Sunday, October 31, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 3: Sunrise

Astoria, Oregon ~ October 31, 2010

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 blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

"On the Pavement:" Pulling the Plug

Oxford, England ~ February 18, 2010
Divinity School, Bodleian Library

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 2

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. 

Enough. I was going to keep this short. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 1

Portland, Oregon ~ October 29, 2010

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another River-front Weather Report

October 24, 2010

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.

Heavy 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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rain and Boats

October 23, 2010

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 blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, October 22, 2010

End of the End-of-the-Day Office?

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today's Colors on the River

 Astoria, Oregon ~ October 20, 2010

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just One of Those Yellow Kinds of Days

October 18, 2010

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Salmon Fish Wheel for eBay

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

HJ Project: Working with Old Archives with New Technology

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.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.