fireandearth: (Default)
Early to mid twenties: 
Dinner partner: "I'm sick."
Me: "Whatever, let's do it anyway."

Late twenties/early thirties:
Dinner partner: "I'm sick."
Me: "Grumble.  We should probably reschedule."

Mid thirties:
Dinner partner: "I'm sick."
Me: "Let's reschedule and practice good self-care.  Go us!"
fireandearth: (Default)
Sudden knitting lust.  I want to knit exactly this pattern in exactly this yarn. 
https://knitcircus.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/rattan-shawl-knitting/
fireandearth: (Default)
Having read today's Dreamwidth news post I'm feeling pretty good about abandoning LJ.  They seem like a platform I'd like to support.  And I can actually read and post from work again!  Most of the people who still post seem to have moved over, so this will be my last cross-post to LJ.  Goodbye, LJ.  It was a nice 11 years, but it's time to go.
fireandearth: (Default)
I brought sulfite-free kosher grape juice to Seder at my aunt's house this year, and had my first Seder without a migraine!  Yay!!!  I'm getting better at this.
fireandearth: (Default)
I just read a fascinating National Geographic article from December.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/12/healing-science-belief-placebo/

Billed on the cover of the December issue as being on "the healing power of faith" it's actually mostly about harnessing the placebo effect. The exciting piece is that scientists/doctors have been able to create a "conditioned placebo response". I want one. 


Relevant quotes:
"Scientists have been able to train the immune systems of rats by pairing sweet liquids with cyclosporine A, a drug that blocks the function of immune cells to keep patients from rejecting transplanted organs. Every time the rat has a sweet drink, it also gets the drug. But after enough trials, the drug is unnecessary: The sweet drink alone is enough to shut down the rat’s immune response."

"The most interesting part was what the brain scans showed. Normal pain sensations begin at an injury and travel in a split second up through the spine to a network of brain areas that recognize the sensation as pain. A placebo response travels in the opposite direction, beginning in the brain. An expectation of healing in the prefrontal cortex sends signals to parts of the brain stem, which creates opioids and releases them down to the spinal cord. We don’t imagine we’re not in pain. We self-medicate, literally, by expecting the relief we’ve been conditioned to receive."

"When Spevak first meets patients, he doesn’t ask about their injuries or their medical histories—he has all that on file. Instead he asks them about themselves. He might learn that in childhood a person had a favorite eucalyptus tree outside his house or loved peppermint candies. Eventually, if Spevak prescribes opioid painkillers, every time the patient takes one, he also has eucalyptus oil to smell or a peppermint to eat—whatever stimulus Spevak knows will resonate. Over time, just as with Jensen’s quick-flash faces or Wager’s skin cream (or for that matter, Pavlov’s bell), patients start linking the sensory experience to the drugs. After a while, Spevak cuts down on the drug and just provides the sounds or smells. The patient’s brain can go to an internal pharmacy for the needed drugs."

I have a drug that makes migraines go away - maxalt.  Love it.  What if I could teach my brain to associate maxalt with something else, like the eucalyptus oil or peppermint mentioned below?  Could I teach my brain to shut down a migraine without drugs? I salivate just thinking about it. 

fireandearth: (Default)
Giving dreamwidth a try again. Feel free to come say hi.
fireandearth: (kiwi)
- Exercise twice per week: 100% success
- Bike to work 50 times: Haven't started yet, but that's okay.
- 20 push-ups every day: 100% success (I had to make up 3 days, but that is acceptable).
- Try SUP yoga: Still too cold.
- Get weight back under 140: Average is still 146.
- Max out 401k and IRA: Successfully set and forgotten.
- Travel to a state or country I've never been to: More plotting is required.
- Finish knitting 4 pairs of adult socks: 1 done, 3 to go!
- Finish 10 sewing projects: The first project is in progress and going well.
fireandearth: (kiwi)
In which my neurologist loses a patient.  )


Does anyone have a good neurologist in DC/Northern Virginia/Southern Maryland who can work with me to determine food triggers and who doesn't just want to give me more drugs?

2015 goals

Dec. 28th, 2015 02:58 pm
fireandearth: (kiwi)
Sewing: Sew 6 different pattern-free garments. There should be at least two dresses. Bonus points for creating my own pattern/instructions.

Not as good as I'd hoped. I made 3 different dresses, all variations on the same shape, and a skirt. I made my own patterns for all of them. Better than I did on this goal last year, but not enough. I did also do a few non-garment projects without patterns, but they were mostly rectangles. The dresses were definitely successful and pushed me to develop new skills. Accomplished 4 out of 6.

Adventures: In addition to the already-scheduled trip to the Bahamas, I wanted to visit a state or country I'd never been to before.

Success! I made it to the Cayman Islands in December.

Money: Max out 401k & IRA.

Success!

Exercise: Twice per week.

If I fudge it. I'd planned 104 workouts (52 x 2) and accomplished about 96, but they were not evenly distributed in a nice 2/week pattern and there were months that I did a bunch extra and months that I fell short by a lot. BUT I also gave myself an extra goal of doing 20 push-ups a day. I did that 203 days out of the 361 days we've had so far, which is a total of 4060 push-ups in 2015. All told, not so bad. (ETA: total of 204 days and 4080 push-ups by the end of the year.)

Notable experiences of 2015:
- Changed my name
- Visited the Bahamas and Grand Cayman
- Tried bike commuting and rode my bike to work 19 times
- Got promoted again
- Broke up with rynhollis
- Visited Disney World, FL
- Visited Deep Creek Lake, MD
fireandearth: (kiwi)
I've been avoiding gluten (to varying levels of success) for about 6 months, and I think that maybe gluten isn't really the answer. My migraines have decreased, but not consistently. Every month isn't better, but some of them have been significantly better. I'm still trying to figure out what the culprits are. I've gotten away with eating some gluten enough times that I'm starting to doubt it's responsible.

Lynk suggested a gluten-testing experiment where he makes me a couple of loaves of very simple bread with no preservatives - just flour and water and yeast and salt - and I try eating a lot of it for a week and see what happens. That's the purest test I can come up with.

Right now citric acid is highest on the list of suspects. It's in almost all of the candy that sets me off, as well as many other foods, like Papa John's pizza. And I already know that citrus can be a problem in sufficient quantity. I'd like to buy some citric acid and directly test that. I can find small containers of it designed for canning, but I'm not sure quite how to test it yet. It's not really meant to be consumed by itself.

Lynk pointed out this weekend that the months where my migraines were best were when I was trying to figure out what I could eat, and therefore not eating as many different things and not eating a lot of processed or gluten-replacement foods.

I want to stop guessing and know what the answer is already. Part of the problem is that hormones are also a contributing factor, so I often wonder whether something I ate was a trigger that isn't strong enough to show itself depending on where I am in my cycle (which is difficult to monitor now that I have an IUD).

Gluten, soy, preservatives, MSG, dairy (aged cheeses are high in tyramine) are all worth testing.

Tyramine is high in several (but not all) of the foods that set me off. I need to test more nuts directly. I know almonds, walnuts, and pecans are triggers but I haven't tested all of the rest. Peanuts and pinenuts are safe. Caffeine is a known trigger.
fireandearth: (kiwi)
I had one migraine in July. This has never before happened in recorded history (dating back to ~2000). So I'm continuing to try to reduce my gluten intake. I am still "cheating" regularly (is there a better word for that? I'm still "making exceptions" regularly), but the reduction is having a significant impact anyway.

Duties for the promotion at work are slowly starting to appear. The raise associated with it has yet to appear, but I have been assured that it will "soon". I'm not sure I'm enjoying it yet, but I'm not as overwhelmed as I feared I would be. I'd really like to see the impact this has on my savings rate, and thus progress toward my early retirement goal.

My debate between holing up in my apartment versus seeking out play and connection post-breakup with rynhollis seems to have resolved itself in a way that took me by surprise. I connected with someone outside the scene who's kinky, poly, geeky, and even local. I feel a little uneasy about starting something new so quickly, but this is the sort of thing I wanted to make more room for in my life and something I've been open to for well over a year. So I'm just going to enjoy it and see what happens. (That's not true. I'm going to analyze it to death, enjoy it, and see what happens.)

My July weekend date with Lynk got cancelled at the last minute, which really hurt. I'd been stockpiling so much emotion and talking with him more than usual on the phone and I just wanted to wrap myself in his arms for a few days and let the everyday stresses float away for a while. I agree with his reasons and I think he made the right call, but it still hurt to lose that time with him.

I sent in the paperwork to change my name and quickly got a "you did it wrong" letter back, so I'm trying again. Maybe in a month or so I'll have a ton of paperwork to do.

The Wegman's on Telegraph opened in June. I've been looking forward to that for months.
fireandearth: (kiwi)
Yesterday I got offered a raise and a promotion. Ack! My company got awarded a contract because of the work I've been doing and now they want me to lead it. Maybe I should have considered that possibility. So instead of leading a team of 2 people doing SharePoint support I'll be ramping up to lead 3 small teams doing SharePoint support, SharePoint development, and content migration into SharePoint. Alternatively, I'll be the head contractor flunky for the government SharePoint program manager. I guess this means they don’t regret promoting me last March.

I'm worried about the stress levels, but honestly not taking the position wouldn't appreciably decrease the stress levels. Given their options, I have to admit that I’m the best choice for the position. I’ve been on this contract longer than anyone except 2 people. One of those melts away from as much work as possible and the other is too disorganized to follow through on his commitments. I’m good at SharePoint, good at customer service, good at organization, and good at follow-though. And frankly, if I hadn’t been kicking ass at this job and making my company’s team the most effective avenue for the government PM to get anything done for the last couple of years the new contract might not even exist. People have been trying to herd me in a project management direction for years, and this is probably my best chance to give it a try in an environment I really understand. So, let’s see where it goes.

sundry

Mar. 10th, 2015 09:23 am
fireandearth: (kiwi)
- I narrowly met my no-pattern sewing goal for January/February by sewing a full-length t-shirt dress in a random knit fabric I had lying around February 28th. It turned out well and I created a pattern to use for future versions. I was feeling so successful that the next day I started recreating a skirt I've had for several years. I haven't finished that yet, but it shouldn't take too long.

- I finished knitting the shawl I started last May during Camp. It is gorgeous and I need to take pictures of it once it's blocked (or decide not to block it). I also finished a quick cowl I started recently as well.

- I fell off the exercise wagon in February and only really exercised twice, though I did pushups regularly. That's a bummer because I've been doing so well at exercising twice a week for the last several years. March will be better.

- I connected with a gentleman at Winter Fire, Y, and we had a date on Friday and have another one scheduled later this week. He's a delightful combination of exciting and comfortable and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.

Doh!

Aug. 16th, 2010 08:12 pm
fireandearth: (Default)
Just found the sewing calendar that's been missing for a week. Stuck to the front of the otherwise-blank fridge. Not the first time I've lost something there.
fireandearth: (Default)
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day in Vienna

Peaceable Dragon and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens invite you to watch demonstrations of Taijiquan (Tai Chi), Qigong (Chi Kung) and Yoga. You may also participate in miniclasses taught by some of the areas leading instructors from a variety of schools. World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is being celebrated in over 60 nations and is recognized by the United Nations World Health Organization.

Day: Saturday, April 24
Time: 10 AM
Place: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna VA.

For more details, download the flier here.

sewing

Aug. 21st, 2009 10:52 pm
fireandearth: (happy - kaylee)
I just completed (successfully!) the trickiest piece of sewing I've done since the last time I made a corset. Let it be known that Simplicity 2801 (http://www.simplicity.com/p-1728-misses-dresses.aspx) is not an easy pattern. Not that it claimed to be, but it's far more difficult than I've come to expect of Simplicity patterns. Getting the bodice attached to the skirt was quite a challenge. That spot right in the front where all those nice diagonal seam lines come together...yeah. The neckline was also difficult, but I did that last Monday.

Many thanks to my one sewing class in college, which taught me that it's perfectly fine to rip out the same 5 inches of stitches as many times as it takes to get it right. Many thanks also to Megasus, whose advice (originally on the subject of zippers, long ago) was that sometimes you just have to use a needle and thread and stitch it by hand first before going over it with the machine.

And on that note of triumph, I'm stopping for the evening.

I also finished my puzzle, and successfully ignored the dishes until it was too late to do them. And it's all thundery outside, which is delightful.
fireandearth: (happy - kaylee)
"Try harder."

Brought to you by: the Cryptic Note Fairy (CNF).

money

Apr. 11th, 2008 03:46 pm
fireandearth: (happy - kaylee)
For those of you who've expressed interest in my small obsession with money management and aspirations toward debt-free living, these are my top picks for philosophies and systems I've found so far:

1) Your Money or Your Life, by Dominguez (big picture). Get yourself dreaming in the right direction.

2) Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living, by Mary Hunt (smaller, day to day picture). Section 1 is the interesting part with the theory and philosophy. Section 2 is like all the other reduce-expenses guides out there.

3) The BudgetMap System, www.budgetmap.com (nitty-gritty tracking/spending/saving planning - it meshes very well with Mary Hunt's "Freedom Account" concept). I create my own spreadsheets based on their layout, which gives me lots of flexibility. Perfect for the truly obsessive.

And no, you can't drop pennies in my purse to mess up my tracking. It's not nice. :p
fireandearth: (happy - kaylee)
I enjoyed my first picnic lunch of the season today at work. Delightful.
fireandearth: (quizzical owl)
I've been playing with the spiffy new serger and having lots of fun. However, I have an issue. I made Butterick 4807 - knit pants with a self-fabric knit waistband. Fresh out of the dryer, they fit beautifully. But the longer I wear them the more the fabric of the waistband stretches, until the pants are sitting a good 4 inches below where they should. They threaten to fall off me bum. And imagine where that puts the crotch seam. Not good.

So, is this:
a) a pattern problem?
b) a fabric problem?
c) got any other ideas?

I can't make them any smaller or the waistband won't stretch enough to get over my hips in the first place.
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