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Prayers for Nikki, part two

Well, friends, bad news- the Nikki dog does indeed have cancer. The good news is she is doing just fine right now. The pain meds are working as she's still as lively as ever.

We went to the oncologist at U of I and saw a Dr. Lucas. Wonderful woman! God forbid you ever have to take your companion animal to see her, but if you do, I highly reccomend her.

I had the option of amputation plus chemo, but that would only buy her an extra 6 months to a year. Instead of putting us both through that, I'm just gonna keep her on pain meds and keep her comfortable and spoiled until her time comes. And that time could be anywhere from two weeks to two months, or maybe even longer, depending on how quickly the cancer spreads. The real danger right now is her fracturing her fragile shoulder bone, so Jo and I are gonna try to sling her leg up this weekend- like an amputation without an amputation. I saw her running across the yard on three legs over the weekend, so I know she can definitely get around on three legs.

At some point soon I'm gonna have a Nikki Party, so all who can or want to can visit and say goodbye.  Of course, anyone is welcome to stop by at any time to visit.

I have some consolation in the fact that she's had a good run of it, and a much better life with me than she would have if the Grove hadn't rescued her. She's a great dog! I'm sad to lose her, but so grateful for our time together.

Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts and energy sent our way! We have good friends!

Prayers for Nikki

Hey Friends!
I am requesting prayers for my crazy black dog, Nikki, also currently and very lovingly referred to as Nikki Pain in My Ass.

Heres the deal:

just after Thanksgiving she started limping on and off, and I finally got her into the vet just before Christmas (thanks to goddess_in_you for braving the ice and snow to take us). They thought she has a sprain and put her on pain meds. She was fine while on the medication, but started limping again within two days of being off it. Within another week she wasnt using her leg at all.

Yesterday she had x-rays taken, and they show a major loss of bone density in her shoulder. This indicates one of two things- a bone infection treatable with antibiotics, or bone cancer, in which case they will want to amputate her leg. Monday she goes in for a bone biopsy (god help me and my bank account!)

So I'm requesting prayers of healing for Nikki. General prayers, or if you feel so inclined, prayers for infection and not cancer. I'm personally trying not to even think about it being cancer, that our path wont take us there, but if it does we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I keep teasing her it would be easier to get a new dog, but I'd rather have Nikki. And I really hate the amputation idea- I have been assured that dogs are really three legged animals with a spare, and that its ok to take a front leg off, but I really have my doubts. ..Anyway, not thinking about that now!  Focusing on good thoughts and a positive outlook. Focus, focus.

Prayers and good energy for Nikki please. And maybe me too! :)

I'll keep ya posted!

In Honor of Kara

My Mom's best friend Kara passed away on Friday morning, peacefully and surrounded by family. May her soul find peace and those who love her find healing.


News article:

Also, a big Thank You to those that gave me love and support this past weekend at the Grove, in particular cassiopia</lj> , artemis112</lj> , xapamasa</lj> , and raenefall</lj> . All you did helped me get through the weekend and prepared me to be there for my mom and Kara's family, and that means more than I can express.

Best Thanksgiving Ever!

I never thought I would say this, but I really like getting up early. Early being 6:30, which is what time I got up the day before Thanksgiving. That meant I had made two cheesecakes (including my own crust), and been to the grocery store, library, video store,bank and back home by 10:30. It was great. And it left me tons of time to walk the Nikki, brush and bathe Nikki and Nyla, and go see Twilight with Mike before I left to go to my hometown for the holiday. The only thing I didnt have time to do was pack, but I never unpacked from my drumming weekend, so I just did laundry at my mom's.

Yesterday almost my whole family on my mom's side came to our house for Thanksgiving. We even got my grandpa out of his house, which was amazing. All said, we had about seventeen people over. It was crowded, but it was tons of fun! I helped my mom set up and cook all morning (again, grateful for my new early morning rising routine) and even got a dog walk in before people started showing up at noon. It was really, really nice to have my family all together. I didnt want to leave! But I had to go to Thanksgiving at my Grandma Erika's house. Fortunately, she lives right across the street from my mom. I had dessert with her, my dad, my uncle and his kids, who I havent seen in years. It was nice. Grandma and I finished up the evening with some wine, and I went back to my mom's house to practice drumming.

It really was the best Thanksgiving I've had in forever. Holidays with my family and trying to navigate between parents has tradiionally been nerve-wracking and miserable. At first I thought something had changed with everyone else, but I have realized the changes were within me and how I went about approaching the holiday and my family. So, more than anything else this year, I am thankful for internal changes.

I"m willing to bet these changes are part personal work I"m doing, and part Saturn return. Saturn in Virgo in the fourth house. Thanks, Saturn, and please keep the good changes coming.
It was a wonderful weekend!

I had a great time at the drum camp. Traveling was fine, I learned a lot and met wonderful people. I intend to go back to Michigan for more drumming lessons.  More on this soon.

My Mom also had a good weekend- she spent it with her friend Kara. On Sunday, they had Christmas. Here's the news article:

I stayed at my mom's last night instead of coming back to C-U. We went to visit Kara this morning, and I"m worn out from visiting and traveling. I am just now realizing the visiting and traveling begin again in two days.  I'm looking forward to Heroes coming on soon. I could use a little relaxing and escapism!

sadness and snow

I am having a really hard time being excited about my drumming weekend. I'm leaving in a couple hours, and don't really want to go. I'm hoping once I get there, it will all be worth it.

But first I have to navigate my way through unfamiliar territory in an unfamiliar car in the fucking snow. The funny thing is, I love snow. But I don't want to travel three and a half hours (at least) through it. I guess the good news here is focusing on the physical reality will help keep me out of my emotional reality, at least for a while.

Because I'm also navigating my way through my feelings on the upcoming death of a loved  one. My Mom's best friend, Kara, has been battling brain cancer for about a year and a half now. She's been through every surgery and every treatment possible. She's been in the hospital again for the last couple weeks, but they sent her home on Wednesday. There is nothing more they can do for her,. She may be with us another few days, or another few weeks, but it is unlikely she will see another Christmas. I want to be able to save everyone, especially my mom, from the pain of losing Kara,and I can't. I pray that Kara's passing is peaceful and that her loved ones find peace also.

I'm thinking about my priestessing skills,and I'm about to get a big fat lesson in acting as healer and relentless support, while still coming to terms with my own emotions. I can't not priestess my family though this, and fortunately, I'm a great person for the job. Thank God for my training at the Grove!

And now, prayers for a smooth and uneventful drive to Michigan and a terrific tambourine-ing weekend.


Lots and lots of food has been consumed this weekend!

Saturday night was Foodsgiving. Saw lots of people I enjoy spending time with and we all shared food.  I sampled all kinds of great things-
vegan stuffing, apple pecan pie , flour-less chocolate cake, toffee cookies, red cabbage (really good red cabbage, actually), cranberry capote, hummus, and super duper spicy potato chips. I more than sampled Amy's Awesome Lentil Curry Soup, it really is the best thing in the world. Except for maybe the creme brulee I sampled at the Great Impasta tonight. That really did taste like heaven. Went there tonight for cassiopia 's birthday and it was fun. Ate the Portabella Napolean, a small but tasty entree. Others generously offered to let me try thier desserts, and so I had some pudding bread and tiramasu in addition to the creme brulee, the new love of my life.

The rest of my weekend was nice also. Ended up skipping yoga yesterday to make pistachio pudding and read The Secrets of Fat-Free Baking.
I went today instead, and stopped by the library to get a book on cd for my trip on Friday. I'm going to Michigan for a tambourine/tar workshop with Layne Redmond and I'm really excited! I'm actually going by myself and staying in a hotel. This never happens. I am always carpooling and always sharing sleeping space when I travel. I also get to stop by my mom's house and make plans for Thanksgiving. I 'm helping cook this year, and I'm definitely making the desserts. I am obsessed with the fat-free baking! I love it.

But, love it or not, come Mike's birthday when we go to the Great Impasta, I am so ordering creme brulee! I just looked up recipes... egg yolk and heavy cream, huh? Not gettin that one fat-free!

My stuffed belly is going to bed now.


Tonight a bunch of friends are getting together to celebrate Foodsgiving, an unofficial Thanksgiving of sorts.

In honor of Foodsgiving, I have made my first cheesecake.  I have to say, it is Delicious! And the best part about it, it is almost fat-free. If the cheesecake is cut into 16 pieces, each piece has 117 calories and only 15 calories from fat. If I had stuck with the original recipe and made my own pie crust, the fat intake would be even lower. But regardless, it's much better than a store bought cheesecake which delivers at least 100% of one's daily saturated fat intake.

I am very excited about almost fat-free and delicious cheesecake! Here's hoping I can keep my hands off it until Foodsgiving time!

In other creative adventures, I will be dyeing today. Some yoga pants, some sarongs, some bandanas, some misc. items. I am hoping to be done in time to go to yoga class.

Have skirt, will run

I have been running! Theres a big, long finding fitness and health story behind it, but I am RUNNING!

Let me briefly explain, until March I was a smoker. That's fourteen years of smoking. And I assure you, I didn't run across the street when a car was coming, let along run for fun! Gym class memories torture me if I let them. I was always one of the last people in running the mile.

And ya know what? I still might be one of the last people in, but now I LIKE running! I run for fun, I run for exercise, I run for the dog, I run to clear my thoughts and sort out my feelings. I like running by myself, and I like running with others. Running, running, running.

I told myself all I needed to run was my shoes. But then I was researching Atalanta, Greek goddess of female athletes, for next year's Mystery School, andI happened to find company run by women called Atalanta Athleticwear. (www.skirtgoddess.com) They sell running skirts. Their tagline is "Does this skirt make my butt look fast?"

My running skirt was delivered today! It is black and red and I can't believe I'm wearing it! I don't wear skirts this short just to hang out in, I'm kinda shocked I'm wearing one so short to RUN in. But it is all a part of healing wounds from gym class- a few boys used to call me "Thunder Thighs" in junior high. Thunder thigh this, bad memories! I've got a running skirt!

Got some feelings to sort out and thoughts to clear, off to run in my fast butt skirt!

It's Because I'm Awesome!

Last Monday I had a job interview at Barnes and Noble. It went great! The woman who interviewed me, Stephanie, was really cool, because a)she was wearing a fabulous chunky amethyst necklace, b)she's also a Star Trek fan, c) she liked me and "my energy" and d)she's interested in the Grove.

Yes, she's interested in the Grove and is excited about my Rites year next year. Time off to go to the Grove is not a problem at all! Saturdays off to do the holiday market is fine also. No conflicts of interest!

The interview went so well, she wanted to hire me then. But the interview process was a two-parter- I had to have a second interview. I waited all week to hear back from them, but no phone call ever came, and I started to get nervous.

Then Friday Stephanie called me, and said based on our conversation and a conversation she had with the other hiring manager, they decided to skip the second interview and just hire me! How cool is that!

So the good news is time off for the Grove and the market, discounts on books and cafe items, and if I work during the day the Blue bus stops right by my house and takes me right to the store with no transfers. And it's about 30 hours a week, so I still have time to dye. The bad news is the pay sucks (7.50/hour) and no benefits. The good news (I hope) is I'll have opportunities to advance in the company if I choose and I have the chance to make a difference- I'm already wondering how to get the cafe to serve coffee in real cups not disposable, but I should probably work for a while and scope things out :)

I've got my bus schedule planned out (night scheduling got a little complicated) and I'm washing my black clothes. I can wear what I want as long as it's (mostly) black. Looks like I'll be wearing a lot of black this coming year, between work and Rites!

I start tomorrow. Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed I can wear my Witch hat  or my elf ears for Halloween!