Chasing Inspiration

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Chemistry Lesson

  1. Homemade pumpkin spice granola bars (thank you, Jenny!)
  2. Books I have preordered and forgotten about that magically appear on my nook or at my doorstep
  3. Better living through chemistry
I don't know what I did to myself on Monday, but at one point in the afternoon I got up out of my chair and almost fell over from the pain spiking up and down my lower back. I hobbled through the rest of the afternoon thanks to ibuprofen and turmeric - both known anti-inflammatory agents. I walked Velcro Dog hoping that moving would alleviate some of the pain, which it did. For about an hour. During which I made dinner. And about died climbing the stairs to the loft where we were going to eat.

I stretched. I massaged. I iced. I heated. And finally with the help of a muscle relaxant and some good pain meds, I slept.

Yesterday I called my doctor who told me that aside from PT, I was doing all the right things. Great, a lot of help there. Since moving had helped a little, I went to my Pilates class and told my instructor where the pain was and what it felt like. Sadly, it was not due to sex injury, as she inquired. Good thing I don't embarrass about that type of thing.

During class we went through stretching, many deliberate stretches that helped to ease the muscles that support the SI joint. Oh, did that feel better! I was without pain for several hours. We also looked at how I sit, since I sit for much of the day. Buttocks and core were engaged and will be engaged while I sit as the culprit for the pain may be my loose jointedness and my bodies propensity to sink into my joints instead of using the muscles to support them.

I have some of the exercises I can do at home as they involve laying down. Sadly, I can't do them at work. I may head home for lunches so I can do some stretching. I live within 10 minutes from work so I'm okay with that. I am also going to buy this so I can do some of the deeper stretches at home. It's the same roller my Pilates instructor uses and the stretches are amazing!

The company that sells this also sells other Pilates equipment that I would love to have at home so I can reap the benefits of Pilates between classes. We'll start with the roller.

Even though the stretching helped me to feel much better, the star of the show was the muscle relaxants and the anti-inflammatory. They are my constant friends right now. This pain will heal and I will get better, but for now, I'm embracing better living through chemistry...and Pilates.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In Which Joss Whedon Meets Doctor Who

  1. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because Coulson lives (or does he) and all sorts of other geeky super hero goodness takes place on this show. And Joss Whedon.
  2. The DVD/Blu-ray release of Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. What do you get when you mix my favorite Shakespearean play, one of my favorite directors, several of my favorite actors all together? One of the best adaptations of  Much Ado ever, that's what! Saw it in the theater. Have already watched it twice on DVD. I am content
  3. Three days to myself at home...priceless.
My husband and Velcro Dog had a boys weekend at the cabin  that started Wednesday evening. While he, his brother, and his nephews spent time closing the cabin and hauling the dock out of the lake, I spent time with various girlfriends eating, chatting, laughing and relating. I love my girlfriend time. It nurtures me in ways time with my husband cannot. This is part of the reason I believe no one person can meet all my needs. This is a good thing.

Wednesday was dinner with a friend I see periodically. We geeked out about Doctor Who and the upcoming Day of the Doctor episode. Plans were made to to watch the episode together, a good thing as I don't have cable. We shall partake of Doctor Who themed snacks and will geek out some more as we watch David Tennant along side Matt Smith. I don't know if I will be able to contain my glee!

Thursday was some down time where I read about mental models and when my brain could take no more, I relaxed to some lovely classical music and candle light and a hot bath. No interruptions. No expectations. It was bliss.

Friday was girls night with a dear friend and we once again stayed up talking in the car into the wee hours of the morning. The conversation was at turns enlightening and entertaining. One of these days I may make it home before 2 a.m. but what's the rush? Well, other than my sleep being thrown off so completely I do suffer for a couple of days after. Eh, small price to pay, right? :)

Without a husband or a dog in the house, I was able to air things out a bit on Saturday and clean the public areas. I didn't get all the dusting and cobweb removal done, but I did manage to figure out what was smelling like sour milk, put all miscellaneous objects away and the floor, counters, and tables gleamed. They don't look that way today but for a moment in time, it sure was pretty. As a reward for my hard work, I played my brand spanking new DVD of Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Which led to rewatching The Avengers. Which turned to a viewing of  Iron Man. Which isn't a Joss Whedon film, but sure is fun!

Then my boys came home. Velcro Dog had been skunked....again. Husband did try to get the smell out right away but it takes two people to wash the dog. We washed him again on Sunday and tomorrow we will have a special skunk treatment to get the remaining odor removed from his body. What is it with my dog and skunks? Apparently other than the skunking, cabin time went well. Now we're back to our regular pace at home. I love the quite but it's nice to hear the patter of the dog's feet and my husband's colorful outbursts at his computer. Ah....the domestic life.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

For Grace

  1. Crisp autumn air that's just damp enough to be heavy with wood smoke, ripe fall apples, and nutrient rich earth ready to rest the winter away
  2. Fantastic medical facilities and the ability to utilize them
  3. Terrific pediatric specialists in said medical community
My gratitudes this week have been around someone near and dear to my heart, my good friend's daughter. Grace is a wonderful human being. Her heart is big, her creativity immense, her joy in the absurd a delight. For the last couple of years, Grace's brain has been in a decline and the true root cause has been unknown. You can read more about her journey here.

Thankfully, we live in a state that has some excellent pediatric care and Grace has been able to see some of the best of the best psychatrists and neurologists. And finally someone thinks they know the root cause to what has been going on with Grace's brain and body in the last few years. Right now Grace is at a premiere children's specialty care hospital for diagnostics. There is great hope that answers, if not found, will be much closer than they have been in the past. This is likely the beginning of a new phase in Grace's journey and it may be a long one, with more questions before there are answers. Journeys are like that, after all. Questions have to be asked in order to determine one is on the right path and heading toward the right destination.

We visited Grace last night. She was tired and adorable with all these electrodes attached to various places on her head. She's a newly minted teenager, so there was some hiding of the face in embarassment. I'm sure she didn't think she looked her best and that having electrodes attached to one's head in such a way that caused the most interesting of hairstyles can be mortifying. I know how I feel if I have bedhead and someone is at the door. Taking a cue from Grace, I stopped telling her how cute she looked, because she does look adorable, and started to ask her about her day, what videos she had been able to watch and how her time doing crafts went.

She's a trouper, Grace is. She's very aware of what's going on within her brain and how that's impacting her and her world. And yet she hasn't lost this amazing sense of joy. She sees her world and she knows there are things to be grateful for, and she has no problem, at least in my observation, in expressing that gratitude. I am awed by Grace every day, by her bravery and her curiosity and her joy. I know she has bad days where the world can be dark and the pain can be a stifling blanket that smothers her and offers no relief. Even then, I am in awe and so thankful for the privilege to be a part of her world.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Knit One, Purl Two


  1. Warm, sunshine filled days - summer's last gasp before Jack Frost decides to come out and play
  2. Pumpkin spice candles with real wood wicks so they crackle and pop and almost make up for the fact we don't have a fireplace
  3. Easy knitting projects!
I have been trying to figure out what to do for Christmas. I have more people in my life for whom I would love to give gifts. For some I will do the traditional gift cards (you know who you are). For others I want something a little more personal. 

In scouring the blogsphere for easy and quick knitting projects (I haven't picked up my needles in a year and feel very rusty), I have found the perfect gift for several of the women in my life! 

This delicious cowl that you will need to click on the link to see because I'm all about recognizing copyright and haven't made one for myself yet. But please, click on the link!  It's fabulous, easy and fast to knit and making this has endless possibilities for gifts! 

There are a few other super secret items I'm considering but they won't be finished in time for the holidays. Of course, I don't need a holiday or a birthday as an excuse to give gifts. ;-)

It will be nice to knit again. I took a hiatus because I couldn't decide what to knit and because my hands hurt horribly when I tried to knit for more than a few minutes at a time. This makes for frustratingly slow progress. I think I have figured out some of the pain issues and if I can remember to hold the yarn loosely I should be okay. Fingers crossed! 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Barren Lands


  1. Kait Nolan's newest novel - a treat and a half of paranormal romance goodness
  2. The kindness of strangers - you know who you are and thank you
  3. The thunderstorms that have been rolling over us for most of the evening. I do love a good thunderstorm.
The title of this blog is Chasing Inspiration. I started it eons ago as a place to talk about my writing process, to talk about creativity. Over the years the purpose has morphed and changed. I don't  really talk about writing here anymore. Why? A few years ago I found myself entering a barren desert land where the stories dried up and no matter how hard I tried, no matter what techniques I used, I couldn't get them back. 

They were just...gone. 

I did manage to finish a draft of a story I've had brewing for years and I struggled through a story that is close to my heart but I don't have the refined craft skills to tell to my satisfaction. Nothing new developed and nothing has been polished enough to submit. I started to doubt myself, my desires. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be a writer after all. 

Or maybe I'm in a period of filling the well. Maybe this time isn't a sign that I have no stories to tell but a time to recharge and to grow in ways that will take my writing, my creative process to places I couldn't go without letting it lie sleeping.

So, I've stopped worrying about this barren land and am learning instead to embrace the process. It will be very interesting to see what will be on the other side.