Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Needle Me

So, my little hint in my last post, did anyone guess? Did anyone bother? HMMMM!!!!????? Well, let me fill you in, then.

I had my first Acupuncture treatment.

Yes! I got stuck with needles! On purpose! And it was everything I thought it could be!

I specifically went in for two things: joint pain and gallbladder issues. We had a consultation and talked about specifics.

Then he asked to look at my tongue. This is a traditional Chinese Medicine practice. Someone who has been trained can tell everything they need to know about the general state of your health and diet. He told me I was very healthy and generally eat well, lots of veggies. And that is true, I haven’t had a cold in 3 years and do eat a lot of veggies.

He told me it sounded as though my yang was low (as in Yin and Yang), and he thought he could help me out by getting my energy to start to flow properly. He said (and I’d read elsewhere) that pain is caused by blockages in your energy lines, and getting the blockages removed helps get rid of the pain.

I did not have to put on a gown, thank goodness. He had me lay face-up on a table with my pants pulled up over my knees. He lifted up my shirt to palpate my gallbladder area and this is where he put in the first needle.

Now I was told by many people and read first hand reports by many people that say it really doesn’t hurt. So imagine my surprise when it HURT! Badly! Really hurt! Yeowch! That first one was the worst, I believe it had more to do with location than anything. The rest only stung a bit.

He put 3-4 needles in each foot, 1-2 around my left knee, one in my ear, 2-3 in each hand, 2 in my tummy.

After he had all the needles in he adjusted them, meaning twisting them and pushing them in further until they hit the spot they were supposed to be hitting. This didn’t hurt, per se, but it didn’t tickle either. Have you ever had a Charlie horse? This felt like the muscle twisting like a Charlie horse, but before the pain set in. A very strange sensation, but not painful.

What was most interesting is what I noticed during the time he was still inserting the needles. I had a rush of warmth start to run all along my arms and legs and then through the rest of my body. It was really intense! It was not a ‘I’m going to start sweating’ kind of heat, but very obvious and noticeable.

No obvious changes yet, this is something that accumulates over time. It will be interesting to see what happens, and I’m looking forward to my next visit. I may increase the time to 3-weeks, just because of money, but I’m not sure yet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In other news....

Checked my 401(k) today and it's down almost $10,000. *takes deep breath*

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leveling out….I hope

It seems my life is finally leveling out a bit, although I hate to say that in fear that I might jinx it. I don’t know why I’ve had such a hard time getting back to normal since the hooplah of July, but there you go.

Matthew has been working diligently on the greenhouse, getting the inside structure up (to help with possible snow load this winter) and shelving. He’s doing a great job on it. He’s also putting a deck around the outside which will be very nice and helpful. As soon as that’s all done we can start cleaning out the garage and knock it down.

I’ve been busy with the garden but I don’t want to steal the garden blog thunder, so go over there to see what I’ve been up to. I’ve also been canning, so far I’ve made ketchup, salsa, and blackberry-chipotle sauce that is to die for.

My mom is planning on retiring the middle of November, but keep it hush hush because no one knows yet. They recently purchased a used white PT Cruiser with a moon roof.

Speaking of cars, the Camry goes in for some fixes. The gas pedal has been sticking really bad lately, and we have some lights out and a few other more cosmetic things to fix.

Max is doing well, he has been spending hours outside with us when we’re working. Hunting chipmunks (see action shot, right). All Hail Max, Conqueror of Chipmunks! He occasionally runs into something, but doesn’t get hurt. He did find a patch of briars, the kind that cling and stick to his fur. He had two stuck on the underside of his paw around the pads of his foot, not comfortable. He also had three on his inner thighs that we had a real time getting out. Fortunately none got stuck to his, ah, manhood, which would have been excruciating, I’m sure.

I’ve been watching the election coverage and the economy meltdown with concerned interest. This is a very very good time for people my age and younger, we can recoup our losses and then some when the markets go back up. This is a very very bad time for people of my inlaws generation because they can’t recoup this. My inlaws have all their retirement in the stock market, I can only imagine how much they’ve lost in the past few weeks. I don’t think they know yet, and quite frankly I don’t think they even realize they may be in trouble. I haven’t heard any heads exploding yet. Stay tuned.

Work has been interesting. We have a new head honcho who’s been tweaking the website and the card catalog to his heart’s content, and so far I like the outcome. Things keep getting screwy, though, because some changes have unforeseen consequences. So it’s been entertaining.

I’ve decided to search for a new doctor, again. This is the second one this year. I’m just not comfortable with the place I chose 8 months ago. So I’m off to find another. I’ve got almost 2 months to find one, a prescription I have runs out in December.

Tim is coming to visit at the end of the month, hallelujah! I’m not sure what all we’ll get up to, stay tuned.

I’m doing something interesting this week for the first time, stay tuned for a report!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Voyage of the (Euro)Dammed, Part 2 (days 3 and 4)

Day three of the trip was spent wandering around again and seeing what we'd missed. I also had a scalp massage scheduled in the Greenhouse Spa, which was heavenly. The women's locker room was directly above our stateroom, as it so happened. The outer walls of the locker room were floor-to-ceiling windows, which gave a stunning view of the sun coming up over the ocean. It also would give a stunning view to someone who just so happened to be in the right place at the right time if you were in port, so be sure to close the curtains in that case.

One thing that Holland America is known for is their HUGE, real flower arrangements. I took pictures of several, here is one example.

There is a sports bar onboard, they have some great chairs that look like baseball gloves. Believe it or not, they are incredibly comfortable.

We spent some time in the Crow's Nest but it was FREEZING up there, I don't know why. They were having a game show where you had to guess someone's weird job using only yes or no questions. They had an opera singer, a traffic reporter (helicopter), and an Aussie guy who collected toys for Santa to give to needy kids. It was a lot of fun.

That night, mom and I had reservations for the Italian restaurant on board....staffed with Italians. Young Itallians. Young, buff, good looking Italians. In tight black pants and black and white striped shirts. Very nice. The food was good, too, I was impressed. And after your main course and before your dessert they bring you a big plate of pink cotton candy. I'm not sure why, anybody know?

The next morning we were up ultra early because mom was worrying all night about catching our train and she woke me up. We were getting off the ship later in the morning, so we decided to order room service because we didn't know what the game plan was for leaving and didn't want to get stuck in one of the eateries and miss our train.

Mom had fallen in love with their tomato juice, which she said was the best she's ever had, and I already knew their chocolate croissants were to die for, as well as the bagels with lox and cream cheese. We had a wonderful breakfast while coming into NY Harbor.

I got this great shot of the Emperor of the Kingdom of Fools try to outrun us as we were turning into our berth. We are a BIG SHIP. This is a DINKY BOAT. But no, he just had to speed up on us on that side and try to beat us. He did beat us, but god it was close.

I'm not sure what buildings these are, but I really liked this picture because it is a straight shot up the street. I just thought it was cool.

We sat in Penn Station for an hour waiting for our train. The station wasn't crowded at all, but the train from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was sold out. We got off in Harrisburg, dad met us and was really happy to see us. He'd been there an hour, I think he said.

All in all, a great trip. I'd do the train again in a heart beat. I'd go on the Eurodam again, too, without question. Just a beautiful ship. Mom is hooked, she's already sent away for Holland America's New England/Canada itinerary book. She won't be going with me, but I think she will go in the next few years. If dad lets her, of course.