Tag Archives: be practical

Test ride.

It’s no Tesla, but I love my E-Bike.

I was able to accomplish my test ride heading home from work today. I managed the ride in 1 hr and 14 minutes (with 2 stops), and it ended up being just over 14 miles.

As you can see in the images below, I was able to go much faster on the E-Bike, but it was still a very good amount of pedaling. There were a few downhill stretches where my legs and lungs got a break, but on flat terrain I still have to put in part of the effort, and inclines I was doing most of the effort. It really is just a boost.

It was still manageable, considering that I gave up at a little over 8 miles on a traditional manual bike.

As for the route, Google maps was kind enough to provide a bike friendly route with smaller hills than the massive hill on Banister Road- though two of the hills I did ride were not much less. One was very long but not as steep, and the other was equally steep but half as long. Maps even introduced me to a bike path I’d never used. It was a good ride in 60+ degree weather with the sun shining brightly.

As for my battery, I probably over consumed it figuring out how to navigate hills and stoplights, but it still comfortably made it home. Once I get more efficient and have more leg endurance it’ll get less of a power drain, and I could go much further.

I stopped twice. Once to avoid a heavy burst of traffic crossing Ward Parkway, and the second time was to take off my outer most layer to avoid being soggy from sweating. Otherwise I was able to ride straight through. It was nice to be able to ride that far. I’m definitely no marathon competitor, but I’m glad to know my legs are not as gimpy as I thought.

Once I got home, I went ahead and decorated my bike with holiday decor and battery operated led lights. That way if I end up riding before/after dark I’ll be amply visible. It’s not a problem when the sun is up more hours of the day!

Anyway, tomorrow there is a chance of rain, and Anya’s work schedule is very similar to mine, so I’ll drive us both to work at the same time. Wednesday will be my next chance to ride, and honestly after two long rides when I haven’t touched a non-stationary bike for years, I probably should take a day off. I don’t want to overdo it, and this is to help with transportation needs and fuel consumption, so I won’t have to ride every day, just every opportunity that is convient and manageable. If I get 4 or 5 days a week it’ll make up for my gym routine from before May, and accomplish both of the other goals too!

May you have good bikes, good rides, and perfect weather to enjoy. May you have fun figuring out new things. May you always have answers when you need them and the right tools for every situation. May you be patient with yourself, your life challenges, and with well meaning concerned friends. May you know everything will be alright no matter what, and above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Nursing to goals.

I strained my arm again; too many hours of overuse and not nearly enough self care to make up for it. Yet, after lots of work on my own, and even some more with help from Nathan and all the staff at the clinic, it’s on the upswing. Like my shoulder it may take a short bit to clear the hurdle, but I know I will.

It’s funny how logically I have known for 15 years that it is possible to injure oneself with repetitive actions, but apparently I didn’t have a full understanding in terms of my work and my self care routine. The work continued and I was getting my massages, but my self care in the evenings disappeared with familial adjustments these last few months. I didn’t keep track of time elapsed well because I have been functioning day to day, moment to moment. Yet my arm hit a wall, and simply gave up, which I’m now going to have to nurse for a while to repair damage done.

So, I now sit waiting for my daughter to come out of her new job, and saw a man struggling to load groceries onto a bike for a cold ride home this very fall evening. I realized he was not prepared for such an endeavor. His bike had no baskets and it seemed he struggled to find a balance between the two sides of the handle bars, and this isn’t weather anyone riding for fun would typically choose. It was clear that his lack of understanding was partially his upbringing, education and awareness, and partially the aspect of having to do something he’d probably rather not. It was an unpleasant combo.

I’m glad I’m able to avoid that scenario. I’m grateful I’m able to choose when, where, and what weather I ride a bicycle in. I’m also grateful that I have a vehicle to handle cold and wet, fall and winter weather, safely and comfortably. I have choices in this matter and it feels good to know that.

Yet, I immediately thought of English and Irish peoples who still to this day ride bicycles miles upon miles for all sorts of needs. They ride rain or shine, from town to town to run their errands and go to work. It just is the way they were raised. It’s part of their culture. The same is true for people from Portland or even like my brother on the east coast. Some people just know that it is a safe environmentally friendly choice of transportation, which if you are prepared and have proper equipment can also be quite enjoyable.

I missed that as a kid, and realized that as I contemplated my upbringing.

I was aware that bicycles could be ridden long distances because my brother would disappear for what seemed as hours on end to ride his bicycle. But I was a tiny baby and then toddler when he was riding. I had no real concept of time or distance. By the time I was old enough to figure that out I was left with family that thought bicycles were more for occasional recreation, rather than exercise or any other kind of daily routine. There was no incentive to invest on that vehicle, it was slower and could not carry lots of weight or passengers, it didn’t make the cut, so a plain and basic bike was my tool to learn the experience of bicycling. It was far from a full experience of all that word can mean. I now have a greater awareness, but at this point I lack the endurance to to use it as transportation for any distance. I’m willing to change that, but it isn’t something I can do overnight.

I am contemplating getting a bike I found on Amazon, maybe by next spring. I’ll put a pic below. It is an electric optional bike, where I can pedal as normal or start the motor and let it do the work. I think it would be helpful in building my endurance and beginning to commute to work by pedal power. See I haven’t been on a bicycle at all in maybe 4 years, and the last time I did ride regularly it was on relatively flat terrain. We would ride with Ian in the pull-along bubble, but we were on bike paths around Riverside and it was very flat and very smooth. Even then my distance was limited. So contemplating my 8.5 mile commute which has several very big hills is a bit daunting. I want to, and I want to get good at biking, but the process seems a bit much to handle. The electric bike would take the daunting out, as long as I stayed motivated to do as much as I could on a given day. I don’t know, maybe it’s just another variation on pushing myself too hard. But, it seems like it would solve both a transportation issue we are having with only one reliable vehicle, and also solve part of my self care puzzle by reintroducing exercise to my daily routine post dialysis interventions. It’s at least worth the attempt and a good bike is never a bad thing.

I guess what I’m saying is that my shoulder, and the biking picture, both are an analogy of the whole picture of life. We only know or understand something fully from the experiences we’ve had, and can only guess at what something is like until we have first hand knowledge. Sometimes we take risks because of that limited knowledge, and sometimes those risks end up hurting us or someone we are close to. It’s not something we should beat ourselves up over, but it is a learning lesson that can help future decisions.

I have now painfully learned that injury can happen whether it’s a singular intense incident or a chain reaction of several minimal ones. And I’m describing it to you with the best my words hold, knowing that you don’t fully comprehend the weight of that, with the core of your being, until it has happened to you. We can never judge another’s experience because we were not in their shoes, but likewise we need to estimate our own limits better knowing that we don’t really know. It leaves less risk, less hurt, but keeps us safer in general.

We can never know the fullness of anything until we have experienced it, but knowing what we do know and knowing that our perspective is limited, can sometimes help us avoid pitfalls of life. Be kind to yourself and others when estimations fail, because we’ve all been there and done that in some way, shape, or form. Healing is possible, and sometimes it requires asking for help. For me right now, I’m past the worst of the arm injury and slowly recuperating, but I still know it is a symptom of a bigger picture needing addressed. I spoke with my friend the office manager about schedule adjustments to attempt to enable self care at work. Beyond that I am still grasping at straws, and don’t know who to ask for what yet. I know I need help, but I just don’t know what to ask for, or who can provide it once I figure that out. Maybe a few more days will bring clarity. For now I continue, moment to moment, day by day, because it’s how I’ve gotten through all of this.

May you understand your needs and what to ask for. May you see where your knowledge is limited and safely estimate you own personal limits. May you have adequate time and space to care for yourself so that you can continue to care for others. May you know that you have everything you need and it’s a simple question away. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

The bike I’m working towards:

Self-study

Right now I’m taking a short break to wash sheets at the clinic. My brain hurts.

I decided that even though I can’t afford med-school, especially knowing I would argue with teachers frequently, it doesn’t mean I can’t learn what I need to learn, to help Nathan.

He’s struggling again, and needs answers, and I’m determined to make it happen one way or another. So I started with texting his nurse and reading textbooks at my easy access.

At work I have a whole library of medical compendiums at my access thanks to 3 chiropractors, 2 current and one retired.  I started there with “Grey’s Anatomy”, not the stupid show. I’m now on to reading all applicable areas of “Medical Physiology”.

I’m certain I stirred up a rats’-nest with the DaVatia clinic, but the first doctor to get a clue and do their job right is spared if evidence does point to any applicable malpractice moments. Hopefully the DaVita doctor will be that saving grace, she seems nice enough.

I have plenty of books to read (see below) and if all else fails I can go down to UMKC and browse their medical library. I will find out what I need to know, one way or another. It’s too bad that I’m having to play Susan Saradon’s part in ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’. That movie was made in 1992 based on a true story from prior, yet here in 2021 there are still moments where the family cares more than the doctors.

So this is the library at work:

If I don’t find my answers there I will navigate UMKC. Somehow I will find answers. I just hope it it on time to prevent worse trouble for Nathan.

May you never have to battle for proper care. May doctors always do their best to help you. May you know that you are being cared for properly. May you have all the resources you need and find a way to make things right. May you fully understand every challenge in front of you and find solutions easily. May you always be heard and understood. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Cloud surfing.

I have been feeling the need for some positive focus in a major way. In lieu of my grand dreams of Atira Community, I’d take some more practical Tessering. So I’m going to focus on the paradigm I’d like to be in right now, and aim at it based on my current reality. Essentially, I’m going to focus on what my ideal next step would be. As in from right where I sit right now: what is the best improvement in all areas that is reachable?

My ideal health situation would be: My own personal health, and that of my family, finds balance and is more easily maintainable. The tools to accomplish that would be easily afforded and/or covered by insurance, and would be toxin-free and side-effect-free. I could do the IV nutrient treatments in an affordable or covered way. I could heal organs for myself and my family. We could eat normal foods in normal quantities again. We would all be healthy weight, strong, flexible, and have healthy nutrient levels in our bodies. All of our bodily systems would function easily and seamlessly to provide a sense of overall consistent health. My family would make friends with focusing on meditation and yoga to help maintain their balance. They would find other enjoyable ways to help maintain that balance as well. We would all feel good consistently.

My ideal financial situation would be: The income I have been able to produce consistently these last few years, would come with fewer hours and still be minimal stress levels to help maintain health. A wonderful bonus would be if the wages increased a bit, and was still fewer hours and minimal stress. That would be wonderful because it would help to pay things off sooner, and I might be able to save time for tree sculptures and other activities I’ve been unable to accomplish. It would also help me to provide things that the teen has requested (car insurance for her to drive). It would be an increase of enjoyment along side financial relief and less hands on work. That would be amazing.

My ideal home would be: Enough time to keep regular chores caught up and finish projects started. I still have trim to finish installing in Anya’s room, and the drywall patch needs sanded and re-painted, I’d love to finish those things. There are still a few little silly things that have just never made the priority cut, like one door needs the kick plate installed. A wonderful bonus would be having enough income and/or time to tackle the big projects that have been indefinitely postponed: exterior paint job and addressing window replacements. Our home is beautiful and I love the idea of making it even better, by addressing the few not ideal items. I look forward to being able to do that easily and in a way that fits with schedule needs. It would also enable more contemplation and possibly even action towards things that have been considered to make our yard and kitchen beautiful as well. That would be most excellent. I look forward to moments like that.

My ideal community would be: Open, fully functional, healthy, lighter, and at peace. People would be secure in their beingness and open to others doing the same, regardless of how that manifests. We would all be free to choose and we would all reach for better. People would begin to walk away from arguments on differences, and embrace each other based on common ground. People would reach for things that feel good and look for ways to appreciate each other regardless of uniqueness. There would be even more beautiful plants and trees, and caring for the environment would be evident everywhere I go. Recycling would become even easier to accomplish, and everyone would make efforts to maintain cleanliness in our community and in our world. We would embrace the changing weather patterns and work together to adjust to the changes. We would all work together to find compromises and solutions to all of our challenges in every arena. Bipartisan would become a collective of positive forward motions and change for the better. Acknowledgment of failures would be propulsion towards a collective reaching for alternative solutions. We would all work together for the betterment of mankind and the world. We would all aim for balance with nature and help improve the world in every way for lasting progress, and hopefully increase humanity’s chance of survival for many generations to come (only in balance will humans continue to flourish). Institutions would recognize when they are failing the collective and adjust their actions and motivations to meet the needs of the collective. Governments would do likewise. Both institutions and governments would serve us best by acknowledging that though no action will be perfect for everyone, there are actions that would be a better solution for most, and those would be the actions that bring everyone together again. Institutions and governments would also acknowledge that because no one decision is perfect for everyone, they would enable choice in participation, we would be allowed to maintain our freedoms and our human rights. They would acknowledge that they are charged with making decisions for the majority and finding ways to enable those decisions for all whom wish to participate, but that human freedom is pertinent regardless. (Example: Education is supported and structured, but any one family can choose public vs private vs homeschool at their own judgement and risk.) That concept is embraced and applied in all areas of life. Institutions would embrace the energetic world knowing that more and more people are aware and open to it, and medicine would be served to learn more about it and find ways to help people with it.

My world would change slowly enough to enable most people to keep up and survive, to heal enough to lead healthy lives. Only those that are unable to keep up would perish, and that could easily be a slim margin with more available options.

These ramblings are my broad view of things on my mind and where I wish to see them head. Hopefully you see the overarching theme and how it applies to your experience.

May we all get through these changing times in one piece. May we all have the healing we seek. May you see that you are doing your level best to provide yourself with everything you need. May you give yourself the best possible options you can. May you find forgiveness for yourself when you are unable to give yourself the best available. May you love and respect yourself and everyone around you. May you see the light that our world needs and find every way possible to bring it into your days. May we all work together for better and brighter days. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Holiday Hootenanny

I may have a really messed up sense of enjoyment these days.

I spent my holiday finishing a project started last fall- the front patio. After pulling the few plants that managed to make it through the summer of 2020, we managed to not get back to it.

*Can’t figure out why (dripping in sarcasm)*

Anyway, I decided this final day of my 12 days off should be invested in finishing that, it was my last chance to get caught up for who knows how long. It could be a month or a year, so I took advantage of my chance.

My holiday celebration began at about 10:00am with a trip to my favorite hardware store: Menards. First trip was 16 bags of sand to level the area in question. After quickly dispersing the sand, I returned for second load: 83 pavers.

I ran home and with Nathan’s help quickly placed the pavers. He hoisted pavers until he over exerted reaching to try and pull 2 at once, he said it tugged too much at the lower incision. Then he became my photographer.

I needed just a few bricks or cobble stones to fill gaps too small for the 1 ft square pavers. So I returned to Menards one last time for those.

I have a bag of locking sand mix, but being that it was raining lightly all day, I couldn’t put that down yet. So, it’s essentially one easy step from being done.

I’m very happy. After moving pots closer to where their final spots will be (they’ll be on the charcoal pavers after being locked down). I then placed the boyscout plants we ordered 2 months ago, they came in 3 weeks ago, but I’m just getting to plant them now. The result is the final view pictures below, after the gaggle of progress shots (plus there’s a couple cute moments with kids from after hammock time at the end of the day).

I was super happy! I told Nathan I was really happy because I finally had a decent house, and now it has both a pretty front patio and a wonderfully comfortable back porch with all the fun stuff and practical gardens.

We’re going to put up a singular pole to remount our white led string for front patio mood lighting, it’ll be like a canopy of twinkle lights over the front patio.

Then when I get done dissecting the tree we’ll have a patio set with lots of character to go on the patio. I decided between our neighborhood having occasional theft concerns, and also because of needing to use up the tree, that a rough hewn set was the perfect idea. A few chainsaw cuts from the large end of the tree and a bunch of assembly is all that is needed. I’m kinda excited to do that project. It may be slated for next Sunday, weather permitting, we’ll see.

Anyway, I really was happy with my results and I have enjoyed the inspiration it stirred as well. It even kept my mind of of other concerns all day, in fact right up until I wrote this sentence I had completely put everything out of my mind. That is immensely comforting. It is relief through hard but creative labor.

Now as I write this post dinner is being made, and I’ve already had an hour out in the hammock. So, I layed a new patio in roughly 7 hours, mostly by my own hands and driving. That’s spectacular considering I’m not a professional and have no specialty equipment. I really appreciate that Nathan helped as much as he could and I look forward to days where he’s more back to his normal self. That will be a good day for certain.

This was a good day.

May you have good days full of inspiration, accomplishments, and loving support. May you have your health always and find that you easily push worries from your mind. May your productive moments also bring you great joy and satisfaction. May you find that you can relax knowing it all, is a symptom of improvement. May you know that the divine and your higher-self loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti