Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I had my Reiki done today.

I finally got to the end of a rope today. I've had month-long migraines for the last three months, with significant abdominal components. They're...unpleasant, and they linger, and after two weeks of feeling like a giant is squeezing you like a tube of toothpaste and just not wanting to eat or breathe or move or live, you get desperate.

I got new medications from my doctor -- hopefully, they will address the root cause of these migraines, but we have a whole 'nother month to see how that plays out. In the meantime, there have been some lingering after-effects (as usual for migraines), including body pain. And my new meds are having a really irritating side effect, in that they exacerbate my bruxism, and leave my face in a more-or-less permanent cramp. Yay. But still, cramps or giant's dental hygiene? I'll take the cramp, thank you.

My father has a visiting nurse who also does reiki. He's recommended it for my mom, for pain relief on her knee. I figure...eh. There's a local place, it's $40 for half an hour, if nothing else, it's half and hour of bingly-bong massage music and low lighting. And the shop smells like sandalwood and patchouli, scents which I find very soothing. I can forgive that expense.

So in the interests of science, here is my lab report.

Reiki for Surly Knitter

Introduction: Reiki is a Japanese energy work method that practitioners claim offers health benefits. Does it really work, or is that a load of crap? That was the purpose of this study, to report the outcome of a reiki session on someone who was desperate for pain relief.

This researcher's hypothesis is that there will be some relief, based on the fact that the subject is both desperate and highly suggestible. 

Materials and Methods: The study pool consisted of one (1) female, 42 years of age, caught in the throes of the serotonin shakes. She reports a face cramp, moderate to severe, impacting her ability to sleep and chew. The cramp is affecting the muscles in her cheek, forehead, down her throat and to her shoulder. 

A reiki appointment was obtained with a practitioner, female, age unknown, working out of a shop front location. Practitioner lists herself as "Certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher" in promotional materials. Study subject is familiar with the practitioner on an acquaintance level.

At the appointment, the subject removed her shoes and lay on an uncomfortable massage table with knee bolster, covered with a sheet for warmth. The practitioner proceeded to supply 30 minutes of reiki -- involving hands cupped around the head and neck of the subject. 

Results:  The subject reported an unusual wave-like sensation running up and down her limbs during the portion of reiki with hands around her ears. After a bit, her toes began tingling, but not in a painful way. Upon standing, subject reported feeling 'empty'. After a few moments, and some time to ponder, subject states the sensation is similar to "growing two inches, and losing 20 pounds". Subject reports she realized that the after-effects of her previous abdominal migraine (tiredness, heaviness in the abdomen) had vanished during the session. An hour and a half post-appointment, subject still reports feeling lighter than before and having significantly less joint pain than before, additionally, her lower back has relaxed to the point she can touch the floor with her palms again, something she has not been able to do for months. Her jaw, however, still hurts and is tight.

Conclusion: Reiki worked for this subject in unexpected ways. Her jaw, the primary reason for the appointment, was mainly unaffected, although muscles in her neck and shoulder have relaxed slightly. The most marked change was the feeling of lightness and of having grown. Her abdominal cavity no longer feels bloated or tense.

Reiki worked, for this subject. What that means for other subjects at large is unknown.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Well, that sucked.

We had a bereavement today. Bacardi, one of our basement cats (literally, they're both black and they both stay in the basement) passed away after a brief illness. He didn't suffer, and from his body posture, I'm guessing he simply fell over on his way to the litter box. But it became my job to play kitty coroner and take him off to the vet for cremation. It's a creepy basement anyway, but... There's something horrid about picking up the body of someone you'd just been petting and making nice with the night before.

We cleaned out some of the basement this evening, and spent some time with Ebony (who, oddly enough, doesn't seem the least little bit upset at suddenly having a massive basement, two food dishes and three bags of treats all to his onesies -- I'm becoming slightly suspicious of him, to be honest).

Then I finished off my wine. It was a big glass. And had some of Paula Deen's Oooey Gooey Butter Cake (horrible politics from that one, but I love what she can do to a stick of butter). Mom made it for me while I was at work, along with spaghetti and meat sauce, which is my favorite. I'd like to think it was a 'thank you for dealing with something I haven't got the spoons to handle', but I'm pretty sure it was just because I had to pay for the cremation.

I told them to keep his ashes and sprinkle them on the pet cemetery -- he was feral; I'm pretty sure the last thing he'd want is to be brought back here.

So, these are my feelz today:

I am done with this day, possibly even this week. I'm going upstairs to cuddle with my Yoda, maybe watch some Star Wars (alien war zones; fabulous places to be in times of stress) and fall asleep early.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Yeah, sorry.

It's been a very long time since I last posted. Let's just say...it's been an adventure.

I realized a few weeks ago, however, that I enjoyed keeping my blog. It's a place to keep my records. I can't even tell you how helpful it is to have a digital resource where my work start date is posted. I always seem to forget what year I started working there full-time.

Long story short, I spent a lot of time watching the new Star Wars movie in the time I've been away. It tells you something when you'd rather spend $10 (minimum) and two and a half hours in the middle of an alien war zone rather than your own life, if you know what I mean. And then some more shit happened. It sucked -- and I spent more time yet in the Star Wars 'verse (thank you, Mr. Wendig, for that excellent novel, and I may be hyperventilating due to the sequel coming out in two months, nonononononono I need that book noooooow). And then more shit happened, and then I ended up in hospital on morphine, and then I got out and the bills are outrageous. Thank God I changed my insurance from high deductible last year, is all I've got to say about it.

And now you're all caught up.

Fear not, though, I've been knitting and cooking through it all. Most of it - the hospital part was a little less on the cooking/eating bits - anyway. And I find that I want to start knitting more. And cooking more. And I'm hella poor. No, really. I'm an American, working class woman. Spend one night in an emergency room and you will discover how poor you can get. End up going back for subsequent imaging tests and get prescribed drugs...uh, yeah. I'll be paying this off for a while. I have nothing better to do with myself (that I can afford, anyway) than blog, knit and cook dinner. Aren't you lucky?

My purpose in starting this blog up again today (and I do have one) is that I've made up a recipe for myself and I want to keep it somewhere safe. I actually innovated a recipe! And it was awesome! So awesome, in fact, that I have no pictures - I finished it, took one bite and sucked it down like new plumbing. Oh, my word, it was fabulous. If I do say so myself (and I do).

I was watching Dinner at Tiffani's today, and she made a version of poutine called "Disco Fries". I found myself thinking, Self, you neglected to eat poutine when you were in Canada, oh, so long ago. This was bad. And then I started wanting poutine, even though I've never had it. However, even her recipe is problematical for me in terms of ingredients - well, Lea & Perrins' claims their Worcestershire Sauce has no soy, but I don't trust anyone anymore, so I'm not going to make her recipe, per se. And all day long my longing for gravy coated fries just got stronger and stronger and stronger. I made a stop at the grocery and then made this:

My Lazy Girl Pretend Poutine

1 bag freezer fries (heavy crinkle cuts, please)
1 cup beef broth
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
shake of onion powder (about the same amount as cumin)
Cheese -- roughly a half cup, but please yourself, both in type and amount -- I used Gruyere. 
Salt and pepper

Bake half of the bag of fries (supposedly, this is one serving - ok, ok, it's one serving if you're me) until crispy, then salt and set aside -- you will want the extra salt, and you will want these fries crisp before you doctor them.

Make your gravy:
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan, and once it's melted make a pale roux with the flour (that just means you mix it in and let it cook, but don't let it get dark -- I only went a light tan with my roux). Pour in half the broth and cook until it comes together in a thick paste. Toss in most of the cheese and melt, almost as if you're making a bechemel sauce, but without the milk. Once the cheese melts, add your spices (and a tiny bit more salt, and pepper to taste.) Stir it up, and then carefully add in the second half of the beef broth. Whisk to keep it smooth.

Put your fries in a bowl, pour a healthy dose of gravy on and then top with the rest of the cheese. You'll have some of your gravy left over, just save it up.


I can't speak for your experience with my lazy poutine, but putting the cheese in the gravy gives it extra body and makes it soooooooo good.

I ate my dinner, had some sugar cookie dough and now am contemplating going to the laundry to wash my clothes. If I can move. I may have a gravy hangover.

But rest assured, I will take some pictures of my new knitting projects and the designs I'm working on, and be back soon. I'm going to try and blog at least once a week. We'll see how it goes.