Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Is Being Healthy So Expensive?

I haven't been taking very good care of myself lately - not working out (lets be honest, I never really did), not doing yoga, not taking time for myself, etc....and there has been A LOT of stress around here (see previous post about Chris almost getting laid off and deciding to elope to Vegas). Also, I live in frickin' Idaho. 'Nuf said.

It is also very hard for me to be an effective massage therapist when I am not taking care of myself, and it becomes a vicious cycle - I don't take care of myself and I don't get any clients. Maybe the universe sees clear to send me one or two when I don't have enough money to pay all the bills that month (and you would be surprised to know how many times that has happened), but those clients never re-book. Well, right before we left for Vegas, I had two clients call me within two days of each other. One I am seeing this weekend, and the other I have already seen twice before. They are both for the specialized massage technique that I do, so we spend a long time going over the intake paperwork and the session is just much longer than a "normal" massage.

Anyway, last week when I saw my new client for the second time, she said she had been to get acupuncture, and the woman she saws specializes in the helping the same type of health issues that I do. I didn't have an acupuncturist to be able to refer people to, and her office is on my way home from work, so I decided to make an appointment to check things out.

I went last night and she was great! She has a much lighter needling technique than the guy I used to see in New York and was very knowledgeable. She also has an entire wall full of books in her treatment room that I got to look through while she was going over my intake paperwork. I left with the same light, peaceful feeling that I was used to (I rented space in an acupuncture clinic for my massage practice in NY and getting free acupuncture once a month was part of my "lease"). Problem was, and I am by no means a cheap person - the initial one hour appointment was $145.

Yup, $145. Some of you who know me will say "Well, your initial appointment costs $135." Yes, it does, but it is also for two and a half to three and a half hours and I come to your house. I show you how to do the massage for yourself (which is where the real healing takes place) and I don't tell you that you need to come back twice a week for the next month (at least!) at $80 for each session.

Also, she "strongly" recommended that I start taking some herbs and supplements, which I totally understand are a good thing to do. I am already taking some herbs that are from the massage technique that I do that I know are safe and will accomplish my goals, and are also rather inexpensive - $40 and you have enough to last you an entire year. The stuff she wanted me to take would have ended up costing about $150/month.

Who has this kind of money?? Do I have $1000 a month to spend on this stuff? Um, no. And seriously, does she have people that are spending this kind of money?? Maybe they can give some to me : ) Aren't we a Bailout Nation know? lol

I don't want to come across as being a penny pincher; when it comes to my health I understand that prevention is the most important thing and I would rather pay $150 for herbs if it means I wont have a $10 copay for a potentially harmful drug from the pharmacy. All I am saying is , it was a bit much, and when I made an appointment for two weeks, she really tried to get me in sooner.

What it all boils down to though, is I know that I can't let anyone else be responsible for making me healthy. I can't rely on an acupuncturist or a yoga teacher or a doctor to do "the one thing" that is going to make me whole and healthy. They can help, they can make suggestions, but when it comes down to it, its about me making the time and the decision to be healthy, and working towards that goal. Its all about taking care of myself with my end result in mind and making changes to help me get there. No one can do this for me, no herb is going to be the magic thing I need. All of these things can help me, but in the end, my actions and decisions will matter most.

With that being said - I am not sick or dying or anything like that, just a little off balance so to speak; in need of a little adjustment. I don't want anyone thinking I am out here in Idaho dying of some horrible disease and not telling you.

Now, to end the post on a happy note (and to help me clean out my photo files), here are some pictures of all the socks I knitted for Christmas.

Dad's socks
Brother James' socks

Mom's socks
I also knit a pair for Chris, but I don't have any pictures of them. Oh well...they were cream colored with reinforced heel flaps and toes. He loved them even though they are more a slipper sock than a pair of boot socks like I was hoping they would be.

And, just because I can, here is a picture of Ursa in her new favorite pose - she sleeps like this almost every night and I find it supremely entertaining.

"What? I'm pretty!"

Monday, February 23, 2009

What is it About Mondays?

I just realized I pretty much get on here and blog every Monday morning about how much I don't want to go to work...what's up with that? I love my job - see previous post about Red Vines, sheep toys and Sunkist orange soda in the vending machines. Don't know what it is about Mondays....

I did pretty much nothing all weekend. I had a client on Saturday afternoon and then met Chris at work for a bit, ended up the day with a little shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The day we left to go to Vegas, all of my co-workers chipped in and got us a very nice gift certificate to there and threw me a little party (complete with cake I couldn't eat because I was so nervous and nauseous I could barely stand up straight). I got some stools for the bar/counter so I can sit and watch Chris cook...he is so cute when he cooks! We still have a good chunk of change left over, and I have no idea what to spend it on, any suggestions? There isn't really anything we need, I just have that terrible "I want to go shopping" urge, and it is driving me nuts!

I do have some exciting news to tell you - we may have finally set a date for the reception back in New York. Keep your fingers crossed for August 1, 2009. As soon as we have confirmation that we get that date (in about two weeks) we will let you know for sure. As many of you know, things tend to get mucked up as far as this wedding and reception have gone, so I urge you to mark your calendars with pencil and not Sharpie. We will definitely do a party in the Albany/Middleburgh area, and are looking at the possibility of having one in the North Country as well. Not sure about that one though as our time off is limited, and depending on what Chris' work schedule is, we might not be able to go home for two full weekends, which would make having two parties kind of impossible.

As always, check the wedding website for details (I would wait until tomorrow to do that since I am now running late for work and don't have time to update it) and if you don't have the address, just email me and I will get the link out to you. Have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dear Blog,

I haven't forgotten about you baby, I promise.

No, its not you...its me. Really.

Its not that I'm just not that in to you...I promise that I am.

I'll be back soon. You can count on it. Its just that, for right now, I am spending all of my free time on Facebook, BUT it doesn't mean that I love you any less.



PS - All i am knitting are secret presents and a giant sweater of no obvious design or interest (but that I love nonetheless), so you guys aren't missing much. Valentine's Day was nice - I made an ass kicking lasagna and some darn good meatballs (thanks for the recipe Celia!). Chris got me a super sweet card and we snuggled when he got home from work. All is well in Boise, except for this darn Facebook thing : ) Be back soon - promise!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It snowed last night, maybe an inch, maybe an inch and a half.

You get no blog post today because this means it will take me AN HOUR to drive to work.

I am sorry for your loss.

Pacify yourself with wedding ceremony pictures received in the mail yesterday. Also, how my husband did not call me at work and tell me they came in the mail as he was downloading the CD to his hard drive so he could email me all the pictures while I was still at work, is beyond me. Men...sheesh!

Quick comment on this last picture - Why hasn't anyone told me that Kim Kardashian's ass is following me around and apparently is attached to my body?? Seriously, that thing is outta control, and yet ironically, it is in control top stockings! If we can't laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?? I love the look on Chris' face though, so I had to put this one up.

If you are in the Boise area, safe driving this morning, and if you are in a place where people actually know how to drive (i.e. NOT Boise) feel pity for me this morning please.

And my ginormoius ass.

That is all.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Not in the Mood

I am just not in the mood to go to work today. It isn't snowy or cold or anything like that (pretty sure Boise winter ends in February - anyone want to correct me on that and slap me out of my delusion??), I am just have zero desire to go. Also, not feeling 100% but that is neither here nor there, I'll feel the same if I am at work or home and I am not contagious so we don't have to worry about me spreading cooties.

However, I am trying to be in a very Zen mind frame about the whole thing since I should be grateful I have a job (which I love) where I get to work with really nice people and do the kind of work I enjoy doing. There have been a lot of layoffs around here, including the place where Chris works (he still has a job, thank goodness!), and it seems that there is just a funk that has descended upon Boise.

But seriously people, how could I not want to go to a place where the vending machines have Red Vines, and on my first day, I got a squishy sheep stress ball thing!!!
The previous mascot for the company was a sheep (why in the hell did they change THAT I wonder??!!) and we all got to pick a free "present" for completing our new hire orientation. When I saw the sheep in the basket mixed in with the dental floss (seriously) and company pens, I was like - Wowza, this is the happiest place on earth! - I should go get myself showered and get there, huh?

Red Vines and sheep toys, what more cold a girl ask for??

On a side sheep note, I had errands to run at lunch yesterday, and I passed a small farm with a small flock of sheep on the way, less than a mile from my office...and it made my freakin' day to know there were real sheep so close to me!! Do you think it would be inappropriate to ask them if I could come over on my lunch break to help them with the sheep. I mean, that's how you make friends right? Ask people if you can help them with their sheep? People with sheep would like that right? Not weird at all. Right???

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Story of the Dress

My apologies to anyone who is on dial up or has a slow Internet connection.
This post is very photo heavy and may take a while to download, but I think it is worth it ; )

It all started before we were even engaged. In the two weeks from the time Chris went to Boise for his interview and when they called to officially offer him the position, we were both pretty sure he would get the job, and I was pretty sure we would be getting engaged if he did. I saw the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Vogue Knitting at Joann's and it contained the most beautiful knitted wedding dress that intrigued me as both a knitter and a potential new bride. I knew from the beginning that I didn't want a big frilly dress and that I wanted to do as much crafty stuff for the wedding as possible; this dress seemed a great way to combine the two.

Needless to say, I purchased the magazine before we were even engaged and started making arrangements. Never let it be said that I am one who lacks patience (snicker, sneer, snort - hahaha!). So I bring the magazine home and hide it with the other (only!) bridal magazine I had purchased, and felt like I was hiding porn in my parent's house or something, but we ended up getting engaged very shortly afterwards and it all worked out okay.

Then the move to Boise got under way, and due to an error in communication, all my knitting needles and the magazine containing the pattern got shipped in the moving truck and I was not able to access them until we had been here for about two months (after we bought the house). The pattern required five different size needles, some circular, some straight, and I just couldn't justify spending the money to buy all new knitting needles when it wasn't absolutely necessary. This decision was mostly influenced by the fact that I didn't have a job for almost two months and money was tight.

So, we buy the house, I get a job, and I can look at the pattern again and afford to start making plans. About the same time, I also heard about the Ravelympics (a competition that happens during the Summer Olympics and involves knitting something ridiculously hard during the time between the opening and closing ceremonies) and thought "Hey, that sounds like fun!" and so, I ordered the yarn to make the dress.

I waited patiently for the yarn to arrive, and then waited patiently for the opening ceremonies to cast on the dress. I swatched before hand and had all my needles and supplies and a time table all planned out. Then came the opening ceremonies and below is what I got done the FIRST day - it was looking good!
Things continued to go well the next day: Look! Progress!
Then there were a few days where I forgot to take daily progress pictures, but still: Look! Progress!!
Then, well, Christoper happened. All of this knitting was taking a very long time, and when I told him I needed private time for a knitting project, he couldn't see it or know what it was, and he couldn't come in the craft room, well, it made him want to stand outside the craft room door and ask me what I was doing. Repeatedly. Frequently. I started to get a little frustrated, both with the ridiculous quantity of knitting, and with my fiance (and the fact that the carpal tunnel syndrome started acting up didn't help either).

I realized this was not the state of mind I wanted to be in while I worked on the dress, and that I had plenty of time to finish the dress (we still had not set a date, but I knew it wouldn't be for at least nine months - HA! wrong on that one!), so I decided that once the skirt was done, it was time to be happy and spend time with the handsome man that I love and that being together with my needy little fiance boy was more important than finishing the Ravelympics.

So, I took a break from the wedding dress knitting. We took a trip back to New York, Chris' parents came out to visit. Then it was Christmas knitting time ( still owe you all several posts on that). Through all this, the dress sat, wrapped in tissue, in the closet in the craft room. After all, I had plenty of time, right? The wedding plans had fallen through a total of five times (no kidding), and while we might not have had things figured out, I knew the wedding wasn't going to be any sooner than May 2009

Well, I finished all the Christmas knitting, and had a few days off after Christmas to use kmy new spinning wheel (which has sat lonely and un-spinning since that time).

Then Chris got the message from work that he had to take all of his personal time off in the month of January. A plan was hatched since we also noticed SouthWest was having half price flights to Las Vegas, and we decided to elope without telling anyone. Suddenly, the wedding was less than a month away, and I needed to finish knitting my wedding dress!

So I began work on the top of the dress. The knitting of this part was a lot harder to me than the skirt knitting, and I really struggled with it. Mistakes were made, but I said "No big deal, I can't fix it and I can't start over, I don't have time!"
And so, I continued on like this until the pattern became second nature and I knew how to do it pretty much with my eyes closed (bit of an exaggeration there). As I came to know the pattern and what it looked like when it was adding up correctly, I realized that my attitude of "No big deal, I can't fix it and I can't start over, I don't have time!" was no longer going to cut it. The lace looked like crap, I wasn't getting gauge since the pattern was so off, things weren't lining up and I was not happy and would not be proud to wear this on my weding day. So, ONE WEEK before the dress had to be packed in a suitcase and anticipating its journey to Las Vegas, when all I had done was a skirt without the yarn ends even wove in - I started the top over again.
Its a good thing Chris went snowboarding that night because it was not pretty around the house. To say there was crying would be an understatement. To say maybe the neighbors heard some painful screaming would not be an exaggeration.
So, in the matter of one week, I managed to finish knitting the top and the waistband, seam the whole damn dress and weave in a zillion ends, crochet the armhole edging and the closure on the back, sew on the buttons, decide that the waistband seaming didn't look so great and come up with the brilliant idea to add a crochet edging to the top and bottom to cover the seam, and block the whole thing three times. I also was trying to knit my bouquet and a purse and also make my own veil (more on those later this week - none of these things ended up working out the way I wanted them to and in the end they were abandoned in favor of sanity). Basically, I did this:

Detail of the skirt lace
Detail of the top lace - this is what it is supposed to look like!

Look Mom (and Mother in Law who was going to have to help me with the crochet parts until I put on my big girl panties and did it myself out of necessity) - I can crochet!

One of my favorite things about the dress is the button band that goes up the back...wish I could see it while I am wearing it though - that's how much I love it!

Look how delicate and lovely it is!!
And, in the end, the hardest thing was not showing the dress to Chris when it was finished. There was a triumphant howl of joy when I made the last stitch and had it on the floor blocking into shape, but the one person who I most enjoy sharing my knitting triumph with was dead set against seeing it until the wedding - which is understandable since he wanted that piece of tradition since we would be forgoing so many of them with eloping to Vegas. In the end, the look on his face when I came out wearing it was worth so much to me, I am happy I waited.
And that my dears, is the story of my wedding dress. I am excited that I will get to wear it again when we have out reception party back in New York this summer. Even though there were some problems and things didn't go exactly as I had planned, it was wonderful wearing something that I spent so much time and effort on while I married Chris, and I think it made the night even more special.

On a purely Knitter knote (with a touch of bride thrown in) - I think the best way ever to show the hand knits a good time is to knit your own wedding dress and wear it to Las Vegas. Not only do people look at you because you are wearing a wedding dress (or maybe its because you are walking around with a cutie pie fiance/husband), but when they see it looks like it is knitted, they look a little confused. Either way, lots of people staring at your beautiful handiwork, and I think the dress itself enjoyed the tour of the Las Vegas Strip, especially after spending so much time in the craft closet!

Hope you all enjoy the Superbowl - I will be making enchiladas and we are just going to chill at home and watch it here. Chris ate all the Funyuns already, but somehow, we'll manage to get through it! The salt and vinegar chips might help with that, lol. Go Steelers!