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Thursday, May 1, 2014

** seeds: plantings for May **

OMG GUYS IT'S MAY! For someone who thought she'd never make it out of the Midwest's polar vortex alive, I'm actually a little shocked that it's suddenly not only not below freezing, but actually nice! Spring here in Cincinnati is surprisingly a lot like what I, a native Oregonian, think of as summer. Between 60 and 80 degrees with a couple of days of rain per week, it's sort of perfect for me. I cringe almost as much at the idea of Midwest summers as I do at the Midwest winters.

Here's a brief look at the seeds I'm planting for May!

  • I got some lovely sock yarn in the mail yesterday from Knit Picks, and I'm super excited about it. I plan on making the Spring Pools pattern from Ravelry. I don't often use patterns for socks, but I'd like to try as there are so many out there. Technically, I started these socks yesterday. I made the toe twice -- and I made it wrong twice each time. It just goes to show that no matter how many socks you think you've haven't.

Knit Picks "Stroll" in Sapphire Heather 

  • The littlest bit of yoga. It's often suggested as an "easy" exercise for people with chronic illnesses, but the fact of the matter is that it is not that easy. It is, in fact, very easy to injure yourself trying to do yoga without much guidance, and if you've got easy muscle flare-ups in your shoulders like I do, Sun Salutations are your worst enemy. I've been practicing since I was 13 or 14 but have been struggling in modifying my practice to my body's new ramifications.  I recently checked out Yoga for Back Pain from my library, as it came highly recommended. He suggests that you find the source of your pain (in my case, I chose musculoskeletal) and practice a few poses several times a day. It seems a little daunting, but since he also recommends that you only hold each pose for 15 seconds to start, it actually has not been too hard (yet) to fit in to my day. I found his descriptions of poses to be a little confusing, and despite supposedly being for people with chronic and/or acute pain, didn't offer too many modifications. I found that has an excellent database of poses that include full descriptions, tips, variations and modifications.  I'm doing: Legs-up-the-Wall pose for 5 minutes,  followed by 15 seconds (on each side) of the following very modified postures:  Head-to-Knee-Forward-Bend (I use a strap), Seated Forward Bend (strap here too), Marichyasana I, Intense Side Stretch Pose (with hands interlocked behind my back), and a Halfway Reclining Hero Pose followed by a Child's Pose

  • Expedititions (or Expotitions, a la Winnie-the-Pooh) . Now that the weather is appropriate, and Jose is done with school for two months, we've decided to see a little bit more the city we've been (caged like angry beasts) living in.  Every Saturday, we'd like to go out and do something. We found a park nearby that requires very little effort to get to, for days when I'm not up to much. Otherwise, we've got the Ohio River Walk downtown, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Botanical Gardens, the Zoo, plus any number of things across the river in Kentucky. If we're feeling really nuts, we might drive to Louisville or Yellow Springs.

A purple pedestrian bridge across the Ohio! 

  • Similarly, we've started going for walks on Sundays in the nearby Burnet Woods. It's lovely, woodsy, and so many cardinals come out to play! It is an opportunity for me to walk a little more than my 10-12 minute daily walks. Plus -- one of the trails lets out at a bagel shop. Shockingly, we always seem to end up on that one...


  • Brainwise, I'm going to keep working on learning Sanskrit, but I'm also going to be practicing translating some poems from Spanish (I've got my heart set on re-working some of Ana Merino's work). Plus, some time in March, I attended a talk by poet CK Williams who talked about how memorizing poems can help you write poems. I do leave the writing of poetry mostly to Jose, but it did trigger a memory of how I used to memorize poems as a kid. For no apparent reason...I just liked them! So I thought it would be fun to go back and re-memorize some of those. It'll make my brain happy and strong, and I'll get to feel like a kid again. Win/win.

  • My walks will change from 10 minute daily walks to -gasp- 12 minute daily walks. One of the hardest things I've learned from Fibromyalgia is that my body takes a long, long time to get used to something. So I'll only be increasing minutes in very small increments.

  • I've always been interested in the Fly Lady, but find her programs too difficult to follow. They expect too much out of a chronically ill person (wearing shoes? I'm not taking shoes off every time I need to rest. Sorry.), and move too fast for me (see above, with walking). I'm not always flexible, and prefer to do things As They Are Supposed to Be Done which kind of gets me in a bind. However, figuring out that I can adapt a walking program has me realizing that I can adapt the Fly Lady's program. I already make the bed daily, so that one is an easy win. This month I'm going to practice keeping the sink clean. Erk. And I'm going to do it barefoot. So there.

Whew. That seems like both Way Too Much and Not Nearly Enough at the same time. What seeds are you planting?

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