Tag Archives: naturopathic

Seventeen

Do other writers get stuck on a thought, a word, a number that has nothing to do with the current project or task? Anyone else ever struggle to break free from such a grip? I recently resisted a momentary nemesis for days till I turned and met the foe head on.

Fact: Much of my life has been unimaginable to most folks. Several decades ago I realized I was on a collision course with a bleak future. After a series of failed attempts to redirect I got help. It took years to find the right counselor, but for about eight years now I’ve been keeping notes from sessions with the best trauma counselor ever. We’ll call him Rob.

Months ago when Rob pointed out a few concerns, suggested I could be depressed, and insisted I see my doctor, I stopped. I thought hard, prayed harder. And then I stopped longer.

I dread the thought of being known as “that poor thing who…” I write about my life because, well, it’s what I know best. Seriously, I write my stories, my experiences in the hope they help and encourage others. Writing helps me make sense of the grand scheme of things. Plus there’s the perk I get when my work sometimes reveals a bad attitude, it checks me like a friendly punch in the face. Hopefully those that grew up with numerous brothers understand the concept.

This brings us back a little while to shortly after the snow and ice melted here at the ranch, when I hit a wall. That actually had less to do with me injuring my arm and shoulder chopping wood (seriously, don’t all great-grandmothers do that?). The wall had more to do with the preceding twelve years.

Have I mentioned having driver’s licenses in three states within the last two calendar years? Yeah, that’s a lot of moving around. And each move directly resulted from one crisis right after another. When I pointed out this profound revelation to my Go-To Girl, my sister Roan (my on-and-off house mate), she replied,

“Yeah. So?” 

Not the response I expected. She was on her lunch break two time zones ahead of here, so she may have missed my point. We mocked the topic sufficiently enough to laugh it off and we returned to work.

So, after circling back to Roan’s question for a couple of days I set all my other projects aside to seek solid answers.

 

I handle most challenges better when I can break them down to physics, mathematical formulas – or Sun Tzu*. I did the math:

 

 

In the last 20 years Roan has (to my knowledge) moved x times, 6 of which since were her daughter was born, the last six within the past 7 years. But for 17 years she and her daughter were rooted in one place.

Then I again reviewed my nomadic history. Again with the number 17.

  • I was 17 when I married my sons’ father.
  • For 17 years I lived with (and moved around with) my husband.
  • I have lived at 17 different addresses. Seventeen.

Only because of Roan can I imagine living in one dwelling for seventeen years. In my entire life I’ve never lived in any one place for 4 years. That’s a staggering amount of moving around! Additionally some form of drama generated each move and often changed my family dynamics; broken hearts and broken bones (some mine), husbands left, sons outgrew the nest, a heart attack here – loved ones died there, banks became less sympathetic… I tell ya, some hits were hard. But I moved on.

So, our life has been astoundingly complicated compared to most people we know.

So, that itinerant life is over now. And yet, I’m having trouble getting my head around the concept of being home, that I won’t be packing up and moving again in a while. Rob and I figure it’ll likely be three years before it actually sinks in. I marked my digital calendar just in case.

So, days after the aforementioned chat with Rob I visited my Naturopathic Physician. Thanks to our decades old relationship we quickly caught up and then we agreed;

  • I’m tired,
  • I’m possibly slightly traumatized,
  • undeniably I have much to be sad about,
  • but I’m not necessarily depressed.

She studied my blood-work and my DNA evaluation (yes, I happened to have it on me), prescribed a course of supplements and then we went out for tea. Within days the dark heaviness lifted, but I continued to take the time I needed to simply be for a while.

So, the cast in the main house has changed, Kendra and Twelve-Year-Old moved away, but we’re all adjusting. The show goes on. My journals are busting at the bindings and I’m back to working on chapters again. More important, I give myself lots of grace. I walk away whenever I want. And within a couple of hours I walk back – usually feeling lighter. I’m sure there will be more hard days. But it’s like Brother tells me often, “Just settle down. You’re not going anywhere.”

So, today I smile as the mare and the cattle call to me when I step outside my door. I giggle as the hens flutter-waddle to the fence cackling. I’m sure it’s all about me – not the grain, scraps, hay, carrots or apples I bring them.

Most important, hearing how my stories help others also helps me. Having shared the experience with other writers/bloggers, the bobbing and weaving and working it all out, I feel so much better now.

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

*The Art of War, by Sun Tzu.  Just in case my humor missed the mark, I translate much of Sun Tzu principles into Biblical scripture – and disregard the rest.

Images courtesy ABSFreePic.com

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Filed under A Door Ajar, Longreads

Heat

In my new home on the Western Slope the Dog Days of Summer took on new meaning over the past couple of weeks. In this older, lathe and plaster house we experienced some Sirius heat (forgive the pun).

Though I Googled the region extensively before moving, I wasn’t sure what to expect from summer in my new climate. This is the first (and for me unexpected) seasonal change. Still, even with the sudden heat I wouldn’t have guessed how perfect, how close to heaven as I can imagine this environment is for me – now that the evaporating cooler is up and running.

The transition wasn’t so smooth for the two elderly, long-haired cats we live with. The temps jumping from the mid-seventies to the nineties in less than a week, the poor pusses suffered for days.

We now walk to errands and shopping first thing daily rather than leisurely going whenever we see fit. During the second day of heat, we returned home to find the poor, old pusses flat on their backs on the floor where obviously they willed the cooler to start blowing relief. They’ve lived in the house all their lives, so they know the drill and had adjusted to Erin’s pace. Still, it was hot…

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Matty cooling it

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Miss Chill & Erin’s Crock

I was ready to crank the cooler up when temps were still in the 80’s at 23:00 hours. Even with dual fans in the windows and ceiling fans running for a few days, sleep did not come to me until the wee hours of the morning. Unless easy-going Erin is busy upstairs she is oblivious to the still mild heat. So I sleeplessly commiserated with mes mews those few days. …Until I noticed inside the house was hotter than outside in the early afternoon. Then we got serious.

During the first week of heat, Erin and I made several trips to the hardware store replacing weather ravaged parts on the cooler. I hate considering I may not be as mechanically adept as I used to be, but brother Edmund dropped by and fixed what I couldn’t figure out for days. So, we had relief on the sixth day. It’s all good; we had to adjust our routine to watering the flower bed and garden earlier with old school sprinklers anyway.

Although we were quick to prepare the cooler, we soon learned another new adventure lay ahead – for me anyway. Matted fur. So there we were on the floor with electric clippers, brushes and combs, and the rubbery oven mitt, cutting away the amazingly hard wads of fur and hair from poor, old Matty, the older, grey tabby.

2014 jan 2 bak 010

Have I mentioned I’m allergic to cats – dander and fur? Or that they’re both long haired cats? True, I lived with my sweet Lucy Retardo for the eighteen years she reigned over our homes. And I cleaned, dusted and vacuumed daily. Every. Single. Day. Then there’s the barrage of immune support I now take (again), to lessen the affects. Living with Lucy taught me how natural foods work just as well as the prescription allergy medication and two other OTC remedies without all the almost comical side effects. Raw unfiltered local honey is truly a blessing – just sayin’  Though I walk even more to burn the additional calories, it works for me. Even without the dreadful humidity of North Texas, in the hot weather that’s love, people.

Granted, domesticated animals require a lot more work than the hummingbirds who nested for the second year on our front porch. But we learned they keep summer homes. Mostly to avoid being dive-bombed by the nesting family we simply use the side door. Still, the fur kids have already grown on me and we’ve established a routine that is helping us all live together more comfortably – I’ll spare you the details, but allergy sufferers can write me privately for additional helpful tips.

Caring for the earth and all life forms thereon is high on my priority list. Sure, with my almost obsessive vigilance to housekeeping I prefer to enjoy the Wild Kingdom and domestic animals in the great outdoors. Still, I adjust. It’s all about the love. Cats seem to fit a house with two old broads.

Today, in the quiet (with the cooler turned off), I often think of the many people I also love. Yet walking as gentle rain kisses the Western Slope I feel more content than ever before. Life isn’t quite perfect, but the lyrics come to me “…with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard…*”

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Palm 8:3-8 (NLT)

From Our House, From the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash &  Young album Déjà Vu

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Filed under Notes from the Apex