29 August 2006

Nope and a Big Yes.

Tuesday 8:51pm 29Aug06

I blogged about not being a therapist a while back. It was about feeling frustrated that some of my friends had forgotten about me and moved on with newer friends. It was about those same friends that call me in crisis because they know I always have a listening ear and great insights about how to deal.

I'd been feeling hurt about being somewhat deserted. I was upset that friends I'd worked with for years were treating me with an out of sight, out of mind attitude. But I see that there is pain before change. I see that I'm not obligated to say yes to things just because I want to be a good friend. The gem is that I have the time to write that I've been begging for. Plus the newer people in my life don't seem to see me as just a giant ear at their disposal. Not that the old friends are totally out of my life, nor would I want that with most of them, just that there is more of a balance and I'm more able to say no to activities I don't want to participate in.

Also, had it not been for that feeling of desertion, it would have been so much harder to be disciplined about doing this whole being healthy in order to manage my arthritis thing that I've been doing for close to three weeks now. Every thing does have a purpose, it seems.

I caught the tail end of an interview with Canadian Comedian Sean Cullen and after being asked what other talent he liked to have he discussed how he'd worked in a show with all these amazing dancers and how they all wanted to be either singers or actors or something other than what they were. He said, "Enjoy the talent you have and really make it amazing."

That inspired me. I've been blessed with a lot of superficial talent - I can sing, draw, dance and write. If the truth be known I would love to be able to sing like Gladys Knight. To me, her strong, rich, vibrant voice is the voice that I'd want to emulate. Well, I don't sing that well. But it hasn't been my focus. I'm really too much of a chicken to stand up in front of people and sing. Writing is my gig.

Sean's comment makes me want to make my writing talent really amazing. And the singing? I can still do that for mere enjoyment in my living room with the tunes cranking until my next door neighbour knocks on my door asking me to turn it down a little.


27 August 2006


Sunday 10:25pm 27Aug06

Went to weigh myself today. As I don't have a scale at home, I went to the pool. I've lost 10lbs. I want to lose 30lbs in total. It will happen.

I ended up swimming for a half hour since I was at the pool and I had my bathing suit with me. I carried some juice with me for my juice fast. Overall my juice fast went okay. I just didn't drink enough juice but I'll carry a boatload of juice with me tomorrow with my salad for lunch and make up for my wishy washyness.

I decided to walk after my swim and ended up down at Harbourfront to see my girlfriend. I ran into CBC radios Jowi (same as Joey) Taylor, whom I love. When we worked together ten years ago, he was above me and really didn't have to pay me any attention. He saw me working outside in the stifling heat and said, "You need a chair. You don't have a chair," and came back with one of those movie directors chairs for me. I've loved him ever since.

Well, anyway, he was at Harbourfront with a Six String Nation guitar that is made of pieces from all over Canada with pieces of wood from such celebrities as Pierre Trudeau (his canoe paddle) and Wayne Gretzky (piece of his hockey stick) and Maurice "Rocket" Richard (Gold from his Stanley Cup Ring of 1955-56). Any way Jowi had a whole thing set up where you could have your picture taken with the guitar. He dragged me to have my picture taken with it. Believe it or not, I'm quite camera shy but if Jowi asks, well, I don't say yes I just do it. So at some point all the pictures that were taken will be on the website... Six String Nation
I even got a six string guitar pick for my troubles. Very cool!

While waiting to have my picture taken, Jowi asked me if I played guitar and I said no. He said he didn't either but wished he could. Yeah, I said, it takes discipline. Jowi looked at me and smiled and then we got into this big rant about our shared lack of discipline. I love Jowi!

While swimming I had an interesting incident. It's funny because I always think I'm in peoples way or I'm lame. It's automatic. When I swim, I like to play around and swim at the bottom of the pool until my breath runs out. I push myself up from the swimming pool floor with my feet to grab some air and then I zoom back down to the bottom of the pool. I do it because I like to be out of the way of the real swimmers that do their disciplined laps and because I like to test how long I can stay under without coming up for air. I think I'm lame because I don't do the proper laps like 'normal' swimmers. But once I get past feeling lame and self-conscious that all the other swimmers think I'm lame I have fun.

One of the swimmers caught me at the edge of the pool and said, "Can you teach me how to do that?"
"Swimming at the bottom of the pool. I can't swim at the bottom of the pool, I always float up to the top."

I was stunned. Here I think I'm lame and some one thinks what I do is better than just swimming laps. sigh! I don't know why I always think I'm so lame. I've got to stop doing that to myself and relax a little.

Back at Harbourfront, I waited for my girlfriend to finish work and we went for a beer. Well, she had the beer and I (I'm very proud to say) drank Cranberry juice and a glass of water. I love beer. I love more types of beer than I don't. I didn't even bat an eye or hem and haw about not ordering beer. Just knew I couldn't so I didn't. Every once in awhile I do have some discipline.


25 August 2006

Juice Fast - Personal Arthritic Regime

Friday 5:20am 25Aug06

Well, I start my juice fast tomorrow morning. I've got to go to Price Chopper tonight after work to stock up on beets, white potatoes, celery, carrots and lemons.
I'll be starting with my morning smoothies, continuing with the beets and potato juices, keeping to the Apple Cider Vinegar in hot water twice a day and adding the black radish juice, noni juice and a good fresh fruit juice, most likely oranges, if I can get enough bags of oranges at a decent price. I've got two watermelons so I'll be chomping on a lot of watermelon because I'm one of those weird people who loves watermelon but hates it juiced. Makes no sense but the smell is so strong when I juice watermelon that I can't bring the juice to my mouth to drink it. Actually all melons. But I like them in smoothies because there is so much going on there that I can't smell it. Strange, I know!

I'll be doing all this with 8 glasses of water a day. I've found the easiest way to ensure that I get the 8 glasses a day is to have 2 glasses in the morning when I get up, 2 glasses before lunch, 2 glasses before dinner, and 2 glasses before I go to bed.

I went to bed super early last night and read for awhile and fell asleep by 8pm. With my daily 4am rising I find that it does me good to get to bed extra early every once in awhile to recharge my body plus healing is done while you sleep, I think.


23 August 2006


Wednesday 9:09pm 23Aug06

I can be a big complainer sometimes. It seems that when I have something to complain about more things happen for me to complain about. I've been working on this. I find that instead of telling myself that I don't want to complain all the time I actually have to tell myself what I do want before I can see any results.

I want to notice all the good things that people say and do through out my work day. I want to notice that one cute contractor that smiled at me. I want to enjoy the blasts of laughter caused by my work buddies Air and Ado. I want to have several snickering sessions with my little friend so my work mates think I'm on a personal call when I'm not.

But when I need to complain, because sometimes you need to, I want to get it out of my system and leave it where it lay rather than bring it home with me tormenting my dreams and possibly starting tomorrow with that attitude. I want to feel okay about complaining.

Quote from Sara, Book 1 - The Foreverness of Friends of a Feather:
"Okay. I want to fly because walking isn't much fun and it takes so long to walk around down here on the ground."

Sara, can you see that you are still talking more about what you don't want and why you don't want it? Try again.

"Okay. I want to fly because... I don't get this, Solomon. What do you want me to say?"

I want you to talk about what you do want, Sara.

"I WANT TO FLY!" Sara shouted, feeling annoyed at Solomon's inability to understand her.

Now, Sara, tell me why you want to fly. What would that be like? How would it feel? Make it feel real to me, Sara. Describe it to me, what does flying feel like? I don't want you to tell me what it's like on the ground, or what it is like NOT to fly. I want you to tell me what it is like to fly.

"Flying feels very free, Solomon. It's like floating, but faster."

Tell me, what you would see if you were flying?

"I would see the whole town down below. I would see Main Street and cars moving and people walking. I would see the river. I would see my school."

How does flying feel, Sara? Describe what it feels like to fly.

"It would be so much fun, Solomon! Flying just has to be so much fun. I could soar fast as the wind. It would feel so free. It feels so good, Solomon!"

And then, suddenly, with the same sense of power that Sara had felt in Solomon's wings as she had seen him lift off his post day after day, Sara felt a whoosh within her that took her breath away. Her body felt, for a moment, as if it weighed ten thousand pounds, and then, instantly, she felt absolutely weightless. And then, Sara was flying... Pages 42 & 43.

This message is for you, little one, because I'm thinking about you. Tomorrow is the clean slate. Leave yesterdays complaints with yesterday including the bad feelings about yourself for having to complain. Think about what you do want and focus on that at least a third of the time. Oh and remind me to do the same when I need it!


Improvements - Personal Arthritic Regime

Wednesday 8:13pm 23Aug06

I've made it past the fever, thankfully. My energy level has improved ten fold and I'm not yawning constantly which is what I normally do. I decided to mix the raw potato juice with the raw beet juice with celery, carrots and lemon to truly mask the nasty raw potato taste. It's much better. It's nice to have those odd brainwaves every once in awhile.

Since my Sunday breakfast mate will be in Stratford this coming weekend, I plan to do an all juice fast. I'll have the thrill of trying the raw cabbage juice. Can you hear my hands clapping with excitement? Probably because they are not clapping and I'm not that excited. But I'll do it anyway.

There's nothing better than feeling the changes relatively quickly. My feet haven't had the continual excruciating pain which is a Godsend. The foot massager under my desk at work that my cute little friend bought me certainly helps. My feet enjoy the attention for sure.

I'm enjoying all the music I bought myself as a reward in advance of this crazy fast, junk food restriction, all around Spartan existence I'm trying on. It was a good idea to reward myself in advance. The sparkpeople site is coming in very handy because I have no chance of forgetting all that I need to have. As I click off each goal that I've accomplished, arthritis wise, I notice what I still need to include and go and grab that too.

I had a splendiferous salad for my lunch today and yesterday (tasted so good, I had to have it again!) :
4 sliced peaches
2 sliced oranges
mixed with 4 TBSP's Renee's Ravin' Raspberry Salad Dressing
Spring mix (mixed greens)


21 August 2006

What to Expect - Fasts

How to Know What to Expect During a Fast
Fasting is not necessarily easy. You'll need physical and psychological discipline to achieve results. A successful fast will give you clarity of mind, soundness of body, and a greater quality of life.

1. Expect to feel anxiety in the days prior to the fast. Your mind will try to talk you out of fasting with all sorts of excuses. Avoid the temptation to eat a big "last supper" before you fast. Instead, eat lightly on the days before the fast to help prepare your body.

2. Realize that fasting will teach you a lot about your relationship with food and meals. In the first days of your fast you will feel out of place at meal times. People around you will be eating, going to restaurants and having food-related fun. You may feel left out. Take note of these things and realize the huge role food plays in the daily routines of people.

3. Counter you feelings of being left out by becoming involved in your fast. There are lots of things to do: make teas, take baths, skin brush, stretch, meditate, do yoga, take internal baths. Realize that this is time you have set aside to clean and repair your body - take it seriously.

4. Expect to feel impatient and irritable in the first two or three days of your fast. This is your body adjusting from using the food in your digestive tract (which remains for about three days) to consuming stored fats. Just imagine how rarely your body has a chance to eliminate these stored fats with you dumping three meals a day down your throat.

5. Realize that by the third day your mind and body will be conspiring against the fast to get you to stop. You will smell food cooking five blocks away. Enjoy the smell, but do not eat.

6. Expect to stop feeling hungry after three days. By this time your digestive tract is empty and your body has adjusted. If you are fasting properly, you should not feel any physical hunger for many days to come.

7. Understand that you may experience aches in certain parts of your body. This usually means that elimination of fatty tissue is taking place in that area of your body, which is not harmful. Lower back pain can be a symptom of dehydration, so make sure to keep hydrated. Any extensive or severe pain should be examined immediately.

8. Anticipate headaches, stomachaches and discomfort as a result of salt, sugar and caffeine withdrawal. Avoid these discomforts by tapering off these addictions in the days prior to your fast.

9. Expect changes in your bowel functions. You will have to aid your bowels to keep moving.

10. Expect to lose weight, but also expect to put it back on after the fast.

from - ehow.com

Cold Sweats - Personal Arthritis Regime

Monday 9:01pm 21Aug06

Been home from work all day today. Had the cold sweats all last night and all day today. This flush/cleanse is working faster than expected and a little nerve wracking to be honest. As long as I don't croak or get really sick I'll be okay. I'm going to have to go back through my notes to review what they say about fasts and what to expect.
I've slept a lot which is probably what I needed. It could take a couple days before my body normalizes. My feet haven't bothered me all weekend so that's a start and the point.


20 August 2006

Raw Potato Juice - Personal Arthritic Regime

Sunday 5:02pm 20Aug06

Well, I had my first glass of raw white potato juice. It looked like milk. It tasted, well, not so great. I had to juice a half lemon into it to make it palatable, if that's possible. All I have to say is it better do other great things for me like give me instantaneous orgasms just by saying the word orgasm. Or something like that. ha!

I had to chase it with beet, celery and carrot juice. But I did it and will apparently be doing it daily. Maybe one day I'll look forward to it too. Not!

I had a busy weekend of washing, cutting and cooking vegetables in some sort of soup or other. Crock pots are such handy appliances. I think I'll have to buy two more for myself for Christmas. I made pea soup with red lentils. I made the apple, red cabbage and carrots cooked in red wine vinegar, sugar and allspice and it's actually quite tasty, given that I used less sugar than it called for. My crock pot is currently rocking some Mushroom and Barley soup and the dried porcini mushrooms that are in it smell so good, I can hardly wait for it to be cooked. I'm planning to cook red onion and red pepper soup in my other crock pot soon. The homemade vegetable stock makes such a difference in the taste of soup. I never liked soup growing up until I started making my own and it is all about making it with stock.

My fridge is brimming with health. My freezer will be packed with individual serving containers of all the soups I make since they will last longer than all the perishables in my fridge. I've even labeled the containers. I'm so organized that I'm scaring myself. Who is this anal person that moved into my body?

Arthritis has given me the opportunity to find all sorts of vegetarian recipes that I was never motivated enough to check out in the past. So it's all good.


19 August 2006

And So It Begins - Personal Arthritis Regime

Saturday 19Aug06 12:40pm

Last night I walked with my big red grocery buggy to the Price chopper and then to the Fresh Obsessed to stock up on all the goodies for my new food regime for the arthritic toes. Spent $160.00 on veggies and fruit and couscous and wild rice and brown rice and nuts and the like. I'm making the vegetable stock now that I was supposed to start at 4am but my eyes had another idea and didn't bother to open until 7:30.

I've got a list of about twenty recipes to get me through the next week or two. If I'm going to do this right I'm going to need a large variety of things to eat.

Recipes I got from the Book, the Mucusless Diet Healing System, include:
1- Raisins, nuts and raw green onions mixed together... sounds gross but is surprisingly tasty
2- Cold Slaw salad - with Cabbage, lemon juice, onions and cold cooked carrots
3- Mexican Cold Slaw - with Red Cabbage, red kidney beans, onions, chopped red peppers, olive oil and lemon juice
4- Carrot and Apple Salad - with onions, sliced dates, olive oil and lemon juice - you soak the apple cubes in lemon to stop them from turning brown
5- Asparagus and Cauliflower
6- Carrot and Spinach - with the Cold Slaw Salad
7 - Sauteed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots in Olive oil

Recipes I got from the Book, Slow Cooker Recipes no 8, include:
1- Vegetable Bean Soup
2- Butternut Squash - Apple Soup
3- Mushroom and Barley Soup
4- Pea Soup
5- Red Cabbage and Apples with carrots
6- Spinach Spoonbread with cornbread mix, cottage cheese, red peppers and green onions

And Recipes I got from the Book, Robert Rose's Favorite Meatless Meals, include:
1- Fried Zucchini
2- Tzatziki Sauce
3- Red onion and Red Pepper Soup
4- Spinach Salad with Oranges and Mushrooms
5- Caraway Carrots
6- Wild Rice with Sauteed Oriental Vegetables

I bought spring mix, radicchio and dandelion for my green salads. Dandelion is a great system cleanse as it has both diuretic and laxative qualities. Plus bitter food such as radicchio is a good liver cleanse. I've got Renee's Ravin' Raspberry dressing for most times and will try a salad using the homemade tzatziki sauce.

I've managed to drink the Apple Cider Vinegar and honey in hot water both in the morning and in the evening and have found that I haven't been overburdened with the acid reflux-y feelings that I regularly get.

This week, I'll be starting on the Raw beet juice and the raw white potato juice daily. The potato juice should prove interesting. The beets I've done before and mask the taste by adding apples and carrots. It really does flush through the system and it's amazing how often it is mentioned in my Herbal notes, for Cancer and arthritis and all sorts of stuff, so I'll probably drink beet juice for the rest of my life.

I'll probably just do the raw cabbage juice on the weekends for now. I've got a lot of stuff and I don't want to stress myself out with all this crazy-ness. I doubt that I'll be able to do the raw food cleanse as I really don't like vegetables all that much to want to eat them raw. A diet of carrots won't cut it for me because frankly, carrots are pretty much the only veggies that I like raw. ha! I may save my juice cleanses for the weekends and days off because it's too hard to do a juice cleanse and work full-time with the urge to pee every two seconds plus it's better to drink the juice just after I've made it, rather than carrying pre made juices and worse yet making all those juices at 4am each day. I'd have a nervous breakdown and I do lots at that hour.

And so it begins, unlike diets one starts to lose weight, I'm organized and prepared to restrict all the fun stuff that I like to munch on. Since it's not just about my weight, although losing some will be a happy perk, I'm motivated to forego the restrictions because well, walking without pain is a bigger carrot than eating that ice cream or chocolate or whatever.
That's it for now, I'll keep you posted on the results, the tastes and the weirdness. I am weird aren't I?


W2L - Daily Practice

11:43am Saturday 19Aug06

I'm having problems with my Writing2Live Blog. Can't log in, can't post a message. Waiting for the powers that be to get back to me but it can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. So? Decided I should probably do my daily practice here before I get away from it. Although I've been feeling like my daily practice has been a little too much on the navel gazing side but it's the practice that matters more than the content. Mind you, if I want people to continue to read my blog, I'll have to pay more attention to the content.
In keeping with daily practice I found this interesting challenge that a marathoner has made for himself:

The marathon man...
By Nichola Groom Wed Aug 16, 8:37 AM ET

Dean Karnazes insists he's not crazy. He just loves to run. A lot.

This fall, the 43-year-old long distance runner will tackle one marathon a day for 50 consecutive days, running a total 1,310 miles in 50 days. And for each 26.2-mile race, Karnazes and his family of four will travel to a different U.S. state.

Arguably the world's best-known ultramarathoner, Karnazes has already run 350 miles in one stretch, run a marathon in the South Pole, and raced across the California desert in the middle of the summer.

With this fall's challenge, however, Karnazes said on Tuesday he is going a step further in testing the human body's limits.

"I'm curious to see what the limits of human endurance are," he said in an interview. "I still haven't found them."

... Beginning September 17 with the Lewis & Clark Marathon in St. Charles, Missouri, Karnazes' so-called "Endurance 50" event will take him to 8 official marathons and 42 "re-created" marathons across the United States.

Each marathon is expected to take around three-and-a-half to four hours, Karnazes said.

Runners of any ability are encouraged to join Karnazes along the way and can sign up online at the event's Web site, http://www.endurance50.com/

Karnazes will end his quest with the ING New York City Marathon on November 5.
Click this link for the full article


14 August 2006

Spark People

A cool free offering I got from one of my online writing groups...


You can set up your goals, lose weight, track your fitness goals etc.

I signed up with it last night to track my arthritis goals specifically, and writing goals obviously.

Check it out.


In Search of My Remedy

Monday 6:43pm 14Aug06

I went to see my Herb guy with my notes in hand and bought all my remedies to take a proactive stance to combat these poor arthritic toes.

In my research, I found out that I should start with a Liver cleanse. I bought the Renew Life Liver Detox. Apparently Liver cleansing can resolve a lot of acute arthritis problems. From there I will move to a Detox diet using the Sambu Mini Cleanse with raw or mildly steamed vegetables and then a juice fast.

Some additionals that I bought to go with the Nutri-flex I bought on Sunday are: Vital Greens in liquid form, Black Radish juice (1 tsp juice 2x's a day), Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (2 TBSP ACV mixed with 2 TBSP Honey in a glass of hot water 3x's a day), Noni Juice (2 TBSP twice a day), Organic Concord Grape Juice (a glass before each meal) and Castor oil for Castor Oil packs to use externally on my feet.

I got these suggestions from The Completed Illustrated Holistic Herbal - A Safe and practical Guide to Making and Using herbal Remedies by David Hoffman and notes from Peter C. Laker, C.H., C.H.P., C.C. Ir. (Clinical Herbalist and Iridologist who I studied with almost ten years ago)

Real food wise, I'll be sipping on a lot of juices: Raw Cabbage Juice; Raw beet juice; raw white potato juice; Carrot, celery, apple & parsley juice; and of course, my smoothies. I made a home made vegetable soup in my crock pot last night for my lunches this week. I can have fruits, vegetables in abundance, green & root vegetables, 8 glasses of water, Vitamin C supplement 500 mg daily, Fish & white meat.

My restrictions are:
Dairy, milk, bread, cheese, sugars, white flours, hydrogenated fat, fried foods, pop, wheat, gluten, tomatoes, corn, potatoes (except raw juice or sweet potatoes), red meat, eggs, refined carbohydrates, salt, coffee, black tea, night shade vegetables.
No foods that cause acidic reaction, no foods that cause digestive problems, no foods that cause allergic reactions. No tobacco, no alcohol (I'll probably still have a glass of wine or beer here and there.)

Aside from the Castor Oil packs for my feet, I've mixed cayenne pepper with vegetable glycerin to rub on my feet and I also have a peppermint foot soak bought as part of a sweet gift from a very sweet friend.

That friend, wrote in her card to me, "you're body is saying 'take care of me too!'"

My stomach problems made me speak up for myself at 16, 17 and 18 years old. My depression made me pay attention to my thoughts and change them in my 30's. And now my arthritis is begging me to take care of my physical me. Slow down, detox, take care.

I'm looking forward to taking care of myself. I bought some new cook books on Sunday for the very healthy eating I'll have to follow. I can cook but my vegetarian repertoire is shaky. That will change.

It's that Mack truck that will either tap me lightly or hit me head on to get my attention. It depends on how stubbornly I ignore the signs.

I'm finally listening...


12 August 2006

Best Foot Forward

Saturday 7:14pm 12Aug06

How can I put my best foot forward when my feet are in pain?

I got the results of my foot xrays yesterday and I have arthritis in my big toes. That result affected me deeply. I walk everywhere and the thought that my feet will get progressively worse is upsetting. I did no writing last night and instead hit the books. I looked through my herbal notes and homeopathic notes for any signs of an Holistic approach. My doctor prescribed me Celebrex for the pain and when I asked him if acupuncture would help, he gave a resounding No!

I was not impressed. I think I need a doctor that practices both Eastern and Western medicine. My doctor knows that I hate taking drugs. He was the one that insisted that I should take Paxil for my depression. I never took it.

In my notes, there wasn't anything for arthritis specifically but info for Osteo-Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

It is interesting how many things are related to diet. I'm going to have to get strict about my diet and treat my body more like a 42 year old and less like a 22 year old. I've known that for awhile but sometimes it's hard to change some of those bad habits.

I've reached the precipice in my life. I've approached that time where I have to put my money where my mouth is or better yet walk the talk. When you choose a religion you know that you will have to forsake the bad behaviours that don't fall in line with being a good Christian, or a good Muslim, or a good Buddhist. I've known for awhile that I would have to reach a point in my journey where I would have to commit whole heartedly to my beliefs in living an inspired life. I love walking the line. I like drinking alcohol and the feel of swear words in my mouth. I like eating healthy and indulging in junk food when it's available. I love being disciplined and goofing off for hours at a time. But my body isn't as happy with what I do to myself as the instant gratification of indulgence. My mind isn't as happy with the amount of time that I goof off when I don't know how much time I really have. None of us know. My spirit isn't as balanced after the use of alcoholic stimulants when I know that disciplined meditation and prayer will bring me to the heights I can only dream of.

In one of Wayne Dyer's talks, he discusses how a mentor told him, "If you want to reach the heights that this practice will take you you're going to have to give up alcohol." Or something like that.

If I want to reach the heights that my journey can and will take me, I'm going to have to get my stuff together.

I went to the Taste of the Danforth today and chomped on all the goodies with a last hoorah fervor. I walked past Ottway and was handed a plastic bag that read, Arthritis and Joint Pain? Get the most advanced, affordable and effective liquid formula on the market! The stuff is called Nutri-Flex and it has Glucosamine Sulfate (for lubrication), Hydrolyzed Gelatin (reparative), MSM (pain relief), Devil's Claw (anti-inflammatory), Turmeric (anti-inflammatory) and Bromelain (anti-inflammatory). I bought it. In my notes Devil's Claw was mentioned and I was originally going to buy that at my herb guy but since the Nutri-flex was staring me in the face, like a sign, I decided that I'd try that for now.

I also came across a laser place that treats arthritis and offers both acupuncture/Traditional Chinese medicine, Homeopathy and nutritional counseling. It's out of my way but definitely an option.

I'll be trying some weird things in the coming months: Liver cleanse, detox diet, dietary changes, and strict restrictions.
Our feet are our direction, they take us where we want to go. Because I always question any type of illness, What do I not like about my direction? What do I need to change about my direction?
Arthritis, in my notes, is about self-devaluation. I've been writing a lot about my value lately. The value of an empathetic person, the value of a happy hard worker, my value to my friends etc etc.
What do I need to do to show my value to myself?

How do I put my best foot forward while I work through this pain?


09 August 2006

Flying Solo

Wednesday 10:02am 9Aug06

It's my final day off and I'm back to work tomorrow. For once, I finally made good use of my free days. I went to Caribana on Saturday, hung out at Harbourfront for all the free concerts both Sunday and Monday, and I went to Canada's Wonderland yesterday. I did all these things by myself. If I waited for someone to join me on my outings I'd never go anywhere. Everyone wants to have done what I did but most times it's after the fact. Making concrete plans with people seems harder and harder. But there are benefits to doing things alone.

One of the great things about doing things by yourself is that it gives you an opportunity to meet people. You are less likely to notice other people when you are with at least one other person because your focus is on that person, but when you are by yourself you watch people watch you, like at Wonderland, "Is she by herself? Did she come here by herself? She's riding that ride by herself?"

You get the looks once you get past the looks people start to approach you. One stand out person at Caribana was chatting with the man that knew my mother, my Angel visitation that I wrote about a few days ago. Another stand out person at Canada's Wonderland was Scott. He drove in from London, Ontario with his 13 year old son and the son's new girlfriend. He saw that I was by myself and I was getting into the front of Top Gun and he joined me in the line up. He said, "Do you mind if I ride with you?"
"Of course not. Now I won't be the only leper in the front, now we can be a couple of lepers."

He cracked up and from there on in we were throwing quips back and forth and cracking each other up. He told me how he was keeping an eye on his 13 year old boy and his new girlfriend. Making sure he kept tabs on how serious their relationship was becoming. He wants it to progress in a non trouble causing way. The regular conversations he's had with his son, "What are you up to? How far has this gone? You wear a helmet when you play hockey, you need to wear a helmet when/if you have sex with your girlfriend."

We shared our near death experience on Top Gun. Screaming, "Oh Shit! Oh Shit!" We laughed at my hands shaking so much that I couldn't undo my seat belt at the end of the ride.

So yes being alone has it's benefits, once you get passed all the people who stare at you for whatever reason. The staring that you notice less of when you are with someone else. The staring that may say that you are pathetic because you're alone, because of what you're wearing, because they may think you're cute or even worse ugly as sin. The staring for a multitude of reasons. Staring at you for reasons that you may not be able to guess at. Once you get passed all that you can also meet some genuinely nice and funny people.

Tonight, I go to see a play with a friend who can make plans. : )


07 August 2006

People who Surround You

Monday 10:52am 7Aug06

As I put myself out there more about what I believe in and what inspires me I find that more of those kind of people coming out of the wood work. It's use to be embarrassing to talk about these kind of things. It used to be embarrassing to say that you read self-help books. It still has a level of snobbery, like a literary writer looking at a romance writer, but times are a changin'.

On Friday one of the contractors I deal with told me that he is reading, The Power of Intention, by Wayne Dyer. This guy can be gruff and crude and ill mannered but by the same token, if he likes you and respects you, well, he shows you. I've given this guy shit more often than anyone at work because he'll push you and get you to do things for him that are around the rules which can cause friction. He just wants to get his job done. He's reading the Power of Intention and of all the people to tell, he chose to tell me.

At Caribana men said hi to me. Some hit on me, some said hi with the look like they would take it further if I wanted them to. There's nothing like feeling attractive in my own community. There were possibilities without pressure. It was fun. I always tell heavy set women, "you should check out the black community. Black men love big women. They're not into those waif thin boyish girls, they want someone to hold on to.

Someone I know said recently, "that's why I don't like black women they just don't look good enough. They don't have their shit together..." He didn't mean me of course. No, OTHER black women. Right!

The people you surround yourself with!

Sometimes my environment isn't conducive to feeling my absolute best. Sometimes I have to keep to myself what I truly believe in just to avoid the inevitable ridicule of people who don't believe, who think I should be someone other than who I am, who just haven't found what makes them feel good and want to beat me down in to their way of thinking.

There are people out there who are inspired by me and my small life. They are inspired because I am open about the journey I'm on. I'm feeling the shift. I'm noticing the newer people in my life.

The male acquaintance I was keeping an eye out for this weekend did a couple things last week. He asked me if he could buy me a coffee, something none of the contractors have ever thought to do given how much they deal with me and how much easier I make their work life for them. While having that coffee (I had tea) we talked about animals and how he'd cried when his dog died. The way he admitted it came across as, I don't know why I'm telling you this. We covered a vast variety of subjects given the moments we were together.
He has a lovely Guyanese accent that makes me almost fantasize about what my grandfather (who I never knew and have always been fascinated by) might have sounded like. His accent brings me to a feeling of long lost family that makes me want to devour his attention. He's far too hot physically to remind me of my grandfather, you understand, but that accent makes me want to close my eyes and move in closer and make contact with the man who created my mother, part Judy Garland or Marilyn Monroe with her self destructive dysfunction and part Steven Biko or Ken Saro Wiwa with her need to help others in an almost empathetic activism.

I work closely with a girl who is 16 years younger than me. My job depends on her accuracy and she goes out of her way to help me. She, like me, works with only men and knows the joys and frustrations built into that. She is quickly becoming my close friend. She is shy and confident. She makes me laugh so loud in our phone conversations that it sounds like I'm on a personal call when I'm actually dealing with work. She celebrates me and compliments the things that she likes about me. She is under my wing when she needs it.

Last week, I walked over to her building and got there only to find out that she had walked over to my building. I was cursing because I forgot to bring her the stack of fortune cookies that I'd grabbed for her. I ran back to my building and caught her saying, "come back with me to my office, I have something for you."
Back at my desk, she'd left treats too. "Oh my God! We have a telepathic link!" I said.

The guys in my office just looked at us like, "that's girl stuff. They're having a girl moment."

My work partner, Ado, is one of the kindest people I know. He is the one that told me that falling in love or finding love was like an accident. "You turn the corner and it hits you. You can't force that or will that to happen or think there is something wrong with you because it hasn't happened. " It was reassuring at a time when many people in my life were making me wrong for being single. He has seen me cry and makes me laugh and is the closest to my relationship to my mother than any one has ever come since she passed away: we sing together (he keeps threatening to make me perform in public), we mock others and devastating situations (we have decided that the two of us will have a great party in hell together), we talk about the profound and profane interchangeably. I tell him my dreams and my fears and my crazy behaviours and he makes me feel loved exactly as I am.

His nephew, Air, who also works in Operations, comes into my office and dances like Carlton from the Fresh Prince because it assures my laughter. The nephew and I discuss music and music and more music. He listens to me when I need to talk about girl stuff because as I've told him, "I work with all men and I need a girlfriend. You have a girls name, you must be my honorary girlfriend!" He is beautiful and patient and a hard worker. He is sometimes mocked for how hard he works, the misperception of the brown noser, but he knows like I know that hard work ensures your survival. It pays your mortgage and raises your children and pays for your vacations and gives you your quality of life.

The gooseman is my affection receiver. I kiss his face the same way I kiss my cats and he giggles. I hug him for too long until he screams with laughter. He makes sure I get home safely after we all go out or he hands me money when I'm going out to make sure I have a fun time.

In the book, Making a Living Without a Job: Winning ways for creating work that you love by Barbara J. Winter, a book I give to people considering doing freelance work, she makes a comment about the amount of people who's eyes light up when you enter a room. Those are some of my people.

My eyes light up when they enter...

It doesn't matter how secure your confidence level is if you are around people who stomp on your dreams and critique your life and devalue you it's going to bring you down. There are always good people around when I put myself out there. People who appreciate the capital ME. People who make me feel a sense of family. People who make me see my light in their eyes. What a great gift.

Who's eyes light up when you enter a room?


06 August 2006

Angel Visitations

Sunday 10:03pm 6Aug06

I was looking for a new male acquaintance today. Someone who makes me feel calm being myself in his presence. A grown man who makes me laugh, a great conversationalist and interesting to boot. Instead I ran into a friend who I haven't seen in several years. We chatted about our current lives. All my descriptions about my life is what he's striving for: being single, sustainable streams of income, writing everyday, blogging. He said that he hates writing despite being a dub poet. He said that it was the process of getting the words on paper that he hated. I showed him my digital recorder and he jumped with excitement and said that he wanted one too.

Running into me, he said, was like an angel visitation to keep him inspired. He was on his way to meet with a friend with rollerblades and ran into me, a friend with rollerblades.

It's funny how lately my weekends run in themes or at least I notice themes.

As I walked around the parade site yesterday, a man asked me, "would you like me to carry your skates?"
I said, "Yeah okay."
His friend burst out laughing and said, "he wasn't expecting that answer."

I stood and chatted with the man that offered to carry my skates.
He said, "you look like a woman I knew in Montreal."
"I'm from Montreal."
"Do you look like your mother?" he asked.
"Yeah she's probably your mother."
"Did you ever go to a place called 'RP'?"
He gasped and threw his arms around me. He mentioned that he never knew her real name just her nickname.
We said the same nickname.

When I later told a girlfriend she got teary eyed and said, "It's like an Angel visitation from your mother. She just dropped by to say, 'Hi.'"

A couple weekends ago the same girlfriend told me about her trip to Calgary. She got a psychic reading and was told she had angels around her and all she had to do was ask for help. That turned out to be my theme that weekend. I had great notes about that but decided not to blog about it. I dreamt of my mother that weekend and didn't realize that I could have talked to her about my current concerns until I woke up. I kept telling myself, "I have to remember to ask for help." I forget to do it because it's not something I do much of in my awake life but everything is different in my dream life. Everything is different.

I didn't run into the male acquaintance today. I called his name in my head hoping for a telepathic link or luck or deliberate intention. There's something inspiring about this person and I'm ready to meet new people but the blasts from the past reaffirm that my direction is an inspiration. Like attracts like.


05 August 2006

Slo Mo

Saturday 10:08am 5Aug06

I'm moving in slow motion this morning, coloured people time? It is jump up after all. Went to bed late with my last ditch effort to reorganize my apartment. It looks great. My writing area has become a lovely cozy nook. At the opposite end of the room I've got a little reading corner to get me away from the desks, once in awhile. I now have floor space to work out once again. Now I just need to take care of the kitchen and the bathroom and, and...

In keeping with my newfound floor space, I hooked up my VCR to my television in order to play my work out tapes and what did I discover? My television doesn't need a converter, ha ha! So the Dead Television Report will have to be renamed the Not So Dead Television Report. I've enjoyed all that I've been accomplishing without the television so I'm going to need to keep that up. I don't really need to watch re-runs do I?

I still have a stack of tapes of the shows from last season. Almost caught up on Prison Break. Don't know if I'll watch it this season, but who knows it starts in a couple weeks.

I'm going to rollerblade to the parade, packing a frozen bottle of water, a smoothie and some cherries. Prep my stomach for all the West Indian food I can stuff in. Just because.

It's so important for me to have a good writing space. An area that testifies that what I love to do is a priority. A space that insists on a writing frame of mind. And clearly off limits to people who come to my apartment to visit. My space was so wide open before that people just assumed that they could sit in it and peek at what was on my desk.

Okay... jump up jump up!


03 August 2006


Thursday 3Aug06 6:12pm

The other day I finished my dinner and washed up the few dishes that were dirty and I stopped. I held a soapy plate in my hand, watched the water pouring out of the faucet and thought, I'm living what my mother never had the opportunity to do. I live alone in peace and quiet with my animals. I don't have to answer to anyone in my space. I don't have to worry about tiptoeing over any ones ego or bad moods or controlling behaviour.

It had to be tiring to always think of others needs before hers. It had to be hard to fulfill this male fantasy that the dinner should always be on the table at a specific time and be silent when he wanted and have the answers when he needed and be at his beck and call. Yes a relationship is supposed to be about give and take but women generally give a whole whack more than most men.

Most of the women that I know that are hesitant to move in with a man say it's because they can't do what their mothers did.
I honestly think that the choices my mother made in order to raise her kids without ending up in the projects still resonated in her ears as motivation even after her children had grown up. She still believed she needed a man for survival when she could have chosen a man for other reasons, shifting her list of values on the rung of importance.

What you do for survival reasons don't necessarily work when you no longer need to be in survival mode. It's like realizing a goal and not setting a new one. Because of my childhood and the adults who took me under their wing at different times, I vowed that when I grew up that I would work with kids to give that back. I did that for 4 or 5 years and one day not only discovered that I had realized my goal but that I didn't have to do it for the rest of my life. I gave to Justin and Trevor and Erin and Leah and Gabriel and Joshua and Kaitlin and ...

I taught a kid what a bad reputation meant in the eyes of adults and how, with time and consistency, that bad reputation could be changed. I gave suggestions on how a child could tell his father that he wanted his father's attention.

I still do it now. I take the younger ones under my wing in work situations. I let them know that I can be turned to when they feel nervous or frustrated or need a question answered.

I wish my mother had set a new goal for the man in her life. I wish she realized that she was out of survival mode and that she could ask the cosmos for a man that gave her good loving and laughter and a safe place to lay her head. Someone who'd rub her shoulders and rub her feet and show her the reflection of her true beauty and intelligence.

And God, if you could send ME a man like that... I'm just saying


01 August 2006

Dead Television Report 5

5:47am Tuesday 1Aug06

Still happily not watching the tele and have reached week two.
I did the fake blogathon which upped the posting quotient substantially. I changed my furniture around in my quest to minimize the clutter that I live with. Both my desks now have clear surfaces again, for as long as that lasts. I bought a couple CD wallets. I've decided to take all the CD's that don't have liner notes out of those stupid jewel cases they come in and stick them in the wallets. I'm tired of trying to find a place to store all those CD's and I'm even more tired of those jewel cases that break the moment you look at them. Yeah! I'm going to get organized one way or another.

I went to a summer outdoor get together of which if I still had a tele, I would have convinced myself with some lame excuse why I should just stay home. I have this quirky almost agoraphobic-ness that if I can't picture myself having a good time at an outing, I just won't go. Without the television, I've been telling myself, I really should get out. If I don't like it I'll just go home early. Because I went out I got the opportunity to be driven home in a smart car. They rock! Plus I had some major laughs which is something I always enjoy. And I met some new people.

I told my famous cat story about how I composed two songs for my cat Picasso, who I felt may suffer from middle child syndrome, and sang them to much appreciative laughter. There were lots of silly humoured people, my favorite kind.

I've been finding in these last two weeks especially that I've been thinking about what I want to write as I do my other chores. Writing has become foremost in my thoughts. I chalk that up to blogging, the blogathon and going without a television. Sometimes everything does come in threes!