Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Puppy Training

Why do people who don't have dogs feel the need to make snarky comments to people who do have dogs?

Dogs are considered puppies until they are two human years old. My dog is only a few months over one human year old; so, she is still WELL in her puppy phase, which means I'm still training her. Just like people, dogs have personalities. My dog is possessive of her people, which means she doesn't get along too well with other dogs. Other dogs scare her. When she is scared, she reacts like a little demon, and I'm still trying to train this out of her.

Like people, this is not an overnight process. Consider my dog, if you will, a terrible-three-toddler who is really scared. Screaming at the top of her lungs? Got it. Red in the eyes? Got it. Won't let anybody go near her? Got it. Like I said, we're working on it, and I get bit a lot. A LOT. It is all part of the process. Hub doesn't like to get bit; so, I do a lot of the "rough" work. She bites me, she gets smacked in the head. This is the same process I used with my god children (although it was a flick in the head and not a smack), and it works. The goal is to re-orient the brain - distract it from the current obsession and put it on a new track. It takes a while, but I do eventually get Epona to calm down. I still have to show her who is boss, and we're still working on it. IT IS A PROCESS.

So, we went for a walk tonight. And Epona hears another dog. A big omfg-dog. She starts to freak out, naturally. As I was prepared for this, we get down in the grass on the middle of the sidewalk and start to "talk" about who is boss and whose way we're going to go. A few smacks in the head, a few showings of the teeth later, I win. We're less concerned about the dog, and we're ready to keep on walking. Down the street farther, we hear another dog. The process is the same but it takes a little bit less time. Only now, we're in ear shot of jackass out in his yard just watching me work with my dog.

"Sounds like someone needs some school!"

Now, how is that, in any way shape or form, helpful when I am obviously trying to teach my dog not to be an asshole? I've been on the ground with the dog four or five times, and we haven't even made it all the way down the block yet. OBVIOUSLY I'm working on it. So, I started to feel like a failure because my dog isn't all shiney and perfect. Defeated, I started to head for home.

Halfway there, this hits me: FUCK THAT.

I'm not anywhere near perfect, and I don't expect my dog to be perfect either. Dogs have personalities, too, and they shouldn't be conditioned to be little robots. I'm perfectly happy with my dog being anti-social (hey, I am too!) as long as she will listen to me when she is in the midst of her freak-out. But she's a PUPPY for crying out loud. She may look like a fully-grown dog, but she's still a puppy, and she's still learning. I DID get her to start listening to me in the midst of all of that fighting, and she got to the point where I could correct her without her biting me. And bonus? We didn't even break skin this time. (I know that sounds horrible, right? I have had to literally bite my dog to show her I mean business. She isn't taking shit from anybody except Momma.)

So, when we got home, we walked around the back yard for a little bit on the leash because she needs to remember how to do it for longer than just down the block. Like I said, we're working on it. I did get her to walk RIGHT BESIDE ME all the way around the yard. And just to prove my point, I made sure I walked her halfway down the block where fat-ass bald-head could see me doing it without her freaking out all over the place.


Friday, June 26, 2009

3 Mile - II


I had pretty much convinced myself that I was going to start STRONG on Monday. That would give me another few days to think about things, mull things over, and generally freak out mentally. However, the dog woke me up at six o'clock in the morning - AGAIN - and I was just....awake. So, rather than watch tv for the next hour or so, I took her for a walk. We didn't go very far, only 930+ steps, but it is a start, right?

Plus, Ted just bought me a bike. So, I'm going to bike....somewhere....this weekend. Apparently, Monday was a little too late.

(I just calculated. 1000 steps is 0.5 mile. So, by the end of the day, I will be well on the way to starting a mile-training program. I want to go up in increments; so, this is good.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

3 Mile

(Before beginning, am I the only person who reads his / her own blog? I like my blog; it makes me happy. So, I read it a lot. Is that weird?)

At my appointment the other day, my doctor told me that my weight could be contributing to some of my health issues. She didn't say anything like, "you're fat; therefore, you have this or this." It was rather, "You have this and this, and your weight may be exacerbating those symptoms." I love my doctor, and I really, truly cannot disagree with this at all. The more weight my body carries around, the more stress there is on my joints, which aggravates my RA. The excess tissue and fluid my body carries around exacerbates my pain. Logically, I know this. I've known for a while. I don't accept the notion that I've contracted these conditions as a result of my fat, but I do know that my fat is contributing to how I physically feel.

CD (my doctor) is really awesome about the issue, too. We were talking about possible culprits for different types of pain, and we were talking about my daily eating habits and possible culprits there, too. So, she gave me a few little mental ninjabombs that I can't stop thinking about. Turns out, with the conditions I have, I should not be drinking any sort of caffeine at all. Period. Do not pass go. And I really love me some Dr. Pepper. *SIGH*

Also, she told me that in order to shed some of the 40 pounds I have put on over the past year of diagnosis-chasing, I need to be walking / jogging up to 3 miles daily. At first, this sounded completely ludicrous; but now, I can't stop thinking about it. For me, high-impact sports are out. They just cause too much pain. Running, jumping, volley balling, or anything of the sort of super-fit-people exercises cause me too much pain. (I know it totally sounds like an excuse, but it isn't.) However, walking, slow jogging, and / or swimming, I CAN DO. I can ride a bike. I can do step aerobics, too, when I feel the gusto to get really hammered. I can also do yoga and pilates. These are all light-impact activities. And now? Now, I can't stop thinking about doing three miles of SOMETHING per day. I think I feel like frog felt when she knew she wanted to start a running program, but she couldn't get past thinking and into motion. I'm scared of it even though I know it is good for me. Why? Because it will hurt like hell before it starts to feel good.

Right now, I'm walking up to 20 minutes per day and swimming on a fair routine. (This past week has been a no on the swimming due to lobster burn, but I try to go at least twice per week on a regular week.) (Which was not last week either due to flooding and tornado. Dammit!) So, I AM more than sedentary. But I'm just maintaining where I'm at now. I'm keeping myself from gaining more weight, but I'm not pushing my body to lose any of it either. And I know that I have every opportunity to do this for myself (i.e. treadmill, YMCA membership, spastic dog), I just can't seem to move past the picture in my head and into actual physical activity.

...I got distracted I will finish this later.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spin Cycle: Jealousy

I mulled over whether or not I wanted to participate in this week's spin cycle because my views on jealousy are....far from the widely-accepted. The life I have lived has brought me to a place of juxtaposition when it comes to jealousy.

You see....

I am a poly person. My affection is shared. My commitment is shared. I have shared my spouse(s) with other people. I have watched my spouse(s) make love to other people. Jealousy for me is.....difficult to explain.

Once, a very long time ago, I came to terms with jealousy because I finally understood what it was about. Jealousy is fear of losing one's position. I know that seems hard to understand; but really, when you think about it, that is all it is. If you become jealous that some chick is going to "steal your man," well, you're afraid of losing your position as his woman. The same can be same of the vice versa. If you're jealous of the time your spouse spends with your child, you may be afraid of losing your position as #1 in their heart. Jealousy is all about fear.

And what do we have to fear, you guys? (Answer: Fear itself. Thanks Kennedy.)

So, looking at jealousy in terms of fear, I simply decided one day that I wasn't going to do it anymore. When you fear something, you give it power to hurt you. This is where my transient personality comes into play a little bit because I'm not possessive over my loved ones, over many objects in my life, or where I'm at during a particular moment. Possession is also fear. "MINE!" = fear of losing. Yeah, I don't so much have that anymore. Because I had the moment, in conjunction with the moment about jealousy, that I don't POSSESS THESE THINGS OR PEOPLE. They are on loan to me from the higher ups, but they are not, never have been, and never will be mine. They touch on my life; but if they aren't meant to linger, then they won't linger.

And this is how I became a poly person. The juxtaposition is this: I will not tolerate lies. I am jealous, you could say, of lies because they steal from me. I am afraid of them and the havoc they will create. So, while at one point, I was able to tell my mate(s) that I didn't care what they did so long as they were honest with me, I cannot truly say that now. Because some activity is just a breeding ground for lies. And really? I'd rather just not go there at all. So, I cannot say I'm as altruistic about jealousy as I once was, but I still have the same feelings about it. I will not be conquered by fear, and jealousy is fear.

Random WEDNESDAY Thoughts

I wonder if Keeley will still let me in? When I blog from my email, it looks kinda funny; so....there....
  • Have you ever noticed how one of your hands is bigger than the other? The hand I write with (right) is bigger than my non-dominant hand (left). My fingers are bigger, and the mass of my hand is bigger. I also have one foot bigger than the other and one boob bigger than the other. What is that about? You'd think that the body would want things to be the same size for equilibrium purposes.
  • I realized something kinda big this morning. I was really jittery and anxious after my appointment, and I was eating just because I couldn't BE STILL. Once I realized that is what I was doing, because I wasn't hungry, I stopped eating. How cool is that?
  • OMG! Favorite things crop is in, like, two weeks! -dancedancedance-
  • Also, can we go back to the random people talking to me at inappropriate times? I know I've discussed this before, but I went to have a mammogram today. And there I am, all in the machine, boob out and squished, and the damn radiology tech wants to "chat." Um. no. I'm exposed, and I don't want to talk about how pretty it is outside. Get your shit together, and let's be done with this. (On the whole, the mammogram wasn't that bad. The "chatty Kathy," however, nearly pissed me off.
That's all I got for now. I got distracted.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Better than a letter

A letter/book w/ photos for my brother...

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A mini book...

First, a book I did for my dad's time in the Navy...I made one for my brother (Army) about a month ago...

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Air Show Redemption

But finally...a little sun...

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Can't Catch A Break

Thursday? Flash flood. Friday? Tornado.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Not That Kind of Fish

If you see someone who has been caught up in a flash flood, here are a few helpful tips:
  • Perchance you there, standing on the porch in your pyjamas watching the torrential rain, could flag down the vehicle and warn the driver about the road having flooded JUST LAST WEEK before he / she continues to go forward.
  • If you see that this person is struggling to get out of the vehicle, perhaps offering some assistance would be nice.
  • If you are unable to help this person, perhaps asking him / her if he / she is OK after they reach safety would be helpful.
  • If said person has not yet called for assistance, please do so.
  • When the rain has stopped and some of the water has receded, offering to help push the car out of the middle of the road would be fantastic.


  • Stand there and stare.
  • By NO MEANS EVER, should you stand there with a video camera pointed at this person. It is rude, and you may be hurt.
  • Swim laps around the car that has been flooded. (Seriously, you can't make that up.)
  • Also BY NO MEANS should you drive your pick-up truck by the flooded car thus pushing more water up onto, over, and into the car that is stuck. (Asshole.)

And lastly, it is really not necessary for any of the following questions:

  • Did you get wet?
  • Car stuck?
  • Got caught there, did ya?

This is a public service announcement. Feel free to tell your friends.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


So, my obsession with taking photos of my feet seems to continue...This is "Happy Feet II"...
I did a rub-on!!! Generally, I dislike rub-ons, but I liked this one oh-so-much. It took a while for it to do what it do, but it turned out really pretty. AND...
There are sparkly letters on the left-hand side. It was really hard to take a photo, but you can kindasortaalmost see them. M and S (my initials)...
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The Yellow Beetle

This is Ms. Jolene. I met Ms. Jolene today on my lunch break. Ms. Jolene owns and
operates The Yellow Beetle.

Ms. Jolene asked if she could take a photo of me today. Why, sure! But only if I can take a photo of you, too. :)

Thanks, Ms. Jolene, for making my lunch break a little more special!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Proof Positive.

Those of you who know me will totally understand this photo. It is sideways on purpose because he is normally lying down when this happens...

Recent Layouts and Cards

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Body Acceptance

Over my lunch break, I was reading a recent People magazine in which the main article was about Kirstie Alley's "dramatic" weight gain. As pretty much everybody on the planet knows, Ms. Alley signed up two years ago to be the spokesperson for Jenny Craig and lost a LOT of weight. I didn't want to get all worked up over this article (because I've got a lot of other stuff going on right now), but it seems it was not to be helped. I have two major issues with this:

  1. At her highest weight ever (225#), Ms. Alley looks BEAUTIFUL. Truly, she is gorgeous. She's got some blonde hair now, and she wore some really pretty dresses for the article photo shoot. She's really working the goddess-type body, but she thinks she is "hideous."
  2. The whole article's focus is Kirstie's desire to start "rocking a new body."

More than anything, I have a really, really big problem with the "rocking a new body" comment / ideology. What started out as the concept of "fat acceptance," for me, has morphed into an entirely new set of thoughts, ideas, and opinions about BODY acceptance. "Rocking a new body" pisses me off something fierce. Would you like to know why?

You cannot get a NEW body. The one you have is the only one you're going to get.

I understand that with all of the advances we are making as a species, it is surprising that we haven't figured out how to body jump yet; but still, there it is. We haven't figured it out. If you happen to misplace your entire body, we cannot subscribe you a new one. So, in light of that fact (duh?), doesn't it make more sense to honor the body you have instead of subjugating it? If you are your body, then the vast majority of people really have ZERO love for themselves on the whole. How you treat your body is how you treat your spirit, your soul, your zen, or whatever else you want to call it. When you call your body names, you're demeaning your entire being. When you deny your body the things it needs, the things that are NECESSARY for survival, you are denying your entire self the opportunity to thrive. People die from failure to thrive, really.

But I know, right? It is a really hard concept. We get the message from EVERYWHERE that we aren't right. Are you too fat? Lose some weight. Are you going gray? Get some color. Are you fucked up somehow? We've got a pill for it. Trust me when I say that I know this is a struggle. I feel that I have been at war with my body for a year now...and I KNOW I have been at war with my psyche for a lot longer. My body is in constant pain - sometimes more acutely than others. My psyche is in a constant state of upheavel - sometimes more acutely than others. But do you know what I've figured out recently? That's right. I'm not going to miraculously get another body, mind, or spirit. I have to take care of the ones I've already got. No matter how much my body seems to want to defy me, I can't slough it off for a new, designer model. Coming to terms with that really set a lot of things into clarity for me. There is never going to be a "fix" for the disorders I have; so, why fight it so hard?

So, when I see someone I know measuring out exactly three teaspoons of salad dressing, I cringe. When I hear someone I love say that they need to find something to wear that doesn't make them look like they weigh what they actually weigh, I cringe. When I see Kirstie Alley splatter all over People magazine about how ashamed she is of her voluptuous body, I cringe. Because I want, so very much, to say to them, "Why not try to accept yourself as you are, first; and then, maybe you can try to make some changes?" Because if you can't accept the body you have as it is right now, you're never going to be satisfied. Because the truth is that we say these things because we're waiting to live until the outside looks the right way, behaves the right way, or functions the right way. If the outside doesn't match the inside, then there's no point in beginning. Right? I totally get it. I've done it. "I'll wait to go swimming until I don't hurt. I'll go outside when my legs don't ache. I'll buy that really cute dress that I LOVE when I can buy one size smaller." I've really, really been there. But you know? I totally think that me and you...and you...and you....are OK just the way we are. You know why? Because your body is upholding you, uplifting you, and seriously not trying to kill you. My body is upholding me, uplifting me, and generally mostly not trying to kill me. I can function. I can still do my job despite the fact that I thought one of my recent diagnoses was going to make it impossible for me to do so. I can still play with my dog, too. And You? You can walk. You have the capacity of all of your limbs. Hell, even your toes serve their purpose. And it is those little things for which I find and give thanks every goddamn day. I have accepted my body - at least for right this very minute.

Again, I know. It is a hard thing. I'm not saying that you can't or shouldn't take care of yourself. Exercise. Eat in a manner appropriate to your body. Don't try to blow up from the inside. Those are all GOOD things, and they are all things that I practice on a daily basis. What I'm trying to say is this: Like attracts like. You get back what you put out. And I don't want to go all universalist spiritual all over the place, but the fact of the matter is that it is true. If you are constantly down on your body, and by extension the rest of YOUR ENTIRE BEING (i.e. calling yourself "hideous" as Ms. Alley does), things aren't going to fall into place for you because you've made the whole process - your entire self - into something negative. You're trying to discipline yourself into something unnatural. But if you uplift yourself, be positive with yourself, and HONOR what you've already got, things will come naturally, easily. (True: There will always be struggles. This is a lesson to be learned over and over again. But so.totally.worth.it.)

So, maybe, just for a little while today, try to practice this new thing I've been doing: Find something, anything positive about your body and write it down. Say it out loud. And then? Expand upon that. If the only thing you've got is that your pedicure is cute, then please, by all means, start there. Does that pedicure make the rest of your foot look cute? Hot damn, it does! Does that mean you can wear cute little heels, which make your calves look pretty, too? YEAH! And even if you aren't happy with the majority of your physical appearance, try to entertain the idea that you ought to accept your body as it is in this very moment and in this space because you just aren't going to get another one. Make this one a priority.

We may have figured out how to transplant entire faces, but we're still working on new bodies.