Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Again

I'm fully aware that I'm a downer right now. My heart is broken more than I thought. I thought I had moved further past this. I thought I was done with this. But I'm not. I'm still devastated.

At the advice of a friend I wrote notes to each of the babies I've lost. I have six letters and I want to bury them in my yard.

In my heart I can't help but ask the question WHY do I keep getting pregnant only to lose each baby? I want to stomp my feet like a petulant child and shout how it's not fair. IT'S NOT FAIR!

Fuck me. I have to get ready for work. And I told my precious only living child I'd make him French toast.

Friday, December 23, 2011

winding down

The time's getting close.  I'll be done with my seasonal job soon.  They'll either keep me on or I'll be let go and maybe taken on for another seasonal position this spring.  This is my 4th time being seasonal.  The most ideal would be for me to stay on because we could use the extra money to get caught up on bills.  Catch up and get out of debt.  So much of my life could change if that happened.  Ie: bigger place, maybe with an office, and moving towards foster-adoption.

If I am not working there will be good things too.  More time with my family.  More time for work.  A far more flexible schedule to do lots of things.  But with financial restrictions and a slower move towards what we want.

The hardest part is the waiting.  Will I, won't I.  You know?  I know one thing for sure.  Fully time work outside of my home is most certainly NOT my gig.  I have too many side things going on.

Well, on to my side work so I can get some stuff done before heading to REI for a cush 5 hour shift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Please forgive.....

Please forgive my broken heart.  Last year I had an embryo in my uterus.  It probably looked much like a sea monkey.  It didn't hang out for long but at least I got to have a Christmas as a mother of two.  It pretty much rocked.  Bretty and the boy even got me a hard cover sketch book and had a little engraved bit on the front that said "Banana's Baby Book".  It sits on my altar with lots of other goodies with only a few pages in it used.  Sometimes I think I should tear those pages out and bury them.

Somewhere between Christmas and New Years I lost another baby.  1 of at least 5 with my husband (we had one or two questionable cycles in addition).  Had at least one other loss before that as a young, punk kid.  Marsh, is my blessing.  So lucky to have that funny, sweet, sometimes obnoxious adolescent boy.  Please know that even though I continue to mourn I thank my lucky stars that I was blessed with such an amazing kid.  And even if I never get to mother any other topside babes that I will relish that I got to mother him.

I know I haven't healed.  In one of my channeling group sessions with Teresa and "the girls... and Ron" the advice was given that I write to each of my lost babies.  I'm on letter #2.  Only 4 more to go.  As I go on they become more recent, more raw.  And that last baby?  That's the one still breaking my heart.

A year ago we had another chance.  Please, God, Goddess, Allah, Divine, Universe, WHATEVER, let this year be my year.

I'm taking all sorts of supplements.  I'm taking herbs to help get my body back on track.  I think I'm doing good.  We *are* avoiding for a couple months just because the herbs are not conducive to a healthy pregnancy, although they will help me get to there.  *sigh*  I can't tell you WHY I want it so much.  I just keep looking around the corner for the missing kid.  WHERE is the missing kid?

Meanwhile... just working on paying off bills so we can get in a bigger place.  Bigger place = moving towards getting a foster kid(s) with potential to adopt.

Man, I shouldn't stay up to late.. It brings on the crazy.

Next week is likely to be my last week working temp at REI.  Still won't know for sure until probably when I'm about done.  Feels like every thing is on hold until I find out what is up.

Why am I still awake?  Uh.. yeah, bed time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Times, they are a-changin'!

So my aunt Coralee has been coming over pretty regularly on Tuesdays.  This has been an amazing gift to me.  She can put so many things in perspective for me and I have so many profound realizations when we are together.

So the latest... I really believe I decided even before I was born that I would use this lifetime to grow as fast and as thoroughly as I could.  I am taking down issue by issue and even when I'm struggling a whole lot with something I am just moments away from a major breakthrough.

I realized how difficult of a time I have believing I could be worthy.  Of what?  Oh, anything.  Love, attention, money, a healthy and fit body and the family I imagine myself having (ie: someone is missing).  I rob myself of this on a regular basis because I believe I don't deserve them.  I am a manifestor.  We all are, but I SEE that I'm a manifestor.  I am making the connections that show me how I bring myself situations that help me grow and learn and move through issues so I can heal and be more fully aware of my wholeness (we are all whole, it's only the illusion of brokenness and being unwhole that plagues us).

Weight.  I don't believe I deserve to have a healthy body.  I don't believe I deserve attention.  If I lost weight I would have to face the fact that I was put together well.  It's true.  I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else or some hot goddess, but I love the curves that I hide under all the excess weight.  I think they're beautiful.  I am robbing myself of being able to believe I'm beautiful.  So I brought a sweet friend into my life and one of the many things she has to teach me is to get over it.  She tells me how breathtaking my beauty is.  Do you realize how hard that is to hear?  How every time she says I'm lovely or gorgeous or sexy that I have a hard time thinking anything other than "she is nuts" or "what the hell is she looking at because it's not ME."  So, in my manifesting I'm manifesting someone who will give me what I will hear later, once I've lost weight.  And I will hear it.  Because you know what?  I know I'm pretty.  I'm not perfect.  I see my flaws.  But I've come to a point in my life that I have given the grace that I give to others, to myself, at least in part.  I can say it.. I'm pretty.  I don't think I'm beautiful, or gorgeous or sexy... But I think I'm pretty and it's a start.

Also, money.  If I let myself be out of debt and have what I want then I would be saying I deserve those things.  I would be able to pursue adoption (because even though I want to conceive adoption has always been in my plan).  I would be able to get into a home we own where I can make my walls palettes for me to paint a world onto (over and over again, giant canvasses!) and I could have a puppy, and some chickens and a goat!  I could let my boy play drums at all hours, or guitar, or whatever and I could have a piece of earth in which to do whatever I choose with.  These things mean something to me.  And every day I enable myself to remain in debt I am saying I don't deserve them.

I could go on and on and on about this (haven't I already?) but I'll leave you with this.  I have been blocking *life* and it needs to change.  Oh, but believe me.  Things are changing.  I believe I can manifest anything I desire and the constant question in my head as of late has been, "Why am I holding myself back?"  I'm figuring it all out, slowly but surely (fast if you think about the length of a lifetime).  It'll all be clear sooner rather than later.  And my life will reflect the wholeness that is already there.

My friends, things are changing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Health?

So a whole lot has been coming up surrounding my reproductive health as of late.  A few days ago I was hemorrhaging.  By all means, this sounds scarier that it was.  It wasn't so bad that I lost consciousness or anything like that.  I did feel sleepy (and still do) and don't feel 100% recovered.  But I sought out medical attention that gave me some of the testing I had been wanting anyway.  Namely, an ultrasound.  My ovaries are NOT polycystic which was a concern, and there are no fibroids, which was also a concern.  I've recently been told that I wouldn't see whether or not endometriosis was apparent, but I am not really symptomatic of that, beyond my long cycles.  But the ultrasound, said other than slightly larger uterus, my uterus and ovaries were remarkably un-noteworthy.  Score... But it has brought up something.....

It's come up so many times over the years that people believe I should be seeking more aggressive medical help with my reproduction.  With this most recent development a doctor completely belittled me for not having a ob/gyn if I was trying to conceive.

I know the path I've chosen is not everyone's path.  Supplements, emotional healing, hands on healing, psychic healing, herbal support, occasional accupuncture and sound therapy and so on and so forth.  This is not everyone's cup of tea.  But for me it's the only thing that feels right.  I'm willing to accept that it's a hard road that may not end with me having a baby.  But it's the right one for me.  I have a hard time with this aspect because I know a lot of people just don't understand why I wouldn't jump to the medical side of the fence (or at least toe the line a bit more).

I understand the odds are against me, but even if it doesn't end in a viable pregnancy and a healthy baby I can honestly say I will have followed a path that led to healing; physically and beyond.

That being said we're trying to find a good plan on how to get out of debt (we're not the best with finances) which will lead to us being able to get in a bigger place.  Once we get into a bigger place we can begin procedures to see if we can foster adopt.  I'm still pursuing conceiving but I'm pretty determined to find this missing person from my family regardless of how.  My body?  Someone else's?  Not that important to me (although it is true I'd love to carry another child again).  If we conceive and carry after the fact?  Bonus!  I certainly wouldn't mind having a couple more kids!

I have a nutritional/herbal protocol I'll be starting as soon as my bleeding is over.  A lot of the bleeding pointed to the fact I was nutritionally deficient and the purging I did a few months back just made it worse (although in some ways better, too).  Some of the deficiencies create a terrible spiral.  Namely the iron.  Lack of iron makes you bleed more.. which makes you lack iron, which makes you bleed more..... you see how this one ends.  So I'm working on some iron supplementation: yellow dock, nettle and dandelion.  I'm considering this recipe I found for a regular iron supplementation that doesn't involve me drinking quite so much tea. ;)  Anyway... this with some other herbs to help balance my hormones and my liver health, I do believe I've found a protocol I feel good about.

I know that this is not everyone's path, but for me it's the only thing that feels right and I'm willing to accept that it's not an easy road and that I might not end up with a baby.  But it is the right one for me.  I don't judge anyone else's path.  If I did it would probably just mean that A. I'm an asshole and B. that I'm not secure about the path that I'm on.  I might be a bit of an asshole but I'm not judging anyone else's journey ;)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Realizations

I’m trying to figure out how to be vague enough for privacy’s sake but still write about all the craziness that is going on with me right now. 

 

I guess I’m going to tell a story.  The story itself is a tired one.  It’s been rehashed so many times but it’s ridiculous.  The only reason I want to go into it was because it is relevant to my current problem. 

 

As I child I never had those abandonment issues that many people have.  My parents had their first and second marriages before they found one another.  So out of my siblings I never had to deal with my parents splitting.  They loved each other immensely.  My first real experience with *real* loss was the loss of a pregnancy at a very young age.  Those of you who know me personally know I was born a mother.  I was (naively) ecstatic about my upcoming parenthood.  Of course I can certainly see the silver lining in the loss but it was my first lesson in losing. 

 

The next was the loss of my father.  There were tiny losses in between, mostly boys, concepts, and my waistline but I don’t feel like they were anything out of the ordinary.  The loss of my father was the loss of the most important man in my life.  It was intense and devastating.  I buried it nice and deep. 

 

Soon after the loss of my father I found a new, less abusive intimate relationship.  I realized life was too short to waste it on someone who is crappy to you.  I felt very connected to the new man in my life.  We were together just shy of 2 years when we moved into my first place outside of my childhood home.  We talked of marriage and family.  We were scarcely moved in when I conceived.  Luckily, enough time had passed from my first pregnancy that I was able to have faith that everything would be ok.  But it was a rough beginning.  Bleeding.  Pain.  Fear.  Then my boyfriend lost his job.  I was the (knocked up) breadwinner.  We arranged a small ceremony (we meaning I did).  2 weeks before “the day” he decided to call it off.  My sweet uncle and godfather invited me to come down to CA to have a little pre-babe vacation and some emotional recovery time.  When I came home my baby’s father broke up with me saying he didn’t love me anymore.

 

My life shattered.  There I was, 7 months pregnant.  Alone.  My most important man died.  My second most important man abandoned me.  Not only did I have to mourn the loss of a relationship but I had to face the fact that I would never have the life I had imagined for myself.  No white picket fence and marrying my true love and having a ton of babies together.  If I fell in love again we’d still have this complication of a separate parent in the mix and in my mind I couldn’t help but think “who would marry me?”  I. lost. my. $h!t.  Through the power of counseling and medication I made great leaps in recovery.  I’m not the biggest fan of medicating but in my opinion it’s a fantastic emergency measure to make sure you stay alive sometimes.

 

I opened my heart to my kidlet, my sweet boy.  But had rather convinced myself to never love another man again.  I was still mourning my dream.  I found myself initially without a home and without much support.  Eventually we found a home.  My first apartment fully on my own.  Just me and my wonderful baby.  Crappy neighborhood.  Pretty awful apartment.  But it was OURS.  We found our niche.  I dated some.  Nothing noteworthy.

 

I had a friend.  We met at work.  We chit chatted about our relationships and had a good time.  He was smart and funny.  I got fired from my job.  On my final exit I saw him outside, behind the building.  I gave him my phone number.  He waited a good couple months to call me.  But he did.  He came together and we’ve been together ever since.  We’ve been together for nearly 10 years and we’ve been married for nearly 9.

 

More loss?  Yeah.  We’ve been trying to have a baby together.  We’ve had 5 pregnancies.  5 losses.  It has really hit it home that nothing is permanent.

 

The current issue?  Well, I think he’s GREAT.  He has been my closest friend over the last decade.  But the majority of our relationship I’ve kept him at arm’s length.  This doesn’t mean I never loved him.  Because I love him very much.  But I always have had this corner of my heart reserved; protected.  I realized some understandings in our relationship were born out of that same self protection.  Now that I’m living out some of our own set up rules and regulations I’m realizing despite my self imposed wall, I’ve managed to fall far more deeply in love with him than I ever had imagined.  I’ve realized, over the last year, how much I stand to lose, if for some reason we ever parted.  There is no threat of parting at this point.  No real worry there.  But this realization has made everything sort of terrifying.  If he doesn’t care for his health, I could lose him.  If he drives recklessly I could lose him.  If he walks under a cleverly orchestrated trap set by a coyote I could lose him.  This plays into my insecurities.  If he ever realized all the ugliness I see in myself he could leave.  I could lose him.

 

After my last miscarriage I saw a quote in the holy text at a friend’s service.  It said the following:

 

it's a fearful thing to love what death can touch

 

a fearful thing to love,

hope, dream: to be-

to be, and oh! to lose.

 

A thing for fools this, and

a holy thing,

a holy thing to love

 

For

your life has lived in me,

your laugh has once lifted me,

your word was a gift to me.

 

To remember this brings a painful joy.

'Tis a human thing, love,

a holy thing,

to love

what death has touched

 

By all means, my husband is alive and well (what a blessing and a gift!).  As much as this rang true for my miscarriage it certainly holds it’s own truth for falling in love with someone.  Love is so fragile.  Too much of a blessing to be a curse.  It can be painful and scary but how on earth can we deny ourselves the joy of the connection that is gifted to us when we love?

 

Brett, every day I love you more, despite all my efforts to create space where I cannot get hurt.  There it is, my love.  My heart is in your hands.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nook Color CM7 Install Tutorial and Review - Android 2.3 GingerBread on Nook Color

FAR easier than I expected! It is DONE! I ended up not going with the original tutorial.. I mean, I did it, and it was... OK. But it was a total PITA to add the Android Marketplace and any of the other Google apps. So I tried one of the bigger names in the Android hacker world, Cyanogen.

Nook Color CM7 Install Tutorial and Review - Android 2.3 GingerBread on Nook Color

The instructions were very easy to follow. And it WORKED. Don't bother trying to download Netflix separately. You don't need to. It worked fine once I got the marketplace installed.

I'm thrilled!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I don't need it, but boy do I want it

My brain is filled with very serious subjects.  But they’re all things I have no desire to delve into right now.  But things are slow in the call center world tonight so I figured I might as well type out an entry… What to say, what to say…  Then I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written a geek post so I figured I’d take a stab at it.

So, I think I mentioned my distaste for eReaders in theory until I magically won one, right?  Well, of course it just did it’s job to whet my appetite and make me think of all the geeky trouble I could get myself into.  At first I was pretty sated with my Kobo.  I love how it looks like paper (therefore not straining your eyes).  What did I need color for when most of my books don’t have any images past the cover.  Not like I’m staring at the cover for hours on end.  Well, it couldn’t hurt to see what else was out there.  Right? Geek’s famous last words?  Actually, I think a geek’s famous last words are “let me try… this….”  Or something like that… But I digress… SO…. I look around.

I poked around a bit and I found the Nook Color.  This thing is based on the Android system.  Hey, I’m a Google fan.  I have an Android phone.  I have a Chrome book.  I’m digging on Google+ (even though no one else seems to be).  Then I mention it on FB and a friend of mine says, “You know you can hack the [micro] SD and turn it into a tablet, right?”  Wha?!    Now, we all know what type of luck I had in my last hacking adventures (I’m so novice a hacker I can’t even be called a novice hacker as it still has “hacker” in it’s title).  However, what you do with this little gadget is you hack the micro SD!  No bricking your device!  The Nook all on it’s own seems to be pretty sweet but to run a tablet, on Honeycomb even, sounds pretty sweet.

So, I bought it. But, in my defense I’m now back at REI seasonally (call center) and the husband has a second job.  It’s probably the only frivolous purchase I’ll be making for a while.  Also, I bought it at Overstock.com as a “recertified” unit for $180, shipped.  The standard pricing for this guy is $249.  If I’m going to pay that I might as well save up for a real tablet that has a little more kick in the processor department.. Not there yet.  Baby steps.

Here are the specs:
  1. NOOKcolor:

    • PCB: Foxconn ML1 S 94V-0
    • CPU Processor: ARM Cortex A8-based Ti OMAP 3621 @ 800 MHz (same processor as Droid 2 and Droid X)
    • GPU Processor: PowerVR SGX530 Graphics Rendering: Open GLES1.1/2.0 Hardware Scaling: 854x480 scaled to 1024x600 Video Formats: .3GP, .MP4, .3G2 ** Video Codecs: H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, ON2 VP7 ** Image Formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP ** (same GPU as Droid 2 and Droid X)
    • RAM: 512MB Hynix H8MBX00U0MER-0EM MCM (Stacked Chips 2x256MB each die mDDR)
    • Internal Flash: 8GB Sandisk SDIN4C1-8g
    • Removable Flash: 32GB via microSDHC
    • Radio: Chip ID Ti wl1271 (kernel reports wl1273) Chip supports bluetooth transmit/recieve and fm radio functions through the same antenna, but is not enabled in software drivers. Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Security: WEP/WPA/WPA2/802.1x Mode: Infrastructure
    • Display: 7" 1024x600 IPS Display w\VividView Cypress Semiconductor TTSP Gen 3 (TMA340) Touchscreen , kernel driver , reference LG Display LD070WS1 (SL)(02) LED Backlight Pixels per Inch: 169 Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Colors: 16 Million Viewing Angle: 178° (same as HTC 7 Surround and HTC 7 Mozart)
    • Audio: Ti TLV320DAC3100 Codec 3.5mm Headset Jack (TRS 3-Pole) - no mic input Single Rear Speaker PWM Headphone Amp Headphone Detection Mic Amp and ADC (Mic input not available) Audio Formats: .3GP, .3G2, .MP4, .AMR, .MP3, .MID, .XMF, .MXMF, .RTTL, .OTA, .IMY, .WAV, .OGG, .ACC ** Audio Codecs: ACC, ACC+, AMR, MP3, MIDI, LPCM **
    • Power Management: Texas Instruments TPS65921 PMIC Integrated Power Management IC with 3 DC/DC's, 4 LDO's, USB HS Transceiver
    • Battery: "Barnes & Noble" labeled 3.7V 4000mAh 14.8Wh Li-ion battery Battery Life: ~8 hours
    • Physical Specifications Dimensions: 8.1" (205mm) L x 5" (127mm) W x 0.48" (12.2mm) D Weight: ~15.8oz (~422g)
    • Micro-B USB 2.0 High-Speed
    • Accelerometer
    • Input Virtual QWERTY Keyboard On-Screen Soft-Keys ** 'n' Home button Power\Lock button Volume Up\Down buttons
As much as I love gadgets I’m not always hip on what all of this means but I actually understood almost all of that.  I’m quite proud of myself. **pats self on back**

As sad as it is my processor on my Samsung Galaxy S Series Vibrant (3g) is faster.  But at the $180 price I paid for a refurbished unit I’m not going to complain.  I see it as a gateway tablet.  Bonus, since the last update on my Vibrant I’m now able to make it a hotspot so I can access internet on the tablet when I’m not home if I need to do anything on it that I can’t, or would rather not do, on the Vibrant itself.

So, I got my unit on Wednesday. The silly thing wouldn’t get past the register page and gave me some ugly error message.  When I pulled up the error message some forum guy on some random site said it happened to him and they had to send it back.  At that point I was ready to get into nerd mode and play with my new device.  Nope.  I called and followed their troubleshooting instructions (all of which I had already tried before I called).  Nothing worked.  Even though it was a used unit it had been “recertified”.  So this means Barnes and Noble needed to suck up the costs and pay to ship the dud I had back and ship me a new (used) one.  I asked for expedited shipping (I work in retail, I know it’s possible).  He said he’d try.  Likely story.  So, I’ll tell about my hacking foibles and all about the whole new user experience after I get it and have a chance to work on it.

I gave the Kobo (which is still pretty awesome) to my mom.  She was quite thrilled.  She’s the one to get me reading.  It’s the least I could do.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rose tincture. Great for issues of the heart.

Great, physically for your heart and all sorts of emotional stuff.  Like a rescue remedy of the plant family.  I love it.  I made my first batch and have passed out dropperfuls like candy.

 

Today I needed it.  I was late picking up Marshall from his first day of school.  What an AWESOME way to meet his teacher.  You know, after he just comes back from being homeschooled for 2 years.  Yeah, a move like that certainly commands some respect, eh?

 

I did nothing all day.  Just trying to avoid thinking about where he was, what he was doing and I how I feel like a failure now that I acknowledge that right now public school is the best thing for him.  And trying to rush to get ready for work put me in a frenzy and I was late picking up the boy.  I got there like 5 minutes late and they were inside and I was looking all over the playground and such looking for him (should have just went to the office).  Yep, his teacher greeted me.  She was really nice but I know I made a really awful first impression.

 

Then I had to just drop him off at the house and head to work.  I would have just had him walk on his own but I wanted to see him and at least for the 2 minute drive home ask how his first day went back was.  I sort of got to, but it felt lame and my heart started breaking.  He had a good day.  Everything went fine.  He’s grown up a lot in the last 2 years and I really hope it continues to be a mostly good experience (all experiences have challenges).

 

I cried the entire way to work.  I was sad I didn’t feel supported the way I wanted to.  I am sad that me working is financially smart for us right now.  I’m sad that we ran into so many challenges last year with my 2 losses and subsequent depression.  I know it could have been a better teacher.  By the end of the first year we were doing good and I had a lot of confidence.  Just lame..

 

WHEW!!!! Now that I got that out I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!  Now I can go about my decent day.  Right?  ;P

 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Authentic self

I had quite a weekend last weekend.  I was able to go to 2011 Northwest Herbal Faire.  I totally got my herbal geek on.  I realized a few things about how I tend to go about things. When I had no plan I attended hardly any workshops.  When I planned for workshops the whole day I ended up making myself crazy.  If I’m able to attend next year I would definitely make a schedule but also reserve time for relaxing and absorbing information.

 

I also had some interpersonal realizations as well.  Some of these included some stuff I have yet to figure out how to handle.  First was when someone said, “You’re oversensitive.”  Of course my over emotional reaction really showed how right it was.  I AM oversensitive.  I explained right off the bat that I do tend to react badly and take everything personally initially when it comes to criticism, constructive or otherwise.  I often will shut down emotionally or cry.  But afterwards I’m able to reflect on what they were talking about and what I want to do about it, if anything, or just to let it go.  But what about just the fact I am overemotional?  How do you stop being overemotional.  Part of me wonders if I should?  Not that I think it’s great to overreact to criticisms or to things I’m not liking hearing.  But the part of me that is overemotional is the part of me that is also passionate and empathetic.  I think the actual initial reaction is something that may wane as I become comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve already done enough self work that after I react I can reflect.  When I was younger that was not the case.  I’d just blow up, act like a jackass  and pretend it never happened or spin it in my Scorpio way where I’m in the right.  I’d like to think I’ve mostly grown out of that. 

 

Here is the other realization.  I don’t need to own other people’s opinions.  If they’re abrasive I don’t have to take that personal.  If they don’t like how I am, I don’t need to own that either.  The only personal responsibility I need to take is maybe looking at whether what they’re saying rings true and needs to be changed.  I also need to give myself some credit for the fact that when I do receive criticism I actually care about people’s feelings and how my actions effect them. 

 

I also want to remind myself that I have value.  If someone is irritated with me, if I analyze it and am aware of it and it is not something I need to change, really, I need to be okay with their feelings.  I can’t own it.  I have value regardless of my bad habits (like being overemotional).  I need to learn to let it go.  Learn from it then let it go.

 

So, on a geek note.. I LOOOOVED the workshops. I wish I had participated more but A. I was bleeding like a stuck fish and had been for more than a week and B. I am admittedly very out of shape.  It was a bit of a hike from the tent, to the port-a-potties, to the booths, to each of the workshops.  What?  Need to grab something from the tent?  Yeah, hike back.  Between the walking and bleeding I felt pretty grumpy and tired.  I was not at my personal best.

 

So.. I have to talk about one of the workshops.. It was pretty stinking cool.  It was all about the energy of the plant as a medicine.  We all sat around and without knowing what each one was, we took a tincture and sat quietly.  The object was to sit with it and notice any feelings, both physical and emotional.  Any images seen, strange sensations, even just being observant of your thoughts.  It was amazing how so many of us were getting similar if not the same reactions.  Of course me, being very visual, I imagined some pretty wild things.  The coolest one was when I immediately visualized The Sound of Music going on in my head, specifically hearing the nuns singing the whole Maria song.  I wanted to sing with them!  The gentleman running the workshop said he saw lots of Tibetan monks chanting sort of in a song and how he really wanted to sing along.  We also both got that it stimulated both third eye and root chakra.  I thought that was weirdly amazingly wonderful ;)  By the way.. it was Holy Basil (Tulsi).  It was so affirming to feel things and then hear how the herbs effect the body and they matched up. So amazing.

 

I definitely want to go back <3

Friday, August 05, 2011

Funny on a dime

I wish I was one of those bloggers who could whip out wicked funny shit on a whim.  I can't say any of my blog entries are remarkably awesome.  Sometimes I luck out and I hear the whisperings of whatever muse seems to grace me with its presence...... again, sometimes.  I wish I had that incredible talent to tap into that insightful and funny part of me like some of the other blog writers do.  I'm not even entirely sure I *have* an audience.  It's okay though.  I decided not too long ago that I would just write what I want.  I will just write what I'd like to read.  If other people aren't interested they won't read.  It's not an entire waste.  I'm getting things out of my head and I'm typing.  I actually like typing... as long as I have an ergonomic keyboard.  I'm a keyboard wimp especially since my year and a half old biking injury (don't let me fool you, I was riding around on my child sized cruiser and I'm just so out of shape I pulled something and now it won't get better.  But hey, I totally made it sound like I'm some cycling diva, didn't I? Heh).

Today I was able to tap into that inner writer and used it at work.  I just started back with REI this week.  This is my fourth time as a seasonal employee.  I have tons of friends there.  This time I'm actually taking advantage of the medical on the offhand chance I get knocked up again.  Anyway.. So we had this assignment where we were supposed to send an email to one of the trainers explaining what 100% Satisfaction Guarantee means to us.  You see, REI has a customer service guarantee that is similar to Nordstrom (Google it, seriously).  Well, my literary muse (maybe I should come up with a name for him/her) bit me and and I rambled off some long explanation about how I wanted my chiropractor friend to stop talking about his Vibram shoes so I just bought them so I could have some silence during my adjustment...... For the record.  I lied.  I LOVE it when I get to chat with Paul.  He's totally the type of guy who would have been my geek BFF back in Jr. High/High School.  But I assume it's like when your husband bitches about the clothes you buy or the food you cook.  Secretly he loves it.... right?  Anyway.  I just had to come up with a segue for why I bought the shoes.  Because lord knows you have to make some shit up to why you were CHOOSING to put on shoes with individual toes.  Because, apparently it's not enough that I have weird little hobbit feet I have to put freakish looking shoes on them so EVERYONE looks at them. :|  But I digress... So, I fabricated the segue in order to tell this story about how I hate returning things but was thrilled that no one brow beat me for bringing back used five finger shoes because the rubber toe protector hurt my mutant elf toes (they seriously point upwards).  Anyhow.  I don't even remember all of what I wrote but I was feeling inspired.  After I hit send I didn't give it a second thought.  So class lets out.  I had to finish a quick story to a different trainer about the kick ass tattoo my cousin, Amanda has on her leg (at first glance they're classy koi.  second glance you'll notice that one is a zombie koi eating another koi. how awesome can you get?!).  The trainer had a printed copy of my email out and told me she laughed so hard she nearly cried.  Do you realize how that makes me feel?  Yeah, akward.  Oh, don't get me wrong. I was thankful and proud and extremely flattered.  I'm just not that good at being gracious and so I sounded like a fool at my attempts at saying "thank you."  


But I am grateful for those moments where I feel I can put words out there in such a way they bring joy to others.  It's a great feeling to laugh and if I can do that for someone once in a while I feel pretty damned content.  I work Sunday.  I'll try to email myself the letter and maybe I'll post it.  


So now that I have created this expectation of writing funny shit you'll have to watch.  I'll write some dumb ass thing about bunny murdering crows (it was a real monologue I came up with one day.  terrible and weird. Oddly amusing).

Friday, July 29, 2011

A fearful thing.

In Spokane. Attending services with Rebekah.

In reading this my heart broke open a little. From it came tears.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

x3

Three biggies right now.

1- Yesterday (the 11th) was my dad's birthday.  I celebrated with candles on my altar shelves.

2- Marshie pants is turning 11 on the 14th.

3- The 14th will also mark one month since Tony's passing

Things have been pretty surreal lately.  Not necessarily in a bad way.  I'm still winding down from super busy times.  It's been REI, my business, REI, memorial, REI, SSHN, Mother Earth News Fair, return to Toutle, homeschool, home, potluck, farewell brunch.  It's been a bit of a whirlwind.  The seasonal REI job is done.  I wasn't hired on to core staff.  This is both good and bad.  I need to get back to doing work for my own business.  I've been incredibly obsessed with herbs as medicine lately (brewing my first tinctures!!).  No matter what I do I manage to keep busy.

I've been wanting to write more.  It helps me sort out my thoughts.  I keep saying maybe later.  So, here we go again.... Maybe later. ;)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

eBook Readers

I kept my mouth shut about them as I knew I would have to experience one in order to pass judgement.  Then I won one.  Courtesy of @chooseomatic on Twitter I won a Kobo.  I LOVE it!  At the time I was reading Shelters of Stone by Jean M. Auel.  For those of you who have read it, it is not a small book.  Not the most purse friendly portable book.  Well, with the Kobo I can read the book wherever.  Even when reading in bed it's better.  Less tired arms ;)  It wasn't long before more benefits came to me.

Lately I've been geeking out over herbs.  I'm seriously considering following the path to become an herbalist.  Plants have always given me much joy, especially plants with medicinal purpose.  I joined Herb Mentor and have been learning lots.  Well, they have pdfs and videos throughout the site.  The videos I put on my Vibrant to watch and the pdfs I put on my Kobo so that when I have breaks at work or when me and the family are driving somewhere I can just get in a little learnin'!  It has been great fun and of course now that I've had my first taste of an ebook reader I totally want more.

I found some "free" ebooks online but ran into the problem that amateurs who are converting these books from whatever format to epub aren't doing so gracefully.  There are errors.  What this means to me is as soon as I put them on my Kobo's SD card the whole thing promptly stops working.  I guess that's my fault for trying to get something for nothing (which is funny considering this whole post is about me getting a Kobo for nothing and wanting a Nook Color for nothing).  Why do I need to get something for nothing when there are libraries that loan out ebooks?  Well, because for some reason or another Adobe Digital Editions keeps messing up and I can't get any of the books I've been trying to get through Washington's Anytime Library**.  Not happy :(  So, on the subject of dud ebooks, I found this epub checker.  It has saved me a lot of headache in putting epub files on my reader only to have them cause said reader to cease function.

I ran across the Nook Color.  So, I can read my books on a that beautiful large screen AND play Angry Birds ;)  Uh, awesome!  Plus, people have been talking about how you can hack it and make it a tablet.  Ok, I've had some bad luck in the hacking world which is why my Google notebook still only runs Chrome OS and my Vibrant has not been rooted.  My G1 phone was my experiment failure but part of me thinks it is just due to the fact it was pretty outdated by the time I tried to hack it.  Plus, as much geek love as I have I am not the most skillful in hacking so I run to the ex to see if he wants to toy with my hacking dramas (he still has possession of my more or less useless G1).  Anyway.  I would *love* to own the Nook Color but hesitate to put out the $ for it.  I should probably pay my phone bill first ;)  So for now, I'm going to search the internets for contests to win one.  Most I have found so far are outdated.  Lame.  Keep on truckin', right?

**Finally got Adobe Digital Editions to work!  Transferred a Neil Gaiman book and a Barbara Kingsolver book over to my Kobo :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The days after

I'm queen of self imposed guilt trips.  Mourning brings out some pretty ridiculous ones in me.  I feel guilty that I didn't talk to Tony more.  I feel guilty for being sad because there are many people who have "more of a right" to mourn.  I feel guilty for going about my regular routine because my daily life hasn't changed since Tony died but some of my loved ones' lives will never be the same.  I feel guilty for voicing my feelings of feeling guilty.  Don't worry.  They're not running my life and I don't indulge these thoughts incessantly.  I'm sure they are all thoughts somehow programmed in me by some sort of life experience from my formative years.  When I quiet my mind it all falls away.  My higher self lets me know that any and all of my feelings are ok.  That I have done nothing wrong.  That my guilt is part of my process.  It is a part of my mourning.  It is downright silly, but it is ok.  Personally, I think Tony would be amused that I'm analyzing my feelings surrounding his death.  He'd have done the same.

I want to write about my experience at the services, but now is not the time.  I feel they're worth mentioning.  But that will come another day.  I have to get ready to go help a friend today with her raised beds.  I have a feeling it will take a while to write it all down.  So 'til next time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Aftershocks

I wrote this yesterday but am only just now getting online to post it.

So I'm at Nae's.  I got here sometime yesterday evening.  If my dad's death taught me anything it's that everyone mourns differently.  Example, I'm a bit of a delayed mourner.  My mom?  God bless her, she hyper focuses on herself.  it keeps her from thinking about what is really, truly wrong.  Being here, in Tony's home, is no exception. Kayli is joking around trying to cheer everyone up.  Nae is generally stoic, occasionally crying and sometimes mad.  Joe's heart is on his sleeve.  Amber is in disbelief.  As par for course, I'm the delayed mourner.  I started out last night with only a few stray tears.  Same with today.  Even played an hour and a half round of Uno with Kayli and Amber, joking all the while.  We shuffled the deck 7x.

Everyone has been coming and going.  I was still able to keep a mostly even demeanor.  Without realizing it my own, personal avalanche was starting.

Joe and his sweetie came in.  You could see in his eyes how much he was hurting.  It took me down a notch and forced me to remember that it was real.  Before that I could have sort of pretend that Tony was at work, or at the store.  Then Don walked in.  This was especially profound as before he arrived pretty much everyone here have been people I knew before I met Tony.  Kept it separate.  Separation is beautiful.  I was introduced to Don purely as Tony's friend. Shit started getting way to real.

Later, I was outside talking to Katie about religion.  Back to even keel.  Nae pulls up.  Travis is with her.  Tony has been telling me for years how I just HAD to meet Travis.  I figured one day he'd visit and I would feel socially awkward and feel intimidated in my usual fashion, and Tony would joke around to help me feel relaxed.  He *got* my social anxiety.  But instead I'm fighting back tears as I meet the man who came to lay his friend to rest.  I felt myself begin to break.

Shortly after this, inside I overhear Nadine talking about Tony's body being worked on or something.  Danger, Will Robinson!!! This dam is-a-breaking!  I walk away.  I cry in the hall.  I think about how Tony and I won't have our talks anymore.  I'm crying too loudly so I move it to the bathroom.  I try to pull myself together and I walk out.  I think about how I won't hear any more of his dirty monologues complete with graphic, insinuating hand gestures.  I escape to the laundry room and cry some more.  Who will need to go to the laundry room?  Then I think about how I will never hear Tony tell me how much he cares about me and that I'm beautiful.  I sob.  Joe must have seen me go in there or I wasn't as quiet as I thought (probably the latter).  He opened the door to say bye.  He hugged me.  It was the hug of a man who has been forever changed by the kindness and understanding of a dear friend.  I wept piteously.

Writing about these feelings has been an outlet for me and so as soon as I could control myself I grabbed my phone. I  went out back to write (courtesy of the Blogger app on my phone).  Overwhelmed by sorrow I "penned" these words.  Only a couple of paragraphs into it Tony's mom arrived.  I only knew it by the mournful cry that only a mother who has lost a child could make.  She screamed her pain and I could feel my heart breaking.  And when I say that I mean I could feel such horrific sorrow coming from this woman that I sincerely wondered if the reverberations from her pained wail could stop my heart from beating.  I couldn't keep from crying if I tried.

I'm doing much better now.  Plans are being made.  Thursday there will be a ceremony and I've been asked to write his eulogy.  It's a tall order but Tony deserves for me to do my best.  Blessed Divine, grant me the power to write something that honors the man I have been blessed to call friend.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yoda

Tony, as Mario's best man.  Indeed.
He called me his Yoda.  He found me inspirational.  Just the other day I thought, "I think he has it backwards.  He is MY Yoda."

When one of my absolute bestest friends in the world told me she met a new guy that she thought was amazing I was  skeptical.  As a best friend it's my job to be skeptical.  I was openly hostile towards her openly asinine first husband.  Not exactly mature but I only want the BEST for a best friend.  Then I met her new beau.  Tony.  Tony had the faint twinge of a Arkansas drawl.  He had kind eyes, a sweet smile and a great hug.  I am absolutely not exaggerating.  It was one of those hugs that was warm, firm and you could feel the love radiating off of his body.  It reminded me of my dad's hugs.  He was smart and funny.  How could I NOT love this guy?  He was slightly antisocial (not the partier although with his friends he was a BLAST).  He had various idiosyncratic habits, as we all do.  Most of my knowing him he had a shaved bald head.  Recently he had grown it out.  Softest hair in the world.  What's more, he saw my friend, Nadine, as the precious jewel she is.  He put her on the pedestal she so richly deserved.  He took the friend who had hardened her heart and had become mistrustful of men, having learned she could only rely on herself, and he gave her her trust back.

All of us at the wedding ceremony.
Nadine had previously said she would never get married again.  This is a battle cry commonly formed by the mouths of the bitterly divorced.  Tony changed this.  Tony wanted marry Nae.  He, like Nadine, had an awful first marriage.  He got his courage up and she got hers.  They decided to get married.  They approached me and asked me to marry them.  I had been ordained.  I felt honored.  In the summer of 2008 I married this beautiful family.

Like all couples they had their ups and downs.  They decided a big change was needed.  You know, shake things up.  They decided to move just over an hour away to the small town of Toutle.  It really was just what they needed.  The little prickly bickering smoothed out as they found the peace they looking for.  Things just seemed beautiful.  Right as rain.  The way they should be.

Early this morning I startled awake.  Immediately after Brett did too.  He said "B" (he calls me B for Banana, you know, Johanna Banana).  A fraction of a second later my phone lit up.  The caller ID showed Nadine's # and long outdated profile picture.  I answered the phone.  She told me that Tony was involved in a collision and was killed.  I had this weird sensation.  It lacked surprise.  Even though I was just hearing the news I felt somewhere inside that I already knew that my friend's husband, my friend Tony, was gone.

I felt peace knowing that he was ok.  That his spirit was safe.  A knowingness that cannot be described.  But then I thought of all the things I knew my dear friend would face.  I saw my mother go through it.  I thought about the girls and how much they love their step-dad.  It broke my heart.  I really hope I can find a way to help comfort them all through this, although I don't know how.

From the last day I saw Tony, at Mario and Kirsten's wedding
I want to talk more about Tony.  Tony was not just the husband of my friend.  He was my friend as well.  We would wax poetic about philosophy often discussing, in depth, many inspirational texts.  He called me his Yoda.  Like I said in the beginning of this post, recently I realized he was mine.  When I had talked about starting a business he told me he would pay for all my licensing fees to get me started.  And he did.  He also gave me the sweetest card telling me how he had faith that I could do great things.  He told me I was beautiful when I was feeling self conscious.  And those hugs.  Damn, those hugs were great.  I could sit on the couch and we'd just have our arms around eachother.  I really love him like a brother, but without all the sibling drama ;)

I think he has a bright future out there in the ether.  I think he will help others.  I still feel like I can sense him around.  His kind, warm heart.  I love you, Tony Prather.  Your presence is already missed.  You're my Yoda.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Have I really not posted?

My house is taking over. Our August loss hit me hard but I got good and numb and kept on truckin'. But the December loss, in light of the August loss hit me like a ginormous ton of bricks. About 6+ months of depression. Severe depression. Not getting out of bed depression.

I feel I've really pushed past it and the weather seems to be mirroring my state of mind. I'm getting back to normal both physically (cycles are returning) and emotionally. The sun helps. I'm trying to get out of the house more. I've been going on more bike rides. Mmmmmm bike rides :D

Okay, so I am not even 5' tall. I am 4'10.75". Yes the 3/4 of an inch matters. To me. I found my bike at a Goodwill up in Shoreline. It is a Electra Hawaii. It has 20" wheels and is made for a child.   I just know that kids tend to outgrow me between the ages of 9 and 13. So somewhere in that age range, I suppose.  I have no problems being short.  It is just challenging in the world of bikes.  Finding a bike that doesn't cost an arm and a leg that is a cruiser or comfort bike (I want to sit upright, not like on a mountain bike) with gears and hand breaks is next to impossible for someone my height.  This bike was a good compromise for now.  The day will come. K2 supposedly makes a bike I want but I can't find anywhere I can actually BUY it (I want THIS bike).  They're supposed to go down as small as 5'0", which  in my book is close enough.
<--- Dream Bike

Anyhow, bike riding is my joy, despite the sore butt I have.  It's been awesome.  Tomorrow I'm going to go to the farmer's market and I'm thinking I'll get myself in trouble if I take my bike cart.  I can only keep so much in my basket on the front. ;)  It's supposed to be 66 degrees.  I am so THERE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ATandT Buying T-Mobile for $39B To Ramp 4G - Mobile and Wireless - News & Reviews - eWeek.com

ATandT Buying T-Mobile for $39B To Ramp 4G - Mobile and Wireless - News & Reviews - eWeek.com

What does this mean for me?

Okay... So, Brett and I had Sprint. We cancelled when we moved to Barrow, AK. When we came back we got Nextel because the hubs liked the little walkie-talkie feature. I learned quickly that while I love my husband, a feature like this enables him to get a hold of me FAR to easily and if it's on speaker it also means he'll say inappropriate shit when I'm around other people. I love him, but he's ornery. So when our contract was up we parted our cellular ways. Brett went with Verizon purely because of it's coverage. I went with T-Mobile because of it's cost. I figured it this way. If I was out of range, most of the time I was with Brett so what did it matter? Anyway. The cost of us having separate plans was still about what we paid together at Nextel (expensive for the puny amount of minutes we had). This has worked for us so far but things are changing.

Verizon seems to really be making an effort to lower costs to keep customers like me, who talk a lot. Now the prices seem closer to comparable to T-Mobile's. I've been thinking about having Brett add us (me and the boy) to his plan. It should, theoretically, be cheaper. My contract is up in May but I still owe a lot on my Vibrant. When I got my phone T-Mobile was doing what it could to ditch contracts and encourage people to buy phones. The plan I'm on is cheaper than people who have the ability to do upgrades. My plan is different. I don't get a new contract and I have to buy my phone outright. But they offer an interest free loan to pay the phone off. The cost of the loan with my phone bill is still cheaper than what other people who can upgrade for an extended contract would have. So.. I'm thinking if I want out I'll have to pay off my phone early. No fun.

Here's where the buy out comes in. If AT&T and T-Mobile, both being carriers with GSM technology are joining forces, wouldn't that mean I'd get cheap costs AND better coverage? I wonder if it would be something I could convince Brett to switch over for. Would it be worth it?

Hmmm.... Pondering.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vibrant

Vibrant #4 has been received AND upgraded!

The key seems to be the operating system.  Nowhere in the "official" documentation did it say running Windows 7 would be any problem.  It wasn't until I fully bricked my phone did I see all the stuff saying you'd probably brick your phone if you used Windows 7 to upgrade if you could get Samsung Kies Mini to even see your phone at all.  Uh, yeah.  I plan to dig a little deeper next time to find out what to do.

So as far as I gather from this point.  If you have a Samsung Galaxy S series Vibrant you can get the froyo upgrade.  The important thing is to only try to upgrade from Win XP or Vista.  NOT Windows 7.

I installed Samsung Kies Mini on the teeny netbook my uncle gifted to me.  Plugged my phone it.  It was upgraded in less than 10 minutes.  Working beautifully!

I Heart Chrome

Yet another reason I love Chrome....

My computer died.  Maybe I'll tell the whole story later but for now, I won't.  Well, I just reinstalled Chrome.  And there is something super special and amazing.  My computer has a fresh install of Windows 7.  So I had to redownload and install Chrome.  (What, you don't have CHROME?  Well, go download it now!  CLICK HERE).  So I downloaded it.  Went to the handy wrench in the upper right hand corner.  CLICK.  Options.  CLICK.  Personal Stuff.  CLICK.  SYNC!  Yay.  I just entered my name and password and all the settings, bookmarks, passwords and such were imported from my CR-48.  Ah, another reason I love Chrome.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

To the Vibrant friends

So I have several friends that within the last month or two have bought the same phone I have, the Samsung Galaxy S series, Vibrant.  So now I'm harassing them occasionally when I have things they HAVE to know.  I will just post what I wrote to share with all the Vibrant owners out there in the ether, in case you didn't know.....

Hello again, fellow Vibrant users.  There is an update that no one is advertising.  In order to do it you have to download Samsung Kies (click HERE for PCs.. don't know about macs).  This is Samsung's program to let your phone talk to the computer and to do special firmware updates that aren't over air updates.  The latest is the Android OS update that I've been long bitching about, froyo (Android OS 2.2).  It is supposed to enhance the awesome hardware our phones have but haven't been properly utilizing yet.  Our phones do have pretty freaking sweet hummingbird processors and copious amounts of onboard memory  *swoon*.  What does this mean to you?  Geek speak aside it will run better.  OOoooOOO!!! It also means you can save programs to your micro SD.  Not that you'll ever need to.  I have yet to run out of memory since I got this puppy in September.  Now, Samsung Kies did give the warning that you need to back yo' shit up so download all those pics and vids to your computer (or put em on your micro SD) before starting your update.  Today, my friends, is full of win!


UPDATE:


One more thing.. you have to register your phone through Samsung's website first, apparently.  I'm doing my upgrade now... Once I registered I got an email from samsung advertising the upgrade.  It sent me to this page here:  http://forums.t-mobile.com/t5/Samsung-Vibrant/Samsung-Vibrant-software-upgrade-to-Android-2-2-Froyo-now/td-p/678871?LID=EM_TmobileAndroid_2&MKM_RID=0119136761&MKM_MID=183385

UPDATE 2:

One final word of warning.. apparently you cannot do the upgrade if you are running Windows 7.  Aren't you glad you have me testing this stuff out because it's my phone bricked and not yours (as in a fancy piece of plastic that does nothing but look pretty on your desk).  For the record.  No where did it say that you couldn't do it if you were running Windows 7.  Only after I bricked my phone did I find in an obscure forum how you can't use Samsung Kies to upgrade to froyo because you'll brick your frakking phone.  Not. That. I'm. Bitter.  

So apparently after reading a whole lot of forum nonsense I got this.. People running XP or Vista can download Samsung Kies and plug their phone in and in a matter of minutes it will say "hey, you have an upgrade!"  and it will install beautifully and there will be flowers and rainbows and unicorns.  Meanwhile you get to witness me freaking out. Yay!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fertility Flower

I have had such a love/hate mostly hate relationship with temping.  Now it's a LOOOOOVE relationship.  What is temping?  Well for those of you who actually want to create new humans, especially those who don't seem to get knocked up quite as easily as most everyone else, temping is a way to keep track of your fertility.  It can also help those who want to avoid pregnancy.

Temping is where you take your basal body temperature and mark it down on a chart.  It should, if all things are working properly, tell you when you're fertile.  What you do is you wake up every morning at the same time, and before getting out of bed you take your temperature with a special thermometer, called a basal body thermometer.  This is before you talk, take a drink of water, sit up or potty.  You want at least four hours of sleep and you want to take the reading at the same time every day.  You mark it down on your chart.  When your temperature goes up (about 2 weeks before you start your period) it means you have ovulated.  Yay!  It goes more in depth and is pretty amazing (it can show you a LOT of information about your body).

What I do suggest it check out the website I've been using to chart.  http://www.fertilityflower.com  I have used many different sites and honestly, have found Fertility Flower to be the best.  It detected ovulation that other websites missed.  Until recently I had been using multiple sites just to compare results as they varied from site to site.  I have since stopped using other sites.

There are a lot of good little points that Fertility Flower gets over other sites.

  • Clean and tidy - So many sites are cluttered with ads and, well, mostly ads.  Even when you have too many links to other features it can really detract from what a site offers.
  • Accurate - It detected ovulation for me when other sites did not.  How do I know I ovulated?  Well, I got pregnant.  Yeah, it was another one of the miscarriages, but other sites did not even detect the ovulation.  How would I have known to test?
  • Bulk entries - Let's say you forgot to load your temps for several days onto the site.  The Mass Entry feature lets you load 15 days at a time.
  • Mobility - I don't have to use the mass entry feature myself because I use my phone.  I have  Samsung Vibrant (smart phone) and it loads wonderfully on it.  Before I even get out of bed I load Fertility Flower on my phone and enter my temp.  Awesome.
  • Many different features - You can add so many different symptoms, many that are not covered by other sites, but are important.
  • Free is good, paid is better -  A lot of the competitor sites are not worth using if you're using the free function.  But Fertility Flower still gives you a WHOLE lot of features while being a basic, free member.  Why go paid?  Well, there are even MORE including being able to lay multiple charts atop one another to compare multiple cycles.  Dude.  Awesome!  It is very low cost, and affordable.
  • Easy to use - self explanatory.  It is VERY easy to use.
  • Online forum - free forums!
  • Thoughtful messages - When I miscarried in August I entered this in the Fertility Flower site.  Instead of treating it like  a menstrual cycle it walked me through the process all the while reminding me to be kind to myself.  If I didn't have any of the other good stuff to say about the site this one would bring me back.  It's the little things, you know?  In this case, acknowledgement.
  • Great customer service - Quick, personable, friendly customer service.  Definitely worth it.
Today? Cycle Day 7.  So far, so good.

Blog Therapy

You know, I'm really thinking that I want to blog.. You know, like blogger style bloggy blogness.  I enjoy sharing stuff about my geek toys and about stuff I learn in the world of herbology and fertility and general health.  So, why not blog about it, right?  I guess my little niche in is just that I LOVE geek toys, I'm a former gamer (not a lot of time/energy these days) and I was raised with technology.  My friends tend to come to me when they want something researched and why not share whatever I'm learning with everyone else.  I enjoy it.

So I'm done rambling and it is pretty pathetic as far as manifesto goes but there it is.  I'm going to blog.  Beware. ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Android Apps - Geek Love

I've decided to also talk techy stuff. I am by no means an expert but I do have a deep love for technology. So today I'll talk about the Android Apps I use.  I'm just a girl who dabbles in geek.

Since September I've owned a Samsung Vibrant from the Galaxy S series. I adore my phone. I am a little sad that it's not 4G and doesn't have the video chat capabilities, but I don't care THAT much.

I have several friends who recently got Android phones and I wanted to share what apps I, personally use and love.  Most are free but it should say in the description if it's a paid application.  I included links.  When you click on the app link it takes you to the Market online.  When you sign in your Google account you can press the "install" button on the website and it will install right to your phone.  So easy.  So here we go.

Abduction / Abduction - World Attack- This is a fun game where you bounce these little cows (or other animals) on little bits of floating land.  The goal is to go up, up, up to a spaceship waiting in the sky.  If you miss and fall out of the screen's view you die.  There is also a kid's mode where they never can die.  It's definitely a fun game. Abduction is the free version and Abduction - World Attack is the free version.  ^^^Now there is Abduction 2 available in the demo version and the full, paid version.^^^

Droid Comic Viewer (ACV) - This little gem is a comic book viewer.  There are many ways to get free comics out there (like here or here) and you can subscribe to many through places like Marvel's website and DC's website as well.  I, personally, love how you can change the settings.  Far too often I'd leave my finger on the screen and it would do some sort of action (I forget which one, it's been a long time since I've changed it) and I changed it to do, well, nothing.  Anyway.. Yes, fabulous app and totally free.

Aldiko / Aldiko Pro - I have tried a couple other book reading apps and I adore this one.  My phone came with the Kindle app but it only reads Kindle books.  I have quite a few epub files and Aldiko reads them beautifully.  I also like the dimmer function that a lot of other readers don't seem to have.  The reader is free however, because I found myself using it so much I bought the pro version.  I really prefer to support the great programmers out there when I can.

Andoku - I like this free Soduku game better than some others that I've tried.  My one problem is that when I type a number in it looks like the numbers that were already there when I started the round.  Can be confusing when I'm trying to suss out where my mistakes are.

Angry Birds - Does anyone NOT know about Angry Birds?  My husband joked recently about being at a barber shop and overheard two men talking.  He had to smirk when one man asked the other, "So you just have to hit the pigs, right?"  It's an addictive game and it's totally free.  Extra bonus, they update it from time to time to add more levels.  In fact, just the other night they added more!

Angry Birds Seasons - Same as above.  Highly addictive.  In this version they focus on holiday themed levels.  When I first downloaded it there were Halloween levels and a Christmas advent calendar. We're still trying to open the package at the end but there is one level that is being a pain to get three stars on.  The other night I was doing updates and they added Valentine's Day levels!!!

Antivirus Free - AVG - Can't complain.  Does it's own thing, it's free, and it's keeping you virus free.  Win.

Audio Books - As long as you don't mind hearing the whole "This is a Librivox recording..." message frequently this is a fabulous way to hear the classics for free.  I am an audio book addict so this is an awesome program.

Bubble Buster - This is an aim and shoot game.  It's a recent game I've been playing.  Fun and good for killing time. There is also an editor available so you can make your own levels.

Bump  - This handy app is a fantastic way to share media and apps with friends.  After the set up you just have you and your friend start Bump and then you tap your phones together.  Accept the file and voila!  Unfortunately, I don't use it often.  If the husband was a geek who had an Android phone too, I could see using it all the time (especially for pics and vids of the boy).

Carrr Matey - This app with the funny name is a cool program that uses GPS technology to identify where you park your car.  Let's say you go to the mall.  You're one of those people who lose their car in the lot.  So when you park you run Carrr Matey and you "drop anchor".  When you're done CM will guide you back using either a compass or walking directions.  There is even a timer you can use if you're using metered parking. Plus, dude, it's pirate themed.  Full of win.

Contapps - I love this app.  I have used it to replace my contact list.

Flikie Wallpapers/ Flikie Wallpapers HD - This app gives you a large selections of high quality wallpapers to choose from.

First Aid - This is a great resource in times of emergency, providing you can use your brain enough to remember how to use your phone in a crisis.  But in reality it can be very handy in a crisis when you can't think enough to remember what to do.  Luckily, I haven't had to use it but I have poked around and it has a lot of good information for many different scenarios.

Google Books - It's a fabulous app that works as an ebook reader and syncs up with your Google Books account you use on your desk/laptop.  Google Books (at least the desktop version) can even help you find books at your local library.

Google Maps/Navigation - I do believe when you install Google Maps that it automatically installs Navigation.  I think it's funny that anyone would pay for either T-Mobile's or Verizon's navigation programs when Google has it's own and uses your data plan to do it.  I love how you can find the address by voice, by typing or by contact list.  When you hit contact list it pulls up all the contacts with addresses listed. It works fabulously and rarely puts me off track (not fool proof, of course).  I love that when you get to your destination it shows the street view so you know you're at the right place.

Google Reader - I used to use Bloglines until I discovered Google Reader.  It's a fabulous feed reader.  Keep updated on all your favorite blogs.  Again, the joy of the world of Google is that it's all synced to what I use on my desktop.

Google Shopper - Scan items, either the front of the item or the barcode, and find out where to buy them.  Super cool!

Handcent - I use Handcent as a replacement for the Vibrant's native messaging program.  I like how much you can personalize the look of it.

Hide It Pro (Audio Manager) - So, uh, yeah.  This app is good if you're worried about if someone starts nosing around on your phone and finds a photo, audio file, video or app that you would rather them not find.  It hides itself as "Audio Manager" and actually works as a functional audio manager.  But when you open the app you just put your finger on the logo and hold it.  Then a password field pops up and once you enter it you can access those files/apps.  Now, if you have a very smart friend/child/nosey person they can fish around in the files and find your stash.  But it's not necessarily easy and can be time consuming, making sure it is easier to catch them.

iLightr Free - Cute "lighter".  I liked this one better than the Bic app.  You can change the lighter cases although I would love to see the new cases they've been promising for a long time now.

imo - I use this app both on my phone and on my desktop.  On your phone it is an app that lets you use all your messaging/chatting mediums all in one program.  You can use the following accounts on it: MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM/ICQ, Google Talk, My Space Chat, Skype, Facebook and Jabber.  I do believe that if you have one of the awesome 4G phones that has video capabilities you can video chat from imo as well.  Imo remembers your information so once you log into one you can log into all of your accounts. ^^On your computer imo is a browser based messenger program using all the mediums previously mentioned and definitely does video chat.  Browser based, meaning there's nothing to install on your desk/laptop^^

Mint.com Personal Finance - This app is tied to your Mint.com account and can even show a bank account and debt balance in a widget on your desktop.

Moon Phase / Moon Phase Pro - This app shows the different moon phases.  I went pro, again to show tribute to the programmer and also because pro has more features including, but not limited to a live wallpaper that works even on the ancient G1 (which I used to own).  I also love the little widget and the way it notifies you of new moons and full moons.

Movies - Look up movies, fiddle with your Netflix Queue, watch trailers.  This app does it all.  Now if I could only watch Netflix movies on it it would be perfect.... not that I'm bitter :|

My Tracks - This cool app tracks your movement whether walking, biking or in a car.  It can give you MPH/KPH and distance.  You can save and share your recorded treks.

Our Groceries - Honestly, I don't use it.  I prefer my list on the fridge.  But my cousin recommended it and if you want your grocery list on your phone this is awesome.  It's extra awesome if other people in your house use it too.  One person can add groceries to the list and it will show up on the other person's phone.  Also, they can update it on the computer while you're at the store.  Pretty cool app.

Pandora -  I think everyone has heard of this one too.  With very little ads you can pick music you like and Pandora will choose similar artists for you to try out.  My only problem is when it goes off on a tangent.  Sometimes it plays very annoying music or gets a little repetitious.

Papaya *games* - There are many different Papaya games. Presently I'm just playing Papaya Fish and Papaya Pet.  If you want to add me as a friend feel free.  My user name is Johanna1476  There are 4 pages of Papaya games.  I'm sure I'll try more as I get bored with other ones.

PDANet - This app tethers your phone to your laptop and then you can use your data plan to connect to the internet.  This is very handy if you need to upload files or do something else that your Android phone can't do. I have this but have yet to use it as I'm currently laptop free (not of my choosing).  I do, however, have a friend who has successfully tethered her laptop to her Droid with it.

Ringdroid - Cool app where you can make ringtones and alarms with your mp3 or wma files.

Screen Filter - I have sensitive eyes.  Bright lights hurt them a lot.  So when I'm being a goon and staying up late playing with my phone Screen Filter allows me to not disturb my husband's sleep and it gives my eyes a break.  With the icon on the desktop you can tap it and it will go directly to your selected brightness setting.  Definitely a necessity for me.

Sliceit - a fun game where you discect shapes with the goal of making equal sized pieces.

Smooth Calendar - I'm sure there's a free way to do this now but this is a paid app (not more than $2 if I remember right) that gives me a calendar widget on my phone.  My G1 came with a calendar widget but the Vibrant only has some weird one that is ginormous on my screen.  This one isn't super entertaining but def. serves it's purpose.

SoundHound - This is what I replaced Shazam with.  Shazam is charging now so I've been using SoundHound.  It can identify songs by singing or playing a song.  An extra cool thing about this program is it will give you album details, lyrics, links to tours (if there are any, obviously).

Super Ruler - I downloaded this one when I needed a ruler when knitting.  Obviously you can only do like 3" at a time, but it's still pretty cool :)

Trap! - I remember playing a version of this on our old Amiga computer and then later on Neo Pets.  You draw a line up or down on a screen with bouncing balls.  If the ball hits the line before it's finished you lose a guy.  Lose all your guys, you're dead.

TV.com - There are many clips and some full episodes of different shows.  Most of the shows are not new ones.  I do watch current episodes of the Late Late Show with Craig Killborn.  But there are old episodes of The Love Boat, Family Ties, the original Star Trek and many others.

Vignette - This is one I paid for.  I think, if I remember correctly, it was my most expensive app.  It gives you all sorts of effects, much like Hipstamatic (although I would like Android to come out with a version of Hipstamatic).  I have taken some truly beautiful photos using this app that make me look like I know what I'm doing.  I don't.

WeatherBug (Elite) - I used the free version for a long time but wanted a widget.  There were no other good widgets at the time so I got this.  I like it but I also have been told other people have great widgets that were free.  ^^Apparently there is a free widget you can get for it now.  I r smrt.^^

Where's My Droid - Ever lost your phone in the house?  Ever lost your phone in the house when the ringer was off?  Then this app is for you!  You set up a specific word (like "find phone") and then you can text yourself from the computer or have someone else text you and like magic it rings, regardless of whether or not your ringer is off.  ^^Hey, there's a donation version.  Donate your $1 and it helps the programmer pay for ramen to live off of while he/she programs.^^

WordFeud FREE -  This Scrabble like game is very fun.  Play against your friends!  It even lets you create multiple games with the same person.  You can also create random  boards where the squares like Double Word and Triple Letter are in weird places, sometimes in clusters (one friend got a word for more than 500 points!).  I rarely win but I love it anyway.  There is a paid version that is ad free but I have yet to buy it.  I know I talk about helping pay the programmer but the awful, constant pop-up ads make me NOT want to buy it.  Like they're bullying me.  Eh, I still might soon enough.^^I'm trying to up my edge in this came so I'm going to try THIS app I just found^^

Yelp - Yelp is a fantastic app that detects where you are and can find things like ATMs, restaurants, gas stations and whatever else you may be looking for all in relation to where you are.  You can also read reviews that users left and rate and review places yourself. (the link also has a video!)

There ya go.  I've used other apps, and probably liked them.  For whatever reason I got bored with them and decided to uninstall.

Stay tuned and I'll go over some of my favorite Live Wallpapers.