Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~



"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~



Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Learning the Ropes

I'm dipping a tentative toe into the blog world with these first few words. I have not always tagged behind people, so this is really rather different for me. However, it's only one part not having the know-how and equal parts wondering if I have anything to say that might be of interest to anyone else besides myself. But then, I guess that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because primarily, I'm doing this for one person anyway, and that's myself. If I can help anyone along the way, that's a bonus. As I peek in and read other blogs I see it all comes down to that end anyway, so here goes! It's cheaper than going into therapy and we really want to stay away from those drugs now, right? Or hey! Worse..."natural supplements". They aren't even regulated. Ephedrine...or Ephedra is a supplement and not considered a drug.

As I ponder and contemplate the things that have occurred to me the last five years, I realized I needed a place that I could lay it all out to examine and analyze it's nuances. So many times when something medically immense has taken place in a person's life, we don't know how to deal with it. Because it's brand new and because it's not usually something we get the chance to practice on, we so often flounder and get it wrong.


 We are also 'directed' on how to deal with it by others who have no clue how to deal with it themselves, yet feel that they are because they have that medical degree and are armed with all kinds of text books and journals.
 

Or because they love you, they feel they're expert advisers for you. Right up front I have to say, until you've worn the moccasins, (as the saying goes) stick to suggesting, but don't try to tell me how I feel - or should feel. I already know that. And it's not even close to the way you might imagine.

Five years ago in May of 2001 I had an aneurysm. It ruptured. And it was heavy duty! Pre to that, I had been an extremely active person; I ran daily, biked and hiked weekends, climbed mountains twice a year...or as often as I could get to them.


I ate healthy and stayed fit in my own complete home gym. I didn't smoke and rarely drank but for the few special occasions such as weddings or the holidays. There never seemed to be enough time in my days for the things I wanted to do, but I crammed as much as possible into every 24 hours and loved it that way!
My life was generally full and not complicated with health issues of any kind.

Then May 29th 2001 arrived. I found I wasn't as energetic as I wanted to be in prepping for a busy Memorial marathon weekend. I needed something to keep me going without lagging. I knew with all the things we had planned, that I needed an energy boost. So I bought some Metabolife to balance my metabolism. Yesirree! I was going to get it done. Much the way Steve Bechler must have felt that day in 2003 as he was getting ready to pitch his game for the Baltimore Orioles. Steve was the 23 year old pitcher who wanted to combat fatigue & decided to try Metabolife to revitalize himself. But like Steve, that wasn't in my future either.

I say "like" Steve, but not quite, because I lived, Steve died.

At that time, Metabolife contained the Big E. For those who still haven't heard about this wonder herb, that's Ephedrine. The herb that people are trying to get put back on store shelves because they want to 'look good'. Gambling with their own lives for vanity. Russian Roulette for the buff body. All of which could be viewed very prettily laid out in a casket.


I took my first little pill in the morning of that first day, another in the afternoon and pill three before bed. I was feeling pretty good about all this; I was doing something healthy for myself and doing it "naturally" and not paying out money for prescription drugs.
So! The following morning I took my fourth pill and went outside to do a little gardening. That was the last thing I remember until I 'woke up' in hospital seven weeks later totally paralyzed on the left side. My good fortune and what probably saved my life was that I had two doctors living right next door to me and they were tending their garden as well, when I hit the ground. They ran to where I was laying on the ground and made an immediate evaluation. They had me medi-vaced to the hospital downtown in eight minutes.

That was to be the first day of my second life. The one where you find out you're incredibly more resilient than you ever thought possible; the one where you find out through sheer determination that you can amaze yourself as well as the medical world. The one where, if you look at things as a challenge instead of a disability, they are surmountable. And the one where you find out who your friends are and sadder, just how very weak your family structure is. Those people who 'love you' were all of a sudden way too busy to call or lend a hand. The ones who will 'try to get around' or if they find the time, they will pick up that item you're needing but can't get yourself. Have they always been that self-involved or have you just been too self-involved yourself to notice? New life; new questions.

Counter that however, with those you never noticed in your life before. They come forward and quietly sustain you as you plod along in your new life. Supportive, helpful, not just given to lip service as surprisingly, family members only seem to manage. These quiet friends are there to bring you out of the hospital for the day and take you for long peaceful drives and/or to a wheelchair-friendly restaurant for lunch. They run all the little errands for you that your loved ones are (sic) too busy to run and they sit and listen as you try to figure out what happened in your life literally overnight.




I am learning so many valuable lessons in my second life. Some I wish I hadn't ever needed to learn; others I am eternally grateful for learning.

As Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:
"Courage allows the successful woman to fail & learn powerful lessons from the failure...so that in the end, she really hasn't failed at all!"

At any rate...bear with me here...I'm still learning. Now there's this blog thing! ~*wink*~

Friday, August 29, 2014

Four guitars and counting....

Well, about that guitar counting! Of course I jest. Four guitars is more than enough for me...two 12 strings and two 6 strings...who needs more, one would ask? Ever hear of GAS?  
GAS is a malady guitarists seem to suffer from though. Guitar acquisition syndrome. Always wanting that next beautiful guitar with the amazing sound, hanging there on the wall of your local music store. 
No, I don't have it...

My acquisition came about more by happenstance than anything else but I won't get into that again here. Somewhere in the cobwebbed reaches of this blog, there is a post already talking about my guitars and how I came by them all.


What I would like to do here is more of an update because when I got my Martin D18 Christmas morning of 2008, I was just starting my relearning exercise - relearning to play. And not just playing but back to playing a 6 string after decades of playing a 12 string.
I had the wherewithal in my head, the chords were all there, but still had motor skill issues from the hole blown in my brain and I needed to learn how to make my hand work.


I'd like to say I never had any doubts. In the past, if I needed to learn something...I just did! But with a changed playing field now, I was no longer sure. And even if I did, would I be as good as before? I had no answers. The only way to find out was by doing.
So with a lot of determination, confidence in myself which I didn't always feel, and lots and lots of music and concerts, they provided the catalyst I needed to make this hand work! These hands work!

I played around with a flat picking tune that began as a practice piece and turned into a full tune and I dedicated it to my three kitties who died. They'd sat through all the mistakes and the grumbling and swearing when I almost got it right, then muffed it. That became their song in my tribute to them.


I then tried another still unnamed but I made a video of that one so I could hear it from someone else's perspective. I wasn't completely happy with it, is any musician ever? But I didn't delete it so I wasn't that unhappy with it either.

Finally, I wanted to do a song that needed to be sung, but not being a singer...never being more than a backup singer, I was nervous about attempting that. So I decided on a John Prine song, but only did it acoustically, no singing.
So here is that...My Life With Guitars, Cats and Cameras...

 

 I thought it would be a good opportunity to show off my kitty family, my photography prowess as well as how far I'd come on guitar. Sadly, my strings on the Martin are over 2 years old and there is a distinctive buzz heard in this tune. But since I'm just a 'play for fun' person, I can live with that buzz.
 
Well, that tune kind of primed my pump a little. Why not try a song? I mean singing! Singing!

Should I dare? I don't have to post it to YouTube. I don't have to let anyone hear it other than those I send to for that matter, and since nobody reads my blog *sad me* I could post them here and no one would be the wiser...


The reason I really did these songs though, was for my brother. He used to like me to play and yes, even sing! I wanted to burn these songs onto a disk for him because you see he's dying right now of lung cancer. We're not sure of how long he has but since he's refused treatment, time is of the essence. These two songs are his all time favorite songs and I had to do them for him. I love you John.





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blackbird

This was just so much fun to watch that I had to add it as a post. I hope one day to be able to play Blackbird again myself, sans bird if possible, but any way would be fine. In the meantime I can enjoy this and I hope you do as well.



For the consideration of family & friends...

Loading...