Saturday, February 11, 2006

Curious Carly's Foot Goes To The Eye Doctor

"You can't depend on your eyes, when your imagination is out of focus."

-Mark Twain

Ok, so I had to go to the optometrist's office the other day, because I have been having a lot of headaches and some blurred vision. Going to the eye doctor is no big deal for most folks, for me...blech! I am not crazy about strangers playing with my feet or my eyes. I always wonder if I will be the lucky one who gets an appointment, the day my eye doctor goes nuts and decided to put acid in my eyes instead of those funky drops that makes the world look like wide egg noodles for a couple hours after they are administered. Hey don't laugh...I have that kind of luck. Which is why I have avoided going to the eye doctor for as long as possible, until yesterday, when Alan nagged me into going in for a drop-in appointment. I was having one too many headaches. People with Fibromyalgia do experience a lot of headaches, but Alan reminded me that I had taken a lot for granted this whole past year when I thought my symptoms were either all in my head, or Epstein-Barr related. So, off we went on yet another adventure in medicine.

I was seeing a new eye doctor, because my former optician had recently retired. New office, in a new town. I had NO idea what to expect. That's always fun. The fear of the unknown trips me up every time. I can handle knowing the awful truth, I can handle knowing that everything will be fabulously wonderful, but NOT knowing what to expect always gives me the wiggins. And what about these headaches I have been having...I wonder if it is a brain tumor, or maybe worse yet, maybe it is a "brain cloud" like Joe had in the, 1990 Tom Hanks movie, "Joe Verses The Volcano." Now there was a thought! Would I be told I only had 6 months to live? Would I soon be sailing for a south seas island to join the Waponi Woo and then save the island by throwing myself into an active volcano? My goodness, now THAT would make for good blogging now wouldn't it! :)

As it turned out, my appointment turned out to be a whole lot less exotic and exciting then that. I did have some nifty things happen however, like I found out that there is a pretty cool new gadget that digitally scans the retina now, so one doesn't have to tolerate those uncomfortable eye drops. I will be receiving the picture of my eyeball by email in a few days. I was kind of impressed with it, the inside of my eyeball looks like a brilliant green nebula. According to my doctor, I am pretty healthy over all. He was able to tell just by looking into my eyes that my blood pressure was fine and that my cholesterol was at normal levels. I thought that was pretty cool. I had already known those things, but to know that the eye doctor could tell just by looking, was nice to find out. It's good to know that there are more ways to catch potential problems then ever before. So what was causing my eye troubles?

Simple, since the Fibromyalgia has become a problem, my eyes have changed a bit. I was advised to get two pairs of glasses. One pair for working on the computer and one pair to help with my long distance sight, for driving at night. Sometimes I have trouble, especially with the lighting around dusk. The doctor says that maybe in a few years I might consider getting bi-focals, but that is a few years off. So, as appointments go I guess that trip to the doctor's office wasn't so bad, and I got a nifty new picture to share with you in a few days. All in all, not a bad day at all. Thankfully, there seems to be no south seas island in my near future :)

"Carly's Foot Goes To The Eye Doctor"
Walnut Creek, California
February 9th, 2006

Friday, February 10, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #98:Utterly Useless Web Sites

Click on the above photo to see an enlarged version.

"Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it's the answer to everything. To "why am I here?" To uselessness. It's the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonishing at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it's a cactus."

-Enid Bagnold

Weekend Assignment #98: "List the most utterly useless website you have ever visited." Suggested by AOL Journaler Rispina.

Extra Credit: "Tell us all about why you can't stop going there."

-John Scalzi

"Ghosts were people once too." -TAPS

I have a favorite web site, and actually it is also one of my favorite television shows as well, it is the web site of the Atlantic Paranormal Society, aka Ghost Hunters, when they are showing on the SCFI-Channel. Actually, I suppose it's really only useless if you don't happen to believe in ghosts. :) Otherwise it's kinda nifty! See, I happen to be a believer in all things...spooky! :)

Extra Credit: I keep coming back week, after week, because like I said...I 'm a believer. I like the guys of TAPS. They are hard working Roto-Rooter men by day, and Ghost Hunters by night. I believe them when they say the have experienced some pretty profound encounters with the spiritual world, because I have as well. I also enjoy the very human interaction between the hunters themselves, as they travel the East Coast in search of restless spirits. Very cool stuff. I would love to see them come out here to California to try and make contact with the "Blue Lady of Moss Beach. Her ghost is said to have been haunting the Moss Beach Distillery for many years, as well as the gorgeous beach that sits directly beneath it. Cool huh? Like one of the banners at the TAPS web site says, "Here ghostie, ghostie, ghostie." :)

"Moss Beach/ Moss Beach Distillery"
Moss Beach, California
Spring, 2005
Late Morning

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Rest Of The Story

"I prefer winter and autumn, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape, the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."

-Andrew Wyeth

We drove to Lake Tahoe today, to see the snow. I have never seen snow before, it was softer then I even thought it would be. The water in the lake was amazing! So clear, so cool and so very blue. The beauty was nearly made me want to come back to the lake, to see it in all the seasons, to see the rest of the story. :)

North Lake Tahoe, Nevada
February 9th, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Click on the above photograph to see a larger version.

"Surfing soothes me, it's always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I am on a wave."

-Paul Walker

We had an incredible day yesterday. Temperatures in the Bay Area were in the mid-70's which meant there were record temperature highs. Perfect weather and conditions for the annual Mavericks Surfing Contest, held in Half Moon Bay, California. The annual contest draws surfers from around the world to compete, with the top prize at $30,000. This year the winner was from South Africa. Grant Baker was named the winner for having scored two perfect 10's for his wave riding. "That's the best I have ever surfed," he said, "it's the best I have ever done." The second and third prizes were awarded to two local men.

It was magnificent. The water was a gorgeous, clear aqua blue...and not a bit of fog or mist. It wasn't the typical February day. :) My the ocean producing waves that at times reached over 25 feet. The sun...oh the sun...and the bathing suits. It all came together to give me a much needed break from the painful joints. I had a very good time. And when we were finished at Half Moon Bay, watching the waves, it was time to head up the coast to San Francisco to see the waves at Fort Point.

There is nothing like sitting under the Golden Gate Bridge, watching those huge waves coming breaking around the corner into the bay. :) It was a lot of fun to watch the local surfers ride the waves under the Golden Gate and avoid the rocks along the waters edge. Not to mention the fact that just sitting on the water front under the bridge is an experience like no other. You feel so little and at the same time you feel like you can just reach right up and touch the bridge. This place is one of my favorite places to feel good. The water, the sun, the waves, the bridge and the winter sun. Now that is a Zen experience. :) And last night...I slept without pain.

"South African's Perfect Rides Lock Up Maverick's Title" KTVU

Visit my Photo Journal to see my evening photographs from Twin Peaks!

"Surfing Moments"
Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, California
February 6th, 2005

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Cloudy Days

Click On The Above Photo To See The Larger Version.

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storms, but to add color to my sunset."


Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show off a picture of some really interesting clouds. The only caveat: don't use pictures you've previously posted-make them new, or at least new to the rest of us.

-John Scalzi

I know, I know, I have posted photos of the Golden Gate Bridge about a 1,000 times before, but the day I took this photo I was particularly aware of the clouds. They were stunning! Because the weather changes so rapidly from one minute to the next because of the Bay Area microclimates, clouds can appear white and fluffy one minute and silver and glistening the next. I love it! I am pretty sure I haven't posted these particular photos before.

The Blue Photo in the upper right hand side is the view from the top of Mt. Tamalpias, in Marin County. I was standing at one of the vistas looking down into San Francisco. Just sharing the space with the clouds. It's fun to be up so high the clouds are literally at your feet.

The sunset photo is of a nice, late autumn sunset over the hills of Marin County, near the town of Pt Reyes. I love the way the colors play off the water, but the way they seem to turn silver over the dark mountainside is also relaxing and peaceful to watch.

The photo on the bottom right was taken while I was on my way to Nevada, late last October. The sky is so blue and so striking. I took this photo as we traveled along HWY 80. Not bad considering I was moving 75 mph down the highway! LOL. :)



San Francisco, Mount Tamalpias, Pt Reyes, Tahoe City,

Autumn/Winter 2005

Monday, February 06, 2006

For Idiots :)

"What's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance."

-Pema Chodron

I am beginning a little light winter reading, lol, "The Idiots Guide To Fibromyalgia," and, "The Idiots Guide to Tai-Chi & Qi Gong." LOL. Both are a part of my new lifestyle changes that are required since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last December. I don't know, sometimes it all seems so overwhelming, but then I try to remind myself that this isn't the first time I have had to reinvent myself. The last time I had to start all over was when I went nuts a few years ago. At that time it was a matter of working on a more healthy thought process, this time it will involve the whole of my being. Mind, body and spirit.

I bought these books, on the recommendation of my medical doctor, because they are so easy to read, written in plain English and contain exactly what I need to begin this new journey. I am thinking of them as a road map. Along with the books, I am also beginning some meditation and yoga, plus doing some aromatherapy. I have done some mediation in the past, that isn't really new to me. I did some Qi-Gong when first went a little nuts back in 1999. I didn't appreciate it as much back then as a tool to help me heal. That was short-sided on my part. I had become profoundly ill, very quickly and I didn't understand how that particular philosophy would help me heal. I think I wasn't ready to give up the overwhelming pain I was in. See, pain had become safe somehow.

My bad. I, of course, became even more the point I couldn't talk anymore. Ok, lesson learned. LOL. I see my therapist once a week, she has helped me find my voice. It isn't always so painful to go to those sessions. Sometimes it's ok to just go in, sit down and laugh our asses off for the hour. That helps make it ok for when I need to work really hard on the stuff that has lived inside me, tormenting me for my whole life. Those sessions are a little like pulling my spleen out my armpit. LOL. It's unfortunately true..."No Pain, No Gain." Someday, it won't hurt anymore, if I can just face it today.

The unfair part, the part that makes me want to whine, and throw things, and get really mad, is that stress tends to exacerbate the Fibromaylgia. "So what is Fibromayalgia anyway?" you ask. Good question. I don't actually know too much about it myself, but I will explain to you the way the good book explains it. Fibromyalgia comes from the Latin words fibro, my, algia. Which translated means fibrous tissues, muscles, and pain. Yep...that's it! My body feels like I have been in some kind of accident. My joints hurt, my hands swell sometimes so much it feels like they will burst. I can't type, I can't hold a book to read. Sometimes I wake up and my hands and legs will be asleep, but the tingling feeling that happens when a limb will fall asleep with be amplified. LARGE. My right foot swells. Just my right foot, not my left one. That's irritating because my shoes don't feel too good most of the time, although the shoes I bought off an EBAY auction feel really good on my feet, and they used to belong to Alyssa Milano. LOL. They are Charmed. LOL. We both wear a size 6. :)

Ok, so, chronic pain in my tendons, ligaments, and the muscles, that run throughout my body. Swelling in my joints. Migraines, Restless Leg syndrome, which feels like there are bugs running up and down my legs, that causes a strange twitching and painful sensations. It sometimes it hurts to have someone just touch my skin. A hug, a kiss, even the slightest caress. That part hurts my feelings because I am a touch person. It feels good to have human contact. They say you live longer, when you are open to human contact like hugging and holding hands, or paws. :) Elvis and I would sleep holding paws...not so much anymore. :( I think he understands, because he curls up with me after Alan leaves in the morning. He will scoot under the covers and rest on Alan's pillow.

It's the cognitive difficulties that hurt my feelings the most. I forget words, I lose my train of thought. I make loads of spelling errors. Errors I wouldn't have made ten years ago. Sometimes, when I realize how often I make mistakes writing in my blog, I can't believe you still read me. Sigh. I am working on it. I have to, I can't just give up...right? I have had to fix a lot of deep crap in my life, in order to get up and keep going, but isn't that the way it is? Challenges come along for everyone, and we have two choices on our course of action. Whine, give up, put ourselves down and insist we will never be better then we are right now, embrace every negative notion we can about ourselves we can find. "I am fat and will never look any different." "I am a loser who can't do any better with my life." I have to second guess myself, because I am not able to choose a proper path for myself." Or care enough about ourselves to get up, and do what we have to do to keep going.

I have to say, it infuriates me to hear negative things coming from people I find impressive. It is like they are saying, "You have terrible taste in people you admire, because you choose to admire me." It is lazy of people to give up on themselves and accept the path of least resistance. Will we EVER reach perfection? Hell no! But trust me, I have been down in the deepest of wells, believing that I couldn't get up, but I did finally get back up because once you realize that you must go through winter to reach can find that inner drive to get well. Now mental illness is a lot different then chronic physical ailments...or is it? Depression is ususally chronic. Oh, you find ways of coping, and you will go for long periods of time where things are very normal, even blissful, but there will be relapses which can occur for many reasons. And we always have that choice to make. Will I get back up? It only took one time to figure out I had the perfect suicide plan, to realize how completely selfish it is to even think about going through with it. Never again.

So, like with mental illness, I will educate myself on why I feel so full of pain all the time. I will meditate and clear myself of negativity. I will learn to cope with how I feel honestly. I will make the effort for myself first, so I can care for those who love me. I will give myself a break. I will let myself learn new things. God I love the view of new things! I will enjoy the hell out of the new practicing yoga in the park this next spring and summer. Sleeping with a lavender scented mask on, that Alan says is sexy ;)Making fabulous new meals that are good for the body and soul. Don't ya just love whole fruit smoothies? And more then anything I plan to love...a lot. Myself and others. And if one day I am too tired to embrace it with all my senses...well that's ok too. :) I hope you don't mind if I share this journey I am on with you once in a while. Tell me what you think.

Berkeley, California
February 5th, 2005
Late Evening

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Art About Town...Foster City, California

"Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared."

-Henri Nouwen

This sculpture and gazebo are part of the 20 acres that make up the, Leo J Ryan Memorial Park, in Foster City, California. The park is dedicated to the memory of U.S. Congressman Leo J. Ryan who was murdered, in 1978, on an airstrip just outside the Jonestown compound near Georgetown, Guyana, by members of the People's Temple, which was led by Rev. Jim Jones. Before he became a congressman, Mr. Ryan served as the mayor of South San Francisco. This park, and the memorials to him, are a poignant reminder of the peaceful man that Congressman Ryan was.

An environmentalist, animal rights advocate and an investigator of religious cults, Ryan had an impressive record for his time in office. In 1970, he used a pseudonym for his name and had himself arrested, in order to investigate conditions inside the California prison system. He was awarded posthumously the Congressional Gold Medal for his service in congress. He is the only member of congress, to date, to have been killed in the line of duty.

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

-Thomas Elva Edison

Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park
Foster City, California
February 1st, 2006
Early Evening