Monday, June 29, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away

There are days that I really dislike living in Ohio. Most of them are Saturdays in the fall (I really don't care about Ohio State Football), but most others are usually weather related.  I tend to thrive in sunny weather, which is why I have been doing so well recently.  Long days coupled with summer sunshine make me a happy person!

Unfortunately, this June has been one of the rainiest months ever.  As you can see from this picture below, Ohio is like, the only state getting rained on today.

I really shouldn't complain.  After all, today was the International Mud Day Celebration and I didn't think we'd get anyone to show up, but 27 kids came out to play in the rain and mud!  But the gray weather does grate on my nerves.  I find myself getting more and more depressed on cloudy days.  If we have a month like this in the fall, then I'm usually in for a terrible winter.
I wouldn't be so crusty about this if I hadn't just gone to North Carolina to visit my brother. We had gorgeous weather the whole time. Granted, it was hot, but I am a flamingo and I like warm weather.  I love a good 95 degree day with low humidity.  We had blue skies and plenty of sun on all of our walks, which made me fall in love with the city he's living in.

Then I start thinking... could I leave my city?  Everyone I know lives near here.  Do I really want an adventure in another state?

Resounding "yes" in my heart.  What are you doing to me, heart?  Trying to make you happy.  Yep, go figure.

Since the full moon is coming up on Wednesday, and there will be a blue moon in July (which means that there are two full moons in the month), I am preparing to let go of things no longer serving me.  I fully expect that the changes I desire will come about.  I just have to let go and go with the flow.

That's the hardest part for me, going with the flow.  I would rather try to control than relax.  But, like Grand Moff Tarkin, I must loosen my grasp in order to allow other star systems in.

I can't wait to see what August will bring.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lift With Your Knees

On Saturday I rearranged my office.  All well and good; I got the boyfriend to help me move my desk, since I was worried that I would snap a leg off.  I didn't think to ask his help with the giant TV (not an LCD TV) and the microwave counter.  I made the mistake of not using my knees to lift, since my right knee has been bothering me for the past few months.

No ill effects, I was totally fine.  Oh yeah, I'm still young!  I can lift with my back and get away with it! I thought.  Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Sunday came with a progressing back pain that was so uncomfortable that I could barely sit through our double feature of Mad Max: Fury Road and Jurassic World.  I managed to walk two miles with my walking buddy (figuring that walking was good and would prevent me from getting stiff) and hobbled on home.

Monday I was still in pain, so I went to the chiropractor.  I love my chiropractor.  He is amazing and I have been going to him since I was fifteen (us tall people seem to have lots of back problems).  He did adjust my lower back, which hurt.  Normally it doesn't hurt.  What did I do to myself?  I promised to take it easy and ice my pain away while I healed.

Tuesday the pain was unbearable.  It had spread across my right side to my hip and up into just under my rib cage.  I couldn't sit, couldn't move without pain.  I iced the butt off of that pain, but it still did no good.  I thought about getting a massage, but it felt inflamed, and touching it hurt worse.  I begrudgingly took two ibuprofen and that smoothed out the pain, sent it to the background.

I'm the kind of person who doesn't like taking painkillers.  When I was in my early teens, I took them often, and in large quantities.  Eventually I was taking eight pills at a time to little to no effect, so I cut myself off of them in college.  I would rather drink water, use pressure points, and stretch in order to get my pain to go away (normally the only pain I ever experience is period cramps, and the most effective way for me to take care of that is to take two maca root and two evening primrose capsules every day for the week before, and then on the first day.  This may or may not work with everyone, as every body is different).

I didn't want to keep taking painkillers for the rest of the week, so I looked up alternative measures.  Along with meditating and releasing endorphins came acupuncture.

Now, I have never been a big fan of needles.  If doctors show me needles, or if I look when they're drawing blood, I have a tendency to either freak out or faint.  The thought of having needles jabbed into me never sounded appealing, but I was so desperate with pain that I was willing to try anything.  I managed to make an appointment for Thursday morning with a licensed doctor of acupuncture.

It was an amazing experience.  I never thought of going to visit a doctor of alternative medicine before, even though that is something that I am totally into nowadays.  I got into the waiting room and they gave me an intake sheet that had everything normal doctors look at to emotional and psychological health.

The doctor suggested stretching beforehand, and used a giant stretching contraption on me.  Basically one belt was cinched around my hips, and the other my ribs, and the machine pulled on the bottom part.  It felt really nice.  I was even able to meditate during it, which was so relaxing.

Then came the acupuncture part.  I began to get nervous, especially when he wanted to show me the needle beforehand. "Don't show, just tell," I said, the writer inside me laughing hysterically.

Acupuncture needles are small and flexible, not much wider than a hair.  Okay, I could deal with that.  After all, I have a tattoo on my lower back, and even though I cried when I got that, I survived.  I could get over one tiny needle stuck into my back.

It wasn't just one needle, it was a bunch of them.  But I barely felt them go in.  It just felt like a light touch, and then it was done.  One of them really tickled when it went in though (I laughed through my tears when getting my tattoo, and the artist thought I was insane), and the doctor said that was normal.  The only other one I felt was the one that went into the back of my right knee (the knee that has been bothering me since January and now I can't feel its pain because my back is so achy).  That needle felt slightly warm after going in, but not in a bad way.

Then he hooked the needles up to an electricity machine.  Oh crap, I thought, I'm going to hate this.  A different chiropractor had used electricity on me before, and I hated it; it made me feel even more tense than before.  But the acupuncture doctor started at 3 volts, and when I said it was too much, he took it down to 1.2 volts, which was just at the edge of my threshold.  It throbbed in the pain center of my back, but like a little mini heartbeat, which was pretty cool.  He then put an infrared heat light over it, and left me for about ten minutes.  I relaxed, meditated some more, until he came back to take the needles out.  Then he swathed on some tiger balm and gave me an herbal patch and broke the bad news; apparently this isn't just muscle pain.  I pulled a ligament or something in my back, which means extra healing time for me.

Even though my back still hurt after my session, I felt incredible in my hip and my ribcage.  I am so pleased with how I feel now.  I do have to go back for a few more sessions, but if I manage to feel this good after the next few, then I am officially hooked on alternative medicine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to Find Ducky Friends

Duckies are incredibly rare.  One could go ones whole life without seeing one.  This satirical post is designed to help you find these elusive creatures.

Tip number one: Whatsoever you do, do not mistake ducky friends for geese.

Contrary to popular belief, Canada Geese are unable to change their feathers to blend into their environments.

Ducky friends are cute, loveable and small.  They do not charge you, hiss, or make threatening "Yo Momma" statements when you get to near.  They merely swim away, like krill.

Selfish goose.

Geese will get into trouble, and not loveable trouble.  The goose pictured above thought he owned some raised flower beds and could eat whatever he wanted.  Until I threw a stick at him.  Then he came at me, brah, and that's how I broke my hand.

Most of the time duckies are found in water, much like the female bufflehead shown below.  Ducks float because they are buoyant,  Much like witches, or very small rocks.

Even though this bufflehead looks like a miniature Canada Goose, it is not inherently evil like all Canada Geese.

Do you notice any difference between that duck above and the bird below?  If you answered "The bird below isn't a duck", duh.  How can you tell?  Because he's perching on a branch just out of the water.  However, if he were to fall into the water, he would become a duck by the magic of transmogrification, which all ponds have inherent in them (as noted by the Brothers Grimm).

A not-a-duck bird
Wood ducks, however, will perch on branches.  But I haven't got any pictures of them because they are some of the most secretive members of duck society, much like the Illuminati in our society.

Barnacle goose in captivity at Louisville Zoo
The one exception to the "all geese are evil" rule is this little goose, called a barnacle goose.  These geese lay eggs atop 400 foot cliffs, and then must make their way to the water the day after they hatch.  The fall from such a height knocks some sense into them, which prevents the inherent evilness in goosedom.  However, close quarters with other geese will have an adverse effect on their personalities, so if kept in captivity, it's best that they have their own ponds. 

 These aren't the only water fowl to rest atop of rocks though.  Most ducks like to take a wet reprieve on a nice toasty warm rock, like these little mallards. Mallards also like to swing both ways.

It's okay when it's in a three way
Which is obviously what's going on here; the male in the front has a female for reproduction purposes and another male for side booty.  This is generally frowned upon in ducky society.  Unless he had another female ducky on the side.  That would be okay.

Sometimes ducks are weird; sometimes they appear in places where lots of people congregate and pretend that they're okay with us.  Sometimes they even beg for food.  Do not make the mistake of feeding them breadcrumbs.  This is their secret food that allows them to morph into geese (since they are immune to all transmogrification ponds).

A male mallard, obviously attempting to beg for food.
Instead, take them peas, corn, oats, or another grain-like substance (as long as it is not white bread!).  This food will keep them docile and sweet.

Sometimes, when you're walking through the woods, a pair of hooded mergansers surprise you!  This is because these ducks are the archnemeses of turtles.

Turtles spying on a hooded merganser pair
You see those turtles on the log?  They're camouflaged so that the mergansers will spill government secrets in front of the turtles without realizing it.  This is why mergansers are diving ducks, because they go on the hunt for turtles in the murky water.

Nothing is cuter than baby duckies.  Nothing.  Especially when they waddle around on shore, dive into water, and hop out again, which is what they love to do the most.  In fact, it's safe to say that baby duckies are the cutest babies ever.  And yes, that includes human babies.  Or should I say poop factories.

Ducklings taking a bath

I mean, you never hear a ducky mom complain about her babies.  Nope, she parades them around through the world, shows them off to whomever she wants.  Whoever heard of a human baby stopping traffic?  Ducky moms stop traffic all the time, because they like to show off their babies to the humans in the cars.

Either that, or they're checking out their reflections on the shiny bumpers.  Further research needs to be done on this topic.

Anyway, if you're not lucky enough to live in an apartment complex that has a water feature, you're missing out.  You should move to one immediately.  Rare ducky sightings happen much more often when water is present.

And let's face it, even kitties like ducklings!

Luckily, the window prevents the ducks from flying up and snatching my cat

I took all of these pictures, which doesn't mean that I was lucky with my ducky sightings.  It means that I have an "in" with ducky society.  These are all posed photos that the duck president put together so that I could show them to humans.

Hope you enjoyed.  And remember, the only predator of the common house cat is the duck.

Male and female mallard

Why else do you think cats hate water so much?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Mercury Sable

Mercury is in retrograde until June 11th.  What does this mean?  From an astronomical point of view, this means that the planet appears to be tracking backwards through the sky.  This happens a couple times a year and lasts for about two weeks.  From an astrological point of view, it means chaos.  A lot of people will blame Mercury being in retrograde for things going wrong in their lives.  Mercury does effect a lot of things, from travel to communication.  Astrologers advise that this is not the time to buy a house, accept a new job, or go on that exotic vacation that you've been planning.  Since this current retrograde is happening in Gemini, that means be extra careful when traveling.

Hmm, guess who got into a car accident on June 1st? (Smack in the middle of Mercury in retrograde.)

This girl.

I am totally fine; it was a low-speed collision.  My car has been totaled, though, since I basically got my engine block crushed.  It's always hard when something that you thought you'd have for ten years (or more) has been ripped away from you.  Luckily, the guy who hit me drove off, so I don't have to worry about paying for his repairs or being ticketed.  Bless and release.  Find the silver lining.

I believe that this was a wake-up call for me.  I have been pretending to be happy, while disquiet rages inside of me.  That's not to say that I hadn't felt true joy, it just hadn't been on the top of my mind to actually pursue joy; I was more concerned about forcing out my negativity.  Pretending helps sometimes; the act of smiling releases endorphins from your brain.  Even if you're not feeling happy, faking a smile can sometimes pull you out of a dour mood (I learned this from experience working at Starbucks).  But faking it can only take you so far.  After that, it's your decision to feel better.  You can either get your negativity out and feel better, or you can stuff it down and smother/cover it like Waffle House hash browns.

I chose to feel better after my wreck-of-a-Monday last week.  The day could have progressed into a total shitstorm.  I had to take a drug test (since I was on the clock when the accident happened) at work, my lunch was too spicy to eat, it was overcast (those days always affect my mood for the worse), my period started, I was worried about money, I got lost going to the (closed) restaurant for dinner, and I had to cancel the first day of my program.  I could have let the negativity drag me down, but instead, I chose to have my sense of humor.  I made jokes while in the cop car filling out my report.  I laughed about stupid things.  I focused on the positivity of seeing the first ducklings at my apartment complex and my bunny friend.  It's the little things that help you through.  I stopped making excuses for how I was feeling, as though it were beyond my control.  I accepted my negative emotions and was amazed at how quickly they vanished.

This is the hardest journey I have ever been on; the journey to deal with my negative emotions.  It's so much easier to cover them up with mindless entertainment like TV or Facebook instead of working through them.  But I have found that I feel much, much lighter after blessing and releasing my negative emotions.  My work isn't done, and I feel as though I have hardly started, but a step backward after a step forward doesn't mean failure.  It just means you're doing the Electric Slide.

Here's a helpful article in case you're curious to know how to survive Mercury in retrograde.

Monday, June 1, 2015


I am blessed far beyond my reckoning. So are you, if you are reading this.

There is so much in life that we take for granted, that we don't even think about. Like being able to flick a switch and your house lights up. Or heat in the winter without having to build or maintain a fire. Or indoor toilets.

I have found myself being quite angry recently because I am unsure what I want my career to look like, I am unsure about money, I am worried about bills. But how can something so insignificant as money really make me angry? I needed a perspective shift and I luckily found one. Now that I truly realize what a complete miracle it is to be alive every day, I'm choosing to not stress about the little things, or even some big things anymore.  Cause it could be a lot worse.

Recently I watched a documentary on YouTube called, "Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home." I love historical documentaries, especially the ones that delve into what life was like for our ancestors.  Most of the time we like to think that life was so much easier back then because they were dumber, they didn't have to worry about GMOs or nuclear bombs or climate change. But things weren't always sunshine and roses. They didn't have medication or vaccines. They didn't understand antibacterial precautions. They had to live through the invention of chimneys and the industrial revolution. You could catch dysentery or typhoid and die. You could get buried alive. Women were more likely to die during childbirth.

I am completely astounded that human beings have survived as long as we have. It's amazing if you think about it. Sure, in the history of the world we haven't lasted as long as the dinosaurs or anything, but the fact that a species with no claws or sharp teeth or protective coating has come to dominate the planet is just incredible, especially due to how difficult it is to give birth.

I know that sometimes, when anger strikes, the last thing you want to hear is "It could be worse". But that's what I'm getting at here. The lives we live with electricity, cars, heat, excess food, and technology are blessed every single day. So the next time that jackass cuts you off on the way to work, pause for a moment, breathe, and just think of something that you are grateful for.

And now I'll leave you with a song. This song really captures my mood today, and I will be trying very hard to remember it anytime that I feel negative.