Saturday, March 29, 2008


Good Side?

Lovely day, bright and sunny. A nice day out with the hubby as we took a leisurely ride in the sunshine. After a few months of wondering, we located a new meat market that sells locally raised (theirs) and dressed (on-site) beef – pork – and chicken. This means, once the freezer is cleared out we'll be switching over to their store for our protein purchases. We also found five more farmers markets/ U-pick farms which will be opening in the upcoming months. Toss in a trip to the fabric store for material for a few new dresses for the cruise in June... a pretty darn good time.

Not so good?

Breaking our fast-food embargo... only to be rear-ended by a snowplow driver who tried to claim our fault (changed his tune when the police got there, but still). Jeep is still drivable – rear passenger light is smashed to hell and back, as well as the panel needing replaced... but thankfully the driver's plowing company will be paying for everything. Irritating... but it could be worse.


Getting distracted while waiting for the police to arrive, at just the wrong moment. How wrong? Ever had a car door click shut ON your finger? Its not the actual slam that hurts... its the moment you know that no matter how much you want to, you daren't pull or things are gonna get much worse and the realization you now have to open the door and release all that pent up blood.

Not so fun?

Waiting two hours on an ER gurney to see if you managed to break your own finger.

A bit better?

Not.* And darvocet. Mustn't forget the darvocet.


Can't knit for three days, can barely type, and a certain fuzziness in the brain pan from the above mentioned darvocet.

Not so bad?

Also... can't wash dishes, clean litter boxes, or do the trash for three days.

Just... one of those days.

*Just a mashup, a vivid Technicolor bruise, a partially ripped tendon on the last joint and some wrenched and strained muscles in the rest of the arm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Easter stories to continue in the afternoon, but for now a few tips for the crafters in the crowd. (Yes, making it your own darn self is a “green” topic!)

When attempting a new project, one combining - materials never work with, patterns never tackled, skills never used, and insanely overly optimistic deadlines (Monday) two things to help you through the madness.

Take a moment and acquire : Tequila and Anti-Suicide Lines

The tequila ((Blue preferably, the smoother it is, the easier to gulp in despair when things inevitably go pear-shaped) is for the moment when, 18 repeats into a 81 repeat monstrosity of a shawl you drop 2 key stitches that cause the whole shebang to unravel at an unholy speed. Also in this moment a husband who, upon hearing a strange whimpering sound coming from the corner looks over and after ascertaining there is no hope for a stay of the execution, removes the cursed pile of string from your hands and sends you upstairs while his are the hands that strike the final blow and winds in all back into a neat ball for the next attempt.

The Anti-Suicide Line (called in some manuals “life line” and how I wish I had known of them LAST week) comes into play after sufficient medicinal doses of tequila have been applied to the keening knitter. When a vague sense of resigned calm is restored, these lines – created in this case out of over a yard of neon yellow embroidery floss – are sewn into the shawl every five repeats. They will essentially lock down the pattern and no matter what other ills befall the now numbed knitter, no more then 5 repeats can be lost – barring brushes with fire or peeing cats.

Class dismissed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Big 100, Time To Get Back In Step

As an attempt to get back on the writing pony, as well as inject a tad more upbeat tempo to what has in recent weeks been a rather depressing blog – I have decided to let you all in on something a bit odd about your nerd.

Easter, for me... is cursed. Now, I don't mean the religious meanings of Easter Sunday – I'll wax heretical about many thing, but I draw the line at attempting humorous jabs at crucifixion and resurrection. No, instead I mean the day itself. Has been for year, no matter what I try to have happen on the day, I am doomed to spend the majority of it staring at the sky and KNOWING that somewhere there is a tribe of cherubim above me filming my actions for the heavenly chorus's version of “America's Funniest Home Video's”.

I had known in the back of my head there was something surreal about how I spent the day since childhood, but a few years ago it was verified that I would never spend the day in a “normal” manner. Allow me to spell that particular day out for you -

- Due to lack of funding for overpriced gas, and a car that was developing a disturbing tendency to shudder at the thought of moving, I had decided to stay home that year. No trip to the parents, the Prime Geek had to work, and his folks were out of town. So, my Easter plans involved laundry, household chores, and a bit of tv. A nice quiet day alone in my tiny apartment was all I desired.

Instead? Rednecks, Get Ready To RUMBLE.

Picture if you will, our intrepid heroine minding her own business, sprawled comfortably on her couch with a box of wheat thins and a can of diet coke, idly flicking through the channels in a search for something worth watching. A screech of tires and a shout distracts her from the episode of Charmed she had finally elected as her noontime must see tv. (hey, we all celebrate the holidays in our own special way!). Quickly following the tire spinout are shouts, curses, and what could be the sound of flesh hitting flesh. Concerned, she peeks out of her curtain window to see 9 redne.... I mean 9 individuals slugging it out on her lawn.

She gives them a few moments to work through their discontent – but when the fight seems instead to be picking up force and brutality, she sighs and resignedly picks up the phone to call the local friendly police department. Once put through to the officer she is asked to give descriptions of the crowd. Wifebeaters, Marlboro T-Shirts, and MuMus seem to be the order of the day. Mullets and shaved heads were also apparently back in season that year. The officer thanked her for performing her civic duty and as he hangs up is heard to yell "Another Redneck Reunion Wrassle, call the boys.”

Deciding to buck the trend of sitting out on her porch to observe the fight (and incidentally, run the risk of become a possible innocent bystander) she pops herself a bag of popcorn and opens the window to watch the fun unfold. Hmm, what were the highlights of this wonderful event?

Could it be the one-legged man on crutches using them as bats? Swinging at his opponents and hopping after them as they try to avoid his less then lightening quick maneuvers?

Or rather the moment when the 350lb gorilla in curlers and a lime green mumu yanked said crutches out of his grasp, forced him to the ground, and began to beat him with his own crutches?

Was it the moment when one women screeched and lunged at her victim, forcing her foe to the hood of her car and then sitting on his chest triumphantly?

Perhaps it was after the police arrived, and a nearby neighbor with a wonderfully twisted sense of humor and timing began to blare out of his front window the theme song to Cops. The lines BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS coming at just the moment the officer was attempting to handcuff one man causing said officer to begin to laugh so hard he fell to the ground on top of his prisoner.

No, to my mind it had to be the moment when the bandy legged man in the Motley Crew T-Shirt ran to his car, retrieved the remains of the family spiral cut ham and chucked it at the police officers while yelling "You let go of my momma you pig!"

He was arrested on the spot ...once the officers were able to stand without swaying. -

I knew in a crystalline moment of clarity that I would never have a Norman Rockwell Easter. No matter where I live, or where I may roam... my Easters will not be a Protestant picture of piety, complete with spring-time dresses and chocolate bunnies.

To prove my record, this last Easter found me once again dialing a familiar number while attempting to both hold back laughter... and confusion. But we'll leave that until tomorrow. I have some tomatoes to stake.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sorry About This

Seems like this blog is dissolving into not much more then an infant update station. Sorry about that.

There are many things going on right now - classes I'm taking, new changes to the nest, even a garden that is finally beginning to grow.

I begin to think on plans for the day, the week, the month... and all it takes is a phone ringing to drop my stomach to the floor and derail all thoughts.

She had another stroke last night, 20 minutes without her heart beating or blood flowing. It would also appear that she is only getting blood to her brain every third beat... so it isn't looking good. Its looked worse, and I'm holding on to that as is the rest of the family.

Sunday, for good or ill, I'm putting this down. I'll let everyone know after that if she passes... but as I'm 17 hours away and unable to do anything of any help, I have to kinda walk away from this all soon. My folks are headed northward to spend Easter with my brother's family, so I told her to let me handle the phones for the next few days. But when she gets back, I have to start living my life normally again. I'm not helping anyone stuck standing in a corner bleeding.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And Again

Humph. Apparently migraines make me chatty, info to ponder for another day. Might make writing deadlines easier to reach. More painful, but easier.

One piece of good news to cap off a crappy day (although the stitch and bitch was worth the trek out into the sleet and snow).

Grace is continuing to hand on, and at the very least the tests have come back with the hopeful news that although she seems determined to see how many times she can scare us there is, at this time, no brain damage thus far.

This kid had better turn out to be a flipping Rhodes Scholar after all of this.

This is one nerd bound for bed.

Update on Grace

Little Grace was going to be moved into the step-down program at Duke this afternoon, following a checkup that had her in “amazingly well, considering” shape.

She crashed again this afternoon and the doctors were unable to get her heart beating on its own, so she is back on the heart/lung machine.

My mom is heading northward tomorrow to spend Easter with my brother's family and to get some quality grand-baby time in. I've told her to put this aside as much as she can, and I'll take on the phone vigil for the weekend.

Blogging, emailing, phoning, and basic human thought outside of this... will be spotty for the next few days. Sorry about this.

When all is said and done and Grace makes it to her 21st birthday, the kid is going to owe a lot of people a LOT of drinks. I'm putting in my order for Tequila Sunrises now.


I hate migraines.

Really really hate migraines.

'Specially the ones that have you tasting blood and smelling ozone.

This is one nerd signing out until my brain stops trying to squidge out my left ear. (Its frankly trying to take territory that clearly belongs to my babel fish.)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Madness....

That's what it had to be. An extreme case of March Madness. What else could explain how I now own, well.


It will weave fabric up to 38 inches wide and however long I want to thread it. Hand made, perfect condition. When in use it's 4 1/2 feet tall, 4 1/2 feet wide, and 5 feet deep. The gentleman who made it for his wife ( a weaver for years ) didn't want it to dominate the house... so its collapsible! When I'm not using it, the whole shebang folds up to only 2 1/2 feet deep.
How much did I shell out?
$500. That's it. He even through in a brand new yarn swift. I may curl up in a ball and giggle with delight. Don't mind me. At the last moment, my folks decided that as they had been the ones to tell the Prime Geek and myself about it, and as they would be out of town with my brother and his family for Easter... they paid the PG back the $500 and said Happy Easter.
Now, I just gotta figure out how to use the dang thing.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nearing Normality

I repeat – we are nearing normality.*

Well, as close as this nest ever ventures to the realms of normality. For the first day in a week I did not - obsessively clean the bathroom, wander aimlessly from room to room, or sit staring at the phone waiting for it to ring. Instead, I slept until almost 10:30 (sorry hon) and poked around on the internet.

I also received several pieces of items over the course of the day... some good news, an amazing gift, and a possibly journey into a new surreal sideline.

The good news regarding little Grace continues. Good and slightly unnerving really. My mother called this afternoon to let me know that she is gaining in strength and things are really looking well. Her mother has begun to heal (thank heavens, I thought we were gonna have to dig out the elephant gun and tranq her nervy butt.) as well and will be settling into the Ronald McDonald house along with her husband and their two year old son. My mom's voice took on a slightly manic note as she continues with the news, “Grace is getting SO much better, they believe they will be able to finally sew her back together perhaps as early as tomorrow.”

If you ever wonder what dead air sounds like... have that little bon mot dropped into a conversation. While I understand intellectually they can't just go cutting and sewing up an infant repeatedly, and that the factory installed human zipper is a long way from production lines... its is still a bit disconcerting to hear that my cousin's child has, effectively, had her internal bits swinging in the breeze. I can deal with a certain amount of blood and gore – but that tidbit of info had me swinging between nervous laughter and a real need to put my head between my knees.

“You mean...”

“Yes. Don't ask. I still have to repeat it to another 20 people on the phone tree and if I have to think about it I'll scream” came my mother's fast reply. (Mom's blood and guts tolerance is a lot lower then mine.)

Right. Okay then. But the good news continues and I finally feel safe enough to mail a small peach sweater this weekend.

The gift came right before the good news regarding Grace. On a day where I had hit a real low point, when I was having a hard time seeing much brightness in the world... a box hit my doorstep. I had recently began an online friendship with a women I had met on the knitting supersite Ravelry. We'd had some rather wide and far ranging conversations, finding some rather startling similarities between two people almost a country apart. She had offered to mail me a drop spindle to try my hand at spinning.

What I got was not just a drop spindle. This amazing woman had generously and sweetly crammed that cardboard box with spindles, instructions, samples of a near dozen fibers**, even some of her favorite tea. Simply packed with little more then a note hoping I liked it. Now, I'm not much for “things”, honest. But to have someone who I really hope I'm building a lasting friendship do something so kind... well. Tears of happiness took over the river of misery I had been floating in. I have to send her my thanks still; I'm trying to think how to best express how much that box meant to me. Thankfully, she takes a break from the web on the weekends... so I can take a tiny bit of time to plan out a box of my own. I don't have many close female friends, and the ones I have I treasure. Looks like I got another jewel in the box.

And for the last. The surreal sideline. Now most who know me, know I sew/knit/garden/craft/etc. I've have even begun to talk to a few about the hope of finding a way to pull all my distractions into one cohesive unit and to tie my greening leanings into this as well.

What's more Naturally Nerdy then making the cloth you sew?

(Running now before I have to explain. Tomorrow night will be the deciding factor one way or the other.)

*Anything you still can't handle is therefore your own fault. Heavens, but I miss Douglas Adams.

** I had no idea what the fuss about alpacas was about. Now, I have no idea why more people are not caught riding them naked!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good News At Last

After almost of week of one piece of bad news after another regarding little Gracie Jean, there is finally a glimmer of dawn in the distance.

After several false starts and reschedules today, this afternoon they finally operated.

A doctor came out to the family hours after the noon start and delivered the following news:

This was the most drastic and elaborate surgery the team had ever done on someone so young. (apparently trying to patch something is harder then a “simple” replacement.)

She almost immediately began to pink up.

Her heart is now beating on its own.

Her fight is by no means over, she has mountains yet to climb (to add to her difficulties it was discovered she had somehow contracted Ecoli in her bloodstream before the surgery) but for the first time since her birth...

They are talking about the path of surgeries that will be needed over the next 3+ years. Before tonight, 3+ DAYS were longer then anyone dared to plan.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers... please continue to keep her and our family in mind. No one will ever be able to convince me that prayer, no matter the direction, doesn't perform miracles.

Here's to hoping life will begin to settle into some semblance of normality over the next few days.

I am beginning to believe there will be a time when I can explain to an exacerbated teenager exactly WHY she has to deal with dozens of family members hovering.

Barring any drastic changes, I am going to go back to normal blogging in the morning, but I will keep you all posted.

Thank you from the depths of my and my families heart.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The surgery has been postponed.

Her heart stopped three times in the night and the general view is she is too weak for the surgery. There also seems to be the feeling that to put her little body through a lengthy operation is needless suffering.

There isn't much about this situation that doesn't seem to be needless suffering.

I'm off to sit in a corner and knit. Extreme concentration makes other things easier to block out. Hey.. that counts as mediation. Right?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another Update

They are moving the surgery to tomorrow intead of Friday. The thinking is she isn't going to get any stronger so as the team has flown in, better do it now.

Slowly finding my feet, its just the sitting around waiting for a phone call has me feeling pretty useless.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One Step Forward

Two steps back.

Another update this afternoon.

Some tests came back from little Gracie Jean. It would appear the issue is more severe then previously thought... and we all had been thinking that was severe. Not only is she missing half of her heart, but the remaining half has some pretty bad deformities on its own.

To add to the stress, her mother has begun to bleed... far more heavily then is healthy. The one thing she needs to do more then anything else is to stay in bed and lay still and rest. The one thing she just can't do. For understandable reasons, she refuses to leave the ICNU.

I fear this may be a situation that as one fades... so does the other. Amanda won't leave her daughter, and she isn't yet at a point where she could be forced for her own good.

Just... pray. I honestly don't know for what, my mind keeps pingponging from miraculous healing... to a gentle release.

Ever had one of those weeks where there is nothing you can do, no way to really help, no actions to take... you just stand swaying in the living room trying to figure out where to place your feet.


Thank You.

As I got an update last night from my mother, I decided to let all of you who left such kind messages know what is going on with the little one.

As of right now, several machines at Duke University are breathing and pumping her blood... but she is still alive, which is more then I thought I would get to write today. The doctors seem to be 50/50 split on her diagnosis with the options being : a severe congenital heart defect OR something called Turner's syndrome. (I see a lot of internet research going on in my family future.) Either way, right now the plan is to wait until Friday to get her a bit stronger, then to perform the first of what will be dozens of surgeries.

This first surgery has a good survival rate, about 95%, but the three weeks after are rough ones. Infections as well as a myriad of other disasters will have to be constantly guarded against.
But... this little girl comes from a very long line of determined and bull-headed women, here's hoping she takes after her momma and the rest of her family.

I'll be spending a good part of the rest of the day searching for restaurants near Duke U that sell online gift certificates. I have a feeling hospital food is gonna get old real quick for her momma and daddy. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers... please keep this little fighter in mind over the coming weeks.

Sheesh. I never thought I would PRAY for a kid to be as much as a terror as her momma and I were. Please let her gramma's curse of “May you have one just like you!” hold strong over this little girl.

The nest is still pretty thickly buried, although the Prime Geek and I did manage to get the Jeep dug out yesterday. A total of about 18 inches had us staying close to the home fires this weekend. But spring is coming and life keeps moving. How do I know?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Just.... Pray.

Ever just had one of those weeks you can't catch a break, your breath, or a chance to recover?

I don't know what you all believe in, or really care to who you postmark your prayers. But whoever it may be... toss a thought towards my family sometime today.

Last Sunday found the eldest member of our family going on at last... and now the youngest member looks like she may be joining her.

My cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last night, seemingly healthy and happy. Today? That little bundle is being flown to Duke's hospital with what appears to be a sizable hole in her heart. It doesn't look at all good.

As the snow falls deeper around the Prime Geek and I's nest... I wish there was something, anything I could do beyond sit and wait. So... please. Say a prayer, light a candle, or just wish really really hard. 'Cause she only just got here... and we're not ready to start missing her already.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Plans Change

The funeral done... the plan was to post about the gardening plans already taking tenuous shape on the card table in my office.

However, plans not being something I am routinely capable of keeping to a strict timetable, I find myself contemplating a bit of a short term detour. What led to this?

Not much... unless you call the 8+ inches of chilly white stuff piling up around my door frame a significant event. It's not like its a blizzard or anythi....

Crap. Would you look at that? The little man on the tv has updated us to a blizzard. Huh.

It would seem that Ohio is bound and determined to stick to its unofficial state motto “If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.” and has decided to turn its back on all the calendars shouting spring is nigh... and bury us in the white stuff instead. Why I live in a state thats weather system needs a good aerosol delivered dose of Prozac each day often confuses this nerd.*

The first warning blast issued on the radio found me sliding into my usual bad weather routine. A brief hour later and the nest was warm, snug, and secured against any weather a pissy momma nature might throw at us. A hot cup of cocoa steaming on the table next to me, slippers thawing feet made frigid during my treks to the woodpile, I began to relax and snoop around on the web – happy the Geek would be home soon, and grateful we have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The crackle of the wood fire and the soft snorting purrs of warm and happy cats the only sound to compete with the gentle pattering of snow upon the window sills. Peace and quiet... ahhhhh. It must have lasted all of.....

30 seconds. Maybe a minute, but not much more. Then -

“HOOOOONNNKKKK!!!” “Crack!” “Slam” and hollered curses filled my street. Yup. Once again, the weather came as a shock and affront to those around us. You could feel the outraged horror, “Snow? In Ohio? In March? Its not fair!” Cars slid like ping pong balls across our unplowed street. People looking out their window and seeing solid sheets of white decided that Now... NOW is the perfect time to venture out into town and acquire groceries. NOW is the time to buy salt for the driveway. Of course... NOW we should go get a snow shovel.


Okay... I'm going to go with the assumption those that read this site are of normal if not above normal intelligence. Assumptions are usually bad ideas, but work with me. So, could one of you smart folks kindly tell this nerd why, when living in a state with known weather “issues”, do people not do a tiny bit of prep work to brace themselves for what the elements might throw at them?

When the road is auditioning for a gig as a hockey rink - that is not the time to go for milk. When snow is blowing so hard you can't tell if the car is on the road or the neighbor's front yard – its not a good moment to find out you're out of toilet paper.

Work with me people.

*Ah yes. The Prime Geek's job. That would be why. Drat... I'd request offers for warm climate companies seeking their own Prime Geek, but who else but his current employers would send us on a honeymoon?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


The expected call came late Sunday night, and now my family is shuffling its way through the planning and preparing stages of the final act. Schedules are being arranged, plans changed, and the mechanical movements of grief are being played out.

It wasn't a surprise, not really. 98 years is one heck of a good run, and with the added blessing of almost 94 of them being self-sufficient and in control of her own life... there is far more to celebrate then to mourn. She has gone on home to her husband, a son, and her friends. Over the past few years I've often sat and wondered if I would have the same strength if I found myself the last of my peers. She came into her own in her 80's. Her first art show, a published book, a trip abroad to Scotland, her first piece of bubblegum - taken and chewed with relish after stating her father never allowed the practice... but she figured what she did now was safe from reprisal!

We'll gather and say the right words, mumbling how much she will be missed – all the while grateful she has gone at last and can find her peace and clarity after a torturous few years locked into a body and mind too far gone to allow her any freedom.

I spent yesterday dealing with the whole situation in the manner built into my dna. The morning was spent in a haze of lemon scented wax and apple cider vinegar – dust bunnies trembled in my wake, windows were flung open to let in the unbelievable 68' fresh air, and my home was frogmarched into order and respectability. My family deals with difficulties and trouble by ordering our lives and delving into projects. (As I write this, my father – mourning a women who was more his 2nd mother then a cousin... following the death of his mom in July, this is a double blow to him – has begun a major home remodel involving the demo of a side of the house. We deal – by getting things done.)

Once the dust cloud cleared and the cats crawled out of hiding, I pushed away all thoughts of death by focusing on life. A sweater for a soon to be born baby was finished, a bag meant for trips to the farmers market is at last complete, and I have dragged out my seed trays and new toys for the growing season ahead. Photo's tomorrow as well as new beginnings for the nerdly nest.

Oh, and one last thing. I am still trying to figure out my best way to meditate (keeping up with my promised participation in the mindfulness challenge) but my method yesterday was a simple one. The baby sweater found each stitch being mumbled over, prayers of happiness, health, and... for the sake of the sanity of the cousin bringing this long in arriving little girl into the world– a quick delivery.

Focusing on life and new starts in a time of endings.

(Now, all I need is for a certain friend to fall into the same bandwagon and join this challenge. You know you want to......)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mindful March

While I am going to make my post on the short and sweet side tonight – well, short anyway, I did want to make sure I posted at least a little something on the 1st of March... at least enough to explain the odd little kangaroo on the right of this page.

A blogger that I have recently started reading, Chile from made a rather intriguing challenge for March. The gauntlet to avoid the stresses of March Madness and replace them with a month of mindfulness and attempts to avoid stressing out was laid before her readers... and as I am nothing but an eager follower (I think I just heard all those who know me in real life snort their drinks into their keyboards.) I decided to give it a whirl. Initially I joined out of a curiosity to see if I was actually capable of stemming some of the frenetic energy I constantly run on. The Prime Geek is a mountain of zen calm when compared to my hyper kinetic pace, and he has often bemoaned my apparent inability to just... breathe. I figured tossing my name into the ring would give me a month of being accountable in my attempts at meditation and calm. Essentially, I figured that if I said I was going to do it publicly, I would have to pony up in my claims. (Same reason this month will find me in a few other challenges.)

I had planned to spend the few days I had left in February to do a little bit of research into different meditation techniques and determine where I wanted to start. Well, to paraphrase a favored poet “the best laid plans of mice and nerds...”

Instead, the end of February found me scurrying around like a mouse in a maze – with little or no time to decide how I best should attack this challenge. As I wrote yesterday, my family is experiencing the surreal time dilation that can only be found in the anxious spiral of a death watch. Toss in – starting a new class, sick animals, a job proposal (a good thing, but a terrifying tightrope to walk), some family dramas, and the myriad of other items that have chosen just now to scream for my attention... I very nearly scraped the whole idea and said to hell with it.

Fingers poised over the send key to deliver my email retracting my participation, I stopped. While on the one hand, joining a blog challenge seems foolish. One more item to tic off each day, one for thing to get done before I catch my four hours of sleep, one more thing I frankly just didn't need. But on the other... is there really any better time to force myself to slow down and quietly work through my own thoughts then when I have pushed myself to the extreme limits of my endurance? I have several chronic health issues that make stress doubly difficult AND dangerous to my system, wouldn't that make the perfect reason behind staying with the challenge?

So, with that in mind, I reaffirm my promise to take the next thirty one days and just try to relax – if only a little. At least thirty minutes a day will be put aside for a brief moment of zen (or as close as I can get to it). I'm not sure approach I'm gonna take, that will be something I figure out over this weekend. I may even try several different methods until I find one that is a perfect fit. At the moment, I'm gonna go pour myself a glass of wine, soak myself in a hot bath, then curl up in bed with a copy of the Tao of Pooh.

That's relaxing, right?