Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All Drugged Up and No Where to Go

Sorry for the long absence.

Where have I been? Lounging on some forgotten shore of a desert island? Sipping tea in an underground cave with the leaders of the free world during “fire drill”? A hostage to the finest minds of our time, being poked with a pin until I reveal my secrets?

No, oh no. Not this time.

My back, in a surge of creativity, has spawned, not one but two disk bulges. Why you ask? I have no idea. I saw three separate medical professionals and was told, and I quote ‘Wow, you don’t see that every day.” Now if I had a cream puff for ever time I’ve heard that from someone in the medical community I’d be very fat and would be on my way to a new career, but as it is I am left with the sad fact that my body has a complete mind of its own and no one can quite figure it out. That’s right. I have two brains. Which is odd because I can’t seem to access either one. Darn pin number.

I have been flat on my back for almost a week now drifting in and out of a drug induced haze; an oddly dreamless but persistent fog. Since I have a bulge in my neck my hands are mostly numb, and the bulge in my lower back leaves my feet tingly so between the two bulges and my meds I have the strange sensation that I am not actually touching anything but merely floating above the ground. All the thrills and chills of an out of body experience with out having to leave home.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my husband has been in charge of rounding up the herd every morning. I often come to the surface of my reverie in time to hear, “He’s touching me!”, “I don’t WANT to!” and “We do not feed chocolate to the babies!”. It isn’t odd that I hear this so clearly, we’ve received calls from the US asking us to “pipe down, or the soft wood lumber agreement will really go in the toilet. We mean it.” We are taking these calls very seriously. No matter what the Yanks may say, he is doing a great job. Each and every one of the children remain fed, clothed and as yet unmaimed ... well there’s no permanent damage, at least none we can see. Which is a feat for any soul. He has also managed to hold down his job. And I have yet to find him hiding in the closet mumbling to himself and chewing his hand. A good sign. We’ve also had a lot of help recently from the Church Ladies who have kindly brought us supper and even popped in to watch the kiddies from time to time. Brave souls.

So, to sum up, this is what we’re looking at:

Another couple weeks of back pain, during which time I will be fully drugged up and walking like a Neanderthal

A few rounds of Rehab after which I will emerge from the ring like Rocky, beaten, but still able to punch the air, weakly, with one fist.

Our house will complete its transformation into a Jurassic Jungle, this time, babies will rule the universe

Then ... we’ll have Christmas! (Or Easter, whichever comes first.)

Wish us Luck.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Intellectual Question: Art Soothes the Savage Beast?

In light of my new injury I thought I would ask some questions about pain relief ... the art kind.

Could the enjoyment of art or the act of creating art give a kind of pain relief? I would argue that it could, to some extent. Being able to express a little of our experience gives us the chance to validate what we are going through. Reading, watching, listening to, or otherwise experiencing someone else's expression gives us the knowledge that we are not alone. Knowledge like that can be a powerful healer and motivator. In Steven King's book on writing he says that after his tragic accident, writing, his art form, helped him to get through the pain. It gave him motivation and an outlet. The bible even records how King Saul was soothed in his terrible temper by David's playing on the harp. Now, I don't know if hanging a Matisse at the dentist office would help take away the pain of a filling ... or if art therapy would help with cancer treatments but it would be interesting to throw some ideas out there!

What do you think? Can art soothe the savage beast?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sorry about the delay but...

hey all, just another note of appology about the delay. It seems my back has become worse, I can only sit for 20min at a time so writing is slow, slow, slow and painful. However ... it is now up and the good news is it should go away soon ... my back pain that is. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday Story: Eileen and the Wings of Glory part 6

Eileen’s throat tightened, “this is the man who has my daughter?”

Bruce turned his head and looked her firmly in the eye, “Yes. And if he has me our world will fall.”

“But how ... how did you end up with me?”

Bruce cleared his throat. “The council was divided which way to go, some believed that they could control Nestor by his bond to me, others that I should be ... destroyed, Petula alone saw another way. There are few, even of the fairy kind who travel to other worlds. Petula remembered you from all those years ago, a little girl, kind and brave. She believed there was no magic in your world, and few know the gates, ... she was certain I would be safe there.”

Eileen was certain she would fall, her brain was spinning. “But he followed you Bruce! Nestor followed you!”

“I know and that I regret but we must ...”

“Regret! Regret! It’s my daughter, Bruce! She’s only five and a man like that ... Nestor ... he could do anything. How could you and Petula put us in danger like that? I have nothing to do with your world, nothing! Sure, I rescued the fairy when I was five, but that doesn’t mean that I wanted to sign up for danger, danger and more danger! Oh, and just because I asked for a flying horse, when I was five, doesn’t mean that I want to go fight a bad guy. A bad guy no one in your world seems willing to fight! You and your ... Petula, really! You assumed too much! How nice of you to bring me into this, and now my daughter too. You are the only reason she is gone! You regret it, how very nice!”

Bruce shook his mane fiercely, “Surely you can see my situation. Besides, Petula spoke highly of your bravery, your kindness, you can think of a way to save us.”

“I can’t Bruce.” Eileen trembled, “Look at me. I’ve got dish pan hands, I’m no hero. You’ll just have to deliver yourself to Nestor, so that I can take my daughter home.”

“I won’t do it.”

“You will. It’s an order. You have to do as I say, right?”

“Absolutely your worship.” Bruce looked firmly straight ahead and Eileen could feel his muscles go stiff under hands.

Eileen patted Bruce’s shoulder, “Someone will rescue you. Petula maybe. I’m just not the one.”
The rest of the ride to the gate was steely quiet. That was just fine with Eileen, she didn’t feel like talking. The last time she had been set up was in Grade 10 when Clare put cheat notes in her desk during an exam. Up until that day Clare had been her best friend. Eileen had sworn she would never be so naive again ... and yet, through no fault of her own here she was again, and this time her daughter was in danger.

The gate rose up before them so quickly that Eileen gasped. It was breathtaking. Surrounded on all sides by white billows of cloud the gate itself seemed formed out of bits of bright sunlight. Not beams of sunlight, but tightly woven ribbons so fine it appeared to be wrought not only on the surface but in layer after layer until the eye could only guess at its depth. The gate was clearly closed as the whole centre appeared to be a solid mass of weaving all pulsating in different directions. And it was radiating incredible heat. Eileen put her arm up to shield herself.

"There’s no need for that your highness. It won’t leap out and bite you.” As if to prove his point Bruce swung dangerously close to its gleaming sides so that Eileen could feel the heat radiating like a coil on her stove against her leg.

“Would you please stop that? You almost burnt my leg.”

“Did I? So sorry my lady, I did not imagine it would.”

Eileen gritted her teeth, “And stop that too!”

“Stop what, Sahib?”

Eileen growled under her breath. Bruce was difficult before, now he was becoming unbearable. Just as well he was going to Nestor, it would teach him a lesson. Bruce touched down without warning just in front the gate. Eileen gave a little squeal as Bruce’s hooves touched the cloud, sank an inch or two into the depths and then remained level. “You’ve got to be kidding.” she murmured.

Bruce shook himself so hard it almost dislodged her, “Time to get off oh Queen of the kitchen. That is if those dish pan hands can let go of my mane.”

“What! You’ve got to be kidding! This is a cloud, and as my grade three teacher kindly pointed out you can not stand on clouds....”

“I’m standing on one. We can’t fly through the gate you know, and you won’t be able to duck through on my back.”

Eileen glanced nervously at the cloud. It was true, it did appear somewhat solid, for a cloud. Bruce’s hooves rested firmly on something that looked as much like a rock as a cloud could, but there was no telling how far that bit of solidness went. She gulped hard. “I’ll just hold your mane, ok?” She slid down his back and onto the ground, touching it carefully with one toe. It appeared to be solid. Just to make sure she stood as close to his hooves as possible. That position, as well as holding tightly to Bruce’s mane, made her feel like she was in the middle of a game of Twister.

Bruce snickered, “You really do like to make things as awkward as possible, don’t you?”

“Look, I’m down, this is as good as its going to get. Just keep moving.”

Bruce walked a steady pace with Eileen shuffling awkwardly beside him until his nose practically touched the gate. The heat was searing but Bruce didn’t seem to mind, instead he sniffed the gate delicately.

“How are we going to get in?”

“Could I have some quiet please? I am concentrating. The gate’s many layers are portals to other worlds, you simply press on the round finger guide and the door flies open sucking you in.”

Eileen squinted and could just make out a small round disk placed in a different spot on each
layer. “Oh, I see. Pressing on the wrong one could be a bit of a problem.”

“Ha.” Bruce chuckled wryly, “A bit. No one travels these anymore because people either disappeared or were turned so entirely inside out they were pretty much dead.”

“Pretty much?” The thought of being inside out and not quite dying just about turned out the last of her lunch.

“Professor Colsnop of the Fairy Institute was one of the last through the gates. He still does a lot of work translating old texts. It’s quiet and no one has to smell him. The stench is pretty bad... That’s odd.”

“You’re telling me.”

Bruce gave the door another large sniff, top to bottom this time, “No, not him. It’s just that I can usually smell the other side of the gate. Each one smells different. Some gates smell like bees wax or brine, there was one that smelled like sulfur. Yours smelled like apples, which is odd considering there doesn’t appear to be any. Mine should smell like the dregs of Claptrap, probably because the fairies are always making so much of it. With all of their parties it’s a wonder they get anything done. Anyhow, the smell is gone.”

“Maybe it smells different from this side of the door?”

“No, that’s not it. There’s no smell at all. It is as though someone has taken all the scents right off the gate itself. There isn’t one left.”

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Intellectual Question: Music, Self Expression?

Does a look at your music collection express to the world who you are? Wow, I'm not sure what mine would say ... lately I've been leaning towards cheesy dance music ... but it is an interesting thought. I assume that if someone buys a musician's work it must resonate with them emotionally, mentally or otherwise, and yet, can another person's art be a true reflection of who we are? Do we love music for the memories it brings to us, for the understanding it gives or just because it makes us happy? Interesting.

What's your favorite song, album or group? Does music and art have the ability to express who you are or where you've been?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Waaaay Too Carried Away

Hello All!

Well, you might have noticed a few changes around here.

Unless of course you are reading this in braille. If you are, just so you know, there have been a few changes, starting with my name ... I will now go by Cleopatra Mimosa the Second. No, really, you can call me Cleo. No, really, I'm just kidding.

If you will now open your eyes I will direct your attention to our lovely new template, notice how green, how lush! The perfect pick me up for the winter blahs ... and believe me it is winter already where I am. We even have snow.

I am so, so, so loving the ease of use factor with the new blogger. Did I mention that I'm loving it? Well, I am, loving it. What took me hours of trying to figure out code before just took me twenty minutes of clicking on boxes and saying, "Yes, please." Not that I'm bitter about the loss of time before, oh no, not really (Grrr.) but this is much, much better. It should save me lots of time, and now that I can't stay in one place for longer than a few minutes it will greatly improve my mood ... or if not that, at least save me a couple minutes.

What's that you say? Why can I not sit still? Am I busy? Am I testing a mobile office? Do I actually have ants in my pants? No, gentle reader, so kind of you to ask, but this time I do not have ants in my pants. I have actually hurt my back. Ouch. The pain has been building up over the last few weeks so now I am using my free time trying to coax my back, back into submission. I will need to go stretch it out in a minute. I am getting professional help, thanks for asking. What? No, just for my back ... even though my fingernails could use a good manicure.

So, to recap, I've just changed the look of my blog, my back has given out entirely and my children have chewed through the coffee table. What's that? I didn't mention the table? Well, now you know. That's right, the twins have molars and will use them ... so don't try anything funny.

I guess what I'm trying to say is be sure to give me lots of leeway, ok, Wednesday Story is on Thursday, I completely changed my blog, and now, I'm grumpy, that's right grumpy like a troll, what can I say. I have no sense of where is too far and how long it should take me to get there. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday Story: Eileen and the Wings of Glory Part 5

By the time they sent out the call it was too late.

Bruce let out a mighty neigh, “Those who died from the dragon’s fire were lucky, there was a huge famine, coupled with a bad winter. To their credit the second kingdom rallied aid. Queen Mestlin herself rode Netal over the passes to protect the supply train. Netal later told me she could see bursts of flame over the villages but there was nothing they could do. The dragon appeared to be baiting them, he would light the fires in the village and then, just as Netal rose to the first cloud she would see him diving on the train from high in the mountains. The train lost three wagons before everyone caught on. It broke her heart but the Queen could not risk leaving the train even for a moment. Even so, with the dragon circling they had to double back again and again. Winter had begun in earnest by the time the train reached the first of the villages and for many, it was too late. Then word reached the Queen that her cousin, who for many years had plotted against her, was now taking advantage of her absence and advancing her army towards the capital. The Queen had no choice but to leave at once, and the people despaired.

And with perfect timing, now that the people were desperate and alone, Nestor arrived, like a god entering his temple, his armour shining like the sun, his sword cruel and long. Some even say the steed he rode had Pegasi blood in his veins ... but that is preposterous!” Bruce shook his head hard and gave a loud neigh. “He rode into the capital, killed the dragon in a short but spectacular battle, and set up shop. The people insisted, ... insisted he take the throne. And that’s when the real trouble started.”

“Oh.” Eileen grimaced, “How much worse could it be?”

“Much worse. Nestor implemented, for the people’s safety, a curfew, and his own men, who appeared like magic from the hills, patrolled the streets of the capital, to ‘search the sky for dragons’. At first they were all hailed as heros, although those cowards had faced far less than the people had in a week. Then disappearances began. Whole families, in the night. They were said to be eaten by dragons, though no sign of one has been seen since. People all through the kingdom, whomever were left, were catalogued and numbered, many were sent to live in different, safer, regions. Beautiful women and boys were sent to the capital for safe keeping but were never seen by their families again.

In the midst of all this the time came for the Pegasi bonding. Although Nestor was king the council of fairies greatly feared his ambition. Coupled with the power of the pegasi he would be a terrible force. He could rule the world.”

Eileen’s throat tightened, “this is the man who has my daughter?”

Bruce turned his head and looked her firmly in the eye, “Yes. And if he has me our world will fall.”