Hiking While Ignoring A Health Challenge

This last week I went a very different hike from the ones I have been taking with my usual hiking partner.

The last one I took with her was very leisurely and easy filled with birds. That was a fun hike done just in time, as the next day it snowed about 4 inches and then was cold for a few more days.

Last Thursday I went with someone I had never hiked with before, but was very comfortable with taking a very challenging hike. She had actually gone partially up this trail recently and really wanted to go further, but wanted to be with someone, as it was a bit more difficult than she enjoyed hiking alone.

We went up the Williams Canyon trail and this and brought to my full attention what is lurking above Manitou Springs just awaiting the next rain storm to come tumbling down.Rocky Road in Williams Canyon Manitou Springs

The beginning part of this hike used to be the road that came down from the Cave of the Winds. That road hadn’t been used in years as a road, but was the way to get to the Williams Canyon hiking trail. There was no road any more. The whole area was covered in rocks with a bit of a trail carved by hikers that have gone before us. The fact that there was an obvious trail in many places reassured us that many people have been hiking up here recently.

Williams Canyon Manitou Springs Culverts

The creek was in a new location than we were used to seeing it. And the drainage pipes were all torn up. The power of the water that came down this area on August 8, 2014 was unimaginable to both of us until we actually saw the destruction with our own eyes.

We just kept saying “Wow!” as we hiked up and back down. At one point I said “I know I have a larger vocabulary, but this just invokes ‘Wow!’ from me when I see the changes and the new beauty of this area. And moments later, I heard my hiking partner say “Wow!” exhale as she looked at a huge piece of rock wall that was now in the middle of the old road about 8′ from where it had been for many a year past.

There was only one place that we really felt was dangerous, but we climbed up and over it, and did get back down it on the return without any harm to ourselves. But I have to admit, that was not the safest thing to do. We moved slowly and carefully, planting our feet solidly in many of the rockier and narrower areas on the trail. And a couple of times we sat down and used our butts to anchor ourselves to get down a few slippery or high places. We both kept wishing for legs just a few inches longer in few places.

The colors in the water and the rocks were more brilliant than I had ever seen them before. And our reward was reaching the bottom of the waterfall where if felt like being in Paradise.

Waterfall in Williams Canyon Manitou Springs

It was just so peaceful and awesomely beautiful, I had a hard time leaving. Especially knowing I might not get back here again for a very long time. The construction of the walls to keep rocks and other debris from coming into Manitou Springs is scheduled to begin soon. I am sure they will not allow hikers on the trail when this is being done as a safety issue for the workers and hikers. And they plan on working 7 days a week for long hours each day to get these walls built before the Spring rains begin.

Plus I have no desire to hike this area when there is any chance of rain! As you can see this was a very sunny day and we had both checked the weather to be sure there was no rain or snow predicted to the West or North of the canyon area.

I have been dealing with a health challenge that is very annoying and makes hiking a bit painful if I pay attention to it. I have had some deep holes in my skin that fill with clear liquid. There are about 6 in different spots on my body that are just a bit annoying and I have gotten a couple to totally heal, but others are being very stubborn and ugly. The worse ones are in a cluster on my left ankle of my leg that has a circulation problem. A rash actually developed there. It starts to heal, then gets ugly again. I keep trying different essential oils, as that is what healed the other sores, but it is a slow process. But the essential oils that worked on the first sores, only kept these from getting worse, but didn’t get them to totally heal. Frustrating!

The rash and sores on my ankle are placed in a way that my hiking boot top just rubs on it a bit. So far I haven’t had to give up hiking because of this annoyance, but I am really glad to get my boots off at the end of the hike. And  very grateful when I am able to hike in just my walking shoes on some of the trails.

I recently again switched the essential oils that I was using and I was happy to see this morning that they did look much better. Still pretty angry and red, but not as swollen. So I am hoping I am on the right track to getting them totally healed before I go on my trips. I really want to be able to swim in the pool one evening at least in Salt Lake City.

And continue to hike in beautiful and challenging areas wearing my hiking boots in comfort again.

Rocky Road in Williams Canyon Manitou Springs

I need to catch up with my Spirit Renewing Hikes blog and will later this week. When I do, there will be many more pictures of this hike up Williams Canyon on April 10, 2014 and what we saw there.

Old Spokes and Hikes Looking Back

Since my last post over 8 days ago I have been going non-stop to keep up with my world.

And that did not include posting on my blogs. Glad I gave up the idea of having to write on them both daily.

The Art Festival and the “Old Spokes” gallery show have needed a great deal of attention and work. But I also slipped in two really good hikes just to keep me sane and moving a bit. I have to admit, I will be really happy to have the “Old Spokes” show up and the opening over.

And finally got up to the Festival Storage unit today with the Zebulon Pike Boys to look at the feasibility of creating signs with Fab Lab to get people aware of the Art Festival that won’t be located in a very visible place. So can we get signs painted in a way that draws attention to the idea there is an event that visitors want to stop and jump on a shuttle and go to that weekend? That is my hope and vision.

I also worked Commonwheel Artists Co-op shifts twice this month that were not in my schedule. One I get to trade for a Summer shift. Yeah! That gives me a little break in August when getting close to the Art Festival time. The other, today’s worker barely got to her home last night driving through over 6″ of snow up the pass and didn’t want to drive down this morning. I had to arrange with the second shift worker to come in a bit early as I was meeting the Zeb Boys at the storage unit before the morning shift ended. She was agreeable to this, so I took the shift for pay. And I did get a bit of Facebook posting for the “Old Spokes” show done while at the shop. It was a very quite day. I don’t think I saw 10 people come into the shop. Not good for sales with that few people. Hopefully with the sun shining in the afternoon more people came in and shopped.

I had a meeting with a reporter from on small town newspaper and have a very large picture of me and a nice story about the “Old Spokes” show in last Friday’s paper. I would have liked him to have used some other pictures of the art work we sent him, but can’t argue that it was a good story and should get people’s attention to help Commonwheel celebrate its Ruby Anniversary all year long, starting with this Friday’s opening.

We have had a couple of wild snow storms recently. 60 degree or higher weather one day, then 4″-6″ of snow when we wake up the next day. Then sunshine and it melts quickly. We do need the moisture and I have been happy that I didn’t have to travel on those days.

I had a Commonwheel Association meeting the same week as the Festival committee meeting. Made for a busy time to be sure I had reports and agendas all done. The Commonwheel meeting was a bit contentious. Our President is trying so hard to keep us on track after the flooding and our retreat, but there was some really negative energy that came out at this meeting. It is hard to work with that and feel like we are progressing and doing what we can to keep Commonwheel healthy mentally and financially.

And keeping up my own enthusiasm for creating the Art Festival when so many people have left or will be out of town so making it harder to get some jobs handled . . . Makes me a little bit crazy some days.

Then there was my getting distracted by working on a graphic using the human spokes that had been carved by Sophie Cowman and were part of the original symbol/logo for Commonwheel.

Commonwheel Artists Co-opOld Spokes

Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them at first, but have posted them a few places just for fun and gotten some interesting feedback. And some of them just look so joyful and glad to be out in the world again, just had to post it. Then I added hands from a 1977 newsletter and placed it on the logo, just kept messing around as if I had time to spare.

Ellis Fab Brush Mowers sold the piece of used equipment they had me put on the web site which was good news. And they have another one that I replaced the sold one with last night. Haven’t heard back with changes I am sure they will want. I am not always sure how to write up and place photos for this type of equipment, but get a good start, then wait for their suggestions to fix it to their liking. And the other one did sell off the web site, so something is working there. Anyone need a used New Holland 9030 Tiger Tractor with lots of extra pieces of equipment?

I went to an opening at this ritzy gallery on Saturday night. There was no free wine, had to purchase it. And the artist had posted “Who has great food? Potatoes.” So one would have thought at least the food would have been good there, but it also was for purchase, and not cheap! Strange concept in my mind or I am just spoiled? The show was a father and daughter event. It was beautifully presented and their work was fabulous. They complement each other very well artistically.

My friend Ann was there with her mother who had just gotten moved from her long time home in Kansas. Ann’s husband suggested they should go across the street to an Italian restaurant that had a gluten-free menu. Since I was hungry and I was going to the Millibo Art Theatre for the Six Woman Play Fest and didn’t want to drive home to eat, I joined them. It was fun spending time with these lovely people and catching up a bit. And I am so grateful that I have a little spare cash that allowed me to do this. Plus Ann wanted to share meals, which is a very Wright family way of enjoying dinners out together.

Her Mom made me think of my Mom and a bit of sadness came over me for being an “orphan” now. I have always enjoyed her Mom when she visited in the past and plan on spending some time with them both for a game night occasionally which will resonate with me for the times I spent with my parents playing cards and Rummikub. And as a bonus, I will get to spend some time with my friend who I have missed greatly as she had been focused on her son and his needs up until this year when he headed off to college in Denver.

The plays were all interesting and thankfully ended on an up note this time. I much prefer to leave the theater laughing than crying. Had a very decadent brownie for desert and supporting them. Just glad it didn’t keep me awake as it was very sugary, but tasty too.

Tonight is a full lunar eclipse. I am not sure I can stay up until it happens. Or maybe will set my alarm and crawl out of bed at 2am. There isn’t a cloud in the sky right now and the full moon is shining brightly above on this very chilly night. Just not sure my energy level is such that this will work for me, but it is a rare occurrence. And then there is the nickname for when the Pink Moon turns into a “Blood Moon”. That seems a bit eerie and not exactly a comforting thought to watch it.

And since my last posting I have attended four Tony Laidig Webinars that keep me inspired and looking forward to the time that I can focus on writing for myself and not just for Commonwheel related postings and advertising pieces.

Commonwheel Artists Old Spokes Show has Consumed Me

I have spent way more time on the Commonwheel Old Spokes Gallery Show than planned.

I am now at the point of getting the finalize pieces for the Artist Statement book finished, but some just keep rolling in for me to work on the photos and the Bios to make them look good.

Tomorrow my friend and founding member of Commonwheel is coming to help proof what I do have done. Will be interesting when it comes time to print them and see how many photos actually look good from so many that were sent at 72 dpi rather than a printable 300 dpi.

On Friday night, he and I spent a fun evening together going to an art opening at Fountain Valley School for a mutual friend who is retiring after teaching there for 31 years. He and his artist wife are moving to N. Carolina where they say they are closer to family. There were many of us “grey hairs” that showed up. I had some interesting conversations and the art work was fun. But made me wish I understood how to use glue and paint to create some of the found object art ideas I have had. Looking at his was inspirational and frustrating too.

At this opening,  I invited one more person to be in the Old Spokes show. Hopefully his wife will get me all the info and photos I need quickly.

I wore the sandals I had bought at Kohl’s and they were very comfortable on both of my feet. Win! Glad I bought a second pair as it has been a long time since I have found shoes that comfortable.

And a City Council woman needed me to send the info Ann had sent her before and or Press Release about the show so she could write a proclamation about honoring our 40 years in business at the next City Council meeting.

On Saturday morning there was a MERF (Manitou Springs Emergency Recovery Fund) meeting that I attended. Didn’t learn much new, but was reassuring that they had most of the funding in place. Although there is a concern that the bids could come in higher than expected. They do have funds to dredge the creek and hire a couple of extra people to help with clean-up should there be another flood.

Mostly they wanted people to sign up as volunteers and state their skills. I signed up to do photo-documentation, as that had been something lacking last year. People just started cleaning out muddy basements without taking photos of the condition is was in and what they had lost. The insurance companies wanted documentation that many did not have.

I, and other Commonwheelers, took many photos of our muddy basement and the piles of items that came out of it and were no longer usable. So we had no problem with our insurance claim.

I had remembered to bring my camera on the walk to and from Venue 515 where the meeting was held. Birds and squirrels posed for me in many places. So I was really glad I had put it in my pocket.

I wore the new sneakers and they also were very comfortable! Now I have a pair of clean sneakers and a pair I can wear on walks without worrying that I am destroying them.

Two Saturdays ago, I went on a “stroll” with the Deja Vu Singles group at Fountain Valley Nature Center. I had never been on those trails. It was delightful.

Pikes Peak Reflection on a pond Fountain Valley Nature Center

I had thought that the ponds were still enough for me to get some wonderful reflection photos that I am always looking for to use in a books some day. Though there was more movement in the water than I realized when taking the photos, they are interesting images that could be useful in the future.  Snow covered Pikes Peak in the background made for some beautiful images from many angles.

Will be so glad to be done with the Old Spokes show and get back to using my time for my own projects to makes some money in the near future.

The many water fowl and other birds, including Red-winged Blackbirds were in great abundance.

Goose & Red-Winged Blackbird at Fountain Valley Nature Center

I kept thinking how my hiking friend would love to see the birds. She gets so childlike and beautifully entranced when creatures are around. She talks to them and they often seem to respond by coming closer. She brings out the child in me at those times.

The ducks and geese created interesting trails in the water. I tried to capture them and was somewhat successful.

Geese at Geese at Fountain Valley Nature Center

I did think I had more images than I saw when I got home. Still learning how to use this camera each time I go out. And our hike leader showed me some things about my camera that I didn’t totally understand before. But not sure why I always think I took a picture that isn’t on the camera when I download them. Curious . . .

(And this was the day I actually went to Kohl’s for my first spending spree, not the day of my health appointment. I am a bit confused in time recently.)

When I got home, I checked the weather and discovered that Wednesday would be a good day for a hike this week. So I left a message for her to call and me and see if she was available. She was, and so we made a plan for me to pick her up after my webinar.

That didn’t work too well for me. There was no posting of the webinar by Tuesday night, so I assumed it wasn’t happening. But it was. They posted in the early am, but I didn’t open my computer in the morning and I had changed my time to pick up my friend to get an earlier start on the day hike. I guess I missed a good Q&A session that I haven’t listened to yet. My Genius Factor is lagging behind a bit . . .

And the Aine recording on Tuesday couldn’t be heard by phone, it was only available by computer playback. I listened to that as I cleaned up my office a bit, and found some bills I needed to attend to quickly. Aine is going to Brazil to see John of God with a 3 week window at the end of January next year. Wish I could afford even a 1 week stay with her, but not in my budget. Many years ago, just after the minor surgery that gave me a major complication that makes wearing shoes or tight pants difficult, I somehow connected with someone who was going there. He took my photo and a short note about the healing I desired. When he returned, he brought me a crystal blessed by John of God, and some herbs to take. I place that crystal on my leg every time I work with my MAP / Co-Creative White Brotherhood Medical Team during those meditations.

The worst thing that happened this last week was the cottage roof is leaking! A flat roof is no fun when it begins to leak. And I still owe my handyman/plumber from the water line replacement job he did last month.

When cleaning up my desk, I discovered I hadn’t paid last month’s Comcast bill and can’t get into the account. When I had dealt with an uninvited user that a tech helped get removed, I had changed my password and secret question answer. I am still in my Comcast email account, but can’t get into my billing account. And of course it is the weekend and there is no help to be had by phone until Monday morning.

Financially I am not in very good shape, but working on it as best I can. Wrote up some bills for other people that do owe me some payments for work I have done.

What I really need to do is to get more books written and figure out how to make some money from my photographs in the near future. And promote the books I have written and published to make more sales.

 

 

Another Shopping Adventure

I had bought a cassette player on my last set of errands. The one in my feather studio is fading away. I have lots of cassettes and they are easier to change out than CDs when working with glue and feathers.

What I hadn’t realized was that the speakers I wanted to hook it into had only wires for the connections, not pins. That didn’t work.

And at Kohl’s on my last shopping trip, I had gotten two $10 Kohl cash certificates that needed to be used quickly. Plus an unusual timing made it possible for me to use my 30% off coupon during two of the days the Kohl cash could be used.

I hadn’t brought the coupons I collect for my friend to her on my last trip over in her neighborhood, so called and told her I would do that.

I had found a really nice blouse the last visit that when I wore it, many people complimented me on it. So I thought I’d check for another blouse.I did find a plain teal top that would be about $3.00 with my discount and bought two more pairs of sandals bringing my total a little above the coupons value. But I really haven’t bought shoes in many, many years, so was happy to find one that felt comfortable before my other ones totally fell apart.

I had planned on checking into a pawn shop for speakers, but when I was chatting my my friend, I told her about my speaker problem. At first she dove into her bags of cords to see if she had a converter. But no, she didn’t have the proper type of converter, but had a better idea. She had a whole little cassette player and radio that she wasn’t using. She had gotten it for free from a friend she helped with a garage sale. It even has a remote control so I could switch from cassette to radio without touching it. And it wasn’t even plugged in. She said she could use the shelf space much better with it gone. Win!

One never knows what will come one’s way when just talking about a situation with no expectations.

Future Travel Plans for Young Living Convention

I am making plans for a couple of trips in the next few months.

Recently my friend from Sharing Inner Health asked if I wanted to go to the Young Living Convention at the end of June. Not really good timing for me, but I was considering it. This is the time for many advertising deadlines for the Art Festival, so means I really have to be on top of things to be comfortable leaving for a week.

I have always taken my vacation times in Spring and Fall and gone to visit my family in Oregon. But with both my parents gone now, that wasn’t such a pressing place to go. Though I do want to spend time with my brother and his family, I knew that wasn’t happening this Spring.

The next day she called and said, “We have a ride. You’re going aren’t you?”

Someone who has gone many years and loves driving was happy to have other passengers to share the cost of gas. This did push me to making a decision to go.

I spent some time going over my finances and they had a 2-payment plan for the event which was very reasonable to start with using the Early Bird discount. All in all, decided I had wanted to do this for years, and it is the 20th anniversary for this event, so will probably have some fun extras happenings and promotions. So Yes, I wanted to go. Just barely affordable, but I can make it happen.

Then there was the matter of a motel room for 6 nights.

I have been told I snore, so was concerned about that even with just Kathleen. She had mentioned the possibility of sharing a room with our traveling companions, but I wasn’t totally comfortable with that.

My Greek friend showed up and brought me some cookies and suggested we meet Kathleen for tea. Which worked out perfectly to discuss the motel situation. I said since Kathleen was already in a stressful situation with her housemate, neither she, nor I needed to have a stressful series of nights in Salt Lake City. Having 4 people sharing a bathroom, the fact that she meditates for a long time in the morning and my possible snoring, made me think we should just share a room ourselves.

I called the motel earlier that day and the woman said they had not Senior or AARP discounts that week. Kathleen had suggested I go on Expedia and Travelocity, but when I did that, the rates were actually more than what her friend had paid and I was quoted by the motel desk clerk. So I suggested to Kathleen that she call the motel and make a reservation, as I just have a debit card and have occasionally run into problems using that for making reservations using it compared to someone having a credit card.

She left promising to do that task. A little later, she  called me back and joyfully announced that when she called and made the reservation. At first the male clerk was a bit brisk and suggested we try Travelocity for a better deal. She told him we already had, and the cost was higher than his rates. Then he got really nice and said, “Well, let’s just take care of you here and now.” And the rate she got from him was better than what her friend had gotten, or I had been quoted earlier. Win!

I still need to figure out my motel situation for the weekend Creative Industries Conference May 1 and 2, but am just going to relax about that a couple more days to see what my friends in Villa Grove can do for me or share a room with someone.

I am looking forward to being around many like minded creative people at both of these events.

And hopefully getting my creative juices flowing again on projects that will benefit me financially a bit more than the time I am spending on the 40th Anniversary Old Spokes Gallery show.

Though I am really looking forward to the opening and connecting with friends and seeing all the work from Old Spokes hanging in the Gallery.

April Fools Day Had Me Very Stressed

And that is no joke.

Skipping ahead from my last post to now as this is sort of written out in an email.

I had a health appointment with a doctor to analyze the abdominal cat scan I had a couple weeks ago. This had been ordered by two different doctors at appointments within just 10 days of each other. I haven’t seen a doctor in almost three years when my doctor of over 25 years had gone into private practice. I had put into my mind that their reactions to the lumps in my abdomen were just because they had never felt these fibroids that I have lived with for over 12 years and nothing new.

But on April 1st, the first 30 minutes of my day, then the next 90 minutes leading up to having to be at Commonwheel to sign up for the next 6 month of word dates on the calendar had me spinning.
 
I really hadn’t been stressing at all about my health appointment that was scheduled for 11 am today until all this other weirdness came at me all within less than 2 hours.
 
I was awoken from a sound sleep by the phone ringing at 7am.
It was a past Commonwheeler calling from Florida about the 40th Anniversary Old Spokes show saying she couldn’t have all the items I needed for the Artist Statement as she was in Florida helping a mutual potter friend to get back to her Colorado home a month earlier than planned.
And she had forgotten about the 2 hour time difference.
In my groggy mind, I told her that was fine, friends come first and I could work with her being late with the photos and Bio.
Then she put our friend on the phone.
Our mutual friend sounded like the “circular” phone conversations I had had with my Mom for a few years before she passed.
This conversation was very upsetting and brought back lots of sad memories that rushed into my head.
 
Just as I hung up, a huge crashing sound was heard outside my window shaking me up quite a bit. Then more smaller crashes, and the sound of saws.
They were removing an old heater and its “chimney” and not being very careful about noise and just 3 feet from my outside wall.
 
The day before, I had discovered that my toilet was constantly running, and had turned the water valve off after flushing it last night.
After using the toilet, I couldn’t turn the water back to flush the toilet. That had me stressed a bit.
Then there was a missed call from my plumber friend while I was in the shower saying he had the stomach flu again and couldn’t help me with the toilet or the cottage leaky roof until he was healthy again. Adding to my feeling of stress a bit more.
 
And while I was in the shower, a big brown fast moving spider that I couldn’t identify as not being a Brown Recluse kept scampering along the wall. I usually capture and take spiders outside. But he me nervous as I couldn’t properly identify him, so I drowned him instead. Then had a wave of guilt rush over me.
 
I stopped and took some deep breaths and fixed a quick breakfast.
 
And as the time approached when I would normally, on every other Tuesday, be settling in for a Group Healing phone call with Aine, I had to get out the door instead. I needed to be at Commonwheel to get in line to sign up on the work shift calendar. For some odd reason, Aine had cancelled the last one with no explanation. I really hate missing these calls and being in the circle with others to send energy to the Earth and others who need healing. But then I also couldn’t afford not getting good dates for working the Commonwheel Gallery during the summer months when I had lots of things to get done relating to the Festival and I was traveling for one week near my advertising deadline. So it couldn’t be helped but to miss this call.
 
My driveway comes out onto a very busy road and is on a blind curve and people often tend to gun their car to go faster coming from the left. When I got to the end of my driveway, the construction vehicles were parked so it was even more difficult than usual to see if it was safe to leave my driveway from the right. And of course, I hear someone gunning the engine to speed up coming from the left. I sit and breath, the bravely pull out into the street and safely get on the road.
 
Normally I would just walk to Commonwheel, but having no idea how long it would take doing the calendar and having my health appointment that was about 30 minutes away, well walking wouldn’t work.
 
When I came into the Gallery, many people had already arrived before me, remembering how a double member had taken forever to get her shifts last time, I just stressed out visibly. And as I mentioned I had a health appointment to make, my voice even shook. I realized I was not doing well. So went to make some copies for the Festival and someone was using the copier, so not a private space, nor could I do what I needed to do then.
 
I had some masks that I made on Sunday to put into the Gallery, so did that while I was waiting. So on one level I was focused on what I needed to do, but on another level, I was visibly stressed. And a couple of people commented upon that. I used the phone call and the doctor appointment as the reason for my stress, and that is basically true. Just had let it all get me more worked up than normal, and that isn’t good.
 
As I mentioned earlier, this health appointment had come from seeing 2 new doctors within 10 days of each other and both pushing on my abdomen and saying in worried voices that they wanted to order the very same test, a cat scan of my abdomen. And the person who set the appointment had been clear I needed to see a doctor, not a nurse practitioner for the results.
 
I had easily stayed calm this whole month of waiting for the reading of the Cat Scan, that they just had never felt the uterine fibroids I have had these many years, and they are large, but not really a bother, and that that was all they had felt. Nothing new or more threatening.
 
And my past doctor had monitored them with the rule that if they gave me pain, or other problems, we would look at other options.
But the memory of the reactions of those two doctors kind of took over my mind a bit after the talk with Patty . . . so now all of this was coming into my head and getting me more nervous about what they would say with all the other odd things that had happened this morning.
 
Plus all of the odd extra things on my mind for the 40th Anniversary show and the challenges of the relocation of the Art Festival just sort of engulfed me, put me into kind of a high stress mode.
 
Even my blood pressure was higher than normal at the Doctor’s office. And I knew it.
I asked the nurse to give me a minute to breath, after the reading confirmed it was higher than normal.
The nurse agreed that was a good idea.
Five minutes later, the second reading, it was closer to my normal numbers, which are usually pretty low.
 
I was ever so happy to see I had a woman doctor, as I had been used to a woman doctor for many years and seem to relate better to female professionals than males.
She began by telling me naming all of my organs and telling me they were healthy and normal. Then she said there is a large mass in my uterus, that is partially calcified, or in other words, very solid.
She concurred with my past doctor that I didn’t need to do anything other than what I have been doing with these fibroids, unless I have pain.
 
I asked her about my herniated navel and she said that unless it was causing me pain not worth surgery right now.
 
Another reason one of the doctors had me do the scan was because I had a complaint about a bad pain in my back that would radiate out causing me extreme pain. I could breath into it, drink water, lay flat and take a Percogesic and it would dissipate. But it worried me more than the fibroid. She said the fibroid was no where near where this pain began and I might want to have a look at my lungs, since is was behind there. I keep thinking it could be from a pinched nerve, but she had no opinion about that.
 
So then she said if I did want to do something with the Fibroid, it would involve a major surgical procedure, as was not small and being solid the laser surgery would not work. This would involve an expense and a long recovery time.
Or there was a procedure that had successfully reduced the size of such fibriods. It involved inserting a tube into my leg and injecting a gel that would stop the blood flow to the uterus and usually reduced fibroids up to 30 percent.
I must have turned white, as she asked what was wrong.
This procedure brought up the horrible time when I had a minor surgery that resulted in a major complication that I deal with every day. I told her about it quickly and briefly. It involved a tube in my leg and cause a huge blood clot. (I really do need to write this story soon.)
She agreed I probably didn’t want to do anything right now at all. And totally understood why I had such a strong reaction.
 
So I left there feeling good about the diagnosis, but rather perturbed at myself for being so stressed all morning long.
Yet writing this, I doubt anyone else would have stayed much calmer.
At least I didn’t yell at anyone or lose sight of what was truly important and stay on track to getting where I needed to be on time and taking care of what needed to be done that morning.
 
I had planned on getting some errands done, including shopping at Kohl’s with my 30% off coupon and looking at another day pack that had a water bladder for sale at Costco for a very good price. And so I did all that. And felt pretty calm and able to make good decisions about what I was buying. Even found some sandals that felt as good as ones that I have had for about 15 years and were falling apart. So that was a really good find!
 
Got home just in time for an interesting webinar with Tony Laidig.
Fixed myself a nice dinner using the cooked chicken I bought at Costco.
Then wrote a bit on my Spirit Renewing Hiking blog about the Calhan Paint Mines to end the day on a positive note.
 
Still just too much on my plate when this should be sort of my down time . . .
 

Festival Discussion at the Chamber & Commonwheel Work Day

I guess I am writing longer posts than anticipated, as I didn’t get to my full day at Commonwheel in the last post.

Tuesday morning I had a meeting at the Manitou Springs Chamber or iManitou with Leslie to discuss issues relating to the Art Festival on Labor Day Weekend. I discussed the Beer Garden proposal that I wasn’t happy with, and she agreed it wasn’t a good deal how they original proposed handling the financial side of it. Even with the 50/50 split that I countered with, the management fee seemed high to her, but then this is a 3-day event and she is used to doing 1-day events.

We discussed how the Chamber could help with advertising, send out emails for us and connect with motels for extra parking space for visitors to the Art Festival and so much more. We talked for about 1.5 hours and I had not realized that until I got ready to leave.

The shuttles were a focus and major discussion. We looked at the routes the ones that the City of Manitou Springs planned on running that would help us out more this year than last year. They will run into mid-September with longer hours and one is routed to turn around at The Fields Park where the Festival is held.

When I got home I saw my apartment tenant had put her rent in my mailbox, so I drove to the bank to get it deposited to help with my financial juggling. As I pulled back into the driveway, my Greek walking friend was just getting ready to walk to Inner Health. I mentioned I was hungry and so was she. So we went to the Maté Factor and split a Turkey Reuben sandwich and I used a coupon for a free Peach Iced Maté. I decided I had too much to get done before my webinar that night to walk, and it was kind of chilly anyway . . .

I went to put the items I bought at Lowes in the cottage and take some photos. I discovered that the new tenant was doing more than just painting, he had moved in some of his furniture and kitchen items. So I didn’t get photos of an empty space. Hopefully I won’t need them for many years to come and he will stay there quite a while.

Westword in Denver and I chatted about doing advertising for the Art Festival in their Summer Issue and online ads and an email blast like they did last year for the same cost. I amazed her describing what we had gone through last year. She wants info about the 40the anniversary that I need to remember to send her soon to see if we can get a story in that paper also.

Commonwheel’s Marketing person sent art for the ad I liked better, but still wasn’t thrilled with and made one more suggestion. I really liked the font for one bit of text and wondered if that could be used for the bigger text with the Show’s name. On Wednesday, she did that change and made it more of a Ruby Red that looked much better! Ruby is the color and stone for a 40th anniversary, so was glad to see this red she chose actually worked with them more arty text.

I did some FaceBook Posts and Tweets for Spectrum of Spring – ah, a paying gig! Didn’t take me too long, but felt good to add the photos that I took with the show up in the Gallery. And I played on the idea using Suzi’s Clay baskets for Easter Baskets that would last long after the treats were gone.

Tony Laidig’s Expert Media Show Tuesdays free webinar was on AutoResponders and was helpful in some ways, but mostly was just a push for me to get motivated to pay more attention to my business as soon as the 40th Anniversary Old Spokes Gallery show is up in the Gallery.

I worked late into the night on the Old Spokes Artist Statement File.

Got up just in time on Wednesday morning to get ready for my 9:30 am – 6pm shift at Commonwheel Artists Co-op. Grabbed a couple of my Flood Books to restock, as I had sold one recently. Took some clear page sheets to “wrap” my books I had down there.I want to have only one that is a sample and gets handled by the public to keep the others clean and undamaged.

I sold two of my Discover Essential Oils books today. It does pay to talk to people in the shop in many ways. I almost sold a Flood book also, but that person changed to wanting the Essential Oils book when she discovered it and told me she has been curious about them for quite some time. I made sure they knew I could be contacted if they had questions regarding essential oils after they read the book.

I had a decent sales day and I got some work done on Festival needs, started to redraw the Park with the new layout idea. I know I will need to go back and measure again, as some things just are not landing how it looks like they should from the first measuring.

I had some interest in my FantaFaces masks and jewelry, but none got bought today. Handed out my card for future reminders to those who looked at them.

I can see I have lots of work to do on the Old Spokes Artists Statement File tomorrow, but not tonight, not going to get sucked into that again.

And I want to add another post about my hike in the Paint Mines Park to my Spirit Renewing Hiking blog. This time I get to add some of images of the most colorful formations we walked above and into.

Colorful Formations in Colorado Paint Mines Park

Now you might understand why it was so hard for me to leave that day.

Just kept wanting to walk down another trail deeper into the formations where I was in total awe at Nature’s artistry.

Long, but not Boring Board Meeting & Commonwheel Work Day

On Sunday, I got more items for the Commonwheel 40th Anniversary show into the Artists Statement File.

I sent out a B&W copy of this File to people to try and inspire them to get me more of their Bio’s and photos to get that project closer to a finished state.

I tried to get some Press Release info into DropBox for our marketing person, photos and text she could use.

I am way to involved with this project for my own good. But no turning back now. I do not think I will have a puzzle for the opening, but then that is about a month away still . . . That is something I could skip over doing.

I did get up into my studio and created some masks to take to the shop on Monday. That felt really good. And I needed “mask boards” that they get attached to when sold. I hadn’t noticed they were needed when I worked, and a shop-worker called to ask if I had more, as he was selling two FantaFaces Masks and there were none there. I had him look in the back for the “care & feeding” cards I knew were on my shelf. He couldn’t find those, but there was one mask board with a couple of masks on it that I told him to use and put the masks out for me. (On my workday on Wednesday, I found a mask board exactly where it belonged and plenty of my “care & feeding” cards where I told him they would be. Blind?)

I felt I was moving very slowly in my feather studio, but got six masks created and found a couple I could take off Etsy to fill in the blanks at the Co-op on Monday.

I had a client on Monday morning that I was to help get a book ready to publish on Kindle. He showed up with files that had each of the chapters in separate documents. That doesn’t work. We talked he preferred to put them all in one file himself, rather than pay me to do that. I set-up a template with the proper fonts and showed him how to do copy and paste each chapter, then add a page break after each chapter. Plus format the headers properly. I am hoping he will send me the artwork for the cover so I can have that done when he and his wife return from a trip to Europe that was given to him by her sister as an inheritance she willed to them.

Luckily he had all the chapters on a thumb drive, as his new small notebook computer would not turn on when he got here. We tried plugging it in in many ways in case the battery had just died. But it never booted up, so he had to take it back to where he purchased it to be sure he would have it for his trip. Although we didn’t get much done, he was in a talking mood and we caught up a bit with each others lives.

My brother needed some changes on the Parish Gap web site. I was able to do some, but the videos he wanted swapped out were on a web site I didn’t create, nor did I have any way to accesses it. The member who is leaving the band had done that and even he didn’t have access to that web page. So he needed to create a new one for the band that he would have control over.

My niece, his daughter is coming back into the band to take the place of the girl who is leaving. That makes my brother very happy! And I know she missed performing and spending time with her Dad, but needed some time to adjust to married life and her teaching job.

The add art for the 40th Anniversary show just didn’t look right to me when our marketer sent it over. I suggested some changes for that and her first draft of the Press Release. It may be our Ruby anniversary, but the huge really red, red very stark text she used for the show name just looked “wrong” to me.

My essential oils up-line wants to go to the Young Living Convention at the end of June. That is really a challenge for me time-wise and financially. I have always wanted to do this, but not sure if it is feasible this year. So spent some time looking at my financial picture, but haven’t come to a decision yet.

I planned on going to Lowe’s on my way the Commonwheel Artists Co-op Board meeting to pick up some items needed for the cottage, so left in plenty of time to get that done.

The Board meeting was very long, but not boring. We have so much to stay on top of after the flooding and trying to get a new POS System in place, discussing how to handle members who have resigned and the jobs they did, and more. So it wasn’t easy to not keep working together while we were all gathered together.  We did come to some good decisions and have more to look at in the future, including insurance policies.

Catching up and Catching my Breath

Some days just fly by, others whiz by, not drag by for me recently.

I looked at my notes of what I did the last few days, and will only write up a few of them.

With all the added expenses in my life, I again considered canceling my hair appointment last Friday, then decided I really needed my hair cut and I haven’t had a perm in years. So I just kept the appointment and am very happy I did. I got to catch up with my friend and hairdresser while enjoying seeing her new space. She used to work out of her home, but has gone back into the hair group that she actually started many years ago.

We chatted about many things, including her downsizing and letting go of possessions that had been in her family for generations. Similar to what my brother and I had to do last year.’

Went dancing that night at Stargazers and had fun. But I suddenly felt I needed to get home before the second and last set of music finished. And they were playing way too many slow songs for someone who doesn’t have a partner . . .

When I got home there was a note from my plumber that he needed at least a partial payment by the morning, so I had to do some quick shifting and checking of funds to write him a check for part of the work he had just done on the cottage. This kept me up later than usual.

Saturday I got up later than usual and was moving very slowly. It was a perfect cloudy morning for taking photos and I wanted to get some pictures of the old carved wooden spokes I had knew were on the front porch. They were in a treacherous position, just out of reach and high. But I managed to get them down without hurting myself or harming them. They were really dirty, so washed them off and that made them a really beautiful red cedar look. They are oddly shaped pieces as they were used as spokes of an old wagon wheel for the original Commowheel Artist Co-op sign in 1974. Their odd shapes and some with two sides, made it challenging to get good pictures of them, but can always take more if they don’t look right. And besides, I haven’t figured out what I want to do with them or how to use these images. But surely they will show up somewhere on Facebook or advertising in some fun way..

I think some of the stress of many pieces of my world is wearing on me a bit, as I was feeling tired when I was taking this photos, but more energized as I played with the figures. By the time I needed to be at Commonwheel to work a shift for pay, I was feeling ready to be there. I always have fun at the shop with customers. I did bring the Festival computer and got some work done for that and had a decent afternoon of sales. I took my camera so I could add some pictures to the Facebook pages for the Spectrum of Spring show in the Commonwheel Artists Co-op Gallery.

I noticed I had more FantaFaces masks sales after Carnivale was over than before or during. Maybe the giveaway I did for Tony Laidig brought people into the shop who needed a new outlook on life and a mask was just the transformational piece they needed. Gotta get in my studio Sunday for sure!

When I got home I downloaded those and the cedar spokes. The spokes folks were really fun and look like they are dancing and smiling in many of the images I did look at. Still, how to use them . . . not sure yet.

Sophie Cowan Cedar Carved Commonwheel Spokes

Measuring The Fields Park In Manitou Springs for the Commonwheel Art Festival

Happy First Day of Spring!

It was beautiful outside and I was happy that I was able to get to be outside for a couple of hours today.

I had thought I had a webinar this morning, but couldn’t find a payment or a notice for me to sign on to it, so did some accounting that I needed to catch up on instead. Found most of the items I had forgotten to take to my accountant the other day and put them where I wouldn’t forget them again.

Gathered items I needed to take for remeasuring The Fields Park in Manitou Springs for Commonwheel’s 40th Annual Labor Day Weekend Arts Festival. Grabbed a couple of old maps, printed a smaller one, but didn’t end up using that one. I had some old flags to help us get a feel for where booths would go and how much space the Beer Garden and the Stage would take up. Not a perfect park for this, but we’ll see how it all works out on paper after I work on it at home.

As I waited for the other Festival Committee members to show up, tried to get a feel for how the Beer Garden, Stage Area, Food Court and Kids Activity areas would all work together. A Raven posed for me on the grass. Not sure what exactly he was gathering, but may have a few fun pictures. Put the camera in the car and walked with the girls to talk about different ideas I had about the areas. They had some different thoughts than what I had, but will have to see how the rest of the park gets laid out and where the Beer Garden goes to really determine what will work best for the Kid’s Art and Activity booths.

03-20-14_Fields Park Food Court_6286

As we were talking, at least 6 deer showed up in the Park among these trees where the Food Court had been in 2013. I enjoyed seeing them, but no photos again.

The girls had a totally different vision for how to lay out the booths in the park. It was one I had toyed with last year, but couldn’t get myself to do such a radically different set-up than what was in the park the Festival had been held in for 38 years. They easily convinced me to measure and mark the park in a totally different configuration and see how it felt. Looking at the empty park, it looked both small and large. Nothing to do but give it a try. I could feel myself resisting a bit, but they have been doing more fairs recently than I, so we started measuring and discussing how to make it work in this new configuration.

Food Court area at The Fields Park in Manitou Springs

And then there is the challenge of trees and sloping ground. They both convinced me that I give way more attention to placing artists where they want to be than any other art festival they have ever participated in. I had done a horseshoe configuration of booths along the sidewalk areas facing in and a center grouping of back to back booths. There hadn’t been enough pathways for artists when setting up and breaking down. And some felt it was a bit maze-like in one area.

I did my best with only a day to determine if the park would work, then get it measured and laid out in less than 2.5 weeks after the August 8, 2013 flooding that destroyed Manitou Springs Memorial Park where we had held the Art Festival for 38 years. I did the best I could, and the public was very happy at this park, many comments on how it looked like we had been here for years.

The girls wanted to look at doing rows of booths from sidewalk to sidewalk, using the sidewalks as turn around points. The tree areas actually sort of worked as we measured it out, and when we counted at the end, it does look like there will be enough booth spaces.

The Fields Park in Manitou Springs

It took almost exactly the 2 hours I had predicted. And they were really fun and joyful people to work with on this project. It will be interesting to see how it actually lays out on paper when I can work on that this weekend. But this park has many sloping places, and some of the best shade areas will not be used for booth, should be interesting.

I knew I had some errands to run and tried to determine how many I could do and get back to my home in time for my 3rd Tony Laidig webinar this week. I dropped off the items at my accountant’s office, went across town to Tandy’s where they had a Leather Punch on sale for a really, really good price. Then back to Costco to pick up some food items and cooked chicken for dinner.

Got home with about 20 minutes to spare. I was pretty hungry, so ate some chicken, got the items that needed to be kept cold in the fridge and sat down about 3 minutes before the start of the webinar. Whew!

I had thought I might make it to the MAT tonight, but Tony’s webinar “Easy Book Content Creation” went on for 2 hours, ending right when the show would be beginning. He shared some of his most favorite and hoarded secrets about using Public Domain content to create books that are unique and easier to write than if you did all the writing yourself.

Looking around my office, I see so much Public Domain materials just waiting to be re-purposed. This was suppose to be my month for doing that, but the Festival and the 40th Anniversary Gallery Show has really taken on more time than I had meant for it to take this month, this year, etc. But it needs to be done, and I am the one that can do it, so I just have to know I will get to it as soon as possible and that it is not procrastination, but hours of important work that I am doing right now to clear the path for my future focus on writing again.

A revelation I had the other day that was perfect to share with one of these ladies when she said she didn’t feel like she was contributing to the Festival committee because all the answers to her phone calls had been “no”, and hadn’t found a solution for the lack of internet. I told her that everything she had done, was something that needed to be done to learn that answer, and for us to know we had to look somewhere else, rather than hang on to the hope that this would work for too long to find a solution. She thanked me for putting this perspective on what she had done.

My revelation was that even though I had many things I needed and wanted to do, when I looked back at all I had done, I felt a sense of accomplishment rather than being upset at what wasn’t done. Much better way to view life when one is working hard and keeps moving forward to reach their goal.

Once again, I am a bit exhausted, but want to do a couple of posts for the Spirit Renewing Hikes Blog before I go to sleep tonight.