Thursday, July 30, 2015

Porch Sittin'

It seems like I have done a lot of porch sittin' this summer. I love a good porch, a great rocker, a cool evening with cicadas buzzing and lightening bugs flying around twinkling up the sky.  Or an early morning when there is fog rolling by. Don't see so much of that anymore. Where did the fog go I wonder? Our vacation was mostly about sitting and rocking on the porch. It was nice.

This past week, I spent a few days sittin' on the porch of a good friend of mine. She had cancer surgery to remove a god awful large tumor. I packed a bag and moved in for a few days to help. We mostly sat on the screened porch and talked, ate, drank coffee in the mornings, tea in the afternoons. It was like a peaceful retreat from reality.

She talked, I listened. I talked, she listened. We shared stories, worries, fears, past regrets, family tales, laughter. She never once had an iPhone in her hand while I talked. I never looked at mine while she talked. I didn't get up or leave the room while she was talking to me. We LISTENED to each other. How often do you get the opportunity to do this in your own home?

At my house, the lives of others are certainly more important than anything I might like to share, a funny story or an opinion. What is happening in a text or an instagram or an email is way more important than any silly little thing that I have to say, so I was so happy to have these days with my friend, who tolerated my chatter and shared a laugh  or two. I am very blessed to have some good friends who like to talk with me about any old thing that might come up.

Wesley is home for a bit and we have been sharing some sittin' time too. It's nice to have her here before she moves to California and I am savoring every moment of the time she allows me. Oh, silly mom. Stop your fretting....... she will be fine out there on the west coast.....

Yesterday was a suck ass day of moving her furniture out of her college house in Winston Salem. Just the two of us. The heat was oppressive, the humidity nearly intolerable. I would prefer to never see the inside of a moving van for as long as I shall live on the Earth. I won't even talk about the refrigerator and the fact that the power was off for a month in July North Carolina heat and why she has the mask on, sittin' on her front stoop!

But we did have long periods of drive time when we talked, only every now and then did she look at her phone.......  it was a fine time!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I had no idea!

I had my first meeting at the gym with a personal trainer this week. I used to work out three days a week, used weight machines, barbells, rowing machines, etc. I thought I was pretty familiar with all the fitness equipment you needed for a workout. But here's a new one: foam rollers! OMG

With my gym membership, I get two free sessions with a personal trainer, my first workout was worth every dime. He introduced me to the foam roller for myofacial massage.  The roller is like a deep tissue massage for trigger points in the main muscle groups and boy did I ever have some trigger points. After my workout I felt like I had been to a massage therapist for an hour. It was amazing. Rolling this thing on the side of my deltoid broke up all kinds of knots. The roller is used to massage tight muscles, break up adhesions and elongate the muscle to make it stronger and more flexible. I stopped on the way home and bought a roller to have when I can't get to the gym. I think anyone with pain or tightness in the muscles could really benefit from this little piece of equipment and I picked one up for around $10.

The trainer was great, almost like someone knew exactly what I needed and hand picked him for me. He is interested in holistic medicine and healing, follows a path of traditional Japanese zazen meditation, does not believe in drugs to solve all of your ailments, and believes in building the core of your body through good nutrition and working the body in a more traditional way, instead of sitting at a weight machine and letting it do all the work. I think I'm going to like this guy!

Already my body feels better, and I think mentally I feel better, just knowing I am back to taking better care of my body. I'm not so far gone that I can't get it back in shape with a little focus and effort.  I have started taking fish oil and magnesium to help repair my joints and I'm having a smoothie every morning with hemp protein and ground flax meal.  I am beginning to feel some relief in my elbow. Whoop!
I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The potter's body

In July 2003, I took a introductory pottery workshop at the Parks and Rec in Albemarle NC with Syd Luck, a now legendary potter in Seagrove, NC. I was smitten. I signed up immediately for pottery classes in Charlotte at Clayworks and didn't look up from my clay until last year.

Today, while meditating in my acupuncturist's quiet room with needles stuck all in my back it occurred to me what a toll clay has taken on my body. After only three treatments, my flexibility is slowly coming back and the aches and pains are subsiding.

Let's just take a look at what a potter does to his/her body..... we will use me as an example but I'm sure most potters will be nodding their heads.

  • lifting 50+ lb. boxes of clay (I had to drop it down to the 25lb. bags due to lower back pain)
  • lifting full 5 galling buckets of glaze, water, slip, etc.....
  • moving heavy kiln shelves
  • crawling in kilns
  • building kilns
  • lifting heavy boxes of pottery for shows
  • lifting show fixtures and setting up booths
  • climbing ladders
  • bending over work tables for long periods
  • sitting tensely at a potter's wheel for way too many hours
  • trying to wedge hard clay
  • trying to throw hard clay
  • wedging/throwing large amounts of clay
  • sitting all tensed up at boring/slow festivals, shows, etc

I'm sure I could add a lot more to this list, but I'm tired now just reading back over this! As all of the knotted muscles and misaligned spinal pieces get loosened up and put back into place, I am realizing just how bad my body has gotten in the past ten years. I gained 20 pounds, lost most of that last year and have managed to keep it to within a few pounds. I have lower back pain, wrist pain, elbow and forearm pain, neck pain, shoulder pain. I would just about betcha its from pottery.....

My flexibility is coming back in my shoulders thanks to a good chiropractor and today I went and joined a fitness center a couple of miles from my house. I used to work out three times a week, rock climb, white water paddle, hike, backpack, mountain bike..... then I found clay...... and now here I am. Time to get back to the workouts. I'm really tired of my body feeling so creaky and old. I used to be pretty damn fit!

Gerry recently treated me to mini visit at a spa nearby and I remembered how much I really dig that whole spa experience. I like the smell of aromatherapy, the smell of the sauna and the jacuzzi, the pampering of your body and soul, the lemon and cucumber water, the herbal tea, the white robe and slippers. I dig all of that :)   and it put me in touch with the aches in my body and the very strong desire to make them all go away. It's all about me right now! I am hellhound to get this body back in shape. The women in my family live into their 90's, heck my mom doesn't even have a clue she is old yet and she is 85 ha ha! I'm not interested in carrying this pain with me into my 90's!

So here I go into fitness mode. I went shopping today and got some really cute workout clothes, I may have lost muscle tone, but I still look ok in a pair of black workout capris and a tank :) just gotta keep saying to myself:

I'm Awesome!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hot Damn!

The rebel flag is coming down in South Carolina. Now we can breathe easy. There won't be any more senseless shootings, no more hatred, no more racism, no need for gun control, no need to give our kids psychotropic drugs, and we will now all live in peace with love in our hearts. All because the rebel flag won't fly in the South any longer. Whoop! 

just an observation.... shouldn't we ask why this young man killed with such confusion and hatred instead of protesting about a piece of red white and blue fabric....... this country is so fucked up.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bye kiln.....

Bye my friend. What a ride you took me on for six years!
If you want a good kiln, this one is up on Craiglist now.......
so long pal