Lick it up

How-Deee! How are you on this Friday morning? This past week has flown by. I spent 80% of the time resting and doing a whole lot of nothing. I think this is what some refer to as “self-care” or something. I did miss journaling here, really. It has been almost a full year since I started consistently (more that once a month) writing and hitting the publish button. I have about 25 started entries that I haven’t deleted but have not published either still sitting in the draft section of the WP editor. Sometimes I overthink things way to much. So, instead of thinking and worrying about what I post I am just going to do it. No formula, no special secrets or plans and definitely NO CURATION! This is after all, a blog. I am not a neat person and can be sloppy, although I try so hard not to be so if I have to think about fitting into a formula or style I won’t and can’t. All I know is this time of the year has always been rough, at least health wise. Last year I pushed through intense pain as I didn’t know if any outing was going to be the last one. Fear of missing out was pushing me but really FOMO has helped me in my recovery. Two weeks after my surgery I had just had 16 staples removed from my back. At that point, I could only walk to the bathroom and to the couch and it hurt to sit so I stayed in bed most of the time. Anyhow, Country night happened the day my staples were removed and one of my favorites was going to be performing at Lit Lounge. I knew that I needed to fight the pain and get back out there. I excitedly made it out and was so happy that I did. Although I felt like I could expire at any moment, I made it out, took a couple of shots and most definitely, did not die. Besides, that band had so much contagious energy that it was like a dose of dopamine.

Took a little trip down memory lane and forgot about these photos from the first few weeks of my recovery and posted those below.

What can I say about that time? Hmmm? It sucked balls! Really! The nerves in my spine were going haywire. I felt shocks, crawling skin, numbness, hypersensitivity. It even hurt to think those first few weeks. As soon as I was given the go ahead to walk with almost reckless abandon, I did. However, I knew that if I just rolled with it, my own brain would kick in and I would “get used” to the pain. Yeah, I know that we, chronic pain sufferers, are not really used to it, our brains have just figured out how to place it somewhere else. Even though I can walk around unaided now and stand and have most of my mobility back it still friggin’ hurts and hurts bad. I know that when I get scattered and start putting off things what I really am saying is I am tired, hurting and lost. Yes, lost. Lost in the way of how do I get out of the funky haze. It’s been a year almost and although I am better-ish, I still have a way to go. By the way, I am not downplaying anyone’s pain and what they are going through. I know all to well the looks and the look of suspicion you get when you are trying to explain what you are going through. It took almost 10 years from the first symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome started making themselves part of my world. Kudos to those medical residents that noted possible CES or ordered tests to rule out CES as you were close to the diagnosis, several times but unfortunately, your mentor didn’t sign off on it. Yeah, it sucks that I can read and understand my chart notes because of my scattered and pained work history. Anyhow, although I am much better I am still not fully recovered.

Last night was date night and I was exhausted but was happy that hubby agreed to take me Lit Lounge as I so needed a night out. We checked out Dyamite Draw, a country cover band from Arizona. The last time they were in Lit Lounge I had thought that they were not that band as I didn’t recognize any of the members. Most importantly, the fiddle player was absent. Last night I was happy to see that it was the same fiddle player I had seen the first time and the bass player and his beautiful white bass. That bass had this rich, full bodied tone. Not sure what type of bass it what but it was a beauty.

This shot was taken 12/2017 in Lit Lounge. The drummer and the guitarist have changed.

Usually, I take lots of photos from both the balcony and the stage area and not because the any of the bands or the hotel have hired me or even asked me. Right now, and how has it has been, this is a hobby – and a rather fun and educating one. So, because this is my hobby, I can sit back and watch and listen and never pick up my camera and know that is okay. I am learning to sit with out my crutch pushed against my eye. There have been times when I have taken hundreds of photos during a set and I will not like one because I knew I rushed shots or my hands were trembling so it increases the blur. So now, even though I may carry my gear with me, I may not use it. Also, since I have been getting better acquainted with Photoshop, I can now take my time going through past shoots and random shots. Sometimes it takes a few hour to get an idea just right as I may cut out objects from several photos like the photo below.

I have a thing for signs…
Freeway Sign Tote Bag featuring the photograph Sunday Drive 110 Fwy by Michelle Keena
This is the mock-up on the Fineart Website.

In my life when I don’t know how to do something I do the “lick-test”. By the lick test, I mean I try something out like a toddler. I taste it, smell it, learn about, take it apart, you get it. I can not for the life of me draw anything that would resemble art however I can take pictures and then modify the photos digitally till I get the picture that I had dreamed up in my head. So far so good on the not reading the instructions…well, why read when I can Youtube?

Also, this past week, I volunteered as a photog but ended up helping assist with the local charity give away. Friendly reminder folks, it’s winter and even in the Coachella Valley there are many people living without warm clothing, food and such. If you are like me and have little money to donate you can still make a difference, you can help out at any of the organizations in your own community by volunteering. I was in awe of the beautiful art work that local artists had drawn on shoes and the positive messages that were written on the greeting cards that were included in the shoe boxes. One lady hugged and blessed me. It took all I could to not start weeping ugly tears. I didn’t though, and powered through. I left there changed and you know something, that saying about doing what you love and believe in is not like working at all, it’s true, so very true! I dare any of you to donate your time, you will be glad you did.

Thank you for visiting! May all your roads be clear and all your journeys fun. Hugs to the ones that are needing it.

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