Pink T-shirt/Bullying Stops here

Leila Raven Posted in General

There’s a new day for awareness in Canada, around the problem of bullying. Today, on Feb. 27th people are encouraged to wear pink to voice their awareness of the problem of bullying.  Most of us have some personal experience with bullying. In childhood those examples and memories of bullies and their actions are probably clear and obvious. Many of us are also aware of bullies and bullying in our adult lives.

I grew up being the target of bullying throughout my childhood. I was one of the kids that didn’t fit in, I never ended up in any clique or group, I was always an individual. I had friends, but I never belonged to any ‘group’. I would always have one or two close friends, but I just didn’t fit in to any of the little boxes.  I have a lot of memories of being bullied. I have memories of times where I was unbelievably terrorized. There was definitely more trauma than drama involved in these situations. I remember as a child having anxiety and depression issues, which were definitely in part contributed to by dealing with daily bullying in school. I remember being physically ill because of the fear involved. Bullying impacted me in many ways. It affected what classes I took, it affected what grades I got, it affected me physically, mentally and emotionally.

I was lucky that I had some loving and caring people in my life that helped me to feel special, loved, and important. That regardless of the bullying, I managed to survive with my self esteem intact. Like most teenage girls, I had struggles with self esteem, particularly in the face of bullying. But I also had support and love from people that helped me keep my head above those hostile waters.

I’m taking the day to reflect on bullying, not so much on my experiences in the past though, but more on the present and the future.

The reality is bullying exists in many different forms, and in adult arenas as well as those of childhood and adolescence. I have witnessed acts of bullying in my social circles as an adult. I have watched people use behavior that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates others. Often, out of my own fear of becoming a target of the bully, I have remained silent.  I still struggle with what if any action to take in regards to the adult bullying I witness.

The Canada Safety Council defines adult bullying as a “grab for control by an insecure, inadequate person, an exercise of power through the humiliation of the target.” It usually involves humiliation or abusive words that lower a person’s self-esteem. It can take the form of rude, degrading or offensive remarks; intimidating gestures; or discrediting a person by spreading rumours, ridiculing them or calling into question their convictions and private life.

Bullies typically act out of feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. The bully through their negative actions is trying to grab control and power through bringing others down. I used to have only fear and anger towards these individuals, but that was when I was a child. As an adult, I have a great deal of compassion and concern for these bullies, even though their actions are reprehensible, I’m aware that they are coming from a place of deep hurt themselves. I long for solutions where I can protect those being bullied but do so in a way that ‘diffuses’ the bully rather than moving against them in such a way that will only cause them to continue or even escalate their behavior. 

Simply retaliating or reacting towards a bully out of anger is clearly not a solution. It may be helpful to understand that bullying is learned behaviour. As children, bullies were likely not taught good communication skills particularly around how to communicate their needs, wants and goals in a healthy positive fashion. They likely observed their parents’ bullylike interactions with others or even were bullied by their own parents, and learned to mimic the behaviour. They are like wounded animals that lash out wildly at any creature they perceive as weaker than them.  Wounding them further, will not solve the problem.

In adulthood bullies are most likely to pick on those who cooperate well and who generally have a non-confrontative interpersonal style. The bully will often focus on those who have capabilities they view as a threat, and try to cut them down.  Adult bullies, like their schoolyard counterparts, are usually deeply insecure people with questionable social skills and little empathy for others. They turn this insecurity outwards, and feel real psychological satisfaction in their ability to attack and hurt the the people around them whom they feel to be a threat. Intimidation from these bullies is driven by their need to control others.

So what do we do about adult bullies and bullying? Good question, and I don’t think there is one right solution for everyone or every situation.

Sometimes confronting the bully in a calm fashion can diffuse the situation, asserting yourself and outlying your concerns while being able to give specific examples of what behaviour you feel is inappropriate may be enough to dissuade them from continuing to bully you. Often though, unfortunately it does not, or they may perceive you as too ‘difficult’ a target and simply choose to target someone else.

Ultimately, it is both the person being bullied and the bully, that needs support and resources. Unless the bully takes responsibility for their behavior and realizes they have issues around communication and interpersonal relationships and actively seeks out help to learn new interpersonal skills, they are unlikely to change.

My advice to those being bullied, is if a calm respectful confrontation of the bullies behavior does not work, is to simply distance yourself as much as possible from the bully. If the bullying is severe, and you can collect evidence and record events you may have a legal case if you feel it necessary to protect yourself from further action.  Whether to engage legal support and take a bully on, or to walk away, after attempting to work it out with the bully doesn’t work, is something that would have to be assessed by the person in that situation.  Sometimes social pressure can also be effective in curbing a bullies behavior in a community. The important thing is not to turn into a bully yourself in dealing with these situations.

The persons ideally that need to make the changes, are the bullies. They need to become aware that their behavior is unproductive. That they may get a short term sense of satisfaction through their bullying actions, but in the long term they are dealing with insecurity, and hurt of their own, that is only leading constant interpersonal struggle.

Are you a bully? Do you feel intimidated and insecure about others at times, and if you do, do you typically react by trying to ‘take them down’? Do you have a history of interpersonal conflicts? If you’re always having relationship problems you need to be aware that one of the common factors in all of them is you, and somehow you must be contributing to that conflict.  You have a choice. You can choose new behaviours. However you may or may not be able to stop bullying on your own, it may take the help of a counselor or therapist to help you learn new behaviors and ways of communicating to replace the old ones.

Ultimately the only way to stop feeling intimidated and insecure towards others is not to bring them down, but to raise yourself up. When you feel insecure that is the moment that you can make the choice, to show yourself and others love, support, and to empower yourself in a legitimate fashion that will have long lasting positive results for you and others.  Reacting to insecurity, fear, etc, by lashing out and trying to hurt another and bring them down won’t raise you up. Bullying may give you a temporary feeling of power, but in the big picture it just serves to bring you lower you down and continue that cycle of feeling insecure.

So do something today, and tomorrow, about bullying. Look around you and become more aware of bullying behavior around you. Is it happening to you? Is it happening to others in your community? Do you know a bully? Are you a bully? Likely it’s impacting you or someone you know right now in your life.  Is there a simple solution to deal with the situation? No. But awareness is the first step. There are a few second steps you can take, I encourage you no matter which step or steps you choose, you choose to walk them with compassion.

‘Live in Love’


Leila Raven Posted in General

When your neck becomes too sore and weary
to hold your heavy head
lay your head down

When the world becomes
thick and tight around you
allow it’s weary embrace

If your cup is too heavy to lift
drink from the stillness
drink from the pain

If your body
struggles and strains
in this stillness in this pain
lay your head down

Fallen Orchid

Leila Raven Posted in General

Fallen Orchid

grown constrained
in highly controlled conditions

the masses preferring
the  understood cliché of red roses
or even simple daisies

Yet perservering
strong stalked
thick leaved
and heavy blossomed

then cherished
and loved

Then one day
for reasons unknown
the petals crumple and fall

It’s just the cycle
and crumpled petals falling

Too meek now
finery lost
just a small naked leaf
and bound stem

I don’t know how
to make you
bloom again

Managing, trying new things…

Leila Raven Posted in General

So I’m still recuperating from my massive flare up on Friday that sent me to emerge.  I had a belly dancing class on Monday night and managed to do most of the class, but had to sit out the last 15 minutes as my body was starting to get too sore and awkward. It was nice to watch the other women dancing and rest my shaky sore body for a while.

Before every class Wolfe has been snapping pics of me in my latest belly dancing get up. Monday was sunny so we took them outside. Unfortunately the camera’s batteries were dead, so he took them with his cell phone instead. It’s not a bad little camera in that phone.

Considering the camera source, they’re not a bad few little pics.

One of the ladies in the class makes tribal style tassel belts. I assembled some tassels the other week and she sewed them into a hip belt for me, I’ll get to wear them to the next class. Which I think is my last class and is a class performance for friends and families *gulp*! I know next Monday class is canceled, so it would be the following Monday.  I still don’t have the dance memorized, and I know I’m going to make some mistakes, but I’ll join in the performance and do the best I can. It’s still not as scary as having to test for martial arts belts. If I could do that, I can do this!

So I had a Dr.’s appointment again, it was a follow up on a second set of ultrasounds I had done of my thyroid, because my thyroid has some nodules in it. He says there is no change from the first set of ultrasounds and so doesn’t feel there is any immediate concern. We talked about the really bad flare up I had on Friday and I decided to go on a new medication for fibromyalgia, Lyrica, which I start today.

” LYRICA is indicated for the management of fibromyalgia. It is also used to help people with diabetes manage nerve pain and for pain after shingles. … Some of the most common side effects of LYRICA are dizziness, sleepiness, dry mouth, and edema. Plus blurred vision, weight gain, constipation, euphoric mood, and loss of balance. Also, increased appetite and trouble concentrating.”

I already have most of the side effects as symptoms, so hopefully they are not made worse. Regardless it may be worth it, and hopefully I won’t have too many difficulties with side effects.

The Dr. also gave us a prescription of injectable toradol, so if I have a really bad flare up again I don’t have to go through hell at the emergency room. Wolfe will administer the meds at home. Which is a big relief.

I had been steadily losing about a pound and a half a week for many weeks now, since summer time. Yet in the last week I’ve gained back 5 just from abusing food as comfort/self-medication. I say abusing because the last thing my unhealthy stressed body needs is to try to process a whole bunch of refined flour and sugar based foods. I really need to go back to my previous healthy eating. I’m not doing myself any favors eating cake.

If the Lyrica doesn’t work for me my next line of action is going to be about looking into medical marijuana. One thing at a time though.

We’ve decided not to have any dungeon parties in March, but will donate our space starting in March for a free drop-in Rope & Grope, The next big party we’ll be having will be in April on the 12th. Which also happens to be Wolfe’s birthday. We’ll have Elwood in the house doing body modifications/piercings so am very looking forward to that. I’m still wondering over another piercing. I think I’ll wait on it until I’m sure, maybe that will happen before the Party, maybe it won’t.

One of my favorite little TV pleasures starts tonight, America’s Next Top Model…. I love that show, ah… to be young and beautiful, lol.



Leila Raven Posted in General

Last night I became unable to manage the building pain in my body and had to head to emergency to get help.  I could barely walk or move my body was so weak and so filled with pain. Wolfe helped navigate me into clothes and out to the car. The clothes were hell.

During a flare up my skin is hyper sensitive and parts of clothes hurt and the parts that didn’t felt rough and scratchy and itchy. It was minor compared to the deep underlying pains. Major muscles in my back and legs. My bowels also cramping with the IBS, my bladder/urethra irritated feeling like when I get a bladder infection, but knowing its not, just the fibromyalgia irritable bladder because it would come and go in waves of severity like the rest of my pains.

Everything starts to become surreal as all that exists is pain sensations, and I start to disassociate to cope, losing track of time, my location, my identity, reality. Mostly all there is is the pain and little parts of my brain dialogging about it. All of a sudden I’m religious, voice in my head is praying up a storm, simple repetition please god please god please god, please jesus, jesus, jesus. It feels loud but I’m not saying anything, it’s just in my skull. Another part of me is saying bad things to me, it’s a part I censor when I’m well, but it realizes it’s out of it’s cage no one strong enough to put it back in… ‘you’re not sick, you’re faking it, you’re pathetic, stop crying, don’t be such a weak little girl, pull yourself together, why are you wasting everyones time, why are you doing this to Wolfe, why are you doing this to yourself? don’t be so stupid!’ and a small scared voice occassionally responds with teary ‘I can’t help it, please, I want it to stop’.

I’m sitting in the hospital waiting room now, but I can’t see my surroundings. My eyes have been inflamed and light sensitive all day, but now the light is blinding and too painful my eyes are closed, We’ve been there a while, I can feel something different in my body, a nice feeling, a rhythm, I’m not sure where it comes from, is someone bumping the wheelchair, no it’s me, I’m rocking.  I don’t know where it comes from, rocking my body, it’s not a choice, not a conscious movement, it just happens, I can’t figure out what muscles or body parts are making it happen, just that I’m curled down over myself, my body is on fire, and there’s a rhythm, I hold onto the rhythm, I’m burning, but the rhythm feels nice. My body is doing something right. Rocking.

Wolfe is touching me on the shoulder and talking to me, it scares me and I jump. It hurts. I was somewhere else, I don’t know how long, but all of a sudden all the pain comes flooding back again, I was only out of the pain for seconds, I want to leave again. Wolfe tells me I’m blacking out, that I have to try to breathe more, that they’ll be letting us in soon. He’d stepped away for a few moments to let the staff know I was starting to black out with the pain.  I don’t know how to breath, the breathing is weird, random breaths caught between pain, but I don’t choose when to breathe, the breathing, like the rocking is choosing me.

Finally we get to a bed, Wolfe has to a lot of supporting/lifting to transfer me to the bed, my body is non responsive. I don’t know how to move myself, I feel paralyzed with pain and weakness. Once I get laying down on the bed, the pain starts to ease up a little bit, and I realize the sitting position I had been waiting in was really bad for me. I’m now able to communicate a bit, and shift myself a little. Wolfe places his jacket between my knees because he knows when I have this kind of pain sensitivity my knees resting on one another hurts, there’s no padding on the joints. The rocking mostly stops, comes and goes with waves, and now sometimes I’m over-taken with uncontrollable shivering/shaking with the muscles.

I’m not sure how much time passes, a nurse comes and takes my pulse again. Wolfe tells me that earlier when they used the machine my heart rate was up around 140-150, and my blood pressure 150/75. I remember when they had done the blood pressure because the cuff hurt so much I almost blacked out with it, my body was shaking/convulsing throughout the test.

A little while more and the Dr. comes, I’m already feeling much better, my pain sitting around a 5-6, instead of waves of 8-10. I’m still in horrible pain, but I can carry on a conversation, the tears have slowed, I no longer have reams of snot pouring out of my nose, and I’m able to move my own body parts, he tells me he’ll get the nurse to give me a shot of painkillers in my backside, and he’ll give me a dose of ativan to help me go to sleep. I’m exhausted, and know if the shot gets my pain down to about a 3-4, that I’ll be able to sleep through it with the sedative.

I’m also almost hysterically happy, the relief of my pain being where it is palatable.  I never knew I could be happy to have so much negative pain, but the fact that it wasn’t the ‘super’ pain I was having just a little while ago was mind blowing. You make deals with yourself, yes, I’ll take this level of chronic fibromyalgia pain as long as I don’t have to visit that other place again.. the one where you forget how to breathe and you can’t think or move, and reams of snot hangs from your nostril in glistening trails.  I don’t want to visit that place again. It was a terrible ride, and a horrible journey to put Wolfe through.

Next Wednesday I see my family Dr. I had been back and forth on whether I wanted to try one of the newer medications for Fibromyalgia, because of the side effects, etc. But I’ve had a pain induced change of heart. I’ll go on another medication trial to see if it will help, anything that might prevent a repeat of last night.

Felt it coming on

Leila Raven Posted in General

Yesterday was a great day chocolate and flowers and love wise, and not such a great day pain and symptom wise.

Unfortunately my bad spells usually last a few days or so at a time, building to a peak in the middle.

Yesterday was bad, today is worse. I could barely sleep last night, and I’ve woken up with more pain and discomfort, and one of my least favorite set of symptoms I get…. urinary tract irritation.

Yesterday I had eye inflammation/dryness/soreness and I still have some today, but this morning I feel like I have a raging bladder infection.

I will have to go and get tested just in case I do have an actual bladder infection, but since the onset of my fibromyalgia, I’ve been this road before.  All that urgency and urethral pain and discomfort is more than likely just what the fibromyalgic ‘irritable bladder’ acting up, it feels exactly like when I get a urinary tract infection and the only way to tell the difference between the two is go get a sample tested.

Just like I have irritable bowel, which is also acting up. Hell, the whole system is crashing. I’ve read that you can get a type of lidocaine/anesthetic to get to numb the oversensitive nerve endings of the urethra with people with fibromyalgia who suffer badly from this. I’m going to have to ask my family doctor about that, because nothing sucks more than something that mimics a bladder infection, but can’t be abolished.

It’s impossible to know whether I’ll have 3 or 4 days of hell coming up, or a few weeks before symptoms lessen a bit again. Unfortunately it’s all guess work, the worst part is knowing that I can’t know. Maybe this time symptoms won’t ease up again, maybe this time it’s an overall worsening of the condition that could last months or years? Who the hell knows, it’s evil scary stuff.

So, I had planned on a weekend of fun and frolic, going to Friday Fixe and Rascals, lovely kink events, but one thing I can predict, I won’t be feeling well enough in time to be going anywhere tonight or tomorrow. Even if by some miracle things start to ease up for me today or tomorrow, I’ll be catching up on sleep/rest.

That’s enough out of me, fingers hurting.

I feel spoiled

Leila Raven Posted in General

Wolfe came home with a bouquet that had a ginger blossom in it and some Calla lilies all red and white. My favorite flowers, he had to special order them in advance. That and a pound of chocolate covered cherries from the British Sweet Shop. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I’m too tired and sore for us to go out for dinner, so we’re ordering in. Life is good in my bathrobe in my sore body, because love is in the air.


Leila Raven Posted in General

I don’t usually really celebrate Valentines, the anniversary of when Wolfe and I met is Feb 2nd, and we usually celebrate that, and Valentines often slips by mostly un-noticed.

It’s the little daily gestures of love that are most important to me regardless. For instance hot tea waiting for me in the mornings. Wolfe gets up early to go to work and he leaves me a pot of hot tea by the couch and laptop. I never know which flavor of tea I’m getting till I pour that first cup, and some days, like today, he forgets the bag and I have hot water. Which always makes me smile, and sometimes laugh.  Sometimes there’s a protein shake/smoothie for me in the fridge, and this morning there was freshly juiced juice.

Ever since Luna’s last heat, and we suspect she is pregnant, she has been SO snuggly, there’s definitely a personality change, she wants cuddles and rubs all the time, so I’m typing this around a very snorky snuggly pug. I think she’s hoping I’ll give up my typing and go back to rubbing her belly.

I’m feeling a bit introspective today, and a bit sad, as I’m thinking about my health, my fibromyalgia and my altered existence because of it. Chronic pain and fatigue is wearying, to say the least. It’s one thing to have a cold or a flu that brings you down and lingers on and quite another to have something like this. After many many months now, I’m still adjusting to the idea that feeling this way may be my constant companion. I still have a couple of therapies I can try, to see if there will be a significant impact. There’s a class of drugs that works well for some people with fibromyalgia, and then there is also alternative medicine/healing. The trouble with these options is a) expense and b) fear.

We don’t have a lot of money right now, and to sink money into treatment that may not lead to any significant improvement is truly daunting. There is also simply the fear around, even if we could afford it, trying up all my options for feeling better, and finding out I can’t. Using up my options and coming out on the other side knowing nothing does or can work would be a big blow, one I don’t know if I can face right now. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Not wanting to try treatment for fear you can’t get any better, so choosing the path where you definitely won’t get better. Honestly though, even though that is a fear, If we had the money, I’d confront it pretty darn fast.  The big thing holding me back is the expense, and in the case of the traditional medicine, medication I haven’t tried yet, it’s also the side effects.

I know I spend a lot of time disassociating from my own body physically and emotionally, as focusing in on it, is hard to do. Letting myself ‘feel’ the pain, is hard. I spend my time constantly distracting myself with games on the computer, the television, food, something, usually multiple things to keep my focus external, keep the mind busy. The body still on the couch, and ignore the physical and emotional pain inside of me. When I let my attention come back to myself, the awareness of how wrong things are in the body, how weak and tired, and how much I hurt. Is overwhelming. Sometimes I find myself in awe, that I can just be and keep going when the body does hurt this much, feel this way, when everything is so weak and sore, and to know it’s simple. I don’t have a choice. Chronic pain is a weird thing, it’s changing me, and I’m trying to direct that change to make it as positive as possible, but it is changing me.

I try to focus on the ironic upsides, it’s making losing weight a lot easier, because really, it kills my appetite. I used to be aware before my fibromyalgia that If I had pain, particularly head or upper body pain, that I’d get nausea with it, but now the nausea and lack of appetite, have just kind of blurred into that mass of sensation in me that is so constant that it’s become ‘normal’.  That and my bowels work so poorly now, that it’s hard to want to put stuff into your body when you have such a hard time getting stuff out. My digestive system, like every other system in my body seems to be weak, exhausted, sore, with depressed functioning, etc.

Fibromyalgia has become my most intimate companion. There are things you can choose to foster and develop, love and grow close to in your life, and there are things that you are powerless over. How do you come to terms with those things in your life that are unwanted, are with you, and are out of your control. Can anything positive come of this? I think that’s one of the hardest things, is my focus is always on trying to create the best out of the worst. To accept and love even that which comes into opposition against me, when that takes the form of people or other externals, somehow I’m able to do that. See an enemy in no person, and extend love and compassion, light and laughter, at least from my end of the equation, into that situation. I don’t ‘hate’ anyone. But I hate my fibromyalgia, I hate it’s symptoms, and it’s a struggle not to ‘hate’ my body, myself, for ‘doing’ this to myself. How do I create love there? Is there even any benefit to trying to do so?  Accept maybe, but create positive regard for?

Happy Valentines Fibromyalgia?

What can chronic pain teach me? Please let there be a silver lining, please let there be some love, some positive, something powerful that can be good that can grow out of something that makes me feel so bad, and so powerless. If there is a lesson here, I’ve yet to find it. It’s hard to look for it, when most of the time in order to cope, I’m needing to look away from it.

According to the Catholic take on Valentines, where we get the name of the holiday at least, from the first Martyred Saint Valentine: St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.

To all of you plagued with pain, and we all have some measure of it, some form of it, Happy Valentines.


A million little things

Leila Raven Posted in General

There are so many things going on in my life right now, though I haven’t really been writing about any of them… so In no particular order.

I had an amazing dungeon party last Saturday here in the house. We were running them last year, 2 a month, but when I started to get really ill with my fibromyalgia we stopped hosting them. I really missed doing them, and we decided to host one every other month for now, and maybe more often depending on how things go. It was a really great group of people that graced our dungeon and home with their amazing energy. For a group of 50-60 people it was surprisingly intimate and intimacy wise had the feel that smaller parties usually do. There were some seriously hot scenes going on, and everyone was delicious eye candy. I think I collected a hug from everyone, and some people more than once. There’s something about taking people into your arms… welcome. Though I always ask first if people are ‘huggers’ if I don’t know them.

I think every station in the house was put to use pretty much solid throughout the evening and it was nice to see some suspension rope work. There was also some very loud and yummy vocalizations coming from one of the slings… purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I think maybe next party if we end up with the same kind of numbers we should open up the upstairs guest room as a play space as well. In the past we weren’t because we were having the room available for rent, and needed it maintained pristine for that nights renters. We’ll have to play it by ear.

We decided this year to create a charity wall, and each party we have we’ll donate a good chunk of the monies collected by donation for charity. We had 4 charities people could vote on, and we went with the one with the most votes. We were able to donate 150$ to BC Persons with Aids Society. Next party it will be off the charity list and a new one will take it’s place with the 3 non-chosen options from last party. We’ll tape the receipts to the wall and see what impact our guests can have over time. I think it just adds another dimension of ‘feel good’ to the nights energy.

Theres another couple creating kinky space, and right in Vancouver, in an apartment that they are planning to host parties in, as well as rent out. They’ll be creating a website for it in time and we’ll provide links and information. The more kink friendly spaces hosting events and providing services, the better.

There is also the newly re-opened Libido Lounge on the mainland, but I have limited information. Last location where they had started out I had gone to see the space and it looked great, but that fell through for them and they had to recreate in a new locale. I’ve done something or somethings to displease the queen of that scene, and had received an official letter indicating that membership was -not- available to me at this time. It was vague as to any reasons why. I did write back to say I would welcome any open dialog, but have heard nothing back. I don’t like to jump to assumptions, as to whether I’m just being ignored, or she’s a busy woman and I would imagine resolving interpersonal conflict with someone who is merely an aquaintance low on the priority list of someone with a packed schedule. Regardless, I’m not sure whether membership and party fees to Libido Lounge would have been in our increasingly limited budget, so at least the situation has removed the temptation.

We are hoping to try to make the Friday Fixe evening this weekend, as well as Rascals on Saturday. If my health holds up, and Wolfe isn’t too exhausted from his work week… *crossing fingers*.

Dealing with my health issues, the fibromyalgia and associated symptoms and pains, has definitely increased our spending. I’m taking a lot of supplements and those seriously add up in cost, as well as eating high quality food most of the time. We’re also spending more money on heat and water, as I’ve needed to have the temperature higher, and I take a lot more hot baths to keep my body relaxed. If we had more income I would probably do massage and try other alternative healing options like chiropractic and acupuncture, but I feel we just can’t afford it. There’s been a lot of adjustments to make with the changes in my health. Even though how well I am hasn’t really changed per se, I think I’m dealing better with it, and have better coping strategies now than I did when I first started having symptoms.

I’ve been loving my bellydancing lessons, even though I often end up sore afterwards, it’s so worth it. I especially love dressing up like an exotic gypsy, maybe as much as I love the dancing itself. Here’s last Monday’s outfit…

I made some red and black tassels to be part of a tribal style bellydancing belt, and one of the women in class who makes tassel belts is assembling them on a hip belt for me. I can’t wait to wear them next class. I also have a coin belt, black with silver coins I wear during class but didn’t have on for the photos took at home before we went. We’re learning a really beautiful dance in the class which we’ll perform at a student’s night at the end of the classes. It’s choreographed to one of Shakira’s songs, ojos asi, and is very sensual and loads of fun.

The puppy in the photos is our little chug, chihuahua-pug cross, Max, who will hopefully turn out to be our stud dog. Luna, my bug, boston-pug cross, is hopefully pregnant now from a hired boston stud, we should be seeing some belly swelling next week. She’ll be due end of March. It will be our first batch of puppies ever, so I’m really excited, and nervous, about that.

There are still a million little things left going on in my life, but I’m running out of blogging energy, so that’s got to be it from me.

All considering, things are going pretty well in our little corner of the world…