Posted in Health, Meditation, Migraines, Sleep, stress, Work

My Daily Calm

Empty Bed

Last night was rough, sleep-wise. My 62-year-old bladder got me out of bed twice, then I was rousted out of bed in the early morning to move my car. We’re having insulation blown into our house from the outside and they needed the driveway. Of course, nobody told me this the day before. If I’d known, I’d have moved the car the night before.

I became aware of an impending migraine once I got back into bed. I was exhausted and strung out from multiple awakenings. My regular morning alarm came and went. All I wanted to do was to stay in bed where it was safe and warm. I didn’t want to do anything. I had client work to do, but didn’t want to touch it. I was tired and angry due to the multiple disruptions to my sleep. My head was starting to hurt even more. Then the fucking doorbell rang. I knew who it was: the insulation people said they’d  need to get into my basement and would ring my bell once they needed to do that. So, up and out of bed I went – cold, tired, headachey and very irritable. I threw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, stumbled downstairs and opened the basement door.

I needed something to get me out of the funk I was in. How about a start-the-day meditation over a cup of coffee or tea? That idea sounded appealing, so I went downstairs, scooped some tea into a tea pot and finished getting dressed while the kettle heated up. Then I poured the tea, portioned out some almonds and then cut up a ripe pear. I took out my cell phone, pulled up my meditation app and sat back to breathe and, eventually, relax. The wounds of the morning faded into the distance as I noted my breathing: in-out, in-out, in-out. I felt my body relax and  my outlook improve. Yes, I could do a little work and do it well. I could also write about my morning (a great way for me to get things out of my system), browse some articles I heard about the day before and enjoy the day.

So, here I am. The migraine aspirin is just now starting to kick in. My chest has unclenched and I’m breathing comfortably. I’m giving myself permission to write and relax, read a little bit and start my day, even though half of it is already gone. I’m munching on almonds and a pear. I think I’ll be okay.

Posted in Health, House, Insomnia, Plumbing, Sleep

Back to Hot Water and Holes

plumbing pipes
Nice, New Pipes

Well, one day and $700.00 later, we have new pipes snaking through the now-exposed walls with full access to water, water everywhere. I can take a shower, take a pee and wash my pots and pans in hot water. That is, I’ll be able to do that once I’ve cleaned everything up. My entire kitchen is powdered in plaster dust and I don’t feel like going anywhere near it.

I have to say, the plumbers were fast and really nice. I had another doctor’s appointment late this morning and they were finished and gone by the time I got back.

My health is…well, my health. I might have had a virus a few weeks ago, but it’s slowly going away. My liver enzymes are still elevated, but less so. I feel much better. Still no idea why I had the hallucinations. I saw a neurologist yesterday and he is is as stumped as every other doctor I’ve seen. I’m going to put it down to sleep deprivation and leave it at that.

In the meantime, I wonder if we can swing some new cabinets and a sink? The wall and ceiling repairs are covered by insurance, so that should be okay.

pipe run
How Do You Do? I’ve Been Hiding From You For 100 Years


Posted in Art, Autumn, Music, Nature, Seasons, Sleep

Oh, Better

Well, both medication changes seemed to have worked and I have to say I’m feeling closer to normal than I have in a while. I’m taking more stuff, but am willing to live with that if it means I’m comfortable and productive. So far, so good.

In fact, I was feeling good enough to enjoy a fairly active day yesterday. We went into neighboring Somerville for Honk!, a festival of “activist street bands.” Actually, they were marching brass bands, playing everything from Dixieland jazz to pop songs and blues.  There were bands from throughout the country, and world, although most came from the Eastern United States and Canada. The festival was free, and held outside at a number of public venues throughout the city. We stayed to hear about 3 or 4 bands. It was noisy and exuberant, full of life and fun. Just what I needed!

After that, I wanted to do more (man, I was feeling better!), so we drove to Bedford, MA to walk along one of the rail trails that radiate out from there. One trail used to be a pathway for a narrow-gauge railroad line and they kept portions of it off to the side to see how small the rails really were. They even had a tiny car (actually, just the platform for one) chained up there. Again, it was great to be out and feeling so much better.

The weather yesterday was wonderful. Honk! got a day of blue sky, sun and warmth. It got cloudier as the day wore on and by the time we reached the Bedford narrow-gauge rail trail it was downright overcast. I took my umbrella and protect me from the occasional sprinkle. I brought my camera, too, to share that lovely, fall walk:

Posted in Arlington, Food, Insomnia, Massachusetts, Sleep, Summer

Heat Waves

I’ve spent most of the day in my air-conditioned office. It’s not exactly my idea of a relaxing day, but it’s hot enough outside to make me very uncomfortable – trouble-breathing, light-headedness kind of trouble. Just a walk around the hotter parts of the house do that to me.

I used to handle heat quite well. I was mildly uncomfortable on days that decked every one else out flat. Now I’m the one who’s decked out and wondering if I need extra oxygen when I’m walking around.

The sleep problems aren’t helping, either. If the air conditioner is on in the bedroom I’m either too cold or too hot, depending on it’s thermostat. At some point I end up turning the damned thing off and putting a fan in the window. At 1:00 am the outside air temp is a bit more reasonable. Unfortunately, by 10:00 am it’s not.

Oh well. I’m not the only one struggling with heat these days. I could be in Kansas. One benefit of the weather has been the granting of a bit more time to catch up on the fun stuff. Last Wednesday I made it to the Arlington farmers market, after a dentist’s appointment in Cambridge. I was late, but still able to pick up enough for a veggie-heavy dinner: corn, lettuce, wax beans and bread. I threw together a salad, boiled up the corn and the beans and cut open the bread. Paired it with some of the New York State cheddars we’d purchased in the Finger Lakes. Yum!

Of course, being me, I made a music video out of it.

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Business, Computers, Insomnia, Sleep

Enter the Teacher

I’ve just added a new job description to my roster of internet and website services – classroom teacher. I taught my first class under the auspices of the Arlington Center for Adult Education. The course, Build A Website Without Knowing HTML or CSS, met for the first time last night (Wednesday). I’ve given plenty of presentations and know how to do it, but the added classroom thing was both disorienting but very satisfying at the same time. Disorienting, I think, because it was the first time through and I had to get used to the way the computers in the classrooms worked. Then I had to contend with latecomers drifting in as I was starting up.

But, I really liked it despite its moments of confusion and technical buginess. Some of my students are really excited about being able to build their own website and I’m enjoying learning how to teach them. This is just so cool!

I was both wired as well as exhausted by the time I got home last night. I’m a chronic insomniac at the best of times. I never thought I’d get to sleep, with all that was running around inside of my head! Then, for some bizarre reason, I woke up at 7:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep no matter what I did. I typically wake in the late double-digits of the morning and have only a passing acquaintance with 7:30 am. And, at 7:16 pm, I’m still not tired.

I have a feeling I’ll eventually crash, hopefully without a headache to top things off.


Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That, Sleep

Sweet Dreaming

Well! I’m the proud owner of a new mattress and box spring. My last purchase was well over a decade ago and the old thing was sagging in some very uncomfortable places. My back is not a happy camper under the best of circumstances, so hopefully this will help.

Damn, but mattresses are expensive! Over a thousand bucks for anything halfway decent and that’s not including the box spring. We’d about given up. I couldn’t see spending that kind of money, so I suggested we wait until something better came up. Turns out that was a good strategy. Macy’s (a department store) ended up having a floor sale over the weekend and we got what we both wanted for a lot less than anything else we’d seen. Even better – we bought a model that had two different settings, with one side firm and the other side plush. Perfect for the two of us, who have very different preferences that way.

This new mattress and box spring are a lot taller, too. They started adding some foam to the top of mattresses a few years ago and that made them higher. The box spring is also higher, for whatever reason. The sheets fit – thankfully – but I’m probably going to get a nosebleed once I finally get up there!