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Feb. 11th, 2011 | 03:25 pm

It feels like a new world.

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Jan. 23rd, 2011 | 04:19 pm

In the almost-two-years I've been gardening, my luck with plants and flowers has been mixed.

I've tried dahlias for two years. They hate me. Most of them completely die, and if they do grow back, they don't flower. I think I'll give up on those.

The very first tree I ever bought (a dwarf key lime) is thriving in its second year. The first year produced few fruits, but there are many out there now, ready for harvest. I may be teaching myself to make a key lime pie like a good little Floridian.

I planted at least one shallot and it has never grown.

Spearmint in a container that I mostly neglect grows like a weed. Good thing I have no plans to transplant it. Tarragon in the same container also grows well. Too bad I almost never use either herb in cooking.

I buy a basil plant at Trader Joe's, plant it either in the soil or keep it in its container in full sun, and it only produces tiny, almost useless leaves after that.

Hydrangeas do well. I'm reminded that I need to cut mine back since the flowers are spent.

My Japanese maples are okay, but I know they need to be repotted to bigger containers. Should do that soon while they're dormant.

My two camellias are stubbornly late bloomers, and sparse at that.

The little potted persimmon tree that I've had for a year did less well this year than last, and has not changed at all in size. The ONE fruit it produced this year was eaten by a bird the day before I was going to harvest it. Probably needs a bigger container and some protection.

The roses that came with the house and are mostly cared for my my landlord's landscapers do pretty well without a lot of fuss. They were just cut way back a few weeks ago, mostly.

Today I planted a dozen and a half gladiolus corms since djdigit exclaimed how much he liked them last summer on a neighbor's yard. Did a lot of research and followed the instructions closely, including the timing, so I'm hoping for success.

So far, the most foolproof plants seem to be my various succulents. They never seem to need for much.

I've been wanting to graduate into a real vegetable garden and some more fruit trees, but I'm discouraged by how fussy the flowers I attempt seem to be. Why do I see flowers blooming riotously all over my same street, but mine struggle? I amend the soil, I fertilize, I water, I weed. I suspect I don't mulch enough-- that might help.

This year, perhaps, I'll just be less ambitious and try to get a few things right in the garden.

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Ah, 2010.

Jan. 1st, 2011 | 11:02 pm

Another rollercoaster of a year. Big ups, devastating downs.

Love and work, both gained and lost in multiple, both augmented and stabilized as the year drew to its end. I'm starting to find my place.

I learned a lot last year. I am still very tired from it all, but time having passed, I'm refocused and invigorated. I do always bounce back, although a little more slowly as I advance in years.

My hands are finally on a healing path. Physical therapy and PRP therapy (I need to write about that in detail) are working together and I'm taking this all quite seriously.

My new job is wonderful and I pray it to sustain. I'm giving it my all and it's making me more well-rounded as a tech writer. Through it, I'm making new friends, too. It's comfortable and challenging, both. (And my intense approach to it is probably keeping me a bit tired. Perhaps I can relax a little at the end of this month when my first big deliverable is live.)

Perhaps I'll take fewer risks in 2011, and start looking at my own restlessness with more compassion. Perhaps I can detach further from those things and notions that do little more than hold me back or knock me down.

I have no big plans or goals for this year otherwise. I have no idea how it will turn out. I think my hope is that I can breathe, rest, heal, find fulfillment, and grow.

And, y'know, write a little more.

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I've been a busy bee.

Oct. 27th, 2010 | 10:21 pm
mood: productiveproductive

Star over Monhegan, Atlantic star,
Lantern without a bearer, you drift,
You, too, are drifting, in spite of your course;
Unless in the darkness, brightly-crowned,
You are the will, if there is a will,
Or the portent of a will that was,
One of the portents of the will that was.

-- Wallace Stevens - "Variations on a Summer Day"

I underwent hypnosis last week to address confidence and performance anxiety in the wake of a difficult year as I transition into a new job, while finally and directly fixing my tendonitis at the same time.

Now, I've never quite been sure what to make of hypnosis as a practice. I've been under once as a teenager-- a single session with a complete stranger. I don't remember what problems we were tackling at the time, apart from general teen angst and my own troubles at my mother becoming ill, but I'll never forget exactly one thing that was said in that session. That hypnotherapist told 17-year-old me that when I'm stressed, I should have sex. That sex is so good for clearing one's mind and giving someone enough energy to "play an entire tennis match" with nary a pause. Heh.

This time, I was working instead with a therapist who already knows me pretty well from this past year. Whole different experience. I recorded the session on my iPhone at her suggestion. It lasted 20 minutes.

When I came up from it, Lia asked how I felt, and I told her quite slowly because it took me awhile to piece this together: "I feel very far away from the self-doubt and stresses that brought me into this room in the first place."

And it was true. I walked out of there feeling lighter. For weeks prior I'd been adrift in a sea of heavy introspection and mourning, but I drove home in determined lucidity. I got on the phone and made appointments. I saw my orthopedic doctor. I found a buyer for my car, and sold it the next day.

I spent five days mostly in the company of just myself, as my husband had gone to visit family and I had a lot to do. I was feeling free to move about my life, closing loop after overdue loop. Got a little bit ahead with work because now, finally, I was able to pay more attention. I turned in my final project for evaluation on Monday, well ahead of when I thought I'd be able to pull it off, and its first impression garnered a rave review.

I feel so good that despite what these past two months put me through, I'm able to leave this job on great terms, because I caught up. All that remains is tying up the very last loose ends, and then I can let my forward momentum carry me into my first Airwave days, starting Monday.

Yesterday I rested, mostly, save for a physical therapy appointment. Mid-week resting days are an indulgence I won't get to see for a while. Capped that day at a Brazilian steakhouse that played host to our first tipsy date night since my man's homecoming.

Today I treated myself. Breakfasted on challah French toast. Got my first mani-pedi in six years. Dashed out another last-minute work assignment in a few hours in full concentration.

Been sleeping better these last few days and I may have even had some of that invigorating sex I've heard so much about.

I don't think this is all just the results of last week's hypnosis. I think writing here has been helpful too; I'm feeling buttressed by your comments. I've been open here and there's been a relative (and welcome) lack of resultant drama. I must be doing something right, and so I come back and I do it some more.

I will the calmness to tarry a while.

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What will it take to have my hands back?

Oct. 23rd, 2010 | 01:00 pm

As of yesterday, an MRI, and depending on the results of that, possibly surgery.

I visited an orthopedic surgeon yesterday who has been seeing me for a year. I told him I'm at wit's end, since my tendonitis has now cost me one job and seems to never really get better no matter how many lifestyle changes, steroid shots, months of PT, NSAID doses, counterforce braces, electro-stims, massages, paraffin baths, and habitual stretches I do. I told him that I'm reentering physical therapy starting next week, but that my concern is that my problem may too severe for the more conservative treatment methods out there.

He did a couple of tests in the office to see what kind of movement or touch elicited pain or discomfort. After only a few of those, he immediately turned around and said that it was time to get an MRI to determine whether surgery is needed.

I wasn't actually aware that surgery was even an option, but sure enough there are two options: open surgery (more invasive but more common) and arthroscopic surgery (tiny surgical instruments/smaller incisions). The goal is to remove any diseased muscle, debride any decaying/torn tendons, reattach healthy muscle to the bone, and other possible procedures that depend on how messed up your arm is. Either method is outpatient, but there are some risks -- you may have persistent weakness in that arm, and you may never be able to completely straighten it. However, the success rate in terms of getting rid of the pain is very high after you recover, and the recovery time itself varies.

So the determining factor will be the MRI. I've never had an MRI before so I'm feeling some trepidation -- not because of claustrophobia which I don't think I have, but because I startle very easily, and I tend to fidget when uncomfortable. I'm doing research today about coping with MRIs.

I've also never had surgery in my life. However, I'm not going to overthink about it until I know for sure that it's the next necessary step.

The good news from the ortho visit: I may not be afflicted with this for the rest of my life.

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35 minutes of 720p HD wedding video goodness.

Jun. 28th, 2010 | 10:51 am

{darrell ♥ christina} ~ full wedding ceremony from Christina Marcet on Vimeo.

Don't want to see the entire ceremony? There's a mini highlights reel (only 6 minutes long) here.

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For Father's Day

Jun. 20th, 2010 | 04:13 pm

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(no subject)

May. 8th, 2010 | 09:01 am

Today, I'm three weeks away from the wedding day I've been dreaming about all of my life.

I woke up, dressed, stood before my full-length mirror and studied the lines in my face, the disarray of my hair, the ring gleaming on my left hand. And I knew I wasn't seeing all of me.

My history up until now is stored in my mind and heart; these heavy and embattled organs that I have handed over to various souls and causes. Completely, I did so, because love and passion are my engines.

I'm getting older, wearier. A life of the kind I live brings some of the harshest lessons, because my interior has been steadfastly tender. I have never opted in for reservedness, even when it has tempted me in its sheltering prison walls. Even when I tried it on, it was clothing that didn't fit, and fell off, and left me as exposed as ever.

I am truly astonished that I have found my mate for life. A man who is imperfect himself, yes, and who has found ample room to live with my own flaws, dents, and damage. I think we manage, because we found a rhythm and flow around each other.

Not everyone enters into marriage with a foundation like this. So I think the chances of this lasting our whole lives, while not a certainty-- are pretty decently good.

I am challenging, yet I am still worth loving. I'm difficult, yet I deserve respect.

And three weeks from now, our community will celebrate us for a day, as we pledge our life together. Perfection was not a requirement to get here. But as I do, I will keep striving for better interactions with the world, with my loves, and in time, with myself.

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(no subject)

Apr. 8th, 2010 | 04:27 pm

Please send me your kindest, gentlest thoughts.


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(no subject)

Mar. 27th, 2010 | 06:00 pm

He halted in the wind, and--what was that
Far in the maples, pale, but not a ghost?
He stood there bringing March against his thought,
And yet too ready to believe the most.

"Oh, that's the Paradise-in-Bloom," I said;
And truly it was fair enough for flowers
Had we but in us to assume in March
Such white luxuriance of May for ours.

We stood a moment so, in a strange world,
Myself as one his own pretense deceives;
And then I said the truth (and we moved on).
A young beech clinging to its last year's leaves.

-Robert Frost

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