Saturday, September 23, 2006

And So The Doctor Said, "Carly..."

"If I'd known I was going to live so long, I'd taken better care of myself."

-Leon Eldred

I paid a visit to my doctor this past week, it was time for my 6 month Fibromyalgia health progress check. There was plenty for she and I to talk about, but the first thing she wanted to address was why my blood pressure was 190/96 at 8:45 a.m. on a Wednesday morning! "I don't know," said I, "George Bush maybe?" She was not amused, although she did grin a little bit. LOL. No, the true culprit was probably the swelling that tends to attack me on cold mornings, or it could have been my lack of sleep the night before. "Well...I don't go to bed most nights until 5:00 a.m., it is just my internal way of life." Ok, so again, she wasn't amused, although she was still grinning. "Carly, what are we going to do with you?" "We?" Now there's a "we?"

Yes, "we" consisted of herself, Alan, and the surgeon I had to have a visit with, as part of my Breast Cancer scare. You remember that...right? One day, while minding my own business, I found a large round lump in my left breast, just sitting there, doing nothing, but scaring the Noodle-Roni out of me. Well, one visit to Mr. Squishy and one visit to a technician for an Ultrasound, and I got the good news that it was a cyst that would resolve itself, but I also found out that while that cyst was benign, my chances for getting Breast Cancer had just increased...a bit. It's always something. I was a lucky girl the day I was told it was all going to be ok... other ladies aren't always given good news about such things.

As we talked, my doctor continued the exam, by listening to my heart. Then she asked, "Carly, do you snore?" "Snore?" Not me thank you very much! That is one of the things I have been most proud of in my life... I don't snore! "Nope," said I, "Why?" "Well, I hear an irregularity, and I suspect that is what is causing you to not reach that 4 stage of sleep you need. It might also be causing the pain in your legs, and the Restless Leg syndrome." YIKES! Now what? As it turns out, some folks with Fibromyalgia, had disturbed sleep patterns and some even experience Sleep Apnea. So, I am now on a medication for my heart, it's a very mild medication, and she thinks it will work to relieve the pain in my legs and ankles. That means that perhaps I won't go into hibernation this winter, like I did last year. :) I may have to change my office hours however. :( That will be difficult, I have always been a night owl.

If you are reading my journal the old fashioned way, by visiting in person and not through subscription, you may have noticed I have already begun displaying the pink ribbon, for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. It's never too early to raise awareness to this disease. The statistics are scary and something needs to be done. I am making a plea to you ladies who supported me last spring, when I needed to get my first mammogram, to please schedule yourself and appointment for your own mammogram, the sooner the better, and share your own good news of a clean bill of health with us. Please feel free to swipe the dragonfly ribbon on my sidebar, I made it myself, and display it on your sidebar along with the link to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Let's get going...let's make a difference!

Here is what I am doing...

The Yoplait Lids For Life...

Yoplait yogurt is asking us to save the pink lids, now through December 31st. Clean them off and send them in to Yoplait for their "Save Lids To Save Lives," campaign. For every pink lid we send in, they will donate a dime to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This is really great, yogurt is so delicious, and my doctor actually recommended it to ease the stomach spasms I have sometimes. I like the idea of the yogurt a whole lot better then swallowing yet another pill. :) And now, I get the chance to help others, while taking better care of myself. Pay a visit to the Yoplait website to download your own badge for your sidebar.

Passionately Pink For The Cure

This is a great idea. The Susan G. Komen foundation has a great campaign all set for October, and you can be a part of it. All you have to do, is choose one day in October, and wear pink that day, and donate $5.00 to the foundation. It's not just your chance to make a difference, it's a chance to encourage others to help raise awareness of Breast Cancer, and make a difference. Just click on the above banner to visit the website and find out what you can do in your cities all through the month of October. I have chosen, Sunday, October 22nd. I will be sure and post my outfit, so you can see what I will be wearing that day. One hint... it will be pink! LOL.

About the above picture, well, that was my heart healthy lunch. A mug of tomato soup, and a fruit salad I invented. Mixed salad greens, strawberries, tomatoes, mandarin oranges, sliced red onion, crumbled french Feta cheese, fresh limes, and low-fat red wine vinaigrette. Too yummy! :) Fibromyalgia is such a strange condition to live with. It causes irritating things to happen, like when I lose whole words, or go to type one thing, only to have something completely different make it onto my blog. I have to check everything I do two or three times, and then there is no guarantees that it will be right. I am still searching for that groove Shelly told me about, but I count myself as a very lucky girl because I have all my friends here in Bloggerville, who don't worry about every little mistake I make, and in general, I am a healthy woman, with many more years of life to let George Bush raise my blood pressure! LOL. That's what I want for all of you! The healthy life... not the George Bush part. Tee Hee.

So, who else is going to join me, by choosing a day in October, and wearing pink to raise awareness of Breast Cancer?

Save Lids To Save Lives
P.O. Box 72716
Rockford Mn, 55572-7016

"Salad ala Carly"
Berkeley, California
September 22, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

The First Day Of Autumn

Blackberry Eating
By Gallway Kinnel

I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unfbidden to my tongue, (1.)
as words sometimes do, certain, peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinceh open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry...eating in late September.

Welcome to autumn! :)

San Francisco, California
September 20, 2006
Late Afternoon

1. edit: unbidden

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #130: From Athena!

"People as me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."

Roger Hornsby

This week we have a guest assigner for the Weekend Assignment: Athena!

Tell us if you like or don't like baseball (which is Athena's favorite sport), and (as extra credit) if you played it as a kid (or would play it, if you were a kid now). Write it up in your blog or journal and then come back here and leave us a link. Athena thanks you for your cooperation.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Well now let's see... "do I like baseball?" Yep... I sure do! LOL. You might even say I love the game, although I admit I haven't been keeping up with the game as steady as I used to. Sigh. My bad, because at one time, it was really quite a passion with me. Alan and I would go to baseball games all during the two years we officially dated. It was the bleacher seats for me! I loved sitting in the open, with the sun so bright, and besides, it is as close to nature as this city girl was willing to get! LOL. Oh my, the hot dogs, the promo days like, "Camera Day," and the BBQ's in the parking lot, how do you not love that? I was, at one time, a collector of baseball cards, and the highlight of my collection was a Tony Conigiaro rookie card, that Alan bought me for my birthday, the year we got engaged. He knew I was a big fan. "Tony C," passed away less then a year later, at the age of 45. Sigh.

At one time he had a very bright career ahead of him, when he was playing for the Boston Red Socks. On August 18th, 1967 everything changed for the slugger when he was struck by a fastball pitched to him by Angel's, pitcher, Jack Hamilton. His recovery took well over a year, but he made a short lived, but triuphant return to baseball in 1970. However, he was still plagued by vision problems, so he gave up his baseball career, and eventually went into sports broadcasting. He was the sports reporter for the Bay Area's ABC affiliate, KGO, for a time, in the late 1970's. I became a big fan, through hearing my brother and father talk about his playing, and seeing him present the sports in a way that, even a little girl who knew nothing of sports, could understand the game of baseball.

Extra Credit: I was a "girly girl" when I was little, so no I didn't play baseball as a child. I am still a "girly girl" as a grown up lady, so I think I would still prefer to watch from the bleachers. :) But I am with Athena on this is my favorite form of sports. :) Cool choice, Athena!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Last Day Of Summer

The morrow was a bright September morn;
The earth was beautiful as if newborn;
There was nameless splendor everywhere,
That wild exhilaration in the air,
Which makes the passers in the city street
Congratulate each other as they meet.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

he sun yesterday was so bright! The air was really cool, there was some light dew overnight, so everything was glistening. All the roses and hydrangea,reminded me of how stunning life is, early in the morning. It was so gorgeous. I had to leave the house really early to make a doctor's appointment by 8:00 am. I am usually asleep at that time, so I have been missing that late September sun of the last couple weeks. I am learning to appreciate the sun, and the warmth a bit more then I used to. I have never been a summer girl, well, not until recently. :)

The last couple weeks a raccoon has been visiting the garden, and bold creatures that they are, my raccoon likes to come up to the back door to visit with Elvis. He is not too happy about our newest visitor, and to be honest, they kinda frighten me a bit. They are so beautiful to look at though. I am thinking of removing one of the screens and setting up the tripod. I don't want to approach them the way I did the opossums, as I learned they are more likely to carry rabies then most of the nocturnal creatures that come by the yard. There is still a lot of fruit and vegetables to pick, so that there won't be any encouragement for them to continue to visit. But soon, even if the raccoons move on to greener pastures, we will begin hearing the bats that like to hang up in the Juniper trees. Autumn is just a day away! :)

"Late September"
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006
Late Afternoon

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Round Robin Challenge: "Dream Homes"

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."

-Ashley Smith

I love that quote. :) Think about it for a second, it is an amazing thought isn't it? Taking all the beauty of life in...fully understanding it...and embracing it. It's passion exploding. :) Yes, my dream home is a lighthouse or at least the house that sits next to a lighthouse. But, alas, the home I would want, probably doesn't exist anywhere on earth! See, I want my house to have 6 floors. Three above ground and three below. I want it to have secret tunnels and a dungeon. :) I want the doors to each room, to appear as bookcases and plant stands. I want a movie theatre that is only accessible through one of the tunnels, but once you get there, it seats 25 people, and has an old fashioned curtain that rolls back when the movie begins.

Every Friday night is Alfred Hitchcock night. MMMMM...can you smell the freshly popped popcorn? Hot dogs too, and you would all be invited, except I probably wouldn't attend the screening of the movies, because I always enjoyed how Jay Gatsby threw an observer. He enjoyed watching his guests have fun, from a distance. I would probably be in the tower of the lighthouse, looking for the ghost who walks on the beach below. I have dreamed of that "dream house," for the longest time. It exists only in my imagination, however. I would love it if my house was sitting in a spot like the grounds of the Point Montara Lighthouse in Montara, California. This lighthouse has a Youth Hostle on it's grounds. For a nominal charge, you can sit and watch the storms roll in. It is a very special place. :)

The sunsets off the coast are amazing at times. Depending on the conditions, it could be a soft, gentle, glow, or the sky can appear to be on fire! It's all passionate, and amazing, completely sensual for the creative mind to ponder. It also doesn't hurt that there is a legend about a ghost who supposedly walks the beach below the lighthouse. She is called the "Lady in Blue." She is, of course, searching for her lover!

There is only one green Adirondack chair on the premises. I love this chair. On visits, I sit right here and listen to the waves breaking against cliffs, and the happy sound of the birds singing, as as they fly about the coastline. God, I love the Pacific Ocean. I would be lost without this view!

I have done so much day dreaming while visiting this lovely lighthouse, and looking down at the cliffs below. I wish I could accurately explain how I feel when I am there. It is so still, and so calm, it makes me feel as if I am being embraced. I know that sounds odd, but it is the purest peace I know.

And of course... the sunset.
I really enjoyed this challenge. Thank you goes to Gem, author of the journal, "Journally Yours." I found a lot of inspiration in this subject. :) Be sure to pay a visit to all the participating Robins, Just click on the links below, or pay a visit to the official Round Robin blog, to get the full URL link to each journal. :)

Point Montara Lighthouse
Montara, California
August, 2006

Note: I will be gone until very late today, so it may take me a few days to visit everyone, but no fear, I will be by to see your entries. :) I am proud of you guys already!

Round Robin Linking List

Gem... Journally Yours
Karen... Outpost Mavarin POSTED!
Steven... (sometimes) photoblog POSTED!
Carly... Ellipsis... Suddenly Carly POSTED!
bolyiou... Percolation
Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix POSTED!
Maryanne... Inside The Gilded Cage POSTED!
Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life POSTED!
Patrick... Patrick's Portfolio POSTED!
Gina... Gina's Space POSTED!
Becky... Where Life Takes You POSTED!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Color Opposites

"The Most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet."

-Andy Warhol

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Post a picture that focuses on the contrast between two opposing colors. What colors are opposites? Green and red are opposites, as are blue and yellow, and orange and purple. So, a picture that has something purple in front of something orange would work, or a picture that features blue and yellow in alternating stripes. The subject of the picture could be anything you like - but there have to be opposing colors in there."

-John Scalzi

I haven't been out with the camera in about a week, so I decided today might be a good day to do some more "still life" photos of the summer harvest from the garden. I will post some of those photos soon, but in the meantime, I am still finding inspiration in those lovely pears. My goodness are they ever delicious. I sat under the tree for a while yesterday, and just ate them right off the lower limbs. Juicy, buttery and sweet. Almost erotic. My goodness can my mind ever wander! :)

More moments of contrast...

Now this guy, is a study in contrasting colors!

A red butterfly with a green body! I wasn't able to get any info about it, but it was absolutely stunning! Ahhhh...things with wings! :)

Color Matters (An excellent resource for information on colors)

"Pear In Blue"
Berkeley, California
Monday, September 18th, 2006
Late Afternoon

Monday, September 18, 2006

Steven's Feline Friday: Cuddle Kitty

"Who among us hasn't envied a cat's ability to ignore the cares of daily life, and to relax completely?"

-Karen Brademeyer

Well, the cold is still present, and so is the fever. Sigh. I have a pretty good nurse, however, in my kitty Elvis. He took a long nap with me this afternoon, and we held paws. He is so snuggly warm, and even when he is in full snore mode, I feel all safe and happy. :) Is that a great belly or what?

If you have a kitty, be sure to play along with Steven's Feline Friday. You can find all the info about how to play along over at his blog, "(sometimes) photoblog." :)

Berkeley, California
September 17th, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Family Day Challenge

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you want, and let the food fight it out inside."

-Mark Twain

LOL. Maybe it is the raging fever I have of, 103.5, or maybe it is because I have an odd sense of humor to begin with, but when I saw this giant can of Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce at Big Lot's yesterday afternoon... I just had to have it! I have to confess, I have no idea when I will actually use a 6 LB 11 OZ (3.03kg) container of Sloppy Joe sauce, but I will figure something out. LOL. According to the top of the can, it doesn't expire until, March 29th, 2008, so I will have plenty of time to figure it out. Some possibilities that come to mind are, awarding it to a lucky MadLibs winner, or giving to the 10th trick-or-treater who shows up at my door on Halloween. I could mail it to my friend Patrick, as a nifty housewarming gift, since he will be moving soon. Bwahahahahaha! Just kidding Patrick! :) If you haven't already done so, be sure to drop by his blog and wish him luck in his new endeavor!

Another thought that has come to mind, as to what I should do with the Manwich can, is to give him a makeover. You know, jazz up his personality with a nifty bowtie like that hunk, Tucker Carlson, wears. LOL. Jeepers...have you seen him on "Dancing with the Stars?" How strange is that? LOL. It's even stranger to watch when one has a fever...or so I would imagine...because I really didn't tape last week's watch this weekend...nope...not I! LOL. No, I only dreamed I did. That's my story and I am sticking to it! And in yet another possibility, I could create a new photo series here on Ellipsis, "Adventures Of Manwich," in which I take the giant can of Manwich and pose him at different landmarks... kinda like flat Scalzi! LOL. Where will Manwich turn up next? Only Manwich knows for sure! LOL.

So, have you heard about the Family Day Challenge? Created in 2001, by Columbia University's "National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse," it is a special day set aside to promot communication between parents and children by remembering to share a meal together. What a great idea. When I was a little girl, we rarely, if ever, all shared a meal at the same time. My mother had a lot of difficulties which left her to become emotionally distant, so she rarely cooked dinner for us. Dad was working all the time, so mealtime became the most fragmented time of the day, when it came to family contact. I don't know, a lot of things were assumed when I was a child, one of those things was that most families ate all their meals together. Sigh. It makes me feel really good that some honesty has finally been put into society, so that maybe one day, it will become something that everyone does...because they want to!

Alan, Elvis and I will be taking part. :) Yes, I do realize Elvis is a cat, not a child, but he is my little boy, and so why not have some fun? Alan and I don't get to eat together very often, due to his hours at work, so it will be good to make a special day of it, and take some time to slow down, and really share what's happening in our lives. For instance, he is writing a book, he is almost done, and is making notes for his next one. He shares with me all that he is doing to reach his goals, but sometimes it is while he is one the run with errands or on his way to work. It will be nice to just stop, turn off the TV, radio and computer, and just focus on each other over a nice meal.

I am really looking forward to fixing something special for dinner that night. I am thinking of a recipe for, Mediterranean Pot Roast, I created a few years ago. And as for Elvis, well, he has always enjoyed sitting on a step stool in the kitchen, while watching me as I fix dinner. Sometimes it really does seem like he is taking notes, so he can one day, fix a baked chicken like his mommy does. Gee... I really love that cat. He will have a place setting at the end of the table, right along with us. :) He is quite polite...and minds his manners. With the exception of how loud he can be, when he belches Mr. Pibb! But oh how funny it is! LOL.

Ours is not a traditional family, but we make it work. How about you? I don't think "Family Day" has any barriers on what constitutes a family, so if your children are grown or you don't have kids, how about a best friend, a neighbor or co-worker joining you for some companionship and a good meal. You could even make it pot luck, and invite several people over for the evening. It's about taking time for the people in our lives, and reminding them how important they are to us. It's about giving ourselves the gift of those we love. That includes our pets too, by the way, so be sure to include them! If you don't encourage your pets eating at the family table, serve them something special in a new bowl. Make it a treat. Now, if you want to take the challenge, you can find out all the information you need to sign the pledge to share "Family Day" with those you love. See the link below. If you do sign up for the challenge, take some photos, post an entry, and comeback here and leave your link in the comment thread for this entry. But remember that Family Day is Monday, September 25th, so I will not be doing the follow-up entry until Wednesday, September 27th. So no fair posting early! You MUST post on September 25th or after to be linked to. Hope to see you take the challenge!

Family Day Challenge

Berkeley, California
September, 2006