Tags: Center training, depression, lack of sleep
6 weeks. 6 full weeks until I’m done at the center. Has it really been that long? Is it really only that short of a time away? I may be freaking out a bit. There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. I’m worried and excited to go home. Worried that I’ll revert to old habits and excited because I miss my spouse and cats desperately.
Today my anxiety level was raised quite a bit. It was time for drops. Where each of us are dropped off somewhere and our task is to find our way back to the center. I’m generally not too worried once I’m out of the vehicle but the driving around beforehand is the freakiest. I get so worked up to the point of tears. It’s awful and I hate it. But as soon as I got out of the car I knew I was downtown and it didn’t take me long to get where I needed to go. Got a coffee while waiting for the bus. Then made my way to the center. I’m still shaking from the anxiety and adrenaline from the exhilaration of knowing where I was.
I realize I haven’t talked much about what I’ve been doing lately because I’m going through so many emotional changes that it’s easy to forget the other accomplishments. So I’ll give an update.
Food I’ve made: vegetarian chili, lemon bars, coconut macaroons. All were delicious and I may have shoved the coconut macaroons into my face so fast that I felt ill afterwards.
Also I have started a sewing project where I’m making a crochet hook holder out of a washcloth. You don’t even know how hard t is to sew a straight line with a machine. It’s super freaking hard. After looking online for some tips I’ve made a pattern out of a sheet of Braille. Making a row of the letter k and sewing in between.
Shop class: things are going well. I’ve used a hand held sander, a biscuit cutter, the chop saw, and I’ll let you know what my project is when it’s all done.
Braille: still moving along nicely.
Cane travel: I’ve been going downtown a few times and having to find addresses with a fellow student/staff trainee and then finding the way back to the apartments.
Computers: I’ve been doing well using the screen reading program JAWS and I can surf almost as fast as I can sighted. But seriously web developers? Get your act together. Make your shit accessible. It’s not too hard.
I’ve been networking with some artists and have an opportunity to show a piece of art this summer so that’s exciting.
I’ve been having a real rough week after an amazing weekend with my fantastic friends and my wonderful spouse. It was so hard to come back an I’m having a hard time getting my head back into the swing of things. Just floating through each moment hoping I can make it through. Sleep has been especially difficult. I have maybe slept 4-5 hours a night. And I’ve been straining my eyes reading print because I can read it faster and I need te escape.
Here’s hoping you’re all having a wonderful day and week. You all deserve it and I wish you all the best. I could really use a hug. So I offer one to you all. Thanks for reading. *Big hugs*
Tags: clouds, creativity, painting, tornado
I am what is crippling me when it comes to art. I constantly compare myself to other artists and instead of seeing it as inspiration I feel defeated. I am very good at telling my “what’s the point?” I’m lazy naturally and I like to have easily known outcomes to situations before I put myself in them. I used to be fairly decent with change as it was more forced the more we moved when I was younger. I had to accept change because it happened and I had no way out of it.
Now I’m able to avoid nasty outcomes by not doing a thing. I basically stay in the shadows. If I know someone nearby is better than me at a certain thing I will stop because clearly, the other person is better so why would anyone want what I’m creating.
Art is the hardest for me. I’ve had a self-induced block since I graduated college in 2002. The responsibility of creating is very hard to deal with. I know I am not the best but it means a lot to me to be heard, or seen, or noticed. However, I am overly fearful of anyone noticing me at all. That opens the chance of negativity. I don’t handle it well. Every negative remark, constructive criticism, or blank stare I feel as a cut to my very being. I take it all as I’m not a good enough human being to even exist.
Therefore, logically, I have found it better to not create and not open the door to pain, defeat, and unworthiness. Which of course has left out any positivity I may have gained and instead leaves me stewing on the fear of rejection.
I am trying to pull myself out of this.
It is extremely painful and wrenching.
I started slowly to get myself back into painting. I first stretched my own canvas and applied the necessary gesso. I left it alone for months. Letting it stare at me, judging me for not going through with putting a painting on it.
Then I was inspired. I watched the beautiful footage of a tornado near Rozel, Kansas that Dick McGowen ( @stormpics on Twitter) captured and was shown on S02E04 of Tornado Chasers. This beast was a thing of beauty. There were purples, pinks, and oranges and the tornado itself was pretty much perfect.
Here’s a couple of stills I captured for reference.
I decided I needed to paint it. So I finally put paint to canvas as fast as I could like I used to. It turned out crap and I hated it. But it felt good to actually paint. I enjoyed myself as I was painting. Which is a very important feeling I need to hold on to. I forget it all the time for some reason or another. I left the painting alone for a while. It was once again sitting and judging me. Screaming it’s awfulness at me constantly. Take a look below.
So the other day I finally decided to work on it and make it better. It has been an exercise in learning how to be okay with me. I am constantly angry with myself because I can’t get realism down. I don’t have the patience or the skills right now to do such a thing. So I deemed myself a failure as a painter. So as I was painting I was chiding myself for smoothing something out and then for the first time I answered that chiding. I said to myself, “but I like to smooth things out. Maybe that’s just my style.”
Maybe. That’s. Just. My. Style.
Guys, I actually accepted something about myself. It is astoundingly liberating allowing myself to do something. Giving myself permission to be me is a terribly difficult thing to do for some reason. It’s like I don’t feel worthy enough to have even my own acceptance. Self-doubt is very crippling.
Something is changing in me and I hope it is staying. My husband even pointed out how I’ve asked his opinion before I’ve finished the painting which I normally do not let anyone in. So I’m sharing the progress with you.
Now, here it is finished. I’m quite proud of it and I’d actually be okay with constructive criticism.
We’ll see. 😉
(Yes, I know. I need better lighting in my room….also less garish curtains.)
Tags: nature, trees, walk
The other day was rather nice and I finally decided to start exploring my new neighborhood. Granted I have to admit I used Google maps to see if there was anything interesting as I know most of what’s around me is apartments and businesses. I found a park and decided to see how long it would take me to get there. (I am sad that there is no lake near me like the last apartment, however.)
This little park is surrounded by houses and a couple of streets but it seems like this little breath of wonderful. It isn’t anything monumental but the trees are quite the characters all gathered around the tiny stream. I’m looking forward to further into Spring to see this place greened up. Right now it made me step back into Autumn for a while.
There are so many pictures I want to post here, but that could make it difficult for this page to load for you. I will only put a few more, I think. Tough to choose them, though!
I have to show this lovely lady off. She looks like she may have been struck by lightning at some point causing a branch to have been removed. She is so haggard and looks like she has been through a lot.
I highly advise everyone to go find some little park they didn’t think about before and check it out. There will be some neat characters there, too!
Tags: nature, walk
This morning I had an awful dream where a friend and I were about to die horribly in a car crash from a great height. The crash was actually happening and I felt my legs lift as the car rolled. My husband’s alarm woke me up. I don’t think I have ever been so grateful for an alarm clock in my life.
I am afraid of heights. I get all clammy, my muscles tense, tears instantly fill my eyes and my heart threatens to jump out of my chest. I’m so afraid of falling down those heights. I imagine what would be going through my brain as I am falling, knowing that the end is coming. It frightens me to my core. The knowing it’s happening and nothing can be done about it.
I went for my normal walk to the lake and I decided I would come back home a different way. I have walked by this path each time and I wondered where it started and where it led to. I had no idea how long it was. I found the beginning closest to me and then I walked it. Every swell of land I got to the path reached out ahead of me further and further. I thought about turning back but then I thought I made the decision to find where this path goes so I was going to finish.
A ways down the path I came across a random hill. It was bigger than the surrounding large houses. I thought how I really wanted to climb that hill. The sides were covered in thick grass and slick with dew, so I thought, maybe another day. I got to the end of the path finally and it ends with a really beautiful view of many fields. I walked around a house and onto the street. I followed the sidewalk back and it brought me to the other side of the hill that was in the sun. There was a little path worn from other people walking up there. I hesitated. This hill was begging me to climb it. I was scared but exhilarated. I had to do this. I climbed it. As I was climbing I had a voice saying ‘hey, you know you have to walk back down this thing, right? You’re top-heavy you might fall and hurt yourself, why are you doing this?’
My sheer glee in actually climbing this hill overpowered that voice and I made it to the top. What a view!
I did it. I did something I normally feel uncomfortable doing.
It was worth the hurt feet.
Tags: Braille, clouds, eyes, love, nature, support
Things have not been too terribly busy here, I just have been slacking off on a lot of things. We went to a couple of weddings out of state (another one this weekend coming up!) I have some pictures from a beautiful (but wicked) storm that hit us in Nebraska. We lost power from it and it was so humid and hot, I missed my air conditioner!
This was after most of the storm went over but the clouds were still thick. It was during sunset and this was the sunlight trying to get through the clouds. It looks like a dust storm but it was just an eerie glow!
Off to the west, the back of the storm. It was so much better in real life. It was so orangey-red! Off to the left in this photo there were flashes of lightning in the distance. It looked like generators exploding when a tornado goes over it. It was pretty amazing. It was so quiet out with all the power out in the neighborhood (except at the hospital across the street of course.)
My braille lessons are coming along slowly, I need to work on them more often! I hope to be done with the majority of the assignments before the end of the year. I want to be working on my final transcription soon! I’m so excited for it.
My eyes are getting a little worse. I’ve noticed a little brightening in my right eye like my left eye. I thankfully can still see clearly with my right eye but it’s getting brighter. You might think it gets dimmer as you go blind, for me it’s getting quite bright. My doctor said I’m starting to get cataracts but that he doesn’t think they will get any worse. I wonder how that can be but I didn’t ask him so that’s on me. I had to stop an eye drop he prescribed because it was 100 dollars for 3ml of medicine. I had to put in drops 3 times a day into each eye. That bottle lasted a week. We can’t afford that! Robert called the doctor and he told us to just stop using it and we’ll figure out something at our next visit. We can’s even afford my bills with that doctor in the first place.
I have been having a lot of down days with this and I sometimes wonder why I even bother with the medicine and preventative measures seeing (haha pun) that I will be blind eventually. Sure, the medicine kind of helps with the brightness but it doesn’t prevent the retina giving out in spots. There is so much disappearing. Some days I have to hold the laptop up to my nose so I can focus on the words and pictures. When I am standing behind Robert while he is on the computer I can not figure out what the pictures are, they are just fuzzy color blobs.
I have to brag about my husband for a moment. He is a pretty amazing man. I am constantly feeling guilty for not working and not being able to drive and for basically being a burden. I asked him the other day if he felt resentful towards me at all. He told me he never did. I asked how he has never been angry that I don’t work when I am able to cook, clean and do laundry still amongst other things. He said that the home is a place I am familiar with. I am able to move around here and do things because I know where everything is. He says he also is walking more with a shuffle through the house around me so I know where he is. He knows I would be a wreck elsewhere (as he’s seen it when we’re at the zoo and the museum and other public places.) I was amazed at how understanding he is and I consider myself pretty darn lucky. He is so patient with me when I have mini-breakdowns in public. I snap at him because he is trying to make me stop because other people are standing when I am about to walk into them. Sometimes I do see them, and sometimes I don’t. I snap at him because I saw them, or I snap at him because when he grabs my arm I feel like I’m a child and need to be wrangled.
We have come to the conclusion that no one is respectful to others around them anymore. When we go to the zoo the children are free to push in front of other people (the adults do it, too!) No one says excuse me or apologizes or anything of the sort. Robert and I are constantly saying excuse me, or excuse us everywhere we go. For some reason at the store we get looked at like we are being rude for saying the excuse-me’s. At the store people are so in their own worlds. Robert got really frustrated with this one lady who just pushed in front of me when I was looking at which yeast I wanted. I didn’t see her or notice her, but apparently she was right next to me and reached in front of me. Robert said, “You know, you could say excuse me.” The lady suddenly said excuse me then said to Robert that she did and I think she said something about him being rude. (She had already upset him because he was backing up the cart while I was walking towards him looking at the items and he hit his back on a cart. She was across and down the aisle and left her cart behind Robert.) He was so mad.
We also had a difficulty with the museum. The lighting is SO terrible. I almost have to be led through the exhibits because they have directional lighting. People were walking in front and stopping in the middle of the walking area and once again, no politeness about it.
Okay, that’s enough of that rant. I need to get back to laundry and maybe some braille. I hope everyone has a great day!
Tags: clouds, eyes, nature, support
The day time ones were from around a month or so ago. There was an air show nearby and you could hear them flying around. This was the first time I couldn’t pinpoint them in the sky. My far vision is going away. Some, if they are close enough, I could make out a black blob or a faint blob. I couldn’t make out wing shape or detail of any kind.
However, the sky was gorgeous. The perfect shade of blue sky with big puffy huggable pristine white clouds. The cool breeze was just right with the not-too-hot temperature. It would have been a great day for sailing, or walking on a beach, or watching the sky while the car was getting refueled. I at least was doing the latter.
The blue in the center of this next photo, I think, is my absolutely favorite shade of blue. Just perfect.
Another day, probably a couple weeks ago, my husband once again called me to look outside at the rising sun. Here are the pictures from that stormy morning.
This is the view from my bedroom window. Pardon the glaring brightness that is the hospital across the street.
Then I took one straight up from my window. Great swirling purples!
Then as the sun came up a bit more and the clouds started thinning. The cloud looked like a great dragon or loch ness monster swimming through the sky.
Eye update: I’m on a heavy dose of diuretic pill to get the fluid to break up faster and not cause more damage. I get pins and needles in random bits of my body from time to time because of it. Sometimes it will be just the heels of my feet, or just the arches. Sometimes it will be the back of my hand, or my top lip. I have to be careful how I sit on the floor because I’m more apt to put my legs to sleep and have a longer more painful pins and needles time as the blood flows back in. My left eye is not happy at all. I’m constantly looking through vaselined crystalline glass. A larger portion of the world is gone in that eye. I notice that I’m not using that eye as much. My right eye is doing quite a bit of work. My left is just there to give me a bit of depth perception. I was covering up my right eye a few times to see if I could work on my left eye, maybe force it to focus better. I was not a happy camper after that. Nice strain headache and the eye hurt from strain as well.
Something I’ve been curious about, how many people who are of low-vision or blind are actually on disability? I’m not sure I’m far gone enough to claim it and I’m not sure I want it. I would more want it for my husband and any children I might have one day.
I also think I might need to find some sort of counselling or support group that I can go to because I know I’m not getting anything but five minutes of time from my retina specialist per visit. I’m interested in finding people close to my age going through the same thing as I’m sick of the waiting room of said retina doctor. I’m usually the only person there under the age of 50, probably even 60. It’s hard to have hope that way.
Tags: eyes, inspiration, music
This man is beyond words. Nobuyuki Tsujii 辻井伸行 has been blind from birth but is the most beautiful piano player I’ve ever heard.
Here is his official website: NobuPiano
Here is a beautiful performance from this year where he won the Gold.
Tags: nature, zoo
My friend Stephanie had a birthday on the 20th of May so we spent most of the day at the zoo taking tons of photos and enjoying taking our time. We didn’t see everything but we enjoyed the heck out of everything we did see!
I have a members pass so I plan on going a lot. I’ve already been 3 times now!
Not sure what kind of monkey he is. I was paying more attention to them rather than the signs.
The indoor jungle is amazing! It’s so beautiful!
Tapirs!!!! So cute!
Once again, I can’t remember the name. They look like the ones you find in Japan.
An adorable Pygmy hippo.
This guy was hamming it up for a group of kids. If the kids had longer arms they could have touched him he was so close! He did all sorts of poses for the kids and their cameras.
On to the Desert Dome and first creatures are the Meerkats.
He was so cute, and pretty small. I was lucky for my camera to get that clear of a photo.
These guys really know they are being watched. They are all superstars! I’m ready for me close-up!
Frog Mouthed Owl.
On to the butterfly house. I didn’t take a lot of photos in this fairy land as I was too concerned with being dive-bombed by hugs huge butterflies!
(I have to leave that mistake in as it is funny later in the post. Thanks April!)
Now the aquarium. Most of my pictures did not come out clear. You have to love underwater photography.
Woohoo! Jellyfish! I could watch these guys undulate all day!
He was huge! (HA HA I just accidentally typed hugs instead of huge)
I couldn’t quite get the colors right. The UV light was messing with the camera. It was a much more beautiful purple color.
Cat Complex. Isn’t he absolutely beautiful?
If I knew I wouldn’t get mauled I would love to curl up with this kitty and just lounge with him. Magnificent.
Finally, the gorillas.
Looking right at me! It was an amazing moment. Then some rude tweenagers came up by us and started banging on the window! we told them to stop, apparently their teacher told them to to get their attention. How terrible! If that gorilla wants through that glass to kill you, he will! So dissapointed with that teacher!!!
Okay that’s all I have for right now. The others are far too blurry for me to post.
Tags: clouds, nature
I got a call the other day from my husband just after he left for work. He said go look out the bedroom window.
This is the Gloriousness that I saw.
These next two were with my cell phone camera:
None of these accurately captured the glorious colors. The yellows, pinks, hot pinks, oranges, purples, blues. It was simply amazing.
Tags: clouds, nature
This was my view when I headed towards my car to drive to my last day of work at the flower shop.
It doesn’t quite capture the beautiful shades of violet, lilac and pink.
I then turned around and looked east. I took this as I was driving, (bad thing to do I know.)
Today, currently we are under a tornado watch. The clouds are beautiful and moving fast. The colors are just too close to uniform to capture right with a camera, no matter how good it is.