Monday, September 30, 2013

Bring Out a Smile

    Here's some things that have brought a smile to my face lately. 

This dog is sooo cute!

        If that didn't work, how about this one?

    Come on, now that was funny. 

This is so me sometimes.
    And I have one last one for you...

Ah hem...

    What has brought a smile to your face lately? 

    Have you checked out any of my other favorite places recently?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pampering... Er... Therapy

            A pinching feeling tightens down in the shoulder and runs down the arm. Major muscles along the spine and shoulder blade are in knots. Those are my symptoms over the past month. I've talked about it some, but I don’t want to seem wimpish. Just so you know my chiropractor said I have a very high tolerance to pain. Some of the therapy he did to me had him squirming and squinting.

            At first I just wanted some relief. After eight visits to the chiro in three weeks he told me I had the most stubborn back he’s ever seen. He suggested a massage. Okay, I can handle that. He asked if I had dealt with a death recently. No. He asked if I was stressed. No, or at least I don’t feel stressed. He suggested a trip to Savannah. (He knows of my love for that city.)

            Last week after an intense therapy session that left me bruised he told me he didn’t want to see me for a while. Our breakup session was a joyous and sad one. He stated my muscles needed a break, and suggested I see my regular doctor for her input. But after the intense bruising therapy I actually felt some relief. Two days later I was heading to the spa for pampering… er… therapy!

            My bestie and I had booked a spa day a few weeks before. The day finally came, and I will just say I love Rock Barn Spa! We got manicures and pedicures. Then we each received a massage. Ahhh. Afterwards we had a little time before we were served lunch so we put on our bathing suits and hit the hot tub. I sat in front of a jet and let the powerful water pulse on the muscles all around my shoulder. It was wonderful. After lunch we got into the salt water pool and lounged, hit the hot tub once more, then went into the waterfall pool. The feeling of the pounding water falling on my body was heavenly. I felt it working my muscles in ways that the chiropractor or the massage therapist couldn’t. We stayed for quite a while longer just lounging in the pools and hot tubs. After we were done my shoulder felt wrecked. I worried I overdid it. I had a nice talk with the ice pack when I got home.
Hard to tell, but the waterfall pool is behind this big one.

            I will say that the next day I finally had some relief. Between the bruising therapy and the relaxing spa day my muscles finally loosened some. I’m not totally cured. I still feel the pinching in my shoulder, but it has lessened.

            I actually was just going to talk about the spa during this rant. I guess I didn’t follow my original thought pattern. That’s because as of earlier today (Wednesday,) I learned that I will be visiting my favorite city tomorrow! The good chiro suggested Savannah, well, Savannah it will be! I will try anything to get this shoulder and back feeling better!

            It also helps that the Charmed One has business there! *wink*
Here's a pic of the waterfall pool. 

            What do you do to pamper yourself? How often do you do things just for you? Do you like getting massages?

W.P.I. - Many massage therapists will add one or more essential oils to their regular oil. Essential oils can help many different conditions from muscle pain, to acne, to dry skin. When I am lucky enough to get a massage I like lavender, peppermint, balsam fir, and lemon added to mine, although only one or two would suffice. When I grow lavender and peppermint at home and I smell their scent I long for another massage!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dog Rescue Turns to Shame

    Those of you that follow me know that I have two dogs. I've pictured them in a few blogs, I even wrote one featuring them. Yes, they are my pride and joy. MOST OF THE TIME.

    Even though I love them with all my heart, there are times when one, or both, get under my skin. One, who shall remain nameless, has decided that waking me up in the middle of the night is a fun thing to do. You see, she thinks she gets a treat when she comes in in the morning and night. It will sink in sooner or later with her. She'll learn that when Momma is mad no one gets treats. She even tries to pull the other one into her antics, but the other one learned that lesson a long time ago.

    A while back a blog I visit told about this cute little website. I visited and spent an hour looking through all the different pictures. They made me laugh, and I admired people's creativity. I also thanked my lucky stars that my dogs never gave me a reason to do something so... humorous. UNTIL NOW.

    Without further ado my attempt at dog shaming...

    Thankfully it doesn't happen often. But it still happens, and she did it the other day. I think she get's insecure and thinks we are never coming back. Either way I got a chance to play around a little. Did I take away from the shaming a little by her being on the couch?

    If you enjoyed this feel free to visit the original website- . I can just about guarantee that at least one will make you laugh. I also have to thank The Goddess Blogs for introducing me to this website. It never fails to put a smile on my face.

Do you have pets? Do they ever make you want to do something like this? Have you heard of dog shaming before now? What would you say to shame your dog? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Caption This

    The silence is deafening. Almost to the point that I can't take it any longer. My hands are reaching for my out of control red hair, ready to pull. Yank, ow! Yank, ouch, stop it! Hey! My hair may be long, but please make me stop pulling it. 

    "How do we make you stop pulling your hair out?" Thanks for asking. :-)

    You see, the silence is deafening because no one ever responds to the questions I ask. Is anyone really out there? I'm starting to lose confidence. 

    I figure maybe you all are shy. That's fine, so am I. I understand. But there really are no right or wrong answers to the questions I ask. And I don't judge. This is a judgement free zone. I know to respond takes precious time out of one's schedule, but you are already here, right? What is just a couple more minutes? 

    Today I'm going to try and coax you out of your shells a wee bit. I'm going to post some pictures that it should be pretty easy to caption. I'm not just talking one picture. I've got three for you. I'm thinking you can find one to say something about, right? Please?

    Okay, here we go...

Picture 1

Picture 2
I have no clue who these silly people are! :)

Picture 3

    There you have it! Surely you could pick one of these to caption, right? Please? C'mon, this writer is losing faith in a hurry here. All you have to do is list the picture number and then your caption.

    Have some fun with it!

W.P.I. - A great garden includes more than just plants. Incorporate a structure, such as an arbor or pergola, a fence, or a stone retaining wall. Choose a material that complements your garden style and fits within your budget.

Monday, September 16, 2013


            This past week I did something I've never done before. I read two books at once. Trust me when I tell you most days I barely have the wherewithal to comprehend one. That is why I mostly read for entertainment. But I have quirks.

            One of my quirks is that I have to go to bed with only happy thoughts. If I am watching television I have to watch something happy, or mindless. I can’t watch news. When is the last time you saw a happy story on the news? Forget me watching any of my favorite shows if there is a cliffhanger involved. I will DVR it and watch during the day sometime so it is not the last thing on my mind when I go to bed.

            The same goes with books. If I am reading and run into a not-so-happy part I have to keep on reading until everything is back to good. Sometimes that is not as easy as it sounds because most of my reading I do is at night. My eyelids have a tendency to get heavy. And heaven forbid I fall asleep during an unhappy moment. As soon as my eyes pop open I force myself to continue on until I become content with the plot. I do this no matter how tired I am.

            So this past week I was reading a book entitled Manic, by Terri Cheney. I don’t usually read books that are true stories, but this one called out to me. The author suffers from manic depression/bipolar disorder. It was amazing to me to read what life is like for someone who has to deal with such adversity. I was truly overwhelmed and humbled. I give her, and everyone who has to deal with manic depression, credit. It opened my eyes in so many ways. I read this book to give me insight. In my next book a secondary character suffers from manic depression, and although that character doesn’t play a huge part, the effects of the mania does.  

            Unfortunately I couldn’t go to bed right after reading that. I had to start another book so I could find my happy before my nightly slumber. I picked Fading, by E.K. Blair. It is a work of new adult fiction, which doesn’t always have happy themes to it, but it worked for me. I would read Manic first then turn to Fading. Thankfully it worked.


       Why do I do such odd things? If I go to bed with an unhappy mind it will come back to haunt me. I’ll get probably two good hours of sleep before the bad thoughts weave their way in. They wake me, and I lay there. And lay there. No matter what I try to focus my mind on it always drifts back to that part of the book, or television show, which upset me.

            Hey, I never said I was a sane, normal person!

Do you have any quirks you care to share? Do you read for escape or to learn? What are you reading now? Do you know anyone who suffers from bipolar disorder or manic depression?


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Automation Nation

            Remember the days when an actual person answered a phone? You know, back when you called a business and a hopefully pleasant voice greeted you. What happened to those days? Where have those voices gone? I know there is still a person there at that desk, why can’t they pick up the phone and talk when it rings? Have the workloads of the people sitting next to that phone actually grown so much that we need a computerized system to answer inbound calls from impending customers? What happened to the human factor?

            Am I full of questions today, or what? Maybe. But I am curious. Have you run into this more often lately? It has almost come to the point that when I do call a business and an actual human answers the phone I want to yell THANK YOU!

            If you've read my last couple of rants I told you about a back issue I have been having. I’m doing my best to keep myself upright. That includes a strict regimen of ice, heat, stretching, more ice, more heat, and chiropractic visits every other day. You read that right, every other day. I have muscles in knots, and muscles in spasm. It feels like I have very little blood running down my left arm. All of this has been going on for a couple of weeks now and I’m starting to get real, real grumpy.

Not at Massage Envy, Rivergate, Charlotte.
            My chiropractor recommended that I see a massage therapist to try and work out some of my muscle issues. Now, in a former life I was a licensed massage therapist, so I know how beneficial they are. Unfortunately I don’t get massages very often, so I don’t have one set massage therapist that I see. There is a Massage Envy in the same complex as my chiropractor. Tuesday I tried calling to set up an appointment for after my chiro visit on Wednesday. The first time I tried I got the automated answering machine. The voice mailbox was full. -___- I had no chance to leave a message or talk with a human. So I jumped on the internet and searched their website. I found I could schedule an appointment right there on their site. Nice. That’s what I like. I put in my information and hit send. A short time later I received an email stating they got my request and an agent would be calling me shortly to confirm my appointment and ask some questions. After waiting a few more hours without hearing from them I tried calling again. I got the same message, “We’re sorry, but the voice mailbox is full.”

            I did mention that my condition is making me… irritable, right? After that last message I hung up my phone and shook my head. Okay, yes, maybe I whispered some choice words under my breath. I am a red head remember! Later on I tried calling the Charmed One. I got the voice mail message. Lo and behold, wouldn’t you figure the Charmed One’s voice mailbox was full too. That was it. I broke right then and there. I have not fully recovered yet. As you can probably tell.

Have you noticed more businesses are using automated machines? Do you miss the human interaction? Do you get massages? Ever been to Massage Envy? (After this fiasco they will not get my business.)

W.P.I.- There's truth in the adage "you are what you eat." It's especially relevant when managing inflammation and reducing swelling in your joints. There are plenty of tasty anti-inflammatory foods that can ease swollen joints and ankles, finger pain, and even symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Olive oil, fish (snapper, tuna, salmon, and cod,) nuts and fruits, and garlic all will aid in reducing swelling. Herbs such as ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, and basil are good at fighting the fight as well. Green tea works like liquid vegetables, and stages an anti-inflammatory fight inside your body.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moments Of Happy

            My weekend has consisted of ice for fifteen minutes followed by heat for fifteen minutes. Every.Hour. That’s right, my neck and back issue continue, but I’m not going to talk about that. I think I did enough of that in my last rant. I’m also reading the book Manic, by Terri Cheney. It is about how someone with manic depression thinks and acts, how they view situations during their ever changing stages. This is research for my next book. With that being said all of this has had an effect on my mood.

            I like to be the happy go lucky type. I am most of the time, but for those times I can’t pull it off I try to do things that make me happy, if only for a little while. After leaving the chiropractor office Friday I strolled over to nearby Cold Stone Creamery. I don’t do a lot of sugars, but every once in a while it is called for! I enjoyed a Cream de Menthe milkshake and went about my day. Happy found me.

            Certain television shows always bring a smile to my face. If you follow me regularly you know I like shows like The Golden Girls, and Sex and the City. For the most part they are happy shows. They make me laugh.

            Lately I have found another show that brings out my happy. So I may be, oh, I don’t know, centuries late on this one, but I have found a love for Lucy! That’s right, I have finally allowed myself to sit and watch some episodes of the old black and white show. I.Love.It. The Charmed One will walk into the room and see me watching Lucy get herself into another mess and just laugh at me. I don’t know why it took me years to get into the show. All I know is that now I can’t get out of it. Every morning when I wake up I turn on I Love Lucy and start my day off laughing. How can I not love a fellow red head that grew up in a town close to mine? I just can’t believe it took me some forty years of life to figure out how great that show is!

            Do you have a show that always makes you laugh? What do you do to find a little happy? What are you reading at the moment? Has it ever taken you years to figure out how good something is? 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Pain In The... Back

            Growing up I was surrounded by boys. THAT got your attention didn’t it? I had three older brothers, and almost all my neighbors were boys. We grew up in a rural part of NY where houses weren't inches, but nearly miles apart. This girl’s body was put through the ringer trying to keep up with the boys, and their sports.

            During the summer we would go to my cousin’s pond and swim. We would play outside for a while, get all hot, and run and jump into the pond for a refreshing cool down. One day, when I was thirteen we were chasing each other around the pond and jumping in. There were quite a few people there. I remember running really fast and diving head first into that pond. When my hands and head met the cool water my legs didn’t get the message to keep straight. Instead, with the impact of the water, my legs flopped up toward my head. Immediately I felt something go wrong in my back. Somehow (with help from friends) I made my way across the small pond and got out. I remember just laying there for a long time while everyone else swam and laughed. Age thirteen was the first time I saw a chiropractor.

            Years passed, and I continued to beat my body by playing sports relentlessly. I had a two year break when I completely blew out my knee and had to have two major knee surgeries. Even though neither surgery took I continued to play. (For the record, I never claimed that I was very smart!)

            For the most part the back pain was minimal, nothing a trip to the chiropractor every once in a while couldn’t fix. Sadly finding a good chiropractor is sometimes hard to do. After I moved to NC I saw one that was horrible. I quit seeing him immediately, but never sought another one out. One day something happened and I could hardly move. My back gave out in a big way. The pain was unbearable. Getting from the bed to the bathroom rendered me ill in a way I’ve never felt before. It took two strong guys to get me from the house to the car. We didn’t know if it was a chiropractor fix or a hospital fix. My brother’s chiropractor assured me when he examined me if he thought I needed a hospital he would send me. He took x-rays and did some other tests on me. That visit ten years ago was the first time I heard the words disc degeneration.

            Yes, I have some major issues going on back there. Ha! I did that on purpose. After a week straight of chiropractic work I could finally walk again. I’ll never forget that pain and don’t ever want to experience it again. To minimize the chances of that happening again I go routinely to the chiropractor. Most times that is once a month.

            Shortly after I got straightened back out I moved an hour away from his office. I had a physically demanding job where I lifted plants all day, every day. I didn’t see the chiropractor as much as I should’ve.

            You see, I have trust issues. And I procrastinate. And sometimes I’m just… stupid. I made the hour drive a few times after I moved because I was scared to try another chiropractor. Finally the pain became too much again. I knew I needed help. A friend recommended me to her chiropractor, and said she was excellent. I hymned and hawed for a while longer and finally made the appointment. I loved the new chiropractor. She was compassionate, professional, holistic, and current with current practices. I fell into another routine with her, and my back was happy because of it.

            When she reviewed my x-rays from the last back fixer she couldn’t believe her eyes. (This happens a lot.) She couldn’t believe my back was as bad as it was. After seeing her for two years she ended up leaving her practice. A young man took over for her, and although he didn’t have her tender touch I still continued to see him, even after another move, which was another hour away. When he first looked at my x-rays he asked if I had fallen off a horse. (Does that make you wonder how bad this situation is?)

            In early August I zoned out (I was plotting in my head and not paying attention to what I was doing) while picking up a heavy box. I felt something wrong in my back immediately. This problem manifested in my shoulders and neck as well. After visiting my regular practitioner seven times in four weeks I decided I needed to look for another.

            One chiropractic office here in Podunk had a website so I tried them out. They never took x-rays, and the chiropractor smelled of cigarettes. Apparently quality medical care is limited up here. I will continue to search for a respectable professional. With all of the work I have had done to me over the years I know x-rays are the first step. My skin does this creepy crawly thing when I go into that office.

            So there you have it. At this rate I’ll find a good practitioner and end up moving again!

            Do you suffer from back pain? Do you see a chiropractor? Do you have nightmares from doctor’s visits? Have you ever run into a questionable doctor/practitioner?

Weekly Planting Information- One sure way to tell that Fall is near is by seeing ornamental grasses in bloom. Many grasses bloom late summer into fall. Ornamental grasses are visually appealing, they offer a different texture, and they soften the landscape. Plus they bloom when not much else does!

Monday, September 2, 2013

No Laboring Today!

  When I started this blogging thing I thought I was going to have a blog for every holiday, or special day, even if it wasn’t a normal blogging day for me. Somehow I forgot a couple of them along the way, so I apologize. Hence today I am hopping back on the holiday wagon. Sssoooooo… Happy Labor Day everyone!

  I know this is an American holiday, but I tend to wonder why. There are laborers in other countries. Do other countries have a similar holiday? Or are we the only ones that “honor” the laborers? This brings up yet another question. Why don’t all laborers have the day off? If we have a specific day that honors hard working people isn’t it crazy that ALL businesses don’t shut their doors? Just askin!  (I know the answer; I just think it’s crazy!)

  So, without further ado… Thank you laborers! Thank you, thank you, and thank you. Whatever it is you do hopefully today is the day that you can sleep in. Maybe you can go to a parade that honors you, or just simply enjoy time with your family. Whatever you choose to do with your day, take pleasure in it. Know that today is YOUR day. Run around with your hands in the air skipping, jumping, and yelling, “Woo hoo, this holiday is to honor ME!” Today it is…all about you! Take pride in it.

Now, you know I would have to include something like this!

  Please, go forth and enjoy the day!

  What is your job? Are you a lucky one that has the day off? If you view this from another country do you have a similar holiday? Do you view it as a holiday, or just an end to summer?