Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sleeping Frustration

October was an odd month for me, kind of an Autumn colored blur! I did lots of awesome things like get another stuffed Octopus, a trumpet, discover good things about my health, and see a real Pumpkin Moonshine

This is cheating since this was July's Full Moon :P

But I have not had a chance to really enjoy October and my new trumpet...because my sleep has been ANNOYING!!!! 

No matter what I do or try, my body refuses to let me be awake during the day unless I punish it (by, you know...staying up 24+ hours) take today for example: I went to bed last night at 10pm with the assistance of Benadryl (my head has been killing me) and woke up at 4pm...really...I did not need to sleep that long!!

This has been happening all month and I just want to be Diurnal! 

I have a feeling I know the culprit (other than my usual tendency to be nocturnal) and it is my chronic headaches. After a recent visit to the eye doctors to find out that yes I need glasses (they should be arriving any day now...exciting!!) and yes the constant eye strain is the cause of my near constant and getting progressively worse headaches. And since I cannot take anything other than benadryl for headaches I tend to end up sleeping a lot.

Speaking of sleeping, I have photographic evidence that Ben is stealing my plushies...
There he is passed out after working a long shift..snuggling my Pirate octopus!! 

So here is to hoping that tomorrow the Optometrist calls and tells me to come get my glasses...then I can read without headaches and spend more time doing things! One of which is reviewing more paper...any requests?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Curing Lupus, Step One, Part Two

I did a bad thing, but learned a really important couple of lessons from it. I had been very careful with my diet since my last blog entry on this asininely not eating anything at dinner because all the foods were yang-tastic careful. That plus daily meditation, Qigong, internal alchemy and just general getting a better read on how my body works really seemed to be making better. I was feeling great (other than that blasted lingering cold sniffles/cough)

Until this weekend

It was a big family gathering celebrating all the Autumn birthdays in the family...including I thought it was ok to eat whatever the hell I wanted. Several cups of caffeinated tea, chocolate, and meaty goodness later I felt like death. It was a really odd sensation, not only was there pain, feeling like I was boiling up inside, horrible mood swings and anxiety...I felt like a stranger in my own body. I could not feel my Chi flow to see what my body needed. It was awful!!!! Ben (who either is a natural healer or is just really good at fixing my problems) helped some but he described it as everything was burning up like I had balanced my chi flow some and was getting better, there were no "wildfires" but then I had to go and throw a match into a pile of leaves when there is still a drought and it is very windy. Oops

So what I have learned is that when you have become very aware to the way your body reacts to things you notice the problem much sooner and more acutely than before...and that no matter how good it looks DON'T EAT IT IF ITS BAD FOR YOU.

But on to good news and less of me being a dolt! Some of the good things I noticed before I botched was I no longer have cravings for...well salt, no meat, no sweets, no nothing. I eat when I am hungry and no longer have this I WILL KILL FOR A STEAK (or whatever) problem that I have always had. I was sleeping better and not as long, my focus and inspiration was intense, no more stomach problems, no fevers, my skin was clearing up (yay, no more butterfly) my constant dry everything was not a problem, and most my joints felt great. It was like I wasn't being plagued by Lupus. I felt more like a person and less like a walking illness. The only thing that was not getting better is the arthritis and swelling in my fingers, which I find troublesome (mainly because it interferes with my folding)

Other good news is I got me some fancy new meds! A bunch of Traditional Chinese Herbal teas at a wonderfully auspiciously named 888 International store. I tried one, the Nian Si Wei Herbal tea (or 24 flavors)
Buy here
and WOW it was awesome. Typical of TCM teas it tasted like a mixture of bitter, astringent, and bad (with copious sugar to make it more palatable...they added it, not me...honey would have been sooo much tastier) but I honestly noticed a difference. I feel relaxed but focused, energized without bouncing off the walls, my burning skin, joints, and fever all vanished...and the best thing of all is my finger joints shrank...there is no swelling at all on my hands and they feel as smooth as they did when I was a kid. This stuff is awesome! 

A cooling tea made to remove excessive Heat and Yang and have a cooling effect, it is made from Honeysuckle, Chrysanthemum, Flos Sophorae (huai hua), Rhizoma Polygonati officinalis (Yu Zhu), semen sterculiae scaphigerae (Pang Da Hai), Rhizoma phragmitis (Lu Gen), Haw (Saan Zaa Beng) and Tuckahoe (Fu Ling).

Totally worth the horrid taste 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Westcott Vs Fiskar, Paper Trimmer Wars

As you all know I have a beloved paper cutter, a Westcott Titanium Blade Trimmer that I got for my birthday last year (which is good since I still have blister scars on my hands for the thousands of star strips I cut before I got my trimmer) Sadly last month my cutter died, it just won't work no matter what I do or how many blades I replace *mournful tear* it served me well and cut more paper than most I am sure.
It was well loved! I bought a new one off ebay, still from Westcott but this time a KleenEarth type. Well it never arrived :( so I bought one from Michael's using a nice fancy coupon. A Fiskar brand Trimmer.
Having used both now I will pick my favorite and list the pros and cons of each!

Westcott: Pros
  • Cheaper
  • Blade cartridge slide flips to the left making it easier to slide paper strips (stars mainly) out after it has been cut
  • ruler has CM and IN
Westcott: Cons
  • a real pain to replace blades, have cut myself a few times on it
  • The blade groove is really small and gets paper dust stuck in it, after constantly cleaning it out I think I ruined it since the blade does not move right anymore :(
  • Cannot buy replacement blades anywhere but online, which is a pain when waiting for them to arrive 
  • if you are not careful how hard you push the blade you will shred the paper rather than cut it. 
  • Blades are decent, like sharpened metal rather than a blade. Will not cut some paper (like old book pages or really thin paper, it just shreds it)

Fiskar: Pros
  • replacement blades cheaper and can be bought at craft stores
  • Titanium blades sharpened on both sides instead of being just a sharp piece of metal
  • Guide wire makes it easier to keep paper straight
  • easier to replace blade (has a slot to pop it out rather than having to wrestle the blade of the slide)
  • prettier (what, I like aesthetics) 
  • No paper dust being caught in a tiny groove
  • Cuts everything realllllllly smoothly
Fiskar: Cons 
  • initial cost of cutter a few dollars more than Westcott
  • Slide flips right making it a little slower when moving paper (I think this might be because I am used to another direction and will get better with practice)

So I think it is safe to say that Fiskar is my favorite! If my KleenEarth Fiskar ever arrives I will probably keep it as a spare, but Fiskar is my new brand!