may be a better example, but it doesn't have the GLOW of the way it looks in real life. "Pan Bright" is the name of this vessel, and the "bright" part is certainly fitting.
In this case, the camera actually heightens the color. I wanted to capture the green of that anomalous fern on the concrete tower base; it came out well, and the water seems bluer than it is in real life.
I love the old "feet" of the radio tower. I may be sorry if they ever paint them.
Clear, clean, and cold. The brilliant yellow boat caught my attention, but ufortunately the closeup was totally fuzzy, because I was trying to take the pic before the camera focused.
Toward the end of the day, this bit of yellow caught my eye. I don't know if the city is just parking their "No Parking" signboards here or whether they thought WOW would actually pick up something at the "cardboard only" dumpster that wasn't made of cardboard. In any event, they are adding some color to the scene.
In the background are broken pieces of marble columns. Sadly, a couple of the carved columns for the Chinese Heritage Park didn't make it unscathed. Many more columns are inside the old Englund Marine building on the River Walk just waiting for opening day. After being displayed there, they'll be installed at their permanet home in the park at Astor and 9th Streets. Meanwhile, it's nice to have activity and something to look at in my neighborhood. This is the same building where Goonies' Headquarters saw a lot of action this past spring.
My mom sent me a few things to put on eBay. It's been awhile since I've sold anything there, and I have to say, I like the seller tool improvements. Hopefully the integration with PayPal won't be as awkward and time-consuming as it used to be. This thing is a small model fish wheel we bought on a family trip to Alaska. I don't remember the year exactly, but it was about 1965, I think. I have some other things, but I thought I'd get my feet wet (as it were) again with this one thing. It looks pretty cool and the wheel turns. For the next 7 days, it will be here.
Note on October 22: It seems this fish wheel will be going to a school district in Fairbanks. It makes me happy that it may be helping to teach people about the culture of their area. And for the record about eBay - it was a total waste for cheap things (same as I concluded before) - but good for really unique or more expensive items. I was happy with the sale of the fish wheel and my old camera, but not so much with things from the shop. Also, eBay now takes a huge cut, between the high percentage they take of the sale and the smaller (but significant) fee taken by PayPal. It's also time-consuming and a contributes to my feeling of having a bunch of loose ends out of control. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have enough of those already, or if selling eBay were my main focus.
I spent some time again posting some of the old letters and journal entries from N.C. Hudson. One of his letters to Helen was written on a page with this engraving at the top. I've already given this to the Sioux City Public Museum, so I made the scan from a xerox and was working from my previously transcribed text. I'm really enjoying finding time for this project again, doing the research and making the stuff available at long last. (I didn't see this engraving anywhere else online, although it could be hidden somewhere.) I hope to have the time to continue.
Technology and the Internet are still astonishing to me, when I remember what it took only a few years ago to publish anything like this. The xerox I scanned the engraving from is so much inferior to the scan of the original I could have made now, but at least I was able copy and paste the digital text from a Word doc, and not have to resort to scanning from an old typewriter (the work I did in the 1980s) or primary or secondary handwritten transcripts. That will come soon enough as I get further into the material. In such a relatively few years, the ability to present historical documents has gone miles. I find myself wishing I could have the originals back again to make good scans, and one of these days I may be able to visit their repositories and do that if I still have the interest. But I'm not just moaning. I'm glorying in what can be done. I remember writing "the dream target book," for those few who know what that is, back in the 1980s, and wishing like crazy at the time that there was something like hyperlinks. Well, now they exist, and someday I may put that project online. With the links I only imagined.
I'd been waiting for these to fill an order for dinosaur skeleton puzzles (models), so I was very happy to see them arrive - but I also thought I was going to have a helper here to sort out the six different dinosaur types (Pteranodon, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and - oh, yes - that famous dinosaur, Woolly Mammoth). It's great when you get to do this stuff and call it "work." Anyway, as it turned out, I was able to get them sorted and re-boxed myself, although it took most of what I had to put into it today. The re-boxing is because I am only shipping out part of what came in, and they need to be specific quantities of each dino. It seemed like a lot more stuff than you see here, and actually several packed boxes are already outside the photo area. I didn't exactly need the fan today, as it poured for most of 12 hours or so.
The inflatable dinosaur (which is not part of this project) stayed around to help keep an eye on the process.
This is not quite as exciting an image, but it was also a lot of fun, and -YES! - I begin to feel like I'm accomplishing something on this new direction of the Hudson/Joy project. I spent a lot of time last week organizing the blog better, and tonight I spent a lot of time transferring journal entries and scans and also figuring out how to work with the 1800s dates in blog format so that it doesn't take forever to put the posts together. With the exception of one love letter and marriage proposal (which is truly amazing and romantic), most of the entries are not that much fun to read yet. Some aren't bad, but I had to start somewhere, and that was really hard to decide.
After posting some material from 1856 when Hudson was already in Iowa, I decided to go back and make my starting point the marriage proposal linked above. After that, without an answer, Hudson goes west to Iowa, and the history begins to get interesting, because the state was really just getting settled, and then also on the home front, his letters with Helen start heating up. This is a good place to begin a long stretch of the historic and romantic material, but I also love the earlier years. I really had to think about it, but there is a certain momentum that tells a story beginning in 1855. Eventually I'll go back and fill in, but much of that is already in the chapters I've had printed. After a certain point in 1856, it will all be new.
Six posters drawn by my first husband and tapir collaborator, Bob Wilson of Claremont, California (signature = the sign of the buffalo), are in their last hours at auction on The HeART of Rock and Roll. You'll have to type in the word "bank" in the search box at the top of the page. I've always liked the Moby Grape poster above with the drawing of the painting of Marat in the bathtub and the big, fat hippie lettering in the dark space above. Can you believe it? Some of the more famous posters are at $6,000.00 and $7,000.00 (not The Bank posters), but some of the others. This is a fun site to check out even if you're not bidding. P.S. The colors on the posters are vibrant and beautiful, not the washed-out colors you see in the photos.
I spent a chunk of the afternoon putting this little guyonline in the gift shop. It all takes awhile, but I have finally had time and resources to get back to it. It's fun. I've loved web work since the day back in 1996 when Andy told me you can turn text into bold with a simple code (that I can't seem to render on the blog without it activating). That one spark of info really lit the fire. There's still so much to do here to get organized and things cleaned up and filed, but (Yay!) I am again having the time and energy for it. The cleared out space and ease of finding things is such a pleasure. Getting the stuff online in the gift shop that I've had around for awhile but have not put up yet is only part of it, and I'm on a roll. Over the past few days I've also put up the new cuttlefish and changed out the photo of the earthworm (do not ask me why they painted stupid white bands on it; it was nice when it was all one color with the bands being formed only by the change in texture). Before that, I put up the new larger plastic ammonite.
Even though the day was rainy and the photos don't look nice, there's something interesting going on here. Usually the ships are pretty quiet out on the water, but today I heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter as the ship was passing. I kept looking into the cloudy sky, so it took me a minute to realize that the Coast Guard 'copter was on top of the ship.
Here a Coast Guard boat is following in their wake.
The pilot boat was alongside but hanging back.
The camera didn't want to focus at this distance, but there is someone in the doorway.
It looks like one guy is still in the door of the helicopter and another guy is on the pole (or whatever you call it; are they still called masts even on a ship like this?) of the ship.