Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cold, with a side of cold

Screenshot from Weather.com. Feels like minus 41 F.-41° F wind chill. The Southern Californian in me shivers just thinking about it. But I don't need to imagine it any more. Yes. I'm a believer. Wind chill is a factor to be taken very seriously.

We went out to dinner this evening, and it was decidedly chilly. Coming home was another matter. Even my Mister, who has a high threshold for cold, was cold. Cold enough to volunteer that he might have made a slight miscalculation in his choice of jackets for the evening (a hooded sweatshirt). I didn't say, "I told you so."

For the most part, I was fine. I had on my down parka, mittens and a fleece hat. But I still didn't have my scarf, and the wind was blowing all the flags in the area straight out as if they'd been starched in place. The cold on the bridge of my nose gave me an instant headache. Watching the gentleman who walked past us in the parking lot wearing a dress shirt, a light sweater and no hat or gloves made me boggle. He didn't look even vaguely uncomfortable, and he was whistling a happy tune.

I'd make a lousy arctic explorer.

The drive home from work was kind of wacky. I ended up behind a fellow in a red car who seemed to be looking everywhere except at the road. He had on a baseball cap, and I could see the brim of the hat swinging back and forth, back and forth, back and forth as he peered out the side windows, out behind him, back out the side windows, giving only short glances to the highway in front of him. He was going just fast enough that I wasn't comfortable speeding up enough to pass him, given the way the gusty wind was trying to knock my car around. So I slowed down to give him lots of room. He'd slow down for a minute, then speed back up. Always looking back and forth out the side windows. Occasionally he'd change lanes, or drift enough I was afraid he'd go into the ditch.

This went on for several miles. I breathed a sigh of relief when he took an exit off the highway, but he drove straight through the exit to where it re-entered the highway, and got right back on, still several vehicles in front of mine. I paced myself to continue keeping a decent buffer between us.

An ambulance sped up behind us with it's sirens and flashing lights on. Everyone slowed and shifted to the right lane to let it pass. But rather than slowing down, or pulling off the side of the road, Swivelly Head Man decided to stop short, right in the middle of the lane. Everyone managed to avoid hitting him, but it was a bit too close for comfort. Even stopped, I could see the brim of his hat swinging from side to side in a 180° arc.

I took the opportunity, after the ambulance passed and while Swivelly Head Man was still stopped, to pass him, but once he got going he sped way up, as if to make up for lost time. He zipped past me, and off another highway exit, then right back onto the highway again.

A few miles later he finally took an exit that didn't have a return point on it, and continued on his swivelly way to where ever he was going. Maybe he just didn't want to end up behind Minivan Woman, who was poking along at 15 mph below the speed limit just up ahead?

Fresh because it's frozen fresh

It is -2°F (-19°C) outside now with a wind chill of -23°F (-31°C) and the temperature is still dropping. NOAA is predicting a low of -16°F tonight with a wind chill of -26°F to -31°F. What happened to 42°F from 2 PM yesterday? I was outside with only a sweater for extra warmth, and quite happy. The locals all seem quite proud of this sudden thermometer crash. Welcome to Minnesota. And I don't even live in one of the cold parts of the state.

The wind is strong and steady, and cuts right through the fabric of my pants and sneaks up under my hat. It makes my eyes water, and the hairs inside your nose freeze in this weather if your nose is uncovered. I wonder what a knitter like me is doing with only one warm scarf to my name, and that one forgotten at home?

Thank goodness I got into work early enough to get a good parking place, so I'm only a hundred yards or so from the office door. I left my lunch in the car today (in an insulated bag so it wouldn't freeze solid) to give me an excuse for an extra bit of walking around and fresh air. I think tomorrow I'm bringing it inside, and I'll add an extra spin around the quad, with it's indoor walkways between buildings, instead. No fresh air, of course. But walking around outside right now reminds me of that old frozen food commercial singing the praises of their product by declaring, "It's fresh because it's frozen fresh." I'd rather have my air thawed out a bit before sucking it into my lungs right now.

No sign of the snow they predicted for this morning. I'll be happy if it holds off until after the evening rush hour. If local weather had a democratic component, I suspect there would be an overwhelming vote for that.

Good news for today is that I'm finally sleeping better. Another week of decent sleep, and maybe I'll start to feel like myself again. As a sign of improvement, instead of the usual nightmares, I had a dream about H.H. the Dalai Lama. About a modern cathedral-type structure with pews and a lectern at the front, but instead of hymnals and Bibles there were books with prayers and teachings from many religions and philosophies. The people there were waiting to hear not a sermon, but a philosophical dialog in which His Holiness one participant. The people gathered there to listen were from countries all around the world.

Alrighty. Lunch break is over. Back to work.

Monday, January 28, 2008

This day did not work out as planned

This day did not work out as planned. I was supposed to have a quick checkup with my oncologist for my quarterly tests to verify that I'm still cancer-free, followed by an afternoon at work populated by meetings. But this was the first my oncologist, Dr. A, had seen of my puffy foot. And, as none of the other docs I'd seen recently had done any tests to confirm that it really is lymphedema, Dr. A asked to have an ultrasound done. Today, if at all possible.

Now, when your oncologist says you need a test done ASAP, even if he prefaces it by saying that it probably isn't the scary thing he's testing for, it does tend to make for a little anxiety, and motivate you to rearrange your day to accommodate the test in question.

So, the good news is that I now know that I definitely don't have deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). And the meetings I missed have been rescheduled. And, as a bonus, Dr. A recommended a much less stupefying therapy for my sleep disturbances than the really unpleasant meds I've been taking over the last week.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Walk in the park

Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
It finally warmed up enough to go out for a leisurely walk today. It's been in the below zero Fahrenheit range for long enough that 31°F (-1°C) felt mild enough to leave hat and gloves at home for a stroll through my local park. The breeze picked up a bit on my way back to the car, so the tops of my ears started to go numb, but in my barn coat and flannel lined jeans I was otherwise plenty warm.

The air was full of the sounds of crows, of chickadees calling to each other, and ducks splashing in the creek. This duck caught my ear as she came in for a landing and I got the camera up in time to catch her.

It felt good to be out walking. I haven't had a real walk, outside in fresh air since Thanksgiving. All my walking has been done indoors lately.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


My Mister is walking around the house muttering "pufferfish".

Friday, January 25, 2008

Going Boldly

Going Boldly
Photo posted to flickr by WilWheaton
Seconds before this photo was taken, I typed my fingers across the Okudagram, using the same series of commands that I made up to send the ship to warp speed.

~ Wil Wheaton
One of the blogs I read regularly is Wil Wheaton's WWdN: In Exile. If you've not already discovered this for yourself, he's one of the coolest dudes in the pantheon of Geeks, period. Seriously.

He recently posted this spiffy shot on his flickr page (and his blog) taken of himself at Start Trek The Tour. (Click on the image to see it on his flickr page and read the rest of his comments about it.)

Not only is it a nifty photo, but flickr member tlong commented on it, pointing out:
I just love the concept of pretending to be yourself.
I'm going to try it today in my cubicle at work.
My brain stopped for a second, rewound a bit, and processed that idea a bit more slowly than the rest of the stuff that floats past during the course of a quick browse through flickr.

I absolutely love the idea.

It's obvious how you could pretend to be yourself in the past, by reliving a moment from your youth.

But how would you go about pretending to be your current self, as tlong suggested?

And to add another layer of overthinking this... aren't most of us busy each day pretending to be someone we're not? So what happens if we stop the one, and begin the other? What would we reveal?

Every morning, I put it on
I walk outside, and I am gone
And I don’t seem to mind anymore
I can’t think what it was like before I wore it all the time

In the evening, I take it off
But there’s another one underneath
And I can’t seem to find the bottom of the stack

~Persona, The Blue Man Group

* * *
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

Albert Einstein
* * *
Among Buddhist schools there is consensus on the point that "self" or "I" must be understood in terms of the aggregation of body and mind. But as to what, exactly, we are referring when we say "I" or "self," there has been divergence of opinion even among Buddhist thinkers. Many Buddhist schools maintain that in the final analysis we must identify the "self" with the consciousness of the person. Through analysis, we can show how our body is a kind of contingent fact and that what continues across time is really a being's consciousness.

From verse one of Eight Verses of Training the Mind, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Colbert's Song For His Writers

Just saw Stephen Colbert singing with the Harlem Gospel Choir in honor of his writers.

The interview before hand was uncharacteristically sensitive. It began with a video detailing a 1969 hospital strike, and the story of how his guest, Ambassador Andrew Young, negotiated an end to the strike with Colbert's father. It is worth surfing over to the Colbert Report website to watch the whole interview in their archives.

It's cold

Children 15 M.P.H.
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
It was so cold this morning that there was ice on the metal part of the inside of our double-paned windows. Not between the panes, but in the room where the window meets the inside sill. Something like -12°F before wind chill. Not the coldest weather in the state by any stretch. But darned nippy enough to remind me yet again that I'm not from around here. Good news is it's warming up tomorrow, up into the 20's F. I can leave the parka at home!

Qigong class tonight was really good. My legs still tremble after a few minutes. But it's getting just that little bit easier.

Now, it's bedtime. Early meeting tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Al Franken Meet and Greet

Al Franken and My Mister
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
What a satirist does is looks at a situation, finds the inconsistencies, hypocrisies, absurdities, and cuts through all the baloney and gets to the truth. That’s pretty good training, I think, for the United States Senate. ~ Al Franken

Photos from the Al Franken for Senate meet and greet are now up on my flickr page in my Politics set.

It was a small, neighborhood event. His daughter was there as well, along with State Senator Dan Larson and Representative Ann Lenczewski.

The microphone wasn't having a good day, so Al did without, and shared some of his background with us; filling us in on why he cares so much about his home state of Minnesota, and his vision for progress. Then he spent quite a bit of time chatting with individuals in the crowd and answering questions.

My Mister and I attended the event with my friend, Kat. I'm fully confident that he can win against Norm Coleman if he gets the DFL party nomination.

For more information visit Al Franken's official site.
There was a good article on his campaign not long ago on the New York Times website.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's cold. Yup. It's cold.

It's good and cold out there. NOAA says the current air temp is -11°F (-24°C), with a wind chill of -26°F (-32°C). The sun is bright and the sky is blue, and there are squirrel footie prints in the snow all over the deck.

I put out a plate of food for the squirrels, and they're starting to come to check it out. The bird feeders in the neighbor's yard has been attracting chickadees, and they're singing out to one another.

Needless to say, the kitties are very happy to see all the critter activity outside the window. They're sitting in sunbeams and watching squirrels. Kitty heaven.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Must be present to win

There is a sign outside a casino in Las Vegas that says, "You must be present to win." The same is true in meditation. If we want to see the nature of our lives, we must actually be present, aware, awake.

--Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom
from Everyday Mind

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Busy week

Zathras (and Talia's tail)
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
Zathras has moved into the B5 Girlies' home now. The lady rats have been busy sniffing him and making sure he knows he's at the bottom of the pecking order. Lots of squeaks, sniffing and jumping around happening. Pretty normal getting to know each other stuff. Even with the girlies asserting themselves, he's obviously much more comfortable in the new cage than he was on his own. In the smaller wire cage on his own he was pretty timid about exploring. Now, in the big rattie habitat, he's actively checking out his surroundings and roaming around, as well as coming out to meet us when we open the doors.

On the sleep front, I've gotten pretty tired (no pun intended) of the constant nightmares and disturbing dreams. It makes the sleep I get a whole lot less restful.

I've started taking Qigong classes again. I'm happy to say I hadn't forgotten all of what I learned before. And this time something started to click. I could finally feel myself understanding on a physical level. I still say I had no idea how hard it could be to do so little. But my legs shook a little less this time, and I didn't feel so much like I was fighting to relax in the right spots without falling over. I'm really looking forward to practicing, now that I'm kind of "getting it."

My Honey was "downsized" at the end of December. He lost no time getting his resume out, and has been taking calls from potential employers and interviewing left and right over the last two weeks. He got his first job offer today. It's for a short contract, which isn't really what he had in mind. But it was a boost for the morale to get an offer before he'd even received his severance check. More interviews tomorrow.

In other news, I've decided to spend my birthday at a sci-fi convention this year; Jumpcon. It's not until July, so I have time to test my very rusty costuming skills to see if I'm still up to coming up with something fun to wear. I've got some ideas, and a brilliant friend with l33t costuming skillz way beyond mine has been helping me brainstorm. The plan is to...

ok... have to pause here for a minute... Jebeker is laying stretched out on the floor in front of me, pink tummy as cute as can be, fast asleep... have to pause to appreciate the adorable flopped kitty.


Ok. I'm back. The plan is to keep things simple. Not so much a full out costume as a sci-fi-esque outfit. The wheels are turning.

Did I mention that Peter Woodward will be at this convention? Does this have anything with my excitement about the con this many months out? Just a little bit excited?


Ok, it's getting late, but this post wouldn't be complete without a nod to the weather. According to NOAA we're going to have a high tomorrow (Friday) of 1°F (-17°C). Expected wind chills of -17° F or even -25° F. Here in the Twin Cities. And according to the local weather experts it's going to get quite a bit colder on Saturday. It's going to be one of those weekends that really reminds me that I'm not in California any more. Brrrr!

Yeah, yeah. I know. There are lots of colder places. But even the locals are talking about the cold with excitement in their voices. Comparing notes about which cities in the state are already much colder than the others, with obvious pride. I may have to make a forray out into public during the coldest part of the weekend just too see what Minnesotans dress like when they willingly admit that it's actually gotten cold.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New habits

Ok, so today is bright and sunny, 10°F, with a wind chill of -6°F. So why is it that today many of the natives have on hats and scarves and gloves, when yesterday was a bit colder and I didn't see them all bundled up? Maybe yesterday caught them by surprise?

My sleep issues are making me nuts. I've got a new plan with my doc for dealing with it. And I need to get hardcore about training myself to sleep properly. If I was training a dog, I would say the most important things are consistency and replacing unwanted behaviors with new, more desirable behaviors. Just saying "don't do that" doesn't work. With doggies, you need to say, "don't do THAT, instead do THIS." Followed, of course, with a pat on the head.

I won't be patting myself on the head, but I do need to change my habits that are keeping me unhealthy. Stress makes sleep difficult. Lack of sleep makes stress inevitable. Fatigue and poor physical health follow. My body's chemical balance is out of whack. My complexion has gone to heck. The dark circles under my eyes make me look like I'm half way to zombie land.

So, for at least the next 3 months, I'm going to put myself through sleep training.

My new self imposed rules for the next three months:
  • Get up at the same time each day, 7 days a week. Set an alarm on weekends.
  • No snoozing the alarm. Let go of the dream and leave the room.
  • Turn on up-beat music and do one or more of the following: Chi Gong, dance, stretch, rowing.
  • Shower after exercising. Showering before would just put me back to sleep.
  • Have a yummy, healthy protein shake for breakfast.
  • At work, have juice, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt etc. for mid morning snack.
  • Walk the quad at work at least one time per day (it's a good long way around, and all indoors.)
  • After work: Additional outdoor exercise as often as weather allows, walking, biking, kite flying, archery
  • When weather is not good, make sure to take a break to exercise in the evening, well before bed. (Consider getting a recumbent stationary bike.)
  • Sensible lunches.
  • Sensible dinners.
  • Before bed: 10 or more minutes of quiet meditation and prayer.
  • Get to bed and be ready to sleep by 10 PM every day. No exceptions allowed until good habits start to develop. Set an alarm on my cell phone to remind me when it's time to start winding down.
  • Take meds at the same time each day.
And if I screw up and miss something, no hitting myself over the head with a rolled up newspaper. Doesn't work with dogs or people. Just get back on track for the next step, and keep on moving.

I want 2008 to be a year of improved health.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cool and breezy morning

It was 4°F on the way into the office this morning (-16°F Wind chill). The people in the parking lot, for the most part, were not wearing hats or gloves. Ok, maybe it's only a 100 yard walk from their car to the door, but by the sauce that's still darned chilly to me. I had a hat, scarf, gloves and my jacket was zipped up. So I guess I still won't be mistaken for a native.

It is supposed to warm up to 15°F above zero later today, and I gather it's going to be the warmest day of the week. I was starting to wonder if January was going to wimp out on us this year. Guess not. The weather dudes were saying that this is traditionally the couple week period when we get the coldest weather of the year. So we'll see what kind of mischief it can come up with for us.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To caucus, or not to caucus...

This photo belongs to
Al Franken for Senate on flickr.
Visit their photo stream to see more.
I've decided to caucus on Feb. 5th, 2008.

I'm from California where they have elections, one person one vote. Every vote counts. Even if no one else votes as you did, your vote speaks for your preference. But now I'm in Minnesota, and have been for long enough to think of it as home.

This will be my first time participating in a caucus.

Not because I think it will make a difference in the race for democratic presidential candidate, which I don't.

I've finally decided that between the remaining presidential hopefuls, I would most like to see Obama become president. Kucinich's endorsement of Obama was one of the things that tipped it for me. Edwards remains a close second. But I honestly don't believe that by the time "Super Duper Tuesday " rolls around individual Minnesotans will really have a say in the matter.

Most pundits are predicting that the Democratic nomination will be "locked up" before then. They seem to miss the mark a lot of the time, but on that I think they may be correct. And I don't have faith in local caucuses as vehicles for individual voices in national politics.


This year I'm going to caucus because it is the event that will allow me to support Al Franken in his run for US Senate against incumbent Norm Coleman. My best friend at work has also decided to caucus this year for the exact same reason.

While I still don't much trust the caucus system, at least at a state level my vote has a greater chance of making a difference. At least Iowa, South Carolina etc. haven't already removed half of my options.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Many splendored thing...

As a transplant to Minnesota from Southern California, I've found winter fascinating. There are so many kinds of snow. One of my favorites is a kind of snow pellets. They're not hard and icy like sleet or hail. They tend to be small, and remind me of the little white Styrofoam balls you find inside some bean bag chairs. They don't happen often, but when they do they're delightful to watch in my easily amused opinion.

After 4 years here, I still hadn't found any local who could tell me what they are called. Some hardly knew what I was describing, which seemed odd to me. I'd been given answers such as "sleet", "angel poo", "snow BBs", and "What? Oh those. No idea. It's a kind of snow."
Chart at SnowCrystals.com
I finally solved the mystery online. I found a chart on SnowCrystals.com showing the various kinds of snow flakes, and good descriptions of how each forms. (Click the thumbnail to see the chart.)

My "snow pellets" are apparently called graupel, and form when a regular snowflake gets "rimed", as described by Kenneth G. Libbrecht of Caltech.
Clouds are made of countless water droplets, and sometimes these droplets collide with and stick to snow crystals. The frozen droplets are called rime. All the different types of snow crystals can be found decorated with rime. When the coverage is especially heavy, so that the assembly looks like a tiny snowball, the result is called graupel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Good night snurk mousie

Good night snurk mousie
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
Snurk passed beyond the veil today. She will be missed. She was getting quite gray, but she stayed active and curious right up to the end. She seems to have passed away in her sleep.

At the time I write this, our only remaining mouse is Elleffgie. She is starting to get a lot of gray mixed in with her darker fur as well, and has become more timid and less fond of photography as she's gotten older.

My Mister has decided keeping such little bitties with such short life spans is too difficult, emotionally. We lost most of the mice to large tumors, though Snurk seems to have been spared that.

So Elleffgie is living alone now, getting all the goodies she wants, and when she passes, our mouse house will be no more.

Ratties live longer, relatively speaking, and bond much more readily with their people. We'll be sticking with rats (and our kitties of course) from now on.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bread completed

His second loaf of bread III
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
My Honey's loaf of bread, once cooled and ready to eat, was very yummy. Total comfort food. Perfect for a day when I'm not feeling well.

I admit, I'm usually a light crust person. (Yeah, I know, I'm an uncivilized barbarian.) But even I could appreciate this crust, which was crispy and thin.

(Click on the photo to see a few more photos of it on my flickr page.)

Now my Mister is out picking up some food to make dinner. The No Reservations re-runs turned out to be a marathon in honor of a new episode airing tonight, so Tony's still on the TV. I laughed out loud when he was being fed a mystery meat in Vietnam, and his host - at a loss for the proper translation- called it squeezle. Turned out to be a porcupine. But I'll always think of them as squeezles now.

So I'm resting. There's a 14 lb cat on my feet. I'm starting to feel better.

Not so hot

A combo of mittelschmerz, upset stomach, and hot and cold running chills has kept me at home. Curled up on the couch with a stuffed manatee, while my Mister takes phone calls from potential employers.

He also decided to experiment with a bread baking method we hadn't tried yet. The whole house smells like fresh bread. He cooked it in a clay crock, with a lid on, preheated to about 500° F. When he pulled it out of the crock to cool, it started to crackle and snap as the crust contracted in the cooler air. It smells beautiful. It is a lovely crusty brown. It even sounds good. So my Honey's loaf of crackly bread is my beauty observed for today.

Now I'll go back to blearily watching reruns of Tony Bourdain's No Reservations through half closed eyes.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Impeach The Cheerleader

"Impeach The Cheerleader Save The World" ~ Origin unknown

I'm seeing this all over the place. For those who missed the TV show, it's obviously a reference to the line from the first season of Heroes, "Save the cheerleader, save the world."

After seeing the photo in this article , George W. Bush's Journey: The Cheerleader, by Nicholas D. Kristof, of W as an actual cheerleader makes it particularly apt. I think this is my favorite quote of the year (so far).

A quote from the same article by Kristof really struck me.
Mr. Schandorff says that George was energetic, memorable and a constant cheerleader, but never showed any political interest, deep thoughts or long-term ambition. In contrast, he says he found the youthful Al Gore immersed in politics, very intelligent and fiercely ambitious.

"I always thought Gore might be president," Mr. Schandorff recalled.

I wish that it had been so.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Kitty and Compression = Good

Missy Tash
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
My "beauty observed" for today was our kitty, Miss Tash. She fell asleep on my lap today. I was still sitting in bed and making my plans for the day when she made herself comfy and took a nap. I sat very still, since she usually doesn't sit on me unless I'm asleep, and studied the creases in her fur on her forehead, and her cream colored whiskers. I've never payed close attention to kitty ears before, but this morning I noticed how velvety they are. The fur on one of her ears is half gray and half ginger colored, the other is all gray, and both ears are speckled with slightly longer white fuzzies. You can't tell by looking, but she's as soft as a bunny, especially on her cheeks and neck.

The compression stocking seems to have done the trick, if the first day of wearing it is a sign of things to come. I did a bunch driving around today and running errands and my ankle did not puff up. Joy! In addition to some shopping for groceries and other essentials I scraped the remaining melting snow off of the front steps so it wouldn't become a solid block of ice when the temperature drops again.

Today was a good day to be outside. With a high of 33°F (0.5° C), I was plenty comfortable in a sweater and a light jacket, and only needed to run the heater in the car long enough to take the chill off. The icicles on people's roofs are really beautiful in a dangerous looking kind of way. Some look like they must be three or four feet long. The sky was a kind of pale gray, the snow on the ground is all white (except by the sides of the road, where it's getting pretty icky) and there's still a bit of white on some branches on the shady sides of trees. The monochromatic scenery today was lovely in the way of black and white photos.

I did need to leave my jacket unbuttoned to keep from overheating, but couldn't bring myself to leave it in the car. The Californian in me still shivered sympathetically in response to seeing a few people (mostly under 20 yrs old) out in their short sleeves. But I'm starting to be less surprised by things like that each winter.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Puffy foot and politics

Battling the Puffies
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
I spent an hour with the physical therapist learning what to do and not to do to manage my lymphedema.

Because I'd managed to bring the swelling down before the visit, my physical therapist was able to fit me for a compression stocking right away.

There are some rules to live by in addition to using compression. I'm not allowed to get any tattoos on that ankle, no soaking in a jacuzzi, no saunas, no sunburns. No IV lines or blood draws in that foot allowed. And I need to take good care of my skin, and promptly treat any scratches or bug bites.

I need to do breathing exercises, some basic self-massage, and otherwise do good stuff to take care of my lymphatic system so it can manage without the missing nodes. Including moderate exercise and stretching. I'll be going back to my Qigong and Tai Chi class now that I've got my mobility back.

I've got a plan, now. That helps my morale quite a bit.

Speaking of morale boosting, the Iowa caucus Democratic party results made me optimistic today. I'd love to see an Obama/Edwards ticket, myself. Kucinich has endorsed Obama as the preferred second choice for his own supporters, which speaks well of him (Obama) in my book.

I don't trust Hillary Rodham Clinton. She's too cozy with folks like Newt Gingrich for my comfort. Too ready to support certain questionable Bush foreign policies. Looks a little too much like she supports war on Iran, and doesn't satisfy me that she believes her vote for the resolution authorizing Bush to take military action in Iraq was a mistake. So while she rails against Bush on certain topics, I'm just not convinced she's really a force for change.

So the fact that Obama and Edwards both came out ahead of Clinton in Iowa makes me happy. I'm hopeful. If there's still a choice to be made by the time our time comes in Minnesota, I'll seriously consider showing up for the caucus after all.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

kitten vs. frontrow

A kitten with a much more expensive toy than we give ours. Had me giggling. Foot was pretty swollen today, but this cheered me up.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One year cancer free today

A gift from the heart
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
We're going out to Tejas tonight to celebrate my first anniversary of being cancer free. I think for the foreseeable future, January 2nd will feel like a bigger deal than my birthday, or pretty much any other event during the year-- with the possible exception of my wedding anniversary.

The image I've posted with this was a drawing that my Niece C drew for my grandmother (her great-grandmother) for Christmas. She's developing a really excellent eye for detail. I particularly like the angel, and that she included Grandma's cane. Some how the cane makes it more personal to me.

Beautiful thing for the day: The sun sparkling off of the surface of the crunchy snow on the ground this morning. It was -6° F (-21° C) with a wind chill of "Fusilli that's Cold!" The up-side of the cold is that none of the snow was slushy, and many of the snowy ice crystals had retained their sparkliness.

One day back in the office after having my foot elevated over the weekend and new year's day, and already it's puffing up again. I'm getting up and walking as frequently as I can, but it just doesn't like being dangled over the edge of a chair for any length of time.

Just realized that Peter Woodward played a guard in National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I hadn't planned on seeing that film, initially. Now I'm going to have to. Though our TV screen is big enough that waiting for the DVD is probably just fine. Looks like it's probably not a role with a lot of screen time.

Edit: I've posted some photos of what we ate for our celebratory dinner on my flickr page.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Day 2008

We played a fair amount of World of Warcraft today. My Mister is nearly level 60, so he's got the bug to pull through to that milestone quickly. He's got his main character, Zwierdo, a level 70 priest, and a mid-level warlock he can easily play without me. But if I'm game for playing with him, lately we've been putting time into his hunter and my warrior.

My Honey let me sleep in again this morning. He came up and woke me after I'd been asleep for 12 hours and showed no sign of waking.

Speaking of sleep, it's almost 10 pm, and unlike my Mister I have work tomorrow. Time to log off.