Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm Wonka-fied

"So Much Time, So Little To Do." ~ Willy Wonka
Did Wonka have MS, or was his concept of time terminally warped from a lifetime overexposure of chocolate and sugar? Maybe having the army of odd little people doing all the factory work for him gave him the odd sense of doing everything and yet nothing.
I have been Wonka-fied. I have chatted on this subject with some of you before. It goes like this:
I used to:_________________________________________________
(fill in the blank with: work full time, raise my kids, drive the baseball team to a gazillion games/practices, make it to recitals, have all of the groceries stocked for every occaision, cook the meals, clean up, work overtime, get by on almost no sleep, look pretty damned good, be at parent-teacher conferences, help with homework, even the hard stuff, make time for friends and party-hearty on occaision)
Now I :___________________________________________________
(can't fill the blank...I, ahhh...ehhh, what???? I dunno, I'm laughing too hard)
I haven't worked in 5 years. 5 years! With 5 years off you would think that I might have had the time to learn a foreign language or two, write the Great American Novel (or at least a novella) or at very least paint my masterpiece.
Instead, after getting out of bed (sometimes a major feat in itself) and making the mandatory pot of coffee, it sometimes takes me an hour or more to shake the fog from my head. Fully awakened from my jolt of caffeine I get showered and dressed only to find my energy level back to pre coffee levels. A short recooperative period is needed before attempting to leash the furry monster so he can drag me around the block.
Back from my drag more coffee is in desperate order. I drink this while staring at the weather map while the news anchor tells me it's going to be hotter than hell.
OMG! It's noon! How did that happen. Hmmm? Noon. Twelve. That means I should stop and eat lunch. Stop what? Did I eat breakfast?
Find some food, make lunch, get distracted while looking through pantry and decide to make something out of the 4 ingredients left in there....flour! I can make homemade ravioli! Maybe a pie crust! Oh no..Martha's back! Make a mess, clean up mess (kind of).
Phone rings..never finished cleaning up. Chat with friends, mess with solicitors. Distractions everywhere. Awwwww...furry monster wants to play. P.U! He needs a bath! Now the kitchen and bathroom are a mess.
He heard the mailman. Walk to the mailbox. Stop and sit outside to read junk mail and notice the flowers need watering. Maybe a little pruning here and there.
What time is it? Shit. What was I going to make for dinner? Do I have to go to the grocery store? Dig in fridge for leftovers that aren't fuzzy.
Honestly, I'm not blaming this ALL on MS. Sure there are days that I give into the fatigue, or headaches. It's all of this TIME! Lack of direction and focus are not all due to cognitive impairments, it's lack of having to be accountable. I have no boss, no deadlines, no monetary incentives even! What good is time managment when you have all the time in the world and nothing that HAS to be done?
On the bright side, I have made a concious decision to make some things a priority. I have been taking classes one day a week and I have been painting. I will admit though, making myself actually devote myself to some structured studio time at home hasn't been without many of the distractions listed above.
What can I say?I'm a work in progress.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Quote of the Month

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"Eleanor didn't have my mother." ~ Bubbie

8 Random Things

Sharon Tagged me a long time ago to name 8 random things about Moi.

Lets see if I can come up with some obscure Bubbie-ness for you.

  1. I have NEVER been west of the Mississippi

2. I have a violent reaction to loud rap music

3. I have worn glasses for nearsightedness since the age of 7

4. I have been known to have a superhuman tolerance to the effects of shooting tequila

5. I can wander through antique stores for hours

( That has nothing to do with the effects of number4)

6. I have amassed a collection of strange and exotic stash boxes ( to hide my, ah, well...stash)

7. I know the words to damned near every song Bob Dylan ever wrote.

8. I am a pretty good Cribbage player

Thursday, February 7, 2008

She's gonna lose it!

Have you noticed my new ticker at the bottom of my blog? Yup..that's me, dieting.

I was inspired by one of our own infamous muses, Ms. Cheese. She posted about mindful eating a couple of weeks ago.

At first my defenses rose, and the not so little voice inside my head indignantly told me that I WAS mindful. After all...I eat healthy organic vegetarian cuisine. I buy my overpriced foods at the trendy grocery store and farmer's market. Of course I eat fats, but good fats. I eat extra virgin olive oils on my salads, locally grown avocados, and yummy olives from the gourmet olive bar. And the extra weight I have been carrying around? Well, there have been the solu drips, the oral prednisones, the pile-o-pills I take regularly, and the best exercise I can muster is walking (sauntering) my dog around the block at approximately 2-3 miles per hour, of course I have packed on a few, but at no fault of my own, right?

That changed when I logged on to my daily plate. I entered what I had been so mindfully injesting and was shocked at the caloric totals. Crap! Brown rice is healthy..but not in the deep bowl I serve myself with beans. A serving is 3/4 of a cup! That's just a tease. And pasta, albeit organic whole wheat or artichoke flour is insanely high in calories. My problem wasn't ding dongs and ho-ho's, it was unhealthy portions of the good stuff.

So, no more chugging soy milk, pouring on the olive oil, or feasting on deep bowls of rice or pasta. I decided to give it a try, just for a couple of weeks at first, just to see if it would make some pounds disappear from this body that has been increasing in size for the past 10 years. (after 40 it just started growing again)

The web site is easy to use. If I see my calorie total nearing it's max by midday, I manage to take the wild beast for another walk or two, so that I can have a decent supper and maybe a small bite of dark chocolate. So far I have been pleased with the results and surprisingly haven't chewed off my arm or threatened any one's life.

My goal is to lose one to two pounds a week, a total of 22 pounds. I gave myself some leeway, and have my do or die date set for May 1st.

Wish me luck. I'm off to buy smaller plates and bowls. Food looks bigger that way.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Art-e-chokes Revisited and Completed

Alas...I have completed my second project. Although tedious, I did enjoy the process. I didn't own a digital camera when I painted before. It was fun to take shots of the piece as it went through it's stages. I always found it to be a help when I could break down a painting into it's different stages of progress, it just never happens all at once.

I'm beginning to feel like a painter again! There is a beach scene underway and a floral still life on the drawing board. My class will be over at the end of the month. I have promised myself to continue painting on my own with or without assignments. Discipline has never been my strongest suit.

Thanks to everyone for their part in cheerleading me on. It feels good to paint again.

Hope thy name is ED

I woke up this morning, made coffee and decided to catch up on my internet reading. I have Google alert me to all new articles pertaining to my interests. One category, of course, is Multiple Sclerosis. When I opened my message box of MS related news items and articles I was filled with hope. Yes HOPE! It seems that out of the 240 items Google had highlighted for me, nearly half of them were about MS and ED. Erectile Dysfunction.

Why do I, of all things feel HOPEFUL when faced with dozens of articles about flaccid penises?

If MS effects men in this particular way, if it in anyway has an ill effect on their "manhood", well then MUST be stopped. Yes! A cure is on it's way!

Face it, when a disease effects a woman's sexual organs, what do they ( the medical powers that be) do? Of course! They cut them off or scoop them out. A man's organ? Do they cut them off? No. They plant little seeds.

Yes I have empathy for the men afflicted with this problem, but wait, woman with MS experience sexual dysfunction too. Many have lack of sensation and an inability to reach orgasm. But alas, my inbox has never been filled with a call to arms on that subject.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wet Paint

This is exciting! Bubbie has been painting.
Thanks to the persistance of Ms.C . (you know who you are), I enrolled in a watercolor class at the local arts center.
To get the idea of how I have felt, let me equate it to a person who played an instrument in high school and then thirty years later can't honestly say they can "play".
I was a working professional artist for most of my years before MS. In the past five years everytime I picked up a brush I was intimidated. My eyes don't focus the same, colors are different, my hand isn't steady, can't sit/stand/fill in the blank too long, and as the time flew (slowly) by I lost my confidence, my nerve. I honestly felt like I was an artist in a previous life. I used to teach classes like the one I'm in, and now I really needed to begin as a student again. I'm regaining my confidence, remembering techniques used long ago, and spending my time productively for a change.
The top pic is of the current piece in progress. Artichokes and tomatos in a wicker basket. A tedious excercise, but I'm enjoying the challenge. This class is teaching realistic watercolor painting. Although a good skill to have in your art tool box, I would prefer to paint more fluid and spontaneously. I'm sure that I will be able to integrate my own style into my own work as I go.
The second picture is an incomplete study of one of my orchids. I'm working on building up the color to be more dynamic.
The third pic is of my very first completed assignment. Red amyarillis. Of course the very first project would be RED. I can't see reds! As it turns out, my red flowers are much deeper in color than my fellow student's. And that's OK. It was good to get that hurdle behind me.
So there you have it. This is what I have been doing for the last two weeks. Instead of updating you here on my painting progress, I will open a sister-blog to show my work.