New Nest!

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Family, Household, Soulful

 

Chooch and I have a wonderful opportunity and we will be moving at the end of this month to a new home we are making with Eldest/Naughty Bear/M and his wife, our daughter(-in-law), who is too cool to be believable. Seriously, she can even herd Eldest, it’s glorious!

I can’t express how excited I am to be able to see them so often and to be there when Little Bear comes home from the hospital, safe in their arms at the end of March.

We have not yet picked out the next place, but because hubby’s duty station was changed (again!) from Reston to DC, we are looking at MD for a shorter commute for Chooch.

And we’ll finally be able to live in a place that, going in the door, we can ensure accommodates my physical debilities / Health Blahs. It sucks not being able to see daylight (one window in our comfy basement) or go to the kitchen or ask others to let Kaylee out for potty breaks. We are being super picky about those little comforts in the hopes of streamlining things for everyone, after all.

I’m saddened to leave Ashburn after calling this home for three years and surviving oh, so much, while we battened down the hatches against sadness, illness and death and helped each other heal many owies. We happily shared our lives, laughter, experiences, company, and our children, with our former and remaining Housies. My ears will always ring with the remembered trusting giggles and madcap adventures.

I can’t imagine not seeing Jen’s Wee Flowers as often as we do, and to miss out on all the fun as we have watch them grow since summer of 2010. But I also know that our bonds and love will survive. We’ve been through too much and won’t allow our friendships to die now. I can’t wait until we gather again to continue our baking traditions after the move.

I’ll also miss her father, grumpy as he is, for I love him, too. He’s one of the few people that you always know EXACTLY where you stand with him and he doesn’t lie or bullshit. I love that in people. Honesty is the information I seek, not sugar-coated air. Oh, and for always letting our dog live after eating his stuff. Sandwiches, pizza slices, cheese, crackers and dentures. #DamnDog

And it’s a big deal for me that I’ll be living out of Virginia (barely) for the first time since 1987, when I moved here from Central Texas. The few family members that remain live near enough to visit, although we are still much farther from Chooch’s son than we’d hoped to be, with this move. We were shooting for the stars, but the employment situation where our youngest sweet son is makes it impossible, but only for now.

But straight ahead?

New roads, new home, new hearts under our roof, new chapter.

Bring it on.

The Holyfield Knot by Tony Miller

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: #BecausePGH, Firsts, Friends, Rules of Etiquette, Too Long For Twitter

I’ve seen and heard some amazing kindnesses demonstrated in honor of Patrick (P.G.) Holyfield since his fight with cancer began and ended in August.

I’m hand-picking this one specific kindness from Tony Miller to share, because it’s loving, touching, thoughtful and dignified. It’s so Tony. It’s so Patrick G. Holyfield.

And it’s something anyone can do to pay tribute, too, if you ever feel the urge or miss him or another wonderful man on any given tie-appropriate occasion.

Now, for background, Tony is a wonderful guy, a member of my own little Con(vention) Family and someone I am always thrilled to see because of the fond memories and also because of the way P.G. introduced him for the first time, as a trusted friend. That carries a lot of weight with me, as P.G. knew.

If you are also a friend of Tony’s, you know that he has a new job –teaching! Tony, I’ve already sent my congratulations to you, but I don’t know if I told you that I hated you couldn’t be one of our kids’ teachers. Even with the harm you cause shrubbery, you are an amazing person that I think would be a wonderful person for future leaders to learn from. You never cease to amaze me by breaking down stereotypes of men in general, but in particular, men from the south, except for the one about them being chivalrous.

Lately, Tony shares a new treat with us — frequent (daily?) photos or a demonstration video of knot ties he has learned, as well as those he is crafting himself. It’s very spiffy and the knots he makes are almost as awesome as the expressions he makes*.  I love the series and hope he continues it. I have sons that need to know these things!

As a long-time friend of P.G.’s. He recently named a special tie-knot after him. One that Tony himself created and then demonstrated how to do-it-yourself, by posting a video on Youtube.

This week begins three public events (see below) being held in honor of our dear dear friend, author and immensely lovable example of human kindness, P.G. Holyfield. And knowing Tony Miller and P.G.’s friendship to be genuine and reciprocal and stretching over years, this is overwhelmingly poignant and touching for this gal**, but as my own showing of respect for this and so many other kindnesses, I am hoping to master this knot myself for at least one of these events, using a scarf or ribbon. please take time to learn and wear this creation of PG’s longtime friend, Tony Miller, anytime you choose.

I’m personally asking for those interested to share in this tribute by posting pix of themselves wearing it. Please tag P.G. and Tony, as I’m sure they will bring comfort to those that are and will always be, missing P.G. and continuing to check his social media pages because, what else can you do?

At a later date, if enough pictures are sent donning the knot, they will be posted to the Memorial Page that will be polished and shared with content soon.

You will need to submit photos to BTW@SpecFicMedia.com to be included in that or any other public honoring of him.

Love you, Tony <3

*Most people look staged in similar poses, but Tony’s look genuinely awkward or humble. Not fake or staged, even if they are.

**Literally overwhelming. It’s taken me days to write and hit ‘Publish’ on this post.

Information on the Tributes:

Wednesday, 10/8 at 9pm – Online Vid Tribute from The Beyond the Wall crew:

On Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 9pm Eastern, the Beyond the Wall crew will be recording a live podcast show in which we will bid farewell to our good friend, P.G. Holyfield.

There is also an in-person gathering and aMemorial Service occurring on Oct 11th and 12th, respectively.

If you would like to attend one or both of those events, please check the links on this post atSpecFicMedia.com.

Of course, we understand that not everyone will be able to attend in person.

For so many, these podcasts are how they knew him.

So, the show on Wednesday the 8th will be a way for us, and for you, to express your feelings about this man, who brought so many people together.

We on the crew will be sharing our feelings and memories, but, we would also like to hear from you. If you have words, audio or video that you would like to share, please email it to us at BTW@SpecFicMedia.com.

Even if you have already sent something, please re-send it if you would like it to appear on this show. If you would like to send something that is just for family or any other private audience, please indicate this in your email.

And of course, if you are reading this too late or are just unable to put your feelings together before we record, please send anyways.

Also, please help us boost the signal, both for this announcement and the show event links that will follow, so that everyone that would like to can participate.

P.G. Holyfield founded a great community at SpecFicMedia, but now his watch has ended.

Our watch continues and so we will carry on our sacred duty, which is to talk about things we love – and people that we love – with all of you.

Thank you, from your friends at SpecFicMedia.com.

Saturday: A Casual Gathering and A Celebration of Life in Honor of Patrick G. Holyfield

October 11th from 6 pm – 10 pm – Come and go as you are available

Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC
9605 N Tryon St Suite A, Charlotte, North Carolina 28262

Chooch and I will be hosting an informal gathering in Charlotte on Saturday, (October 11th), at The Flying Saucer. (It’s a craft brew honoring restaurant, that we’ve enjoyed with P.G. in the past.)

The official time is from 6 – 8 pm, when we are guaranteed use of the private room. If our numbers dwindle, we may move to a large table or we may be allowed to stay in the private room. They have been wonderfully accommodating and will do their best for us.

There will be self-pay dining and libation offerings in mid-price range

A brief video of memories from Chooch and I including some favorite Con(vention) Family will be available for viewing at any time. Otherwise, come as you are able as you arrive from other destinations or to spend the time together. We hope to highlight P.G., our friendship and shared world with him, in the podcasting and convention realms.

This will be a celebration of life, his life, and our con family experiences with him, but also a place for those that wish for grieving and remembrance, as well.

If you have ideas for this celebration of his life, please make pledges of time or assistance, please send to BTW@SpecFicMedia.com.

If you have pix or vid clips you love of PG, please send to BTW@SpecFicMedia.com, for possible inclusion in the video we are hoping to complete. (Time constraints.)

Also, if you are local and available to assist, please let me know at the above email to coordinate with needs for this unexpected gathering/weekend.

 

Sunday: The Memorial Service in honor of Patrick G. Holyfield

Sunday, at 12pm – Embassy Suites Banquet Room located at 4800 S. Tryon St (near Charlotte Douglas Airport–they will have shuttle service).

A special room block and rate have been reserved and is available until Oct. 5 at 4pm. Call the hotel at 704-527-8400 and use PHM as the code for the rate. 

Please forward any written sentiments, photos, audio or video you would like to make a part of my tribute to me (Kim AKA The Trustee) at kim@pghct.org.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and contributions. I truly look forward to seeing or hearing from all of you, either next week or in the future.

Kim

Smoothies for Chewy Health, Take 2

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Cooking, Fibromyalgia

At this point, I’m disgusted with Western medicine. Not because of the limitations of what they can do, they have miraculous abilities, and is a marvel, in my mind.  My beef is that they will only consider the Next Pill. Which I have to take other pills to counter-act the side effects of.

Shenanigans.

After all this time, I know that, at least in my situation, everything hinges on my whole body health. Getting those to work together are key.

In fact, I have never in my life been more aware, as the emotional aspects of my recent experiences have caused a massive increase in physical pain and complications. And while studies look promising for future Fibromyalgia treatment, improvements for patients are years away, at best. Big Pharma’s gotta keep the revenue coming in, after all, and a cure impacts that.

After nearly 5 years, we’ve exhausted what we know is out there now, but wait to see what the Rheumatologist says. I’m just grateful my Health Blahs are pain and neuro stuff and not cancer. I’ll live and be grateful for whatever condition I’m in, until I’m not. Pain sucks, yes, but I must diminish it to myself. I will not focus on it and expound on it more than necessary as a journal, when I’m already so useless most of the time. I’m using all the strength I have to ignore and overcome the pain. Believe me or don’t, I choose not to wallow in what’s so broken in me right now.

Part of my expanding practices for relief, I’ve been considering “juicing” for a couple years now, and thanks to my sister, I have a smoothie book, from the Nutribullet company. I’m only using a basic blender for now, until I decide if I want something small and convenient (possibly the bullet) or one with multiple purposes (Ninja-type blender), a la Alton Brown’s belief in never owning any kitchen tool that only does ONE thing.

I’ve already decided against using an actual juicer, which beautifully strips out all the peels and cores and seeds, but it also pulls out good fiber, which annoys me to no end. They work great, the fruit juice tastes amazing, with no texture, just juice. But since I need meal replacement instead of simply vitamin boosting, I need fiber in there, too.

I’ve been studying healthy diets for a long time. I know that I need fiber to scrub toxins out of my system, but I’m way to thrifty to tolerate dumping out fiber and then buying more to consume. Plus, I need something VERY easy to clean and those big ol’ Breville’s just look to tricksy for me to use and clean with my painful hands and poor dexterity.

On a whim a several months ago, I went through my cupboards and fridge and put together a healthy shake that was tolerable. I drank it, but I haven’t made another until this week, other than “natural” plant-based protein shakes, which I’ve had to do for years to maintain nutritional intake. I knew I would try again, but went back to Amazon reviews and blog articles and occasional conversations with experienced folks.

I know so many incorporating them, I can’t even remember who all I talked to, besides our spectacular friend (and hair stylist) and friends Jett and Chad, who have been doing it for awhile now, too. Plus, I’d sampled half a dozen different smoothies by then and enjoyed them. These are definitely not the nasty smoothies a relative once made when visiting about 15 years ago.

For that one, I took my two polite drinks, and followed the lead of another, by nourishing the shrubs with them since we couldn’t tolerate (as adults and parents) the flavor or texture or the taste of evil on our tongues OR find anyone else willing to drink them. (We did all of that out of sight, no worries. Mama raised me right!) In hindsight, since it tasted like we were drinking liquefied branches and dirt, it was the perfect spot. Circle of life and what-not.

My physical needs require them now. Many days, I am unable to climb the stairs to the kitchen. We have a mini-fridge/freezer (Food-only for years, no room for beer!), a microwave and kettle in our basement apartment, which allows me to stockpile necessaries so I don’t run on zero calories before Chooch gets home from work with sustenance. But many days, the ability of cooking an affordable dinner for us, let alone breakfast and lunch for myself, is simply not possible and is sometimes dangerous (burns, cuts, spills, broken things).

And these fruit/veggie smoothies are even helping another Fibro issue I have when eating, which is a type of throat constriction. It rarely occurs when drinking or breathing, only when eating solid food. It’s extremely painful, and in my entire life has only happened a handful of times with liquids or shakes, as opposed a a handful of times a day, with solid foods.) The pre-made nutrition shakes helped as well, but are expensive and full of chemicals and Glob-knows-what. Since another health goal is to eat more natural and as few processed foods as possible and I can’t “go natural” with Ensure’s mystery chemicals, so I’m making my own liquid nutrition now.

So, now on Day 3 (in a row!) of incorporating at least one crazily healthy, Glob knows how it will taste, fruit and veggie smoothie. I’m hopeful that I can make this a daily habit in the near future. If I actually stick with it, in a few weeks, I’m going to increase it to 2 meal replacement smoothies a day, since that’s usually the minimum meals/snacks I skip. Each one I make is 2 servings, so for every time I make one, I have a spare for the next meal. I’ve had the second serving of the one I made yesterday already.

As for taste, because I’m being cautious in my selections for tastiness and longer commitment and it may be more limiting than I predict option-wise, all I can say  is yummmm… They do indeed taste better than they look.

The spinach makes it look like baby poo, but tastes like nothing and the color is the only detectable thing about it. The sweetness from the carrot and fruit easily mask it. Since I’m also adding protein powder, that helps, too, I’m sure. I have trouble tasting it over the fruit, I’m sure it’s doing some masking with the vanilla flavor, but it’s yummy so I’m not messing with it.

Ingredients:
2 handfuls of baby spinach, a fatty bo-batty carrot, a large banana, peeled and seedless mandarin orange and water (as much as needed to get the thickness I like). Also some vanilla protein powder and some almonds.

All fresh and gross-looking and weird textured and surprisingly tasty, even on Day 2, in truth.

Results on third day:
Nausea is more tolerable now, but the lack of appetite is still there. I still think that is most likely masked by the pain meds. But I’ll continue forcing myself back on to an eating schedule to avoid the pitfalls of things that taste good, rather than things that taste like ass (also a medication side effect), and the nausea aspect has me going this route.

Getting in so many fresh and raw fruits and vegetables every day, even though pulverized, has me at least thinking I feel better. There is certainly better nutrition since I’ve started, and it’s carried into other choices. I’m definitely keeping the fiber aspect and am just waiting until mid-November to buy a new machine, if I can’t ever find my blender. I’d love recommends on them if anyone has an opinion. I’m leaning towards the Ninja blender, as a friend just said she loves hers.

Two changes:

  • I gotta start with nuts in the blender first, cause it’s damned weird chewing bits from a smoothie.
  • I want to find a natural protein source that is unflavored.

Medical Update (FAIL)

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Friends, Health, Too Long For Twitter

New medication FAIL and I’m back to square one on Fibromyalgia relief and my neurologist won’t give me anything for the migraines. The Fibro meds worsen them and they also increase the frequency of them. Yes, he was right to, but now I am back to periods of time where I’m losing my mind a bit, to the persistent pain. I can’t work, watch tv, cook, bear light or noise and frequently the pain itself is so bad I can’t sleep. Over the last several years, having Soma was one of the very few thing that kept me sane and away from “dark places.” I could end the pain. I would be knocked out for half a day and useless for the other half, but the pain would stop for a little while. Long enough, to recharge for the next round.

I halted the latest medication last week, Cymbalta. The side effects were, let’s say, far ranging and intense. As bad or worse than the Nucynta, which I didn’t think would be possible. I’m not trying to be melodramatic, but the resulting feeling was akin to post-chemotherapy. Even when taking into account what August and September were for me both  emotionally and physically, with my emotional/neuro triggers wreaking havoc on my physical pain and fatigue and nausea and dizziness and migraines, blah, blah, blah.

I had continued on the new meds, and doubled it as instructed. Last week or so, I halted it, because I cannot keep pumping that poison into my body when it’s not helping any of my symptoms and worsening others to the point of being unable to leave bed for anything but the bathroom, some days.

When I see my Rheumatologist again and make the next plan, I will follow-up again with the Neuro to look at migraine relief. I trust him, as he’s done right by me from the start. Even when he pissed me off by taking away my “nuclear option” for maddening and dark days of pain that won’t release, he only did it because I could die if I don’t take precautions on what I mix them with, so I really shouldn’t be mad at him. But I can’t be mad at my faulty body with any positive result, so I’ll be mad at him for just a bit longer before I cave in to logic.

But my latest medication attempt is done.
So, my vestibular migraines, fibromyalgia, tmj, other personal issues and the mixed bag of hilariously painful symptoms remain. It’s all worsened over the last six months, primarily due to medication changes and higher than normal stress and loss with continued worry on other fronts.

Or maybe it’s because I haven’t hit what Chooch has me referring to as “rock bottom” on my pain level. Meaning, the Fibro pain is at some point supposed to stop increasing, and then that’s what my expected pain level should be for the rest of my life. Unless it gets worse again. It seems I haven’t hit it yet, sadly, and winter is coming, along with stiff and jagged joints and less freedom of movement outside. Accommodations are being made to make it more comfortable and to hopefully be useful, too, even if just briefly.

But for the blessings of time with dear friends and family (my sister’s surgery went great and she’s recovering at the speed of light!!!!); three devastatingly handsome sons; an ironically delayed, yet glorious wedding for our oldest son; two new babies born PLUS a grandbaby on the way? I would’ve surely gone mad. Praise Baby Jesus for (evilsssssessssss) Facebook and the ability to see pictures of the faces so far away that are so deep in my heart. I still don’t trust ya, but thanks, Zucksy.

As my body is recovering as that nasty medication leaves my body, I don’t know if there are any medications left to try.

This one was put off for years as others were explored. When you know that a liver is a terrible thing to lose to prescription medication, you worry about how much they think is “safe enough” to pump into me with some of the fierce reactions I have. But there is much to do and many things to prepare for, so the search continues.

I’ve decided to attempt to incorporate the least stressful form of martial arts or yoga, depending on what’s available to me, once I’m able to regain some flexibility and strength. Even modified for my debilities, I must regain movement, regardless of the pain. An object in motion, stays in motion, after all. I had hoped to leap into a friend’s Krav Maga class, but that would be madness, I must now concede.

I’ll be starting smaller with yoga or tai chi via DVD initially, just until I’m more stable on my feet trying for balance. It’s not a strong suit for most dizzy people.

And just I’m hitting the Fifth anniversary of when the debilities became debilitating, but I also seem to approaching what appears to be the end of the road on what Western medicine has for me to try.

So all you skeptics are going to get to have loads of future fun at my expense as I delve further into dietary supplements, alternative medicine, meditation and regimented schedule. I do better when I am free to be on a tight schedule, so I’m attempting that in coming months. Hopefully, my memory will help me to set the reminders for it to be more effective. *crosses fingers*

I’m taking on some personal challenges after having watch a remarkable person fight death with literally every cell in his body and more strength, will, soul and courage believable. Some projects I’m dreaming of will get finished and some won’t.
I’m figuring out my limitations and working around them instead of hiding from them. The process will be messy and I’m going to do stuff wrong and poorly and ineffectively and the results will either be brazenly unpolished or over-wrought.

I can’t wait.
#BecausePGH