Who Says Spa Time Has To Be Relaxing

The four-footed one had a spa day today.  Although judging from the looks of her it wasn’t a relaxing spa day in the least.  And I have a feeling the groomer didn’t exactly have a pleasant time either.

What was supposed to be a bath, hair cut (or fur cut I guess) and nail trim all promising to be relaxing for the dog, became a little something different.  It started with a small mishap at the washing station.  The water was turned a little to hard and so the four-footed one responded by making a giant tidal wave in her area.  This of course created more chaos which resulted in the four-footed one sliding around while groomers tried to catch her.

Once caught and secured she was bathed and dried, evidently against her wishes.  Her nails were trimmed and then it was hair cut time.  After her hair cut she was dried again and given a cute green bow.  The groomer working with her was rewarded with a nice cup of coffee and a cookie.

When we picked up the four-footed one our regular groomer told us what happened.  She said that honestly she didn’t think the other groomer would have such an issue, but she did.  When I inquired further she told me that the other groomer has issue so it has omen dogs. They simply do not take to her and evidently the four-foot one didn’t take to her.

At home the four-footed one had to run around and roll in the grass for a while.  Not in the least bit relaxed.  It took hours before she opted to settle down for a nice nap.  Beloved decided that spa day brings out the wild animal in her.  The wild animal that must run and play until she is relaxed and calm.  And has left her owners in a state of needing a relaxing day at the spa!


Breakfast In Bed Anyone

I am not a fan of breakfast in bed.  To be honest I’m not a fan of any meal in bed, this may be a result of too many hospital stays.  And then again, it may be a case of feeling that where I eat should not be the same place where I sleep.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t eat in bed, obviously that’s the case when I’m staying over at the hospital.  And yes it is true, Beloved has served me breakfast in bed a few times as well as other meals.  I just don’t enjoy it as much as some people seem to like eating in bed.

it isn’t just because of the crumbs and such getting in your sheets.  You see friends, I don’t spend a lot of time in bed when I feel well.  When I’m in a horrible lupus flare however I may spend days in bed.  Those days pass by in a blur of sleep, pain and medications.

Perhaps it is because I’m a product of my upbringing where unless I was very ill my parents expected me to be up and about doing things.  Heck my mother subscribed to the theory of get up and get dressed because you will feel better.  Sometimes it works, sometimes I don’t even have the energy to get out of bed.  At best I pull a brush through my hair.

So why am I telling you all this?  Because recently someone told me they thought the most decadent thing in the world was eating breakfast in bed.  Now I’m sure she didn’t mean the jello cups that I get in the hospital, but I just can’t see how eating in bed is decadent.  How about you?  Has lupus ruined a good thing for me?

When They Say…It Really Means…

My mother took a lot of baths while I was growing up; a lot of long baths to be exact. My father once told me that he wasn’t sure it was humanly possible for someone to have a two-hour bath the way my mother did. These weren’t the “getting clean” types of baths any more than they were the types of baths that let you play with your toys for a bit before the whole getting clean nonsense happened. Oh no, not these baths. These required perfect water temperature, special smelling soap or bubbles and a great big, thick book to accompany her during this special, ritualized bathing.

My father swore that she put her special soap and water in the tub and then simply soaked her feet while she hid away from us. I suspect he was annoyed that two could play the game of getting away from the constantly questioning offspring they ended up with. My father would have moments where he was busy doing work that would result in dangerous flying projectiles. These moments sometimes lasted hours and were always accompanied by the sound of his saw running or the grinder spinning. I have no clue to this day what he did because there was never that much wood in the house nor were there that many things requiring his electric grinder.

In keeping up with the lovely trend of finding “excuses” to hide away from someone, Beloved will be occasionally be rather busy tending to his beard. Because you know that can take hours given that his beard is kept closely trimmed and isn’t thick enough to hide a small forest’s worth of animals in it. So you can see how a girl like me might, if she didn’t know any better, take it personally. All these reasons for people hiding themselves away from me ring somewhat false.

Of course when I am off doing research or requiring some time alone to either read or plan out lessons, it’s completely different from his need to tend to his beard. It isn’t that I’m trying to get away from Beloved; it’s just a requirement for work. You see the difference don’t you? Oh sorry did I just out your bath ritual? 😉

Been A Long Time

Its been a long time since I’ve felt completely  comfortable with being here.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt as if this place is a part of my home.  There is no one to blame for this, it’s just the way things are. 

 I struggled to find my place here, to find my own way and identity within this strange land.  What makes it harder, of course, is how Beloved settled into everything here so easily.  But then he has friends here and has done some guest lecturing at the university so I believe it made it easier for him. 

It’s been a long time coming, this sense of self within this strange city. Finding my own favorite hangouts, cafes and haunts.  Frequently I can find a sense of home or comfort within a short period of landing in a city.  Perhaps because Beloved already had his places and that’s where we went I was unable to find any sense of home or comfort here for the longest time. And this realization has also made me realize it’s been a long time since I’ve allowed myself to relax, to settle down and feel at peace. 

 I am so used to flitting here and there, perching on a branch for a short period and telling myself I’m home.  But the reality  is different.  The reality is I have been afraid of finding home and favorite places here because it might just mean settling.  And to settle means I’d be a long time before I’d head back to the place that holds my soul as a home.  

We all have at place, a space that calls us home, feels familar and embracing.  Sometimes it’s a place from our childhood, or a favorite vacation.  Sometimes it’s a place we stumble upon, perhaps on a whim.  Regardless of how we discover it, we all have these places.  And now matter how long it’s been since we last visited, or if we’ve never been there, it is home.  And home has been a long time coming, the sense of it within my stay here.

Clothing Conundrum

I have a bit of an issue on my hands today.  Someone gifted me with some lovely lounge pants.  A variety of colors and materials me up this lovely gift of several pairs of lounge pants.  The pants themselves aren’t my issue.  Actually that would be easy.

Instead friends the issue I have on my hands is this, can I wear my lounge pants even if I’m not going to be lounging?  Or are lounge pants restricted to lounging or resting?  This could create the awkward moments of having to find a way to quickly change out of my lounge pants into my non-lounging pants.  I mean the rushing around would not be considered lounging so you see, it’s a bit of an issue.

And while we are talking about this stuff, I have some reading socks.  And I must confess sometimes when I put them on, I don’t really consider if I will be reading or not.  Now I admit I do some reading each day so it’s somewhat okay I guess.

But when they tell me what my various clothing items are to be used for, I feel guilty and conflicted.  Because there aren’t any hard fast rules around wearing the clothes for things that are basically off label.  I know when my doctor prescribes me meds for off label purposes there are rules around use extra.  Maybe the designers should consider something like that.  Or at least provide the “technicalities” of this for people like me?  I’m asking for me and my guilty conscience.

Stressing Tests

While getting much needed coffee the other day with a friend, we couldn’t help but overhear university students discussing how stressful final exams are. One of the students went so far as to say the exams really are a form of inhumane torture and should be removed, because school is hard enough as it is. The other student not only agreed, but added the observation that exams don’t prove anything really.

I can’t say that as an educator I give exams to students for the sake of giving exams. I have requirements to test my students’ knowledge and ability to grasp what I am teaching. I have requirements around assigning marks based on a set of rules and policies within my institution.
The institution has a set of standards that students must meet in order to receive a degree from the institution, and part of those standards involve passing courses by proving the students have learned the material to an adequate level. Which takes us back to the reason for the exams.

Perhaps in some fields of studies exams could be removed and students could prove mastery of knowledge through lab type application and assume that the theoretical portion of the learning has been completed. In some fields of studies it would be near impossible to show learning without mechanisms such as exams, papers and other assignments. Regardless of the means used to show the learning has taken place, the stress level would still be present because the stress is based on proving you know the material and can display that knowledge.

If there is no need to prove the learning has taken place then perhaps the exams, papers and other such assignments would cease to exist. And educators could step back and allow the students to make and take of the learning what they would. This has been tried before, sadly with outcomes that were not intended. Since the learning no longer had to be proven the students only had to reach their own personal desired level of learning and determine their own competence with the subject. When those same students went forward with their learning, they discovered their learning was not adequate or the focus of their learning was in the wrong area. Some of the students involved in this exercise expressed increased stress at having to take the full responsibility for determining how much they needed to know, how well they needed to understand and apply what they had learned.

Perhaps we should cease to focus so much on the emotional response to things like exams. Perhaps then people wouldn’t feel so stressed. But I doubt it. Because as humans we tend to stress, we’d just find something else to stress us out. Such as someone cutting in line and thus delaying us from getting our much needed coffee.

What They Say

Put your feet up, they said.  Sit back and just take a few deep breaths they said.  Close your eyes they said.  Calm will come, they assured me, if I did just those few little things.  The trick, they told me, was t just keep trying these things and eventually it would click.  After that, they promised that I’d be meditating with the rest of them.

So I put my feet up.  I put them up higher figuring maybe it was a blood to brain deal.  Basically I may have pulled something in the back of my leg, aka a hamstring, with my endeavour to make this work.  Needless to say this was a bit of a failure.

Next I tried sitting back and taking a few deep breaths.  What I discovered is sitting back and trying to breathe deeply isn’t the best combination.  However I did discover that if you breathe deeply in rapid succession, it’s a bit dizzying!

When I closed my eyes I realized just how tired my ended were.  They ached in a way, followed by tearing up and leading to a bit of stinging sensation.  Needless to say I opened them up again.   When I tried this trick again, my eyes still weren’t happy.

So now I’m wondering how many times do I have t keep doing this before it works.  I’m also wondering exactly who they are and how do they know all this stuff! 😮