Saturday, July 28, 2007

Curious Carly Gets A Call From Her Doctor, And Her Doctor Says...

"What the fresh hell is this?"

-Dorothy Parker.

Well, I am looking at it this way, if one has to receive bad news, this was the bad news to receive. My blood test results came back, at it seems, I have Type 2 Diabetes. Sigh. Bother. Well, into each life a little rain must fall... right? But gosh this year has been a pain. Have I mentioned how happy I will be on New Year's Eve this year? How much I will be smiling when the clock strikes midnight? LOL. I am a diabetic. I am a diabetic. I have Diabetes. No matter how I say it, or how many times I say it, it just sounds like it can't be right. I mean, while I admit I have a sweet tooth that goes straight to my soul, I don't really overindulge. I love my veggies. I could probably do better with getting more exercise, but jeepers, with my Fibromyalgia, it is so difficult. I do T'ai Chi and meditation to help with the stress, and yet, I have diabetes.

Still, there is a bright side to things, and I am focusing on that. My doctor tells me that we don't have to jump headlong into insulin. We are going to try managing it with some strict dieting, and glucose monitoring for the next 6 months. I will have to start checking my levels several times a week. Whew! The news could have been so much worse... I think. I have a class to attend, which is paid for through my HMO, which I am thrilled about, because that is where I learn how to take on this new challenge. :) I like taking classes, and educating myself. That is how I have come to terms with the majority of the difficulties I have had... by educating myself and taking out the mystery of what ailed or frightened me.

I will admit to a few tears after the phone call. Alan didn't see me cry, I waited until I was alone. He would have understood, but it was just such a personal thing, that I really needed to feel it all by myself. I am ok now. In fact, I made myself a bracelet. My doctor said I will need to carry a card, or get one of those ID bracelets to show I am diabetic, but that was not for me. I made myself a charm bracelet. I took some charms from other pieces of jewelry I own, that have some special meaning to me, and I bought some symbolic charms at Michael's, and I got a heart shaped ID tag at, where else? Petco. LOL. Well, if Elvis has to wear one for his Diabetes, then so do I. Now we match.

My Charm Bracelet Symbols...

Purple flowers - My garden and Alexandrite is also my birthstone
1 Green and 1 Gold cat bell - Every man I was ever involved with at one time or another referred to me as a "cat." Now I have bells. :) Also, we have 2 Saturn Ions, one in Green, and one in Gold.
A heart with a pearl in it - Pearl is my other birthstone
A purple heart with "Ever After" in it - Love
A cat holding a pearl - My Elvis
2 butterflies - They represent a metamorphosis, as do dragonflies. I am hoping to add a dragonfly charm, when I find one I like.

So, now the work begins. I don't know how I got Type 2 Diabetes, but I have it, and I am going to face it. I watched a friend of mine nearly kill herself, after she was diagnosed, by climbing so far into denial that she very nearly lost her life. I couldn't do anything, but watch helplessly as she ran head long into chocolate, and fatty foods, and well, all things bad for the diagnosed diabetic. One day, she could no longer live that way... and the road she had put herself on became very dark and very painful. I decided then and there, that if this ever happened to me, I would do my best to face it. And face it I will. Watch me. :) If I didn't, how would I ever look at Elvis again? He makes me brave. I still need to ask though... can this year be done now? I hate 2007! LOL.

Let the research begin...

"Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramps. Guns aren't lawful; nooses give, gas smells awful; so you might as well live."

-Dorothy Parker

"My Charmed Life Bracelet"
Berkeley, California
July 27, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #176: What's Overrated

"Once you've been really "bad in a movie, there's a certain kind of fearlessness you develop."

-Jack Nicholson

Weekend Assignment #176: Tell us of one piece of culture - book, movie, album, painting, play, architectural "masterpiece," whatever - that you think is wildly overrated. Note I said to focus on an object, not the artist: for example, explain why Sgt. Pepper's is overrated, not The Beatles, or The Godfather, not Francis Ford Coppola.

Extra Credit: Have you ever changed your mind about how good a book, movie, etc., was? You know, you read a book once, hate it, come back to it several years later, and find out it wasn't so bad after all.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Ok, this is an easy one John, the most overrated film I have ever seen, was the movie Dune. It has to be the worst adaptation of a book I have ever seen make it to the big screen, but not if you ask a one of the movie's cult followers. Released in 1984, and based on the brilliant book written by Frank Herbert, the movie Dune, was no less than a dog of a film, filled with overacting, and miscast parts. Sting was embarrassing in his performance, which hurts me to say, because I have been a lifelong fan of him, and I was really looking forward to seeing him in that movie. If I wasn't laughing out loud at the bad acting, I was falling asleep from lack of interest in the storyline. And yet, this movie has a huge cult following, but then again, so does Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Plan 9 From Outer Space. Both of which I am a huge fan of, but of which the argument could be made that they are just as nondeserving as Dune.

Hey, I guess we all like what we like, but my goodness, the movie Dune, just didn't come close to doing the book justice, as so often happens with movie adaptations. The movie's director, David Lynch, no longer even appears in the credits to the film, because when the movie first opened in the U.S. to bad reviews, he decided to distance himself from the film. If you have never seen the movie, trust me and forget it, don't listen to the cultists, read Dune the book. :)

Extra Credit: Sure, I have changed my mind on occasion. One example, is when I heard that Madonna was coming out with a version of the Don McLean song, American Pie. Don't get me wrong, I love her voice, but let's face it, Don McLean had made American Pie a true piece of Americana. When I finally did hear her version, I was very pleasantly surprised. I loved it. Now both versions are among some of my very favorite songs. I like finding out I was wrong sometimes. :)


Note: My friend Vicki also did this week's Weekend Assignment, over at her blog, Maraca. She has a really cool story to share, so be sure to drop by. You can read it here. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: A Walk Down Your Street

"I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt felt another hand."

-Rodney Dangerfield

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a shot of something unusual on the street where you live. The challenge? It can't be of something of yours. Which means, you'll have to, you know, walk down the street a bit. The definition of "unusual" I leave to you. My only suggestion is that it should be in public view, unless you can convince a neighbor to let you in their house and take photographs of the freakish stuff they have there. And if you can, well, Good on you.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I love getting out with the camera, but I have to admit, I felt a bit uncomfortable with showing my street specifically. I don't know, it just feels a little too private for me, because of where I live in the hills. So, I did a bit of a drive in the general neighborhood, and came up with a nice view of San Francisco, from high atop Grizzly Peak. It's a nice view, and just as pretty in the day, as it is at night. But the real photographic find, was of the poor discarded bouncy ball, with a pumpkin face painted on it. :) Now I ask, who could throw away something as adorable as that? I love pumpkins. LOL. I had an overwhelming urge to retrieve him from the dumpster, it seems like such a shame that he was given up on, especially with Halloween just around the corner. Oh well, maybe his owner will have a change of heart and go get him. Poor little fella. :( Blogfather, I hope it was ok that I did a slightly broader interpretation of the photo shoot. :)

"One man's trash, is another man's treasure.'


"The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye, but found by the heart."


" Poor Discarded Punky"
Berkeley, California
July, 25, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Gimme, Gimme!

"There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your hearts desire. The other is to gain it."

-George Bernard Shaw

How fun! After a little more than two years, the challenge participation list has finally come back around to the very top. Karen was the one who came up with the idea of the challenges, as a way of cheering me up, during a time when I wasn't feeling particularly inspired. :) She is a good friend, who has been there for me. Well, she challenged me, and then I challenged her, and from there, more and more of our friends asked to join the fun. The rest is history. :) Now, we have not only got to share the challenges with our old friends, but we have made new ones through our love of photography, and creativity. :) True to form, Karen has come up with a challenge that is not only fun, but inspiring as well. She has chosen, "Gimme, Gimme" as our subject.

This one had me thinking, to the point my head hurt! LOL. I have all the material items I really want. Oh, I suppose there is always something that would be nice, or that I could use, but for the most part I am set. So, I decided to let my mind wander a bit. She said we could even imagine the possibilities in the abstract. So that is what I did. I let myself want something really unusual. Something I would only consider purchasing if I hit the lottery. What would that be you ask? Well, how about a Merry-Go-Round? :)

I have always loved Carousels, and Merry-Go-Rounds, heck, Alan even proposed to me on one at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I like the music, the beautiful, whimsical animals, and the way it feels to go around and around, until you feel dizzy inside. :) It's that dizzy feeling I enjoy. :) I had a wonderful time last Christmas, visiting the, "Holiday Lights In The Woods," celebration in the Berkeley Hills. Part of the event, is to open up the Merry-Go-Round at night. It is amazingly beautiful, with all the lights, music and holiday ribbons. I enjoyed it so much, that I let myself daydream a bit about what it would be like to own my own Merry-Go-Round. Maybe buy a very old one, and fix it up, just so it's beauty could live on.

I have a small collection of Merry-Go-Rounds, and Carousel horses. In fact, we had Carousel horses on top of our wedding cake, as opposed to a bride and groom. We thought it was a nice way to celebrate the place where Alan proposed. As a wedding present, an old family friend, gave me a snow globe, shaped like a wedding cake, with a carousel inside it. It remains one of my favorite possessions to this day. I suppose if my dream of never owning a Merry-Go-Round never does come true, I would be just as happy to own just one carousel horse. I have seen them in the windows of houses from time to time, and I think it looks lovely. So that's it, I would like to have a Merry-Go-Round. LOL. Silly... huh?

Be sure to drop by Karen's blog, "Outpost Mavarin" to see her entry. Then, take a jog about the land to see what the other participating Robins have come up for this entry. Just follow the Linking List posted below. We have some really talented and creative Robins, it's always a lot of fun to read their entries, and see their magnificent photography! If you have never played before, but would like to, hop right in. Visit the Round Robin Blog, read the ***Welcome Entry & Rules Of Play." Then, post your entry, comeback to the comment thread and leave us a link, so we can find you.

Linking List

1. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

2. Carly... Ellipsis

3. Kerrin... A New Day, A New Photo

4. Janet... Fond Of Photography

5. Vicki... Maraca

6. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pics

7. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

8. Brandon... A Visual Experiment

9. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

Suzanne... New Suzanne R's Life

Holiday Lights In The Woods (Berkeley)
December, 2006
The Merry-Go-Round At Guadaloupe Park (San Jose)
April, 2006

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Violets And Baby Fruits And Vegetables

"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity."

-John Rushkin

Well, I got the blood test done yesterday, so now the next step is the appointment with the surgeon. That will be on August 6th. Sigh. I am not stressing about it as much as I was last week, but there is still a lot about it that has me wondering what I should do. Like the fact I am in my mid 40's now. I suppose it is a good idea to write things down for Alan. You know, in case something unexpectedly stupid happens. I know one thing, I would rather he knew for sure to pull the plug, as opposed to possibly having George Bush decide my fate.

That would be literally the LAST thing I would want. Sheesh. LOL. (Rolling my eyes). I am starting to see things in a more positive light, I can focus on the benefits of having the surgery, I just wish while they are in there, they could also remove my ingrown toenail, remove a weird mole I have on my back, lift up my tush ever so slightly, and make me taller. LOL. And oh yeah, by the time I have the surgery, I will need a touch up on my dye job. :)

I don't know. Sometimes things go wrong, and of course that would cross my mind, but most of the time, things go perfect. I have always believed the odds for everything are 50/50... either it will be ok, or it won't. The horse will win, or it won't, it will rain, or it won't, George Bush will say something stupid this week, or he won't, but don't we all know he will? Tee Hee. OK, so sometimes the odds are a little more in favor of something then not.But what's a girl to do? I know the attitude I take into surgery will directly affect how fast I heal. I will find my sense of humor, like I have many, times before. I will. I have learned to at least try to find the positive.

Take this summer for example. I HATE the summer, but this year I have been enjoying it, because I gave myself something to focus on other than how much I dislike the season. I have my flower garden, and Alan has the vegetable garden. We take turns doing the watering, if one of us is especially tired. I enjoying sharing the gardening duties with him, watching his vegetable plants begin to produce, and tonight he was making suggestions, for some special evening lighting for the flower garden next year. He thinks some colored solar lights my be pretty. Yeah... I can see that! :) There are very few situations in life that can't be made better, by searching for the positive aspects, rather then dwelling on the negative. But don't get me wrong about one thing... I still HATE 2007. LOL

Now... I must brag on Alan a bit. All babies are beautiful, even baby vegetables. :) He is doing an amazing job with the fruits and veggies he planted. They are going to be delicious when the harvest comes. :) We are also looking forward to eggplant, green beans, Lima beans, and pumpkins. :)

Baby Tomato

Baby Bell Pepper

Baby Zucchini

Baby Cantaloupe

"Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people."

-Elizabeth Berry

"Glistening Violets"
Berkeley, California
July 23, 2007
Early Evening

Monday, July 23, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: Laughing Kitty

"A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart, and some laughter on one's lips, is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life."

-Hugh Sidey

Tee Hee. Elvis likes to giggle and laugh. We first noticed this peculiar talent of his, when he was about a year old. We were playing fetch with him one evening, and as we tossed the little pink mouse to him, we heard him make a little sound. Just a silly little snort. Alan and I both laughed, because it had sounded to both of us like he was actually laughing. "How strange would that be?" We mused. But when he caught the mouse, and brought it back for us to once again throw, he made the noise again as he laid it at Alan's feet. Again, we laughed. "Could it be? Can cats really laugh?" Here it is, 9 years later, and my answer is, YES! Cats do laugh!

When Elvis is having fun, or is he is looking at something he thinks is amusing, he makes a wonderful little giggling noise. Noodles make him laugh, his stuffed monkey (Cap-N-Federick) makes him laugh, playing with bubbles makes him laugh, and when he sneezes... he laughs. Yesterday, I was teasing his whiskers with a feather brush, and he just loved it. We have a pretty good time together. He makes me laugh, and I make him laugh, and it's good for all three of us. He is a happy little fella again, and is just about back to his old self, since we finally have his diabetes under control. I guess humor helps cats heal as well. :)

This entry is for my friend Steven's weekly meme, Feline Friday. If you have a kitty you would like to show off, and you want to play along, you can find out all the info you need by visiting his blog, "(sometimes) photoblog." Like Steven says, "Cats Rule."

"Laughing Kitty"
Berkeley, California
July 22, 2007
Early Evening

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

"Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is a bad idea."

-Fred Saunders

Hi everyone. :) Thanks so much for the comments and emails of support. :) It means a lot. Ok, yeah, I certainly did have my pout on yesterday, didn't I? Well, I am better today. I am getting used to the thought of having the surgery, and how much better I will feel when I have recovered. My first thought when things go wacky, is that I am not sure I will be able to make it through it. Those thoughts come from growing up in a family who fully embraced the negative in life. I have learned to retrain the thoughts, and for the most part I am a positive person, but some times I get overwhelmed, especially if a difficult situation comes at me out of the blue. That's what happened when I found out about the possibility of surgery... it was out of the blue. It usually only takes me 24 hours or so to work it through in my thoughts, and I begin to see things in a new, and sometimes, brighter light. It does help a lot to have your comments and feedback. While I don't usually like to bring my negative moods to Ellipsis, it helps more than I can say to let myself share moments when I am hurting or frightened. You remind me I am not alone.

In a complete change of subject. I am absolutely exhausted. Last night, Alan and I came across several LARGE infestations of ants throughout the house. I don't understand it, they came up so quickly, and there was a ton of them. I was sitting on the bed playing with Elvis at 8:00 PM, we spent about 30 minutes playing, and then I got up to watch a program on TV, when I went back into the bedroom, to change for bed, I saw that the entire top of the bed was covered with ants. Just an hour earlier, there wasn't even one. It was a miserable night trying to get rid of them. Just as we got one area taken care of, we would find a cluster somewhere else. Alan and I finally gave up, and went for a ride very late last night, just to get away from the smell of ant spray. This seems like a new type of ant, it is very aggressive, and they are really fast movers. Stupid bugs. After we got home, Alan and I fell into bed, and got a nice, long, delicious sleep in, only to wake up to several more clusters. We fought them pretty hard yesterday, then sat down to a nice meal of Chinese take out. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... comfort food for the weary soul! :)

As stressful as the ant situation was, Alan and I kept each other laughing. We do that. When we are stressed, we tend to bring the humor out in each other. We laughed all day, as we engaged in battle with the enemy. At one point, we were laughing so hard, we were both holding our sides in pain. Doesn't that just make your day? Getting a good solid, punchy humor going? :) I have no idea what made me think about it, but for some reason, that old kid's game, "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots," came to mind. When I was a little girl, I had a best friend Mike, and he had a set of the robots. Mike was great fun. I miss him a lot, even to this day, but it is a fun memory I have of he and I occasionally playing "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots." Gosh the toy market has changed since I was a little girl. Everything now is so high tech. It's a shame really, because those silly little toys from when I was a child, were wonderful. Toys from back then, were not nearly as sophisticated as they are now, but there was a charm to them that you really don't see very often anymore. Sigh. Mike and I used to laugh and laugh at that game. Even as a little girl, I knew the importance of humor. :) I found the retromercial for them on YouTube, and it really made me laugh, and it was good to remember Mike. It was like having him here with me. :) I feel better now. :)