Saturday, August 18, 2007


The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest and air
Exercise and diet
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they mend
And charge you not a shilling

-Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields
"What the River Knows Best"

Well, I went to my Diabetics Basics class last Wednesday, and came out feeling better about my new adventures with diabetes. I was hoping that once I get my numbers under control, and kept them there for a while, I might possibly reverse things.I had read somewhere, when Elvis was first diagnosed with it, that with proper care, sometimes felines can do that. So why can't humans...right? Well, no, that's not quite how it works for we humans. My health education teacher tells me that "once you are diagnosed diabetic, you're always diabetic." Drat. As much as that disappointed me, I accepted it. What can I do? Well, I can sit here and feel damned sorry for myself because of all that's happened this year, or I can just do my best to look for what I can do to make this latest bit of nonsense less hurtful.

The class I took was a lot different then any other health education classes I had taken. For one thing, I was the youngest of the 20 or so in the class. Something else that was different, was that there was only 4 females, and the rest were men! I had no idea the ratio would be so high. I wonder if diabetes affects more men then women? I am going to look into that. It was hard not to start sobbing as the class began, for some reason I began to feel very, very human just then. I managed to focus, and fight it all back. As I sat there, listening and absorbing the information, I kind of looked at the others around me... just to see how everyone else was doing. We were a glum bunch to say the least. Frowns all around. As the time moved along, we all seemed to find our own comfort zones, but you could tell that one or two of those who were there, would have rather been having a nice, painful root canal.

I have to admit, I felt a good bit of negativity towards one person, who decided it was a good idea to purchase a bag of Cheetos, and a bag of Skittles, and eat them in front of the rest of us, while the instructor was trying to speak to the class on portion control and carbohydrate intake. Sigh. Of course his laughing out loud at the teachers response to his suggestion that instead of taking glucose tablets if our blood sugar drops, a nice candy bar would taste better, truly brought me nearly to the end of my tolerance. I didn't say anything, however, even when he decided to talk on his cell phone during a short slide show on the food pyramid.

I know it wasn't my place to scold this man, he was an adult, and as I sat there contemplating why he was acting so disrespectful towards everyone, I realized how frightened he must have been about his condition. I don't think he has accepted having diabetes. He hasn't finished the inevitable grieving we all go through, when we are thrust into situations we don't see coming. And maybe my anger towards him, was just me finally getting really mad, about the whole thing. Yes, I was in the anger stage. As I thought about the possibility, I felt my shoulders relax... I think I was onto something. The rest of the class went well, and when it was done, Alan and I went out to dinner. It was good to have it all over with. Next came my appointment on Thursday, to learn how to use my meter.

Thursday was a good day. I spent the morning in San Francisco, in Golden Gate Park. Camera in hand, and pedometer on my belt, I did some walking and stretching, and lots and lots of photography. In all, I took 1381 steps, which worked out to half a mile of moderate walking. :) It felt pretty good. It was definitely good for the soul, as I was too focused on the plants and winged creatures to worry about my appointment. :) The appointment went well. Again I was a little frightened, and I had a bit of an inner struggle to actually do the blood sugar test on myself for the first time, especially in front of a stranger, and Alan. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to ask both of them to leave the room while I did it, but finally I just took a deep breath and took a sample of my own blood. LOL. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Of course it wasn't. My goodness the fear of the unknown can be so scary. My little OneTouch metering kit is fabulous.

So, I am now on my own with my adventure with diabetes. I don't know why I always fret about things so much, most of the time it all seems to come out just fine. I am OK, and I am going to be OK. I am managing my diabetes with my diet and exercise. I test my blood a couple times daily, and things are pretty much normal. Nothing much has really changed. I found out from the nutritionist that I can still have dessert, if I plan for it, in fact, diabetics don't have to give anything up, as long as they plan for it. I have been trying out new recipes, and having a wonderful time inventing some new ones. The other night, we had a wonderful meal of Red Snapper, and Strawberry salad. It was perfect for a hot summer night. Light and yummy. :)

Meters are a lot less painful now, then they were even just a few years ago. My diabetes is considered mild, and my numbers have all been well within healthy bounds. I am considering myself a lucky woman, that I my doctor caught my diabetes in the very early stages. I have health coverage, with a lot of resources available to me. I know there are so many others who go diagnosed in time. Over 44 million Americans have no health care coverage. 44 million! So, there are some folks out there doing without access to medical tests and care basic to life. I was lucky my diabetes was caught early, some aren't so lucky. Diabetes doesn't have any big glaring symptoms, so sometimes folks aren't diagnosed, until it is advanced. That makes me sad. Please, if you are over 40 ask your doctor about the AC1 test. Or maybe just discuss it with your doctor no matter what age you are. Adult onset Diabetes (Type 2) can happen at any age. AC1 is just a simple blood test that can save your life. If you read my blog often, you know I am an advocate of health and taking care of yourself. Take the test. You'll be glad you did. :)

American Diabetes Association

AC1 Test

"Violet Hours"
Berkeley, California
August 17th, 2007
Early Evening

Friday, August 17, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #179: Your Favorite Day

"There are two great days in a person's life... the day we are born, and the day we discover why."

-William Barclay

Weekend Assignment #179: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: of all the days of the work week, which is your favorite? Yes, I know a lot of people will default toward Friday, because it's an easy one, but I hope you will actually put some thought into your responses, and give each day it's due. If you finally settle on Friday, fair enough. But even Monday has it's good points, you know?

Extra Credit: Name a song you like with a day of the week in it (you can include Saturdays and Sundays for consideration here).

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

"A person can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Which day of the week is my favorite? Hmmm. Well, the answer to that question has changed many times over the last 10 years or so, but I can tell you that at the present time in my life, Wednesday is my favorite day. That hasn't always been the case mind you, in fact, there was a time when I hated Wednesdays with a deep passion! It seemed like every bad thing that ever happened to me, happened on a Wednesday! But then again, it was probably not so much the day's fault, so much as my superstitious perception of the day, after all, there was at least one other person in history, who found Wednesday unfavorable. Remember ominous the line from the Mother Goose poem, Monday's Child? "Wednesday's child is full of woe." See? See? Kinda spooky. LOL. Of course, one of the coolest characters on TV ever, Wednesday Adams, was born on, and named after Wednesday, so how bad can it really be?

All kidding aside, I enjoy Wednesdays because of Alan's current schedule. See, his weekends are not the traditional Saturday and Sunday, his days off are Wednesdays and Thursdays, so he and I do the majority of our hobbies, and photography together on those two days, unless there is something special happening on a different day. Also, I meet with my therapist Sarah, on Wednesdays, I do my meditation and Qi Gong, and every two weeks, I help Steven and Karen run the Round Robin Challenges. Wednesdays are usually really full days for me, sometimes I get a little frazzled, and maybe even a little over scheduled, but I have really come to appreciate the Wednesdays, because most folks I encounter out in the world, seem a little calmer on that day of the week. Maybe because Wednesdays give us the hope of the weekend coming up, or maybe it is because Wednesdays are nicknamed "Hump Day!" :) You gotta love any day nicknamed, "Hump Day!" ;) WINK!

Extra Credit: I love the song, "Tuesday Afternoon," by The Moody Blues.

Tuesday afternoon
I'm just beginning to see, now I'm on my way
It doesn't matter to me, chasing the clouds away

Something, calls to me,
The trees are drawing me near, I've got to find out why?
Those gentle voices I hear, explain it all with a sigh.
I'm looking at myself reflections of my mind,
It's just the kind of day to leave myself behind.
So gently swaying through the fairyland of love,
If you'll just come with me you'll see the beauty of

Tuesday Afternoon, Tuesday Afternoon.

Tuesday, afternoon,
I'm just beginning to see, now I'm on my way,
It doesn't matter to me, chasing the clouds away.
Something, calls to me,
The trees are calling me near, I've got to find out why?
Those gentle voices I hear, explain it all with a sigh.

"A Summer Day"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Wednesday, July 11th 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

His Life As An American Idol

"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away."

-Elvis Presley

Can you believe it's been 30 years since the death of Elvis Presley? I remember the day he died. I guess that day has become one of those days, where pretty much everyone remembers where they were. Like the day Kennedy was shot, or the day Princess Diana was killed in a car accident, and of course, this nation's darkest day... 9/11. I turned 15 years old the summer he died, and I really wasn't a fan. In fact, I really didn't get the whole Elvis following at all. I loved had loved The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, and Kiss, but Elvis? Nope, the whole phenomenon was lost on me. Now my sister, well, she was a fan start to finish. She is ten years older then I am, so she was in high school, when girls were going half crazy over those hip gyrations,bedroom eyes, and smooth vocals he did so well. He, lets face it, seduced an entire generation.

My sister came by that day, to play one of her Elvis albums on my portable record player. It was a fairly new album, that her soon to be husband had bought her as a gift. I gave her the record player, and went back to watching my soap opera "One Life To Live," paying little or no attention to the music she was enjoying so much, however, one song really sounded good to me, so I asked her to play it again. "Burning Love." It moved a different from his other tunes, and had a real rock feel to it, as opposed to most of his songs, which had more of a country sound. I never cared for country music, so it was really nice to be able to really appreciate a different side of him as a change of pace. She and I listened to the record a few times, then put it away in it's sleeve. We ate and giggled our way through lunch that day, because after years and years of trying to get me to admit I liked Elvis Presley, I had finally relented. I finally heard a song by him that I really liked.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them"

-Elvis Presley

A couple hours later, as we were gabbing with each other about her upcoming wedding plans, we heard the Special Report on TV. Elvis had been found dead. There weren't many details initially, just his age,and the fact that he had died at Graceland. It was a few days before most of the details came out, and years before the real truth was known. I remember all the coverage at the time, and how it seemed so disrespectful. The tributes were meant in love, but there were photos of him in his casket, plastered all over the tabloids for years after his death. To me it all seemed a little grotesque. It still seems so sad to me that he died alone, in his bathroom, and in life. Something went so wrong for him, that he wasn't even close to that young, hip, sexy guy who made all the girls fall in love with him by uttering a simple, "Thank you, thank you very much." I can't help but have some compassion for him still, all these years later. No matter how he got on the lost road he was on when he died, it seems like no one could reach him in time to save him, if they even tried at all.

There are some young stars today, who are pretty much headed down the same road that Elvis, Jimi, and Sister Janice traveled, just to name a few. The tabloids make jokes, late night talk show hosts make jokes, heck, I suppose we all make jokes.But is it truly funny? I don't know... I sometimes wonder, who will be next? Who will die young? I can't bring myself to laugh at Paris Hilton, or Nicole Richie anymore. Lindsey Lohan seems to be in the most trouble, but Britney brings her children along for the ride she's on. I wish there was someone who could put out their hand, or wave a magic wand, and heal whatever is hurting these girls so badly. I wish they had stronger support in their lives, support money can't buy. Truth is, as long as they have an audience to play to... who laugh along with the jokes they play out... they will have a reason to continue to drift away. Sometimes I think continuing to be a fan to certain stars, is just another form of "enabling." There is a strange codependency in it somehow. Sigh.

I think I will just look back to that day, in August of 1977. I liked Elvis that day. The above YouTube clip is of my favorite song by The King, "Burning Love." Enjoy!

"Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country."

- President Jimmy Carter, 1977


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm A Big Chicken

"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them."

-Andre Gide

Like the title of this entry says, I am a big chicken. My first instinct in all situations that initially frighten me, is to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction, so you can imagine what a funfest I was to live with when I was having as many as 5 panic attacks a day. Now actually, that was a rarity, but it did happen. Then one day I took a wonderful class called M.A.P. (Managing Panic and Anxiety). It was a 13 week course, and by the time I had completed it, I had cured myself of panic attacks, but it was work. Hard work! I took that class in 1995, and since that time I have only had 3 anxiety attacks, one of which happened yesterday. When I took the class it was impressed upon us that there was no way to eliminate anxiety completely, so the possibility that I could have a panic attack at some point in the future was almost certain, but the class taught me some strong emotional coping skills, that has never failed to see me through an attack. Everything comes down to retraining the inner tapes we all play in any given situation, even the ones we play when we are in full panic mode for no apparent reason.

As my heart began to pound, and my hands and feet went numb, I gave careful attention to my breathing. Remembering to stop and center myself, I began to focus on the chair that was holding me up. I took two long, deep breaths, and began to become aware of the sounds in my immediate environment. The wind in the trees, the new set of butterfly wind chimes I bought the other day, a siren up the road, the theme song to One Life To Live, playing on the TV in the next room. I let myself become aware very slowly of everything that affected my five senses, because I was taught that what triggers a panic attack is usually my senses picking up on a moment of stress or anxiety that has been stored away by my subconscious. The original fear doesn't have to be present, to make it's presence known.

So what was scaring me? Well, later today I have my class in diabetes basics. It is a one time class, that will teach me about what comes next in my management of the disease. I will admit that while I am looking forward to learning more about what's happening to my body, taking the class is scary. Scary because it makes it all real. Really real. I am still a little shaky about being diagnosed diabetic. The truth is, I could do everything I am told, right by the instructions, and still not be able to control my diabetes. Sigh. What if I fail? What if I do my best... and fail? In the end, all I can do is my best. Educate myself, talk about it here, ask my peers for advice, ask my doctor for advice, and do what I must. Millions manage living with diabetes everyday. Right?

You have to remember however, I am the girl who hates change. It's just that when things change, they usually do so without your permission. People move away and leave your life, and all you can do is wish them well and wave goodbye. Right? So what do you do with the pain that is left after they have gone? Ignore it? Wish it away? No, you pretty much have to face it, give it it's due and mourn it. Then you can move on. As we grow older, our bodies change, and finding ourselves in surreal situations like getting diabetes, suddenly becomes a real fact of life, with or without our permission. And again, you have to face it, give it it's due, and deal with what comes next. Sometimes I think, more then being a big chicken, I am mostly a control freak. I don't want to have diabetes. But who does? So, now what? Well, I would say it's time to COWBOY UP!

I am trying my best, and to my own credit I am succeeding slowly. I can give myself some credit for jumping into this new lifestyle and allowing myself to heal through learning and occasionally I have a good cry about things. It's a very mind clearing thing to have a good solid cry. You know, like how clear everything seems after a summer rain shower. OK, I might always feel the initial panic and urge to run in the other direction, but after I recognize the fear for what it is, I dig in and get down to work. It's a sink or swim world, and at one point I was drowning. Once you face not killing yourself, you always know that you will be able to find your way back to the surface... no matter how dark and deep the water gets.

So, I have my Diabetes Basics class today, and tomorrow I learn how to use my OneTouch Ultra meter for the first time. Please throw me a life preserver, wish me luck, and a little courage, OK?


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."

-Ambrose Redmond

"Big Chicken"
Berkeley, California
December, 2006
Late Evening

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: At an Angle

"While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see."

-Dorothea Lange

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Snap a picture of something at an angle. Don't tilt your camera, take a picture of something at an angle to your camera. Tilts, slopes, inclines, downgrades - they're all up for a picture.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I had to do a little hunting in my archives, to come up with some photos of angles, that I hadn't used too often or too recent. I need to get out with the camera more often. Lately it has been just one or two days a week, but I am hoping to get a little more time in soon. :) Anyway, here are a few I found interesting, beginning with the large picture above. I don't know, I just really liked the angle of the awnings in front of this beach side restaurant, and if you look really close to the left side of the picture you will see a steep downgrade of a street which meets at that corner. The scene just caught my eye for some reason.

Roller Coaster in Santa Cruz

Street Sign Gone Wild

Devil's Slide In San Mateo County (It's steeper then it looks)

"Nifty Awning"
Santa Cruz, California
August 9, 2007
Late Afternoon

Monday, August 13, 2007

In The Alien Light Of The Spaceship Of Love...

"I once saw Elvis in a potato chip."

-Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) The X- Files

I am all set. I have my cat, a big warm blanket, a flashlight, a star map, a pair of binoculars, and my digital camera. I am on my way into my garden, to sit, and wait for the Perseid meteor show to begin, and for, hopefully, a spaceship to land in my back yard. Yeah... I know... that last part is a long shot, but goodness, wouldn't that just be the living end? Tomorrow night I could be on the evening news, sharing about the space visitors who saw me, with their ultra-sensitive telescopic device, and decided to spend a little time getting to know an earthling, who seems like a nice lady, and who owns the cutest cat in the universe... Elvis... who they know for sure is the actual reincarnation of the King himself. Alan and I have always suspected our cat was the real Elvis Presley, because of his extreme love of food, and women. But to have an actual alien confirm it would be Enquireriffic! LOL. My cat Elvis is quite the charmer. I have seen more than one person take one look at him and fall in love, I think it must be something in the way he winks, and swivels his hips when he is on his best behavior.

I am still waiting for David Duchovny to find me. Man do I ever have a crush on that guy. Sigh. I see he has a new show premiering tonight on Showtime, but unfortunately we subscribe to HBO as part of our satellite package. Sigh again. Oh well, for those times when I miss him so much I can hardly stand it, I always have my X-Files DVD sets, one of which contains my very favorite episode "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," my favorite David Duchovny movie, "Return To Me," and that wonderful Bree Sharp Song, "The David Duchovny Song" to make me feel closer to him. LOL. Someone once asked me if Alan gets upset that I have such a crush on David, lol, nah, he always says, "If that spaceship ever picks you up, just make sure you get lots of photos, and be back in time for dinner." Is he a cool husband or what? I swear no one else could put up with me. :) Thanks again Alan, and by the way, I give you total permission to run off with Tea Leoni! :)

Enjoy the YouTube clip. It is one of my favorite scenes from "Jose Chung's From Outer Space."

So tell me, will you be stargazing this week?


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Love's Promise

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."

-Anais Nin

Here is a love letter I came across the other day, written from Count Leo Tolstoy, to his fiance, Valeria Arsenev. I think it goes very well with this romantic rose, I found in the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park. Isn't it unusual? The rose has a soft raspberry scent, and just looking at it had me daydreaming. Sigh. :)


November 2, 1856

I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever precious - your heart, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour, and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the beautiful and natural of feelings.

-Count Leo Tolstoy

"How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares, were there a danger of their coming true."

-Pearsall Smith

Love's Promise Hybrid Tea Rose
Rose Garden
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
August 8, 2007